Camnostic’s collective newsroom wasted almost half a man-day over the weekend watching “hands-on” impression videos and other content regarding the new Canon RF 100mm macro lens they have announced, but not yet released. The upshot: it seems like a great lens; an improvement over the EF version; and not a single reviewer has yet demonstrated a photo that was improved with the new SA Control feature.
The spherical aberration control mechanism is a clever means to affect background blur, somewhat at the expense of subject sharpness. This can be a good trade-off with some portraiture, where overly sharp images aren’t typically desired. It may also help in the creation of unique-looking macro shots, where focus and SA control stacking can eliminate the subject sharpness issue.
But so far, Canon has lent these lenses out to people doing more breezy reviews. Some of the videos have actually shown the effect of changing the control dial, but none we’ve seen have yet attempted to do so in a situation where applying SA control would improve the shot.
Canon produced a very slick video, with very beautiful insect macro shots done by a very talented macro photographer, but his SA control shots of a model clinically showed the changes while making the pictures noticeably worse, as above.
We suspect a concerted effort would offer better results. One of our number has already pre-ordered the lens, but it is not slated to be released until July.