Renting a lens is wise, its not a waste of money
The lens we purchased with my Canon XTI body is a wide angle lens. I have had issues with things being out of perspective due to being too close or at the wrong angle when I took a shot. The 100mm is suppose to be a good walk about lens. Good for general shots and even does well for portraits. It is also suppose to be a very crisp,sharp glass, almost as good as any L lens Canon offers.
As a portrait lens, I found it to be adequate, although I was amazed at the distance I had to go away from my subject if I wanted to have a full view shot. I took out one of my models to the park and had planned to use a reflector in the evening light. However, I had to back up further and further away to get the shots I wanted and the reflector was out of the question.
I guess I have forgotten that point from when I used to use a Canon AE1 35mm camera with the macro lens. I was pleased with the portraits I got using it, apart from the distances. I will not have that kind of space in my home if I do any people shots inside.
As a walk about lens, I also was rather pleased and have been happy with most of the shots I have taken. As long as I don't want to get a big building in a shot, and have space to back up I am fine.
However, I wanted it for macro shots, it is a macro lens. And I have had a terrible time using it this way. I am having major focus issues, shaky shots, blurred shots even with a tripod. I have tried using it outdoors and indoors. I have had very little success either way. I am most discouraged knowing this is a good lens, so it must be me.
I am also at that age where glasses have become a must and probably stronger ones than I am currently using. My hands have been shaky due to reactions to artificial sweeteners and I have resorted to using a remote for my tripod shots.
I have the lens for about 5 more days. I am going to let my husband take some shots and see if he gets better focus and results than I did. If not then I will conclude that the 100mm lens is not for me. And this is where the wisdom in renting a lens comes full circle.
We all know that these lenses are so very expensive. If we had purchased one, just because I wanted it and had read good reviews, but in the end didn't like it, I would have been stuck. I would have ended up with a lens I did not enjoy using and would have been out a lot of money. However, if things don't work out, I just have to mail it back and try something new for a fraction of the cost of a new lens.
I highly recommend renting from a reputable dealer and testing out those dream lenses before you spend hundreds and even thousands for something you "hope" you will like. Now, which one will be next, something in a zoom lens I believe.