Concerns about 100mm Macro USM - can it be sharp without IS or expensive equipment?

Started Oct 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
rickpoole
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Re: Concerns about 100mm Macro USM - can it be sharp without IS or expensive equipment?
In reply to kujen, Oct 20, 2012

I compared the two 100mm macro lenses earlier this year and ended up springing for the L version and spending the extra $400.  I would have preferred the non-L but after trying both for 10-20 minutes I decided the L was well worth the extra $400.  Some of the things I noticed were:

1. The L was faster focusing

2. The L has slightly better contrast and color rendition.  These are fairly slight but definitely noticeable.

3. The L's IS really makes a difference.  I was able to get a number of low light or small aperture shots that came out blurry with the non-L version.  This means I can get handheld shots with the L that would require a tripod with the non-L which makes the L version much more versitile.

4. The L's build quality is definitely better than the non-L.  Probably means it will stand up to rugged use better.

5. Not sure if it is the better contrast that does this but sometimes the L appeared slightly sharper than the non-L.

From research I did before buying a 70-200L f4 IS - in general the L lenses hold their value better than the non-L lenses.

 rickpoole's gear list:rickpoole's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM +7 more
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