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15 Best Macro Lenses for Canon (And How to Choose Yours?)

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If you are on the hunt for the best macro lens for Canon, you’ve come to the right place! This article will cover the fifteen top options currently available, share their key features, and tell you where they excel and where they disappoint.

On top of that, I will answer critical questions like which lens is best for macro photography? What is the sharpest Canon macro lens? What is the best Canon lens for close-up photography? And more! So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get to it!

Macro photo of a flower
From Deposit Photos

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What Are Macro Lenses?

Macro lenses are lenses designed for close-up photography. While many people shoot close-ups without dedicated macro lenses, the results will never be as sharp and breathtaking.

So, what makes a lens a macro? To be considered authentic macro lenses, they must have a magnification ratio of at least 1.0x. That means the subject you are photographing is—at a minimum—the same size on the camera sensor as it is in real life. If the ratio is greater than 1.0x, images will be larger than life, and fine details will be even more visible.

Another critical factor to consider with macro lenses is the minimum focusing distance. It’s the closest distance the lens can be to a subject while maintaining focus. The exact distance will depend on the lens’s focal length, but the best macro lenses generally have a minimum focusing distance no greater than 30cm.

Macro lenses are go-to lenses for many different types of photographers, including but not limited to food, plant, product, and wildlife photographers.

Macro photo of an ant walking on mushrooms
From Deposit Photos

What’s the Best Macro Lens for Canon?

There are fantastic Canon lenses for every lens mount system and budget. Keep reading to find out which Canon macro lenses are perfect for you and your camera! Check out our Canon lens abbreviation guide beforehand if needed.

15. Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 Standard Zoom Lens

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens product photo

  • Best All-Around “Macro”
  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Max Magnification: 0.7x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 38cm
  • Filter Diameter: 77mm
  • Size/Weight: 83.4x93mm/600g

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens is not a true macro. It has a dedicated “Macro mode” that boosts the magnification to 0.7x and decreases the focus distance to 38cm. As a zoom lens, it’s so much more than just a macro, though.

It’s an everyday lens with a versatile focal length range of 24-70mm, capable of taking exquisite landscape shots, street shots, portraits, and everything in-between. It’s the best lens if you want to shoot macro photography but don’t want to invest in a dedicated macro.

Strengths:

  • Versatile zoom lens
  • Macro mode
  • Autofocus
  • Image stabilization
  • Weather-sealed

Weaknesses:

  • Not a true macro
  • Occasional vignetting issues

14. 7Artisans Photoelectric 60mm f/2.8 Macro

7Artisans Photoelectric 60mm f/2.8 macro lens product photo

  • Best Budget Lens
  • Mount: Canon EF-M
  • Max Magnification: 1.0x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 26cm
  • Filter Diameter: 39mm
  • Size/Weight: 100x66mm/550g

The 7Artisans 60mm f/2.8 macro is, in my opinion, the best budget macro lens for Canon. I say that confidently because I used to own the same lens! I had never used a true macro before and was blown away by how sharp the images were.

One thing to keep in mind—there is only manual focusing. While some may see this as a negative, I think it benefits the photographer in the long run. That’s because you always see better results in macro photography by making manual adjustments.

Strengths:

  • Unbeatable price
  • Durable metal construction
  • A large, easy-to-use focus ring
  • Excellent bokeh

Weaknesses:

  • No autofocus
  • Small but heavy

13. Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x macro lens product photo

  • Best Magnification
  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Max Magnification: 5.0x
  • Minimum focus distance: 24cm
  • Filter Diameter: 58mm
  • Size/Weight: 81x98mm/710g

The Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x macro is a specialty macro photography lens. It’s a manual, focus-only lens with a ridiculous magnification range of up to 5.0x. You can capture even the tiniest details generally hidden from the human eye when shooting with it.

Two types of photography that benefit tremendously from this Canon macro lens are flower and insect photography. It’s a tricky lens to get accustomed to, but your macro photos will speak for themselves once you master it.

Strengths:

  • Out of this world, 5.0x magnification
  • A floating lens system produces stunning images
  • Can mount lights onto the front ring
  • Electronic contacts for pairing with TTL flashes

Weaknesses:

  • Manual focus only
  • No image stabilization

12. Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art Lens

Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG macro art lens product photo

  • Best “Everyday” Macro
  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Max Magnification: 1,0x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 25.8cm
  • Filter Diameter: 49mm
  • Size/Weight: 70.8×105.8 mm/515g

The Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro is a durable yet lightweight art lens perfect for walkaround macro photography. It boasts 13 lens elements, 10 groups, and a special lens coating that increases image quality and reduces ghosting and lens flare.

One exciting feature is the extendable lens tube. The minimum focusing distance and the image magnification number are written on it to help make your life as a macro photographer easier. If you use this Sigma macro with an APS-C (crop sensor) camera, you must multiply the magnification number by 1.6.

