Lens Test: EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM vs. EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM

This is a lens comparison between the EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM and EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM. The camera body used was the Canon 5D Mk II. The images are screen shots taken running the Canon Digital Photo Professional application (v3.8.2.0). I wanted to get the focus point in the samples, and did not want to confuse matters with RAW rendering via DxO or ACR. Both images are RAW so there is no in-camera manipulation. The images have had no processing what-so-ever: just opened the RAW images in DPP and displayed at 100%.

I was a little surprised by the results: My old macro lens beat the heck out of the 24-105 on an across-the-bay shot. Why do I care about this test? Turns out this is a southern view. With a multi-hour starlit exposure, there is a centered arc of star trails over the preserve and mountains. With such a long exposure, and the plan to create a 48” wide print of the result, I wanted to be sure to get the detail of the woods when the print is viewed up close as intended. I have not yet taken that final photo of a full starlit arc.

EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM


  • EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
  • 1/250s @ f/8.0
  • ISO 200
  • 100mm
  • On tripod

EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM


  • EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM
  • 1/250s @ f/8.0
  • ISO 200
  • 95mm
  • On tripod, IS disabled

EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM (100% zoom)


EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM (100% zoom)

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