If you are someone who loves photography, you must have heard of macro lenses. These are getting very popular these days for its distinct style in photography.
Macro lenses are for close-up shots. Those shots need the most detailed and sharp pictures possible. A true macro lens has the ability to give you a 1:1 ratio on magnification. That produces a picture of the same size as real life.
But how can you choose the best macro lens for your camera? It’s not the easiest job for sure. To help you with that, let’s go over some of the best macro lenses for your camera.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Best Macro lenses according to Lens Mount Compatibility
- 1.1 Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens
- 1.2 Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras.
- 1.3 Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
- 1.4 Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens
- 1.5 Sigma 258306 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens
- 1.6 Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens
- 1.7 Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up Lens
- 1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Lens
- 1.9 Panasonic Lumix G Lens, 25mm, F1.7 ASPH, Mirrorless
- 1.10 Touit f2.8 50mm Macro Lens from ZESIS
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 Picking the Best Macro Lens for You
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 Conclusion
Top 10 Best Macro lenses according to Lens Mount Compatibility
Hundreds of manufacturers produce thousands of macro lenses every day. Those are different in price, quality, and features. But not each of those will give back the best value of your money.
Let’s go over the top 10 macro lenses that are the best in the market.
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens
The Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens is one of the best macro lenses that you can find on the market. This telephoto lens is everything you need for perfect macro shots. That’s also one of the most selling lenses by sigma.
This model of sigma macro lens gives you marvelous sharpness at a 1:1 macro ratio. Also, the optic stabilization feature eliminates most of the “Shakes” from your focus range. The f2.8 aperture is not bad for shooting in a dim light condition. Overall, it’s a reliable option for anyone who loves macro photo shooting.
Why is this a top pick?
This is an excellent lens for macro photography. The following features make it better than the competitors.
Great Telephoto Lens:
Telephoto lenses are great for getting the sharpest and most detailed pictures. And the 105mm F2.8 from SIGMA lens which comes with EX DG OS HSM takes it to the next level. You’ll get the sharpness and depth in the field like no other lens.
Reduced Shaking Issue:
One of the most annoying things a photographer faces is the shaking. That ruins the whole shot. But this lens features an optic stabilization feature that lets you take photos without worrying about it.
The f2.8 aperture is pretty good for taking shots in darker environments. It might not be the best one considering the aperture, but it’s suitable for most low-light settings. You’ll get pretty good evening shots with this macro lens.
- The right macro ratio of 1:1
- Best lens for getting the sharpest picture
- Good for low-light settings
- OS image stabilizer for stable focus
- Might be a bit noisy for some people
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras.
This is another best macro lens for Canon cameras for macro photography. This 100mm lens is unique in its way and provides you with the best experience of macro photo shooting.
The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens is a great telephoto lens with minimum and maximum focal length of 100mm. It’s a prime lens by design. That makes it lightweight and compact. It’s just the right type for you to get the most out of your photo shooting sessions. It’s also an excellent lens for capturing portraits.
Why is this a top pick?
This lens features a lot of advanced things that will give you the ease of shooting photos with your cameras. Let’s take a look at some of its features that makes it distinct from all the other lenses.
True Macro Lens:
This lens has a true macro magnification ratio of 1:1. The focal distance is 100mm. That allows you to take stunning pictures of objects that are super close off.
You know how annoying it can be to carry a lens that weighs too much with you all the time. The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens is super lightweight compared to most other lenses available out there. It only weighs 1.38 lbs, which gives you utter freedom and comfort.
Hybrid Image Stabilization:
A lens needs to have good image stabilization. And this lens nails it just right. The Hybrid image stabilization technology helps to give you the most stable focus that you can ask for.
- Compact and lightweight
- Built-in image stabilization (Hybrid)
- Great Bokeh effect allows for stunning portraits
- Super sharp and amazing depth of field
- Not the most affordable option out there
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
If you are looking for a great quality lens that’s not going to break the bank, this one is just the right option for you. It’s an amazing lens to get the most detail in the picture without spending a lot on an expensive lens.
The EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM is a dynamic, compact, and lightweight lens for your Canon SLR cameras. The corner-to-corner resolution and the marvelous contrast in the image is something that you won’t find in most other lenses on the market.
Why is this a top pick?
As amazing the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM is, some details make it even better. Let’s go over a few of those.
Stunning Contrast and Image Quality:
The most important thing is the quality of the image when it comes to a good camera lens. And for a macro lens, it’s even more crucial. The EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM gives you mesmerizing pictures. You’ll get the most radiant and crisp pictures with this amazing lens.
Focus is another important aspect that most professionals get concerned about. This lens features an auto-focus mechanism that’s near-silent. Also, it can be overridden with manual focus.
Good for Portraits:
The EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens is also a great lens for capturing portraits. But the fixed lens feature might block the absolute freedom to get the shots. But still, it’s a great lens for that job.
