Last month Canon quietly announced a new technology they called Hybrid Image Stabilizer, an optical image stabilization technology that compensates for both angle camera shake and shift camera shake. Yesterday morning they announced the first new lens which uses this technology, the EF 100mm f/2.8L Macros IS USM.
This is Canon’s first image stabilized macro lens and they state that it features a 4-stop correction during normal shooting. According to their press release the lens includes low friction ceramic balls which support the moving elements when compensating for camera shake during macro shooting.
The Hybrid IS technology is supposed to correct shift movement and angular movement during macros shooting with 2 stops of image stabilization at 1.0x magnification. If these claims are true this will be a significant advantage for macro shooters and they may not need to lug around a tripod all day long.
The new lens also features ultra low dispersion (UD) elements that should correct chromatic aberration for high resolution, high contrast images and a nine blade circular aperture for really nice bokeh. The lens also includes a three position focus limiter to tailor the focus system range to the desired subject and dust and water resistant seals.
Given the fact that this new lens runs about $1050 (USD) and is over $400 (USD) more than the existing EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM costs, I would have at least expected Canon to throw in their customary lens pouch and hood, both of which must be purchased separately.
My friends at Adorama have this lens available for preorder today if you’re interested. I’ll probably wait a few months and rent this lens to see if it lives up to the hype surrounding it’s launch. It’s the only L Series prime under 200mm to offer image stabilization and might make a very nice portrait lens with a fairly fast aperture (f/2.8) and good bokeh.