3 Affordable Macro Lenses Photographers Love

If you’re looking for affordable macro lenses, you’re in the right spot. Want to shoot photos of your food? What about the watches you’ve collected? Well, know that you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get the beautiful photos you’re looking for. Dive in with us; this roundup will help you find what you need.

How We Chose These Affordable Macro Lenses

We chose these affordable macro lenses with a few things in mind:

  • We only recommend the products we’ve used and reviewed. Other policies and ethics don’t allow us to do otherwise. With that said, the product photos and sample images in this roundup were shot by our staff.
  • These affordable macro lenses are incredible capable. They can shoot super close and also offer a lot of versatility.
  • Something that’s really important with affordable macro lenses is image stabilization. Consider using a tripod if you get one of these. 
  • Affordable macro lenses aren’t just for shooting closeups. As you’ll see in our reviews hyperlinked throughout, they’re good for portraits, candids, and so much more.
  • At macro photography ranges, you’ll feel like you need to stop your lens down a lot. If you do, you’ll decrease image quality after the diffraction point. Use focus stacking instead. Some cameras let you do that within the menus itself. 
  • The key to good macro photography is lighting. LEDs and constant lighting doesn’t cut it. Flash will give you the extra “pop” you’re looking for due to the laws of physics.

Olympus 30mm f3.5

Pros

  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • Good image quality

Cons

  • Slow focusing, and it’s also probably the least accurate when it comes to focusing

In our review, we state:

“As is always with Olympus, the color rendition here is fantastic. I tend to like it better vs Panasonic’s offerings, and Olympus overall just has good colors. My favorite still has to go to Voigtlander.”

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Canon RF 35mm f1.8 IS

Pros

  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • Fairly fast to focus
  • It’s a lens designed to always be on your camera.
  • Image stabilization (very much needed in the system)
  • Gorgeous bokeh
  • Sharp enough for most uses but not as sharp as most L glass I’ve seen and used. Still, it’s a shocker
  • Pretty affordable at $449 regularly.

Cons

  • We would have gladly paid more money weather sealing.

In our review, we state:

“While the Canon RF 35mm f1.8 USM IS isn’t quite L quality, I’m surely impressed by what it can deliver. This is a lens very much designed for an amateur and enthusiast so it is therefore not designed to render the best image quality. If you’re a higher end enthusiast or a professional you’ll need to reach for the company’s L lenses. Some of the best things about the image quality are the bokeh and like many other lenses out there, you’ll need to use a flash to get the most sharpness. However, as I say that, I went back into Capture one to really look at the sharpness and it’s impressive for a lens this affordable and for a system this new. While folks may hate on the new Canon RF system and I really can’t deny that it still could be more innovative, the lenses and the performance are more than good enough for most folks.”

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Samyang 100mm f2.8 Macro

Pros

Cons

  • No weather sealing
  • No lens contacts unless you buy that version

In our review, we state:

“Despite all my qualms with using the lens, I’ll admit that I like the image quality. I’ve seen much sharper lenses out there. However, the colors from this lens are very nice. They don’t look like typical Rokinon and Samyang colors, though. I’m not sure what it is, but they feel almost like Sigma’s earlier stuff. When Sigma released the Art series, the color saturation was very high. And that’s what I think we’re getting here. Lots of folks will like it, but will it be enough for a purchase?”

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The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.