Dappled sunlight glistens down from the canopy as you tweak the focus on your EF 180mm macro lens. Summer internships don't often land you in the Ecuadorian rain forest but here you are, documenting a not-very-well-understood ant species as your chosen subject harvests a leaf. And what an image you're getting: Working with the camera a foot and a half away, you're getting a 1-to-1 image ratio — that means the image projected on the camera's sensor is as big as the ant itself. With today's 20+ megapixel sensors, that means unparalleled detail when you blow up the image to 8 x 10 or beyond.
The background will be creamy and nicely blended. Because this lens has a narrower field of view than most macro lenses, less of the out-of-focus background can be seen in the shot, making for a smoother, more homogenous background. The final result is a spectacular isolation of subject.
In addition to being a nature photography natural, this 180mm lens is a strong prime telephoto and portrait lens, with crispness and color rendition that few other lenses can match. And as it's an L-Series lens, it works on almost all Canon SLRs — and it has the rugged build quality and weather-resistance you'll be needing when using it for your outdoor work.