Strengths:

  • Inexpensive
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Extendable lens tube with focusing distance and magnification
  • Weather-sealed

Weaknesses:

  • Slow autofocus
  • No image stabilization

11. Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro Lens

 

Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 macro IS STM lens product photo

  • Best for Beginners
  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Max Magnification: 0.5x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 17cm
  • Filter Diameter: 52mm
  • Size/Weight: 74.4×62.8 mm/305g

Even though it isn’t a true macro lens, the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM is one of the best options for beginners who use Canon full-frame mirrorless cameras. It’s an incredibly adaptable macro specializing in portrait, landscape, travel, and macro photography.

With a maximum aperture of f/1.8, it’s impressive in low-light situations and creates buttery bokeh effects. Furthermore, the focal length and superior stabilization deliver fantastic quality video.

Strengths:

  • Max aperture of f/1.8
  • Low-light king!
  • Awesome for video
  • Stabilization and autofocus

Weaknesses:

  • Not a true macro lens
  • Only compatible with Canon full-frame mirrorless cameras

10. Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro Lens

Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 macro IS STM lens product photo

  • Best for APS-C Mirrorless
  • Mount: Canon EF-M
  • Max Magnification: 1.0x/1.2x (Super Macro mode)
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 9.7cm/9.3cm (Super Macro mode)
  • Filter Diameter: 43mm
  • Size/Weight: 60.9×45.5mm/130g

The Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 macro IS STM is the only dedicated macro lens designed for Canon APS-C mirrorless cameras. Additionally, it’s the world’s first lens with both autofocus and a built-in “Macro Lite” (LED lights).

While many may desire a longer focal length, the lens makes up for it with a super short minimum focus distance. On top of all that, it has a “Super Macro” mode. In this mode, images are larger than life thanks to a magnification of 1.92x once accounting for the crop factor.

Strengths:

  • Incredibly light and compact
  • Fantastic magnification in Super Macro mode
  • Autofocus and stabilization
  • Two built-in LED macro lights

Weaknesses:

9. Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro lens product photo

  • Best for APS-C DSLR
  • Mount: Canon EF-S
  • Max Magnification: 1.0x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 20cm
  • Filter Diameter: 52mm
  • Size/Weight: 73x69mm/335g

The Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro is one of two compact Canon macro lenses designed for APS-C DSLR cameras. After factoring in Canon’s 1.6x crop factor, it has an equivalent focal length of 96mm.

When you pair the longer focal length with the 20-centimeter focus distance and the excellent image quality, this budget macro lens packs a powerful punch. In addition, it’s compatible with Canon mirrorless cameras using an EF-EOS R or EF-EOS M adapter.

Strengths:

  • Great image quality
  • Good bokeh
  • Low price
  • Fast autofocus

Weaknesses:

  • Not compatible with full-frame cameras
  • No optical image stabilization

8. Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 Macro Tilt-Shift Lens

Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L macro lens product photo

  • Best Creative Macro
  • Mount: Canon E
  • Max Magnification: 0.5x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 39cm
  • Filter Diameter: 77mm
  • Size/Weight: 86.9×116.5mm/915g

The Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L macro is one of the coolest and most unique macro lenses for Canon I’ve ever used. The technology is mind-blowing, allowing you to adjust the lens back and forth physically.

Advantages of this include having more control over the shallow depth of field and bokeh effects and having the power to alter the image perspective. This specialty lens comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s tons of fun to play with if you can afford it.

Strengths:

  • 10˚ tilt and 12mm shift range
  • Precision depth of field control
  • Image stabilization
  • Terrific build quality

Weaknesses:

  • Not a true macro
  • No autofocus
  • Very expensive

7. Tokina ATX-I 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

Tokina atx-i 100mm f/2.8 FF macro lens product photo

  • Best for Focusing
  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Max Magnification: 1.0x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 30cm
  • Filter Diameter: 55mm
  • Size/Weight: 73x98mm/525g

Released in 2019, the Tokina ATX-I 100mm f/2.8 FF macro is a new and improved version of the Tokina AT-X Pro 100mm macro lens from 2006. The first glaring difference is an updated design that makes it more attractive and easier to use.

Internally, it has nine elements, including two low-dispersion elements and two aspherical glass elements. They help eliminate chromatic aberration and distortion while simultaneously increasing image quality.

Strengths:

  • Great price
  • Useful focal length
  • Large manual focus ring fantastic for precision focusing
  • One-touch clutch focus ring for switching from manual focus to AF
  • Compact and lightweight

Weaknesses:

  • No stabilization
  • Not weather-sealed

6. Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 Macro Telephoto Lens

Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L macro lens product photo

  • Best for Insect Photography
  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Max Magnification: 1.0x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 48cm
  • Filter Diameter: 72mm
  • Size/Weight: 82.5×186.6mm/1,090g

If you are interested in shooting live subjects, like insects, the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L macro is a must-own. The 180mm focal length (288mm on APS-C cameras) lets you shoot from a distance and prevents your subjects from getting spooked. It’s the best Canon macro lens for insects.

