I recently picked up the Canon 105mm f2.8 L series IS Macro lens. I've not done a great deal of macro shooting in the past, partially due to only every having an old manual focus 1:4 macro on my Sony. One of the reasons I picked it up is due to my 365 day photo challenge, I've found quite alot of occasions where being able to shoot a macro image would have been a welcome option.
Like all L series, the lens is impeccable and operates like a dream. Smooth focusing and excellent clarity. Check the review out at DP Review. The general consensus is that its one of the finest lenses around....
I took the lens out this afternoon, though the light was poor, and took some shots of flowers to get a feeling for shooting macro. Its a pretty standard opening gambit for learning to shoot macro.
The most obvious thing, especially with the poor lighting, was the depth of field. It can be just millimetres between crystal clarity and a creamy fuzziness.
I've attached five images to this post, and two particularly highlight the difficulties of depth of field when shooting macro, especially towards the wide open end of the aperture range.
The yellow flower was an attempt to maintain focus on the petal, which was achieved, but it rendered everything else out of focus. Unfortunately, for this image, it really doesn't work, there is not enough of the flower in focus to really give a sense of it as a concept. The shot would have been far better had the centre of the flower been the focal point.
The second image illustrating this is the aluminium backed word NOT. Owing to the subject you can really see the focus area. Its not a bad shot, but is more useful as an instructional reminder than it is interesting.
The other three, I am quite happy with, the purple flower in particular works well with the focus dropping off quite nicely as your eye moves down the image. The interesting colours help.
One thing that is clear though is the need for a tripod if I'm going to be shooting macro more regularly. The 17quid tripod I own doesn't really cut it with a 1D mark III and a batch of L series lenses...