Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM

Last updated (05 July’10):
- Review by SLRLensreview

The Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM features 180mm at focal length with maximum aperture of F/3.5. The lens construction has 14 elements in 12 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 13.5 degrees. Focus adjustment: Inner focusing system with USM, Closest focusing distance at 1.48 feet and has a filter size of 72mm. The Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM lens weighs 2.4 pounds and it measures 3.2 inches in diameter and 7.3 inches long.

Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM
Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM Reviews

SLRLensreview reviews the Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM and writes;
“The lens showed pretty good performance on an APS-C camera, backing the general trend observed in field tests – generally speaking, image quality was better at wider apertures, which is a welcome, but somewhat surprising development. Center performance is excellent straight from f/3.5 and border quality does not fall far behind. “
rating: N/A

Photodo reviews the Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM and writes;
” From f/8 onwards the resolution is fairly consistent across the frame and with the legendary contrast and colour rendition of L class lenses it produces pleasing results that cannot really be criticized.”
rating: N/A

The-digital-picture reviews the Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM and writes;
“Canon’s macro lenses are all very sharp – and the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L USM Macro Lens is no exception. The 180 L is sharp wide open, from center to full frame corners, with little improvement when stopped down. Since DOF (Depth of Field) is so shallow at near-life-size (1:1) magnifications, very narrow apertures are often used to keep as much of the subject in focus as possible. “
rating: N/A

User Opinions

Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM User Reviews

Canon’s Best Macro Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“it is constructed with higher quality UD glass, so it has great color and contrast, and it’s incredibly sharp at all f/stops, and (2) at 180mm, it allows you to stay farther away from your subjects and still focus to 1:1. This makes it easier take photographs without disturbing your subjects and it allows you to have a smaller, more blurry area in the background so that the background doesn’t compete with the subject for attention.” – by S. J. Simmons

Big, Heavy, Sharp | Rating: ★★★★★
“When this lens is used with a 1.6X camera body such as the XT, 20D, or 30D it ends up giving you an amazing 288mm Macro or you can go one step further with the 1.4x or 2X TC’s and make it a 403/576mm super power. Of course whenever doing this you must either use a tripod or flash except in blazing light. The extra working distance is also a plus when working with wary insects etc. It is best to use a shutter release and mirror lockup for shutter speeds longer than 1/30 if you want sharp pictures.” – by Brian Koch

Nevermind macro, one of the best Canon lenses period. | Rating: ★★★★★
“This lens is compatible with Canon’s extenders. I have personally used it with the 1.4x extender. The results are excellent. While CA and sharpness degrade noticeably on the 70-200mm, this lens shows barely a difference in image quality, except for the change in designation to a 252mm F/5, of course. And add to the fact that the macro capability is now gone from 1.0x to 1.4x, a big bonus…” – by Jesse R. Hunter

Best Macro Lens you can get! | Rating: ★★★★★
“The Canon L series glass is pristine and holds its value very well also. My bag is all L glass, except for 1 lens. The Tamron 14mm SP 2.8, otherwise my 70-200 2.8 IS, 70-200 F4 IS, 17-40 F4, 300 F4 IS, 500 F4.5, 100-400mm, 24-105 IS, 35 F1.4, and now the 180MM Macro. Canon has some of the Finest glass out there and match that to solid camera, like the EOS 1N and EOS 3 for Film or the 30D, 5D and Mark III for digital, you are in for some wonderful shots and a lot of enjoyment!” – by Alaskan Photo Workshops & Tours

Awesome Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“This lens is worth every penny especially with Amazon,s price. Takes awesome close ups better then my Canon 100mm macro lens. I will hang on to my 100mm for now because that lens also takes some great pohtos. The Canon 180mm gets you closer to your subject. “ – by Mary Woodward

An Outstaning Piece of Glass | Rating: ★★★★☆
“This 180 f/3.5 captures amazing colors, and is the sharpest lens I have used. At 1:1 @ 3.5, simply breathing will change the focal point of your subject, so a tripod for this type of photography is mandatory. I can’t say enough about the images it produces, they are simply amazing. “ – by Michael Bullis

EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“The EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro lens captures amazing colors, and is the sharpest lens I have used. A tripod for close up photography is mandatory, although the two samples I supplied are hand held. I can’t say enough about the images it produces, they are simply amazing.” – by C. Calder

Worth it’s weight | Rating: ★★★★☆
“Regarding the suggestion that one instead get a 70-200 and extension tubes… yes, that would be more versatile than the macro alone, but I have a 70-200 and extension tubes, and they can’t compare to the 180 macro. “ – by Ryan

Excellent sharpness, color and bokeh; needs image stabilization! | Rating: ★★★★☆
“Colors are deeply saturated, and sharpness is on par with Canon’s best super telephotos… At f/3.5 and 180mm, there is a razor-thin focus area, and distractions in the background just melt away. You can take a picture of a daisy and make the stem disappear. Simply awesome.” – by John Margaglione

Superb Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“Optically the lens is excellent in every way. The ‘slow’ focus is a function of the huge focal range of the lens, typically manual focus is used for macro photography – for general photography the focus limiter can be used to improve focus time. Construction quality is excellent – although the included lens hood is a rather cheap plastic design, however it functions fine. “ – by J. Peabody

Yes, it’s a great lens but make sure it’s a great lens for you | Rating: ★★★★★
“No one can complain about the quality of the construction or of the images that this lens produces. It’s often considered a hidden gem in the Canon lineup as it gets thought of strictly as a macro lens and its use as a telephoto gets ignored.” – by Michael A. Duvernois

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM User Manual

- Download Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM User Manual (PDF – 2.1Mb)

Features & Specifications

Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM Specifications

Bring small things into full-sized view with the Canon EF 180mm macro USM lens. Macro lenses can uncover detail that would be impossible to detect by the eye and give new perspective to extremely minute subjects such as insects or the petals of a small flower, and this lens is no exception. The 180mm lens offers such features as three UD glass elements and an internal floating system, which combine to minimize aberrations caused by changes in the focusing distance; an advanced ultra-sonic monitor (USM) for high-speed, quiet autofocusing; full-time mechanical manual focusing; and a focusing distance range of 1.57 feet to infinity. Compatible with the EF Extender 1.4x and 2x, the lens carries a one-year warranty.

* Focal length: 180mm
* Maximum aperture: 1:3.5
* Lens construction: 14 elements in 12 groups
* Diagonal angle of view: 13 degrees (at 30 feet)
* Focus adjustment: Inner focusing system with USM
* Closest focusing distance: 1.6 feet
* Filter size: 72mm
* Dimensions: 3.2 inches in diameter, 7.3 inches long
* Weight: 2.4 pounds

Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM Macro Lens Features

* High-performance, high image quality 1x macro telephoto lens.
* High-quality close-up throughout the focusing distance range (1.57ft. to infinity).
* Three UD Glass elements and floating construction correct residual chromatic aberrations for improved image quality.
* Advanced USM for high-speed, quiet AF.
* Full-time mechanical manual focusing.
* Compatible with EF Extender 1.4x and 2x. (manual focus only with Extender 2x).

Another telephoto macro lens with a maximum magnification of 1x. Life-size close-ups can be taken from a farther distance without disturbing the subject (insects, etc.). The internal floating system minimizes fluctuations in aberrations caused by changes in the focusing distance. Optical performance is outstanding from 1x to infinity.

See also: Canon Lenses | Lens Reviews

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