Canon 100mm Macro Focal Distance

Canon 100mm Macro Focal Distance

Mar 06
Canon 100mm Macro Focal Distance

Text and images by Brent Duran 

Canon DSLR shooters have two main options when it comes to macro lenses – a 60mm and 100mm.  As a full frame shooter I use the 100mm f/2.8L macro lens.  This lens has three focal distance settings that should always be set depending on what you expect to shoot.

.3 – .5m:  This is the shortest focal distance, starting at 1ft (.3m) and will give you a true 1:1 macro image.  The focal range is capped at a distance of .5m, meaning that autofocus will only search for focus within this range.  This is a great setting for shooting small subjects like nudibranchs.

.5m – Infinity:  This setting is for larger subjects and means the lens won’t be used as a true macro lens.  You can shoot larger fish or even a portrait of your dive buddy on this setting.  Note that if you’re trying to shoot a macro subject that’s .3m away, the lens will not focus.

Full:  This setting allows the camera to use its full focal distance, great for versatility and those dives when you’re not quite sure what to expect.  While this is very convenient, the downside is that autofocus will search through the entire focal range.  This means that if you miss focus at .3m it will take some time for the lens to search through infinity before coming back and locking focus at .3m.

As always, make sure to plan ahead before you commit to a setting in your housing!