7 Best Canon Macro Lenses (Updated for 2021)

Michael Sand
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Whether you are a Canon DSLR user or not, you can still take a look at this head-to-head comparison between the best Canon f/2.8 Macro lenses for a Canon DSLR!

Nothing makes a photographer’s day more than to capture something up-close and realise how cool and captivating the shot is. Whether they are insects, flowers, or even products (like knives or cameras).

Although macro photography may be common in the world of wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, it is by no means the only use for a macro lens. In fact, many of the best lenses for macro photography can be used for other purposes like portrait photography.

Whether you are looking for something for your own home desktop or are an aspiring professional photographer, a macro lens is a great investment to make.

Here’s a selection of the best macro lenses both for Canon DSLRs and third-party lenses if you’re looking for something else.

NameCategoryProduct
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro LensBest OverallCanon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro LensBudget PickCanon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro Lens
Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro LensUpgrade PickCanon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro Lens

1. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

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Pros:

  • The Real World Review
  • Pro Quality For Bodies
  • Lighter Than The L Series
  • With Image Stabilization
  • Little Chromatic Aberration
  • Its Pad
  • Price

Cons:

  • It Consumes A Lot Of Battery
  • The Focus Ring Is Hard To Grip
  • As One Camera Reviewer Said,
  • Pretty Much The Same Lens As The EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
  • Photography Life

2. Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens

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Pros:

  • Suited for photographers who need a combination of simplicity and portability
  • Compact design weighs only 5.6 oz.
  • Very good f/2.8 aperture of 60mm and USM

Cons:

  • The focus limiter switch is only available in the electronic version
  • Does not include a tripod mount

This is Canon’s entry in the niche category of macro photography lenses. There are several reasons that you might want to invest in a macro lens like this. If you want to photograph insects, flower, or other tiny stuff, this is ideal. This lens is also perfect for shooting art, whether it be paintings, jewelry or decorative pieces. This manual focus lens has a 1:1 ratio, which means that the image will look the same when you print it as the subject will look when you put the lens on. The EF-S mount of this lens allows a camera to have a short flange focal distance, which will facilitate the use of the lens at a close range.

3. Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro Lens

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Pros:

  • Super-portable
  • Lightweight
  • Great price for portable lens

Cons:

  • Slightly bulky
  • Minimum f-stop can be limiting

I choose this as the best Canon macro lens because of its low-light shooting functionality, large depth of field, and portability.

4. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens

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Pros:

  • A budget-friendly choice
  • Longer focal length is perfect for shallow depth of field
  • Allows framing in macro style
  • Quality design allows for greater control over accuracy
  • A good choice for prospective videographers

Cons:

  • Softer focus makes it less suited for high-speed action shots
  • Manual focus may be tricky for a number of users

While it may not be the top-in-class in terms of performance, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 has an alluring design that makes our top Canon Macro Lenses list. This is especially the case given the brand’s reputation for high-quality photo equipment and this lens’s solid capabilities.

The 100mm focal length is a superb choice for getting shallow focus. This is especially true for macro photography where every detail matters. You may not always want this shallow of focus, but it is a useful feature for achieving appealing results. Likewise, this lens’s macro mode has the benefit of allowing you to frame your shots in macro style, which is ideal for getting the perfect shot.

5. Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro Lens

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Pros:

  • Multi-coated optics
  • Waterproof & scratch resistant casing
  • Sharp focus from 1X to infinity
  • Upgraded technology
  • Bulletproof construction
  • Fast focus adjustment

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Loud

The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro is an expensive lens that comes at a price point that will put it out of range for most amateur macro photographers. However, serious macro shooters that have the funds for this lens use it primarily because of its extra-large 1X to 5X magnification range when operated in 1X mode. In addition, it shoots at apertures that can be fine tuned to f/11, f/16, or f/22, depending on which 1X to 5X magnification range its 8 different settings are set to.

In case you’re wondering, even though there are 2X, 3X, and 4X settings in this lens, their performance doesn’t come close to the 1X to 5X range of magnification.

6. Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM AutoFocus Telephoto Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM AutoFocus Telephoto Lens

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Pros:

  • Good for BIF (Biology In Focus)
  • Comfortable but not bulky to use
  • Reasonably priced for a high-end lens
  • Crisp, sharp photos

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Very Difficult to use with a tripod. You will also need to use a remote trigger if you want to be able to take a photo.

This Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro lens is considered one of the best Canon macro lenses. We have chosen this lens as one of our favorites because of its versatility and incredible sharpness. This lens offers much more than the average macro lens of the same focal length does and this is what makes it so special.

This lens works well in a large variety of situations and is perfect for portraits and detail shots. It has amazing autofocus power and works brilliantly for high-speed autofocusing. It has exceptional optics and crystal clear auto-focusing capabilities. It has a magnificent piece of mind to it and is an all-around great lens to have.

7. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens

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This is a Canon EF lens, so you know it is high-quality and will be compatible with almost any EOS DSLR. Also, it has a macro mode, and a zoom mode, which can make it suitable for getting both great close-ups and wider shots, depending on your needs.

The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens is super sharp. It is even sharper than the previous model, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS, and that was sharp enough to rank as the best Canon lens for macro shots. The IS stands for image stabilization, which helps to keep shots sharp in low-light situations.

It also has a full frame (as opposed to being designed specifically for crop-sensor cameras) and is a L series lens, so it is optically excellent and extremely resistant to sharp impact.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best Canon macro lens to buy?

If you are into extreme close-up images (like us!), then macro photography is a must-try. The best macro lenses for Canon cameras can capture extreme fine details and insanely gorgeous insect portraits. The best macro lens for Canon cameras are specialized lenses that are capable of taking close-up photos without the need for a bunch of specialized gear. Some of the best Canon macro lenses are simple prime lenses that can be used on a Canon crop camera or a full frame camera. The best macro lens is very expensive; however, most beginners can get started using a more affordable macro lens.

The general rule of thumb is that if you are planning to take photographs of larger objects like animals, insects, and flowers, then you might want to consider a Canon super telephoto lens for Canon cameras. If you want to photograph smaller objects, which may be blown up to massive sizes, macro lenses can capture astonishing details. Macro lenses are a must-have for insect photographers.

What lens is best for macro photography?

The answer to this question is a bit complicated because there are a few different types of macro photography and a lot of different types of macro lenses as well. There’s also a lot of confusion about what makes an “macro lens.” Generally speaking, macro photography refers to photographs taken of objects that are relatively close and are significantly larger in the frame than normal.

If your camera has a 1x (or 1:1) image sensor, then all you need is a relatively short focal length lens to take a decent quality macro image. However, if you have a smaller sensor, you’ll need a longer focal length lens. For digital SLR users in particular, if you want to take full advantage of the sensor, non-DSLR types of macro photography may work well with a reverse mounted macro filter instead of a lens.

What is a macro lens Canon?

A macro lens is used to capture images of objects that are very close to the lens in order to maximize the degree of magnification. The best macro lenses are available in a Canon mount, meaning that they will mount directly to your camera using the lens mount and camera interface for the camera body.

Canon is well-known for their image quality in compact and DSLR camera bodies, and their macro lenses are no different. Because they use the same optical formula, similar technologies, and the same high-quality materials that are used in Canon's higher end lenses, there is no reason to buy a third-party brand.

What makes a macro lens special?

Most modern interchangeable lenses have a little macro built in, but that’s not enough to make a lens macro. If we look at the true macro lenses available, we are looking at close-up photos where the camera is only an inch or two away from the object, and the result is a photograph of a miniature object. The special characteristic of both a true macro lens and close-up lens is the ability to provide extremely clear sharpness on the subject.

For me, the biggest benefit of a macro lens is that I can zoom all the way in to the subject and get really close, without worrying about getting in the way of my subject. And, most macro photography is done by hand. This means that often you can’t really use a tripod where you might want to use it. That’s not a problem if you have a macro lens.

Conclusion

Canon has always been known for its excellence in the 35mm focal length. A great gear is often built around a focal length that is best suited for a particular purpose. Here’s what we’ve found to be the 7 best macro lenses from Canon.

{1}. Canon EF 100mm IS USM
{2}. Canon EF 135mm f/2L
{3}. Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II IS USM
{4}. Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM
{5}. Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro LensBest OverallCanon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro LensBudget PickCanon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro Lens
Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro LensUpgrade PickCanon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro Lens