3 Affordable (and Sharp) Macro Lenses That Deserve a Closer Look

These macro lenses are often overlooked, which is a shame because they are pure gold.

Macro photography has skyrocketed in popularity, thanks to the ongoing pandemic. This exciting and interesting genre can make everyday items in your home take on a whole new form. The world of macro photography is magical. Once it sucks you in, it’s hard to escape from the joy it brings. Not only can macro lenses make small objects appear larger than life, but they also double as excellent portrait lenses. Many think dedicated, specialized macro lenses cost an arm and a leg, but that’s not always the case. There are some absolute gems on the market that are affordable and that don’t compromise on image or build quality. After the break, we take a quick look at three macro lenses you can pick up without making your wallet cry.

IRIX 150mm f2.8 Dragonfly Macro Lens

macro lenses

In our review, we said:

“In the case of the IRIX 150mm f2.8 Dragonfly Macro Lens, it’s hitting the ball right out of the park. This lens exhibits great image quality in a lightweight body. Somehow or other, the company managed to cram 11 aperture blades, solid weather sealing, sharp optics, and an overall nice feeling into a moderately sized lens. Granted, they’re doing this at the sacrifice of autofocus, but I’m okay with that.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
macro lenses

Buy now Canon EF: $525

Buy now Nikon F: $525

Pro Tip: There’s a lot to learn when it comes to macro photography. It may seem like an easy genre, but learning how to light, compose, and focus stack takes time. Along with practicing by yourself, we recommend picking up some training materials to help you get the most out of your macro lenses. This guide will teach you all you need to know.

Samyang 100mm f2.8 Macro

macro lenses

In our review, we said:

“The bokeh is very creamy and positively beautiful. There are zero complaints here from me on that. I wish that other manufacturers made bokeh like this.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
macro lenses

Pick one up for Canon EF: $549

Buy now Fujifilm X: $549

Buy now Nikon F: $549

Grab one now for Micro Four Thirds: $549

Buy now Pentax K: $548.40

Get yours for Sony E: $428.50

Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro FiRIN

macro lenses

In our review, we said:

“The image quality is overall very pleasing. The muted colors lend themselves to rendering a look reminiscent of Kodak Portra–or at least the closest that you’re going to get on a Sony camera of any sort. The bokeh is also beautiful. Beyond that, it embraces the look of being soft yet sharp. The only thing I can liken it to is using color negative medium format film. If you haven’t done that, please know that it’s a trillion times better than any filter you can pop on a digital image.

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
macro lenses

Buy now Sony E: $529

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.