Macro Canon Lens Line-up

You Need A Canon Macro Lens In Your Bag

Black Swallowtail - canon macro lens - sigma 105

Black Swallowtail - taken with Sigma 105 for Canon Macro Lens

For some photographers, macro photography rocks. This is true of yours truly. It was the macro setting on my first digital point and shoot camera that gave me my first “aha” moment.

When shooting with a Canon digital SLR camera, the results will be so much different if you have a good Canon Macro Lens, either produced by Canon or one of the manufacturers that create lenses for Canon.

There are many lenses that have the word “macro” in their title or description, however, you need to be careful about selecting your macro lens. That is not to say that you have to spend lots of money, you just have to get the best quality for your money. Some of the lenses that have the word Macro in the name of the lens are not true closeup lenses. You will discover that this occurs with some of the third party zoom lenses more than it does with the Canon brand lenses. So, when choosing a third party “Canon macro lens,” be aware that this could be the case.

The 100mm macro is “hands-down” THE favorite Canon macro lens.

A mistake that some new digital SLR owners make is to assume that each lens is as good as every other lens with the same specifications. It just ain’t so. When shopping for macro, you will almost always want to get a prime, or single focus, lens. Canon macro lenses come in several focal lengths, and, of course, the price will give some indication of the lens quality.

One example of a poor macro lens experienced by yours truly is the Tamron 70-300mm Macro Zoom Lens. As a new DSLR owner with a limited budget, I purchased this one to use as a multi-task lens. It worked OK as a mid-range telephoto lens, but its macro photos really stunk up my hard drive. Even though it bears the title of macro, it does not handle that job well at all.

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar - about 1" long - taken with Sigma 105 for Canon Macro Lens

The best Canon Macro Lenses will be prime lenses. This means they have just one focal length, no zoom. Manufacturers can produce better optics at a single focal length for up close photos. However, not every prime lens is a macro lens. Again, do your homework before taking the plunge to buy.

One very good thing about the lenses listed below is that most will be great portrait lenses as well as macro lenses. AND, they also make excellent mid-range telephoto lenses. In each of the suggested lenses, the image quality is excellent, as is the performance in macro, portrait, and telephoto, with one exception. The Canon 65mm macro lens is meant ONLY for macro.

Here are some Canon Macro Lenses that have passed the test of most photographers:

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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro This particular lens comes in two versions. One is an “L” lens with IS which is Canon’s designation for its best build and technology lenses. All Canon owners wish they could have only “L” lenses. But, the other 100mm Canon Macro is also excellent at 40% less.
In fact, I have never seen any user satisfaction that is higher than these lenses. There is no rating on Amazon or B & H Photo that is less than 4, with most being 5 – their highest rating.

See more about the Canon 100mm Macro Lens

Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8
tamron 90mm Canon macro lens Tamron is a respected name among Canon users. Their quality is fantastic, yet the prices for comparable equipment are usually 10-20% lower. When doing research for my first macro lens, this lens was tied with the Sigma 105. Either will be a great addition you your lens arsenal.

See more about Tamron 90mm Macro for Canon

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 DG EX Macro for Canon
Sigma 105mm for Canon Macro Lens This lens ranks right up there with the Tamron 90mm. Personal experience is that the images are first rate. For macro images, a tripod is recommended but not necessary. I have chased lots of butterflies with this lens that resulted in great pictures.

See more about the Sigma 105mm Macro for Canon

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro

Canon 60mm macro

Another lens that gets super satisfaction from buyers at an average of 4.8 stars. Focus from as close as 8” away from your subject. You can have this one in your camera bag for $100 or so LESS than the 100mm macro.

See More About the Canon 60mm Macro Lens

Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L Macro
Canon 180mm Macro lens You will need deeper pockets in order to afford this amazing Macro “L” lens. But the results will bring you many exciting photos.
Tamron AF 180mm f/3.5 Macro
Tamron 180 for Canon Macro Lens A highly rated alternative to the Canon 180mm L at about one third the cost. You will not suffer from buyer’s remorse when buying this macro lens.
Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro
Canon 65mm Macro - manual focus lens No discussion about macro lenses is complete without mentioning this dedicated macro lens. It is manual focus – no auto focus available. But if you are a serious macro photographer, you will eventually have to add this one to your camera bag. You can fill a frame with a grain of rice, but a tripod is pretty much a given.
Warning: this should not be your first macro lens purchase.
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A Short Endorsement For The Canon Macro Lens @ 100mm f/2.8

If you visit the Amazon or B & H web site, you will discover something rather unusual. There are no 1-star ratings… none! The Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens is truly a satisfying experience to shoot with. Here is a description from the manufacturer:

Bring small things into full-sized view with the Canon EF 100mm macro USM lens. Macro lenses can uncover detail that would be impossible to detect by the eye and give new perspective to extremely minute subjects such as insects or the petals of a small flower, and this lens is no exception. The lens offers such features as a three-group floating system for exceptional close-up performance; a secondary diaphragm that blocks stray light at f/2.8, which increases contrast when shooting wide open; a ultra-sonic monitor (USM) that provides outstanding autofocusing speed at all focusing distances; a wide manual focusing ring with smooth action; and full-time manual focus even in AF mode. The first lens in its class to feature inner focusing, the lens carries a one-year warranty.

There are so many praises for the lens, but this one kind of says it all:
“love this lens! really great for macro shots. i used it for a wedding my results were amazing. it was worth the money!”