After attempting a few close-up pictures of plants and various bits and bobs, I came to the conclusion that I wanted a proper macro lens – one that could actually produce an image on the sensor that’s the same size as the object being imaged. I read a few reviews and narrowed my choice down to a Sigma lens and this Canon model. Both were rated quite well, but the Canon did have some distinct advantages that went a long way to justifying its higher price. So after a lot of dithering, I ordered it from my usual supplier, Cameras2u. As usual, their price was very competitive, it was in stock, and in my hands shortly afterwards.
My first impressions were good – it’s a good, solidly built lens, and the focus ring moves smoothly. Unlike some cheaper macro lenses, focusing is entirely internal – so it doesn’t increase in length as it focuses. This is really important for macro work, where you can be getting very close to the subject, and lenses that extend can be a bit awkward.
Once I got round to actually using the lens, I was even more impressed. With its maximum aperture of f/2.8, and the ability to focus as close as 31cm, it does an excellent job of getting up close and personal, with a shallow depth of field. And as a 100mm lens, it’s a moderately useful telephoto, too. Of course, as it’s a prime lens, it’s not as flexible as a zoom, but the quality of the glass more than makes up for that.
I’ll be playing with it a lot more over the next few weeks, and posting some sample images. So far, I love it.