Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS UMS is known for a very sharp lens, not surprising as it's a typical characteristic of a true macro lens. A true macro lens is a lens that is able to give you a 1.0x magnification or a 1:1 image size on your camera sensor at it's closest focusing distance. Some will give you magnification beyond 1.0x, for example the Canon MP-E65mm Macro gives you up to 5.0x magnification!
Besides the typical inscets, bugs photos you get to see all the time, macro lens is used in products photography too. Portrait photographers love to use macro lens for some portrait works for it's corner to corner sharpness, the application for a macro lens is many.
I capture this two days ago using the 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens, this level of sharpness is impossible to obtain with a normal lens for object of this size.
This stone is only about 1cm across, check out the video below where I pick up the stone for some size comparison.
Greater details with greater resolutions
Pair it with the highest resolutions DSLR on the market and you'll be amazed by the details you can get out of an image.
Below is an image of my Gitzo tripod taken with my 24-70 f/2.8L for my Gitzo Tripod review.
I'm actually quite impressed with the amount of details I'm able to get out of that lens. But when I tried to take with my 100mm f/2.8L Marco IS USM, the results is even more staggering!
Look at the amount of details I get at 100% zoom, you can literally see the carbon strains!
Here is another capture of the bolt of the tripod.
Zoom in at 100% and you can see how much details there are in the photo.
At macro level, the smount of depth of field is so little that you have to be really careful, a little shift and your focus could be out.
< Even the portion behind the embossed letter is out of focus here. >
Out of curiosity, I tried to capture an image of my iPhone screen...
You can actually make out the indivitual pixels!
The Hybrid System
The Hybrid Image Stabilization system is introduced with this lens, it offers up to 4-stops of stabilization assist to cancel out both angular and shifting movements.
I captured the images of my Gitzo Tripod handheld with auto focusing, not bad I would say!
If you plan to use the auto focus of this lens, remember to set the focus limiter appropriately as this will help with the focusing speed greatly.
The little downside
The only downside I find with this lens is the closest focusing distance, which is about 30cm.
If you plan to have lens hood on all the time while you are using the lens, you subject will be no less than 6cm from the front of the lens hood. Yes, you are effectively blocking most of your light to your subject at the closest focusing distance.
It's not a big problem if you are working in studio environment where you are in control most of the time, or if you have special flash made for macro photogrpahy. Or better still, just go without the hood alltogether!
I will upload some of the high resolutions image taken with this lens in this post to my facebook group here, feel free to check out the details yourself!