The Canon Professional
Do you need a macro lens for professional purposes (but don’t necessarily specialize in macro photography) and know you will use it often? If so then there is really only one lens that you should be thinking about from the get go and that is the Canon 100mm F/2.8L IS USM, this lens will give you great image quality, image stabilization and at $799 isn’t even all that expensive as far as L series lenses go. It can also double as a pretty good portrait lens too if you need to grab a portrait between macro shots.
In our review we had the following to say about the Canon 100mm F/2.8L IS USM:
“If you spend most of your time shooting macro photographs, then spend the money and get the best tool for the job. Also, you are most likely going to regret not picking up the L in the long run. Keep in mind that this is only if you have already invested in a quality tripod and camera.” — Read Our Full Review Here – Buy One Here ($799)
Being far and away the worlds most popular camera brand, your options as far as macro lenses go are pretty vast to be honest, and that doesn’t even include adapting manual focus macro lenses to your canon body. The 100mm F/2.8L IS USM is a solid choice, one that most would have a hard time arguing with , however there are also some other great and affordable options compatible with your Canon camera too. Here are a few that we like:
- Canon’s 100mm F/2.8 (non-l) USM – Also a great option which saves you around $200. – Buy One
- Tamron’s SP 90mm F/2.8 DI VC USD – A recent release and a killer option if you are ok with third-party lenses. – Buy One A very good recommendation fom us!
- Sigma’s 150mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro – If you want to be able to have a little more distance between you and your 1:1 subject than the length of the Sigma 150mm will be great. – Buy One
The Macro Dabbler
Is macro photography more of a fun hobby for you, or do you just do it on occasion? In that case, spending the big bucks on the best macro option is likely not the best course of action. In this case we would honestly recommend something like a set of Kenko’s extension tubes, which basically turn whatever lens you stick on the end of them into a macro lens. Now, there are caveats to that for sure, and your AF performance while using them will be very hit or miss, but for someone who doesn’t need to shoot macro often, or just as fun with it here or there, investing in a dedicated lens is not usually what we would recommend.
If you are set on an actual lens though, here are some other good macro options include:
- Canon’s EF-S 60mm Macro – If you are on one of Canon’s APS-C based EF-S cameras than this could be a good macro option for you. – Buy One
- Rokinon’s 100mm F/2.8 Macro – Another great option that is also very affordable, with good image quality and build. – Buy One
The Macro Enthusiast
Do you live, eat, and breathe macro photography with your Canon camera? Well, any of the options above will of-course serve you well, but if you want to take your macro photography to another level, then here are a few ultra specialized macro options for you to take a look at. Note, given their specialized and very niche nature, we have not reviewed these options hands on. Take this more as us sharing a few options with you, rather than a recommendation one way or the other.
- Canon’s MP-E 65 – This bad boy is probably the king of specialized macro lenses offering an insane 5x magnification allowing you to get those ultra close up images of bug eyes, and other crazy things. – Buy One
- Bellows – 5 to 1 still not close enough for you? How about 8x? Picking up a EF compatible bellows set can be a killer option if you want to really take your macro to the extreme. – Buy One
What are your thoughts? Do you agree? If not, which Canon-Compatible macro lenses would you recommend?