CANON S 100mm f3.5 II (LTM) on SL2
Early this year I acquired this tiny L39 Screw Mount lens at the Sydney Camera Market. This Canon S 100mm f3.5 II lens is light, small and well performing. It comes in a leather case, reversible hood, filter and viewfinder.
The lens can be adapted to the Leica SL2 with a screw mount to M adaptor, M adaptor-L. On digital, the lens actually works fine without hood. Dressing it up with a hood make the camera combo way cooler.
Body Design and Built Quality
According to the Canon official museum website, this lens debuted in late 50s, with 5 glass element in 4 groups, 15 aperture blades. Yes 15 aperture blades. It is faster and longer than the Leica Elmar of a similar age. It is a better lens, with the same 34mm filter thread. It has firm click stops. The 1m minimum focus distance. The construction is very solid, black-chrome appearances, super light at 184g. At less than 70mm length it is so small and compact on the SL2. I love it. How come modern lens designers cannot make full frame lens smaller like this?
The 100mm focal length provides plenty of reach and good compression on perspective. The lens is very sharp, with smooth out of focus bokeh. I like its front out of focus areas too. There is an airiness to the images it captures, as the light only pass through limited glass surfaces. At full aperture there is a tiny bit of vignetting. Distortion is well controlled. It brings lovely colours and detail renderings. Photos below are all taken at F3.5 wide open.
For my architectural walkabouts, I typically had a ultra-wide zoom lens on the camera, and this tidy tele in my pocker for a bit more reach for architectural details.. The photos it captures are deliciously rich and fine. It is a bit of character and it is not like the modern autofocus huge monsters.
The aperture is fast enough for night photos. Combining with the in body image stablisation in the SL2, I am confident taken shots wide open after hours.
The Canon 100mm F3.5 II is one of my favourite lenses. Subjects looks three-dimensional and real on this lens. It is a great asset that lives in my daily bag. I prefer it over the Leica Tele-Elmarit 90 and it is much cheaper.
On Lumix G and OMD cameras, it is a super tele lens of equivalent of 200mm.
On Leica M cameras (film CL, M9M, M246, M10) the rangerfinder focus is accurate.
On L-Mount cameras with macro adaptor it can be focused much closer.
- great build
- full manual control
- high performance in a small compact package.
- beautiful rendering
- very little viewfinder blockage on M cameras
- no autofocus
- not as flare resistant as modern multi-coated lenses
Filmosaur’s article on Canon S 100mm F3.5 II