My sharpest Canon Glass!
This is quite simply the sharpest lens I own. The word stellar comes to mind when using with a 5D MKII. BTW, even though the lens is midly long and designed for macro, that same sharpness applies to subjects at or near infinity.
Before buying, I looked at Canon's MTF charts and compared several L-series lenses. I think I found 3 or 4 lenses that were sharper ... but they were all telphoto prime $5,000 and up.
I knew before going in that a 180 mm macro lens, at nearest focus point, meant a micron or two depth of field even at minimum aperture :-). If that bothers you, step back. The adjvantage of over 50 mm macro is the greater working distance.
Anyway, this is a beautiful lens and the only lens that gives me images nearly equivalent to my old 4x5 Sinar with Nikon glass.
Also, this lens works wonderfully with EX 1.4 III extender. I really can't determine if slight loss in sharpness is teleconverter or ... added magnification of focal length which also magnifies camera shake. Using EX 1.4 with this lens on my 20D with 1.6 crop factor, effective focal length is 403 mm and I lose just a single f-stop for the extender.
To get absolute most out of this lens, use heavy tipod and mirror lockup.
Some people complain about the slow focus speed. In macro shots, I shoot manual anyway although I start with auto just to get me close. I have a feeling that those complaining about focus speed probably forget and leave the focus switch on the near focus range. If the switch is in the position that disables close focus, it seems fast enough.
I always try to put this lens on a tripod. Success hand-held is quite low for me .... old shakey man.
Don't slam on your car bakes an throw the lens off the car seat onto the floor. Auto focus will stop working and cost you $150 to fix :-(. Yes - I'm stupid. No comments necessary. I deserve paying for that lesson.
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