Possibly one of the most interesting subcategories in photography is macro photography. Focusing on capturing extreme close-up images of tiny subjects, macro photography opens our eyes to the many wonders that often pass us by without notice. These small things can look immensely more interesting through a macro lens, which makes it a truly captivating practice that many photographers enjoy exploring.
To be able to capture detailed macro images, it’s important to have the right equipment. Macro lenses are what some call a cross between a camera lens and a microscope, defining the fine line between art and science. Want to dive into the whimsical world of macro photography? Find the best macro lens for Canon cameras with our easy guide.
Top 10 Macro Lenses for Canon Table
Finding the Right Macro Lens for Your Canon Camera
Macro lenses come in a variety of models and brands, and some might satisfy your preferences better than others. That said, it’s ideal that you take a look into the different factors that could have an effect on your user experience to help you get the best macro lens for Canon brand cameras.
- Aperture Size. The aperture of your lens can be best described as a hole at the center of the lens mechanism. This hole can be adjusted to be larger or smaller so that either more or less light enters the mechanism to reach the sensor of the lens.
To find out the aperture of your lens, check the f-number that’s usually indicated in the lens’s name. The larger the number, the smaller the size of the aperture, and ultimately, the less light it lets in.
- Aperture Shape. Aperture is important when buying macro lenses – or any lens for that matter – because it helps guarantee the quality of bokeh. The out of focus areas of your image is where bokeh occurs – defined as blurred out points of light in the background that add depth to an image. This helps better define the subject, drawing in more attention and highlighting greater detail.
Some lenses are fitted with aperture blades that feature a straight edge. These straight edges come together to form a pentagonal aperture shape which can produce very sharp images.
The problem with these however is that they can also sacrifice the quality of the out of focus areas. Round apertures are much better at producing high quality images with softly blurred out backgrounds which is much preferred for macro photography purposes.
- Focal Length. The last thing you should think of before buying a macro lens is the focal length. This tells you how “zoomed in” a picture will seem, giving a shallow depth of field which is particularly important in macro photography.
Macro lenses can have focal lengths as little as 50mm, or as much as 300mm. So there’s quite a wide range to consider. The main advantage of choosing lenses that have a larger focal length measurement is that they can produce more detailed subjects against an out of focus background.
While a 50mm macro lens can produce some good macro outcomes, it may not create the same shallow depth of field which higher focal length measurements can easily achieve. Nonetheless, tweaking a 50mm to meet these standards is very possible with the right experience and precision.
Top 3 Best Macro Lens for Canon Reviews
With a focal length of 100mm, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens creates beautiful depth and drama, producing clear cut contrast between focal points and your background. It’s also designed with Canon’s USM inner focusing system which promises quiet operation. This makes it easy to take pictures of small insects and critters without scaring them off with whirring aperture noises.
Powerful and efficient, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens does come at a pretty steep price. But with the quality of images and superior detail it produces, it definitely is the best macro lens for Canon cameras if budget isn’t an issue.
While some contest that 50mm isn’t enough to be considered macro, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens is a tough contender on the list that proves small doesn’t always mean weak. The lens can blow up images twice its actual size, providing some dramatic depth and detail that help it work as a worthy macro lens.
The EF 50mm f/1.8 STM prime lens also comes with an STM motor that promises almost silent operation, ideal for taking pictures of small creatures at close range. Finally, at just a fraction of the cost of other high end lenses, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens delivers great results that closely compete with other, more expensive options.
Our next pick, again, comes from the same brand. The EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens is a top rated prime lens with a 60mm focal length – falling right at the foot of the macro lens spectrum. Much like the first lens discussed above, the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens features a USM inner focusing system that ensures silent operation to avoid disrupting small subjects like insects.
The only real letdown is the lens’s price. Despite being a great choice, it does cost a little more than other options that could offer the same or better results at a smaller price.