Recommended Canon Macro lenses for insect, flower and general close-up photography
 
 


Macro lenses are designed for photographing small subjects at close range, such as flowers or insects. All lenses can take close-up photos, but Macro lenses are optimised for it, and are able to focus closer and deliver better quality results.

 
Typical macro lenses have equivalent focal lengths of around 100mm and can also double-up for portrait shots, although they are designed to perform best at close range. For extreme close-up capabilities, Canon’s MP-E65 can deliver reproductions up to five times life-size.

Note when we mention full-frame bodies we’re referring to models like the EOS 5D Mark II. When we mention cropped-frame bodies, we’re referring to models like the EOS 450D, 500D, 50D, 7D and the entire range of Digital Rebels. If you’d like to learn more about lens specifications, from focal lengths to f-numbers, please see our lens guide. If you find the information here useful, please support us by shopping at the stores below and if you have any questions about lenses, feel free to ask in the forum!


   
Canon EF-S 60mm f2.8 USM Macro

Specifications

Focal length:
60mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: Canon EF-S
Equiv on EF-S: 96mm
FF compatible: No
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: USM
Closest focus: 20cm
Filter thread: 52mm
Hood: Optional ET-67B
Optics: 12 el. / 8 groups
Diaphragm blades: 7
Weight: 335g
Size: 73x70mm

     
Canon’s EF-S 60mm f2.8 is a Macro lens designed for cropped-bodies; as an EF-S model it’s not compatible with full-frame bodies. When mounted on a cropped-body it delivers an equivalent focal length of 96mm, which combined with a minimum focusing distance of 20cm allows you to enjoy serious close-ups. There’s quick and quiet USM focusing, while the f2.8 aperture allows blurred backgrounds and allows the lens to double-up for portrait work.


   
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro

Specifications

Focal length:
100mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: Canon EF
Equiv on EF-S: 160mm
FF compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: USM
Closest focus: 31cm
Filter thread: 58mm
Hood: Optional ET-67
Optics: 12 el. / 8 groups
Diaphragm blades: 8
Weight: 600g
Size: 79x119mm

     
Canon’s EF 100mm f2.8 Macro is a close-up lens which will work on both cropped and full-frame bodies. The maximum magnification is 1x, allowing you to reproduce subjects at actual size on the frame for excellent close-ups, while the f2.8 aperture enables blurred backgrounds. The USM focusing is quick and quiet and there’s also full-time manual over-ride. An ideal macro lens which will also double-up for portrait work.


   
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro

Specifications

Focal length:
100mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: Canon EF
Equiv on EF-S: 160mm
FF compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: Yes
AF motor: USM
Closest focus: 30cm
Filter thread: 67mm
Hood: ET-73 included
Optics: 15 el. / 12 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight: 625g
Size: 78x123mm

     
Close-up fanatics wanting a top-quality Macro lens should consider the EF 100mm f2.8L, which works on cropped and full-frame bodies, delivers 1x magnification and boasts Canon’s first Hybrid Image Stabilisation system which counteracts both lens shift and angular motion. The ‘L’ build quality is dust and moisture-resistant, and the out-of-focus effects look great thanks to the f2.8 aperture and 9-blade diaphragm. A superb macro lens.



   
Canon MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5 x Macro

Specifications

Focal length:
65mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: Canon EF
Equiv on EF-S: 104mm
FF compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: Manual focus
Closest focus: 24cm
Filter thread: 58mm
Hood: E-58
Optics: 10 el. / 8 groups
Diaphragm blades: 6
Weight: 710g
Size: 81x98mm

     
If you’re really into photographing tiny subjects like insects, consider Canon’s MP-E65 which can achieve greater than 1x magnification without attachments. At its closest focusing distance of 24cm, the MP-E65 can deliver 5x reproduction for spectacular close-ups, which combined with the f2.8 aperture can also achieve very blurred background effects. It’s manual focus only, but if you want big photos of tiny subjects, it’s the lens for you.


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