Has a Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 got an Image Stabiliser? Following an answer to a previous question re my wifes Canon EOS 450D in which Jrista suggested the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 lens rather than the Canon 100mm F/2.8 Macro (the second photograph is stunning). The price of the 100 with IS is not a long way off the cost of a 65, I just wanted to know if the 65 had an Image Stabiliser and if not could she have problems holding it still, with freehand shots?
As @chils42 points out, the lens does not have IS.
The MP-E is really a specialized lens for macro. At 5x magnification, movements will be very much exaggerated.
As the lens is a specialized macro lens, it cannot focus more than an inch away, making it inappropriate for any photography beside macro (although I'm sure people have found other creative uses for it). As such, macro does not lend itself well to handholding; however your wife might not have time to setup a tripod if she wishes to capture a subject that moves frequently. Your wife could have problems holding it still for handheld shots (especially at higher magnifications), but there are techniques she can do to better hand stabilize the camera and lens (breathing, bracing her body, bracing the camera body etc).
If she is primarily interested in hand holding, then perhaps the 100macro IS is a better choice.
The MP-E is a tricky lens to use, requires practise and more practise. A set of macro flashes (MT-24EX) is often recommended.
I would go with 100mm lens unless the goal is to take photos of the fly's eyes.
The MP-E 65mm does not have IS. When it comes to real close up macro work, IS can be a blessing or a curse. The 100mm L Macro with IS is a fairly new type of lens, and there really is not enough information out there yet to demonstrate whether the IS has any value at the macro scale.
IS is not the only way to stabilize a shot, however. If you really want to get solid, stable macro shots, you can look into getting a macro focusing rail mount. These offer a very stable, low-profile mount with smooth movement in multiple planes. IMO, they are a much better way to stabilize and focus macro shots than a lens with IS.
EXCERPT FROM DPREVIEW of Canon 100mm L IS Macro:
Close range test
To see how effective Canon's new Hybrid IS actually is at dealing with shake during macro shooting, we repeated our test at a much closer distance, with an image magnification of approximately 1:1 (very much the worst-case scenario). In this test we also have to take special steps to keep the chart consistently in focus, using a small aperture combined with AI Servo focusing. IS OFF IS ON
The Hybrid IS is clearly having some positive effect even at 1:1 magnification, but in truth the benefit isn't huge (closer to 1 stop in this test as opposed to Canon's claimed 2 stops), and we struggled to get many really sharp shots which truly reflected the lens's exceptional resolution. It's worth noting here that the 1/focal length rule of thumb for estimating the lowest 'safe' hand-holding shutter speed has clearly broken down, which tends to be the case when shooting at macro distances - you need to use even faster shutter speeds than usual.
The Third Dimension (or, where Hybrid IS still breaks down)
In its publicity material describing Hybrid IS, Canon helpfully provides a diagram explaining how its new technology corrects for slight vertical and horizontal shifts in the camera's position, as well as the usual tilts. What it fails to mention, though, is a third dimension of shift, namely back and forward movements of the photographer (and camera) relative to the subject. This has the effect of throwing the subject out of focus, and becomes highly problematic at macro distances for which depth of field is measured in millimeters or less.
The problem with this kind of movement, and the focus shift it creates, is that even the new Hybrid IS system doesn't attempt to correct for it. All you can do is set the camera to continuous autofocus, and hope for the best. This of course assumes you can place an AF point precisely where you want to on the subject, which often isn't possible.
In practical shooting with the 100mm macro, this effect frequently negates any potential benefits offered by the Hybrid IS, as there's little point in getting a picture which is unaffected by shake but not in correct focus. So until designers work out a way to continuously correct focus in a similar manner to shake, even Hybrid IS is only a very partial solution.
The MP-E 65mm f/2.8 does not have IS, but at the magnification it allows I would think you would really need a tripod. In many ways you'd better thinking of it as a microscope rather than a normal lens.