Furthermore, courtesy of its durable “L-quality” build, it’s protected from the elements and ready for adventure. While the telephoto lens does have autofocus capabilities, it is slower than newer macro lenses for Canon.

Strengths:

  • Excellent image quality
  • Autofocus
  • Longer focal length
  • Weather sealed

Weaknesses:

  • Big and heavy
  • No image stabilization

5. Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 macro lens IS STM product photo

  • Best for Travel
  • Mount: Canon EF-S
  • Max Magnification: 1.0x
  • Minimum focus distance: 13cm
  • Filter Diameter: 49mm
  • Size/Weight: 69x56mm/190g

The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is a compact and lightweight macro perfect for travel and beginner photographers. As an EF-S lens, Canon designed it for APS-C DSLRs. But it will also work with Canon mirrorless cameras with the help of an EF-EOS R or EF-EOS M adapter.

While the fixed focal length is shorter than most macro lenses, it counters it with a minimum focus distance of only 13cm. Another cool feature worth highlighting is an integrated LED light on the front of the lens, which illuminates subjects close to the camera.

Strengths:

  • Pocket-sized and great for travel
  • Built-in LED light
  • Autofocus and stabilization
  • One of the closest focal lengths to a wide-angle lens

Weaknesses:

  • Not compatible with full-frame cameras
  • Short focal length is not ideal for live macro subjects

4. Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro Lens

Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L macro lens IS STM lens product photo

  • Best Performance and Sharpness
  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Max Magnification: 1.4x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 26cm
  • Filter Diameter: 67mm
  • Size/Weight: 81.5x148mm/730g

The Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L IS STM is the best Canon macro lens based on performance and sharpness. Essentially, it is a souped-up version of the already spectacular 100mm EF lens.

It’s packed with high-end features like 17 lens elements, stabilization that adds up to eight stops of exposure, and a bokeh control ring. The only thing holding it back from topping this list is that it’s only compatible with newer Canon R series cameras.

Strengths:

  • Insane image quality
  • 1.4x magnification makes macro images larger than life
  • Autofocus
  • Industry-leading image stabilization
  • Pin-point bokeh control

Weaknesses:

  • Very expensive
  • Only compatible with Canon RF cameras

3. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Medium Telephoto Macro Lens

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM macro lens product photo

  • Most Versatile Macro
  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Max Magnification: 1.0x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 31 cm
  • Filter Diameter: 62 mm
  • Size/Weight: 78x126mm/725g

The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM is a versatile macro lens with an ideal, longer focal length. It’s close enough to capture live subjects but wide enough to produce terrific portrait photography.

It contains 16 lens elements and 11 groups and takes impressive images with edge-to-edge sharpness no matter the aperture. Moreover, it has silent and responsive autofocus and stabilization. It also comes with a protective carrying case.

Strengths:

  • Affordable
  • Solid image quality
  • Autofocus
  • Optical image stabilization

Weaknesses:

  • Plastic, non-weather-sealed body
  • Noisy when using OS modes

2. Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

Tamron SP 90mm f.2.8 Di VC USD macro lens product photo

  • Best Value
  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Max Magnification: 1.0x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 30cm
  • Filter Diameter: 62mm
  • Size/Weight: 79x117mm/610g

The newest version of the Tamron SP 90mm f.2.8 Di VC USD hit stores in the fall of 2016. It received important updates, including more lens elements, a sturdier build quality, improved stabilization, and faster autofocus.

Additionally, while the performance has gone up, the price has gone down. This lens has no rivals in terms of overall image quality and performance in its price range.

Strengths:

  • Good price
  • Sharp image quality
  • Autofocus
  • Hybrid image stabilization
  • Weather sealed

Weaknesses:

  • Not completely silent
  • Occasional lens flares

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

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens product photo

  • Our Top Pick
  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Max Magnification: 1.0x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 30cm
  • Filter Diameter: 67mm
  • Size/Weight: 78x123mm/625g

And we have a winner! The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is the best Canon macro lens on our list. It takes all the best lens features of the older, non-stabilized 100mm lens while adding premium professional features.

The hybrid optical stabilization adds up to four stops of exposure and makes this lens an excellent choice for low-light macro shooting. Image quality is stunningly sharp thanks to 15 lens elements, including an ultra-low dispersion element. Outside of macro photography, it excels as a product, food, or portrait lens.

Strengths:

  • Superb image quality
  • Lightening-fast, silent autofocus
  • Phenomenal stabilization
  • Ideal focal length
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Fully weatherproof
  • Compatible with all Canon cameras using an adapter

Weaknesses:

  • Expensive

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many excellent macro lenses out there! While the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L is the overall best macro lens for Canon, exactly which macro is best for you will depend on various factors. Those include which camera you have, your budget, and what you like to shoot.

As a macro photographer myself, I want to help spread the love for this unique and underrated style of photography. Ultimately, that’s why I made this list, and that’s why it’s important to me to help you find the best macro lens for Canon!

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