- Near-silent auto-focus
- Great image quality and bright contrast
- Manual focus override
- Good for low light photoshoots
- Can’t zoom with this fixed lens
Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens
This zoom lens is one of the most affordable options you can get for your Canon SLR cameras. It will provide you with everything that you need for stunning photography.
Tamron is known for producing lenses of high-quality within a very affordable price range. The 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens is no exception. It’s a great 1:2 macro telephoto lens that gives you gorgeous shots. It’s a worthwhile lens to have in your bag beside a primary lens.
Why is this a top pick?
The Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens gives you a lot of premium features without charging you a lot. Let’s have a look at why it’s better than most other competitor brands.
A Great Zoom Lens:
As you know, zoom lenses can use different focal length distances. And for this lens, the minimum focal length distance is 70mm and the maximum is 300mm. That’s pretty amazing for a zoom lens.
Amazing Angle of View:
One thing telephoto lenses lack in is the wider angle of view. The Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens features a 34-degree real angel of view. That allows you to take more in a picture.
Autofocus on lenses can be annoying for some people. This model of the Tamron lens allows you to get autofocus as well as a manual focus.
- Great zooming ability
- Auto and manual focus mechanism
- Good angle of view
- The great value of your money
- A 1:2 ratio macro lens
If you are familiar with the photography industry, you must have heard of Nikon. They produce very high-quality products in the market. Let’s go over a few of the best Nikon mounts.
Sigma 258306 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens
This lens is a great macro lens if you are a fan of telephoto lenses. Usually, a good quality telephoto lens is very expensive. But this lens changes the game for that.
Sigma lenses produce great lenses. The 258306 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens is a great lens for your Nikon DSLR camera. It gives a 1:1 macro magnification ratio, and it’s a great lens overall. And for the price range as low as that, you can’t go wrong with it.
Why is this a top pick?
It’s not the fact this lens is inexpensive that makes it great. But it has some features that make it a worthwhile investment to make. Let’s go over the features that make it stand out from the rest of the lenses available out there.
True Macro Lens:
This lens can give a 1:1 macro magnification ratio. And the great thing about it is that the closest distance for that is 12.3 inches, which allows you to have better shots on the objects that are super close.
High Rendering Performance:
The layout used in the lens allows for great optical performance. The special low dispersion glass gives a high rendering performance in any distance. Also, this lens features a multi-layer coating. That reduces most of the flare and ghosting in the shots.
Great Image Stabilization:
The optical stabilizer gives a 4 stop stabilization. Thus, it’s great for handheld photography as well.
- Gives a 1:1 magnification ratio at the closest distance of 12.3 inches
- A great prime lens that gives you the crispest image quality
- Extra gears are included with the lens
- Image Stabilization
- The best value of your money.
- Not zoom able
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens
If you are looking for a premium lens for your Nikon camera, there is no better option than this one. This prime telephoto lens ensures the maximum quality in the picture as well as the ease of use.
Nikon lenses are famous for their lenses of high-quality material and innovative designs. The NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Micro Lens is no exception to that. It’s a premium macro lens that anyone can use to elevate their photography almost instantly.
Why is this a top pick?
As mentioned earlier, this premium lens has a few innovative features that make it stand out from the rest. Let’s go over a few of those down below.
Great for Low-Light Conditions:
This lens is probably the best lens for low-light situations. You’ll get brighter and more radiant pictures no matter the lightning. It’s great for getting those evenings close up shots.
Wonderful Portrait Lens:
The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens is a great portrait lens as well. The bokeh it gives is very admirable. Thus, you can use it to take portraits whenever you want.
The high speed focusing on this Nikon lens is great. You’ll be able to take shots almost instantaneously using its auto focus feature.
- Beautiful Bokeh effect
- Crispiest picture quality
- Amazing for Low-light conditions
- Great for portrait shots
- Not the most affordable option for everybody
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up Lens
If you are looking for a cheap macro lens for Nikon, this lens is perfect for you. It’s inexpensive, but it doesn’t mean that it’s of low quality. It has everything you need to have rich experience in your macro photography.
The Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up Lens is optimized for the DSLRs by Nikon. It’s very comfortable to use. And this lens allows for ultra-fast and quiet operation. The mount is dust and waterproof for even more convenience. And for a price range that low, it’s a no brainer option for anyone who loves macro photo shooting.
Why is this a top pick?
The Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up Lens comes with a lot of premium that makes it a solid option for you to invest in. Let’s have a look at a couple of its features.
Crystal Clear Image:
This lens gives a radiant and clear image that’s perfect for macro and close-up photo shooting. The 40mm fixed focal distance allows you to get the sharpest picture possible with your camera.
Ture Macro Lens:
The Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up Lens is a 1:1 magnification ratio macro lens. It’s the best ratio for a macro lens to have. The 1:1 ratio allows the picture size to be the same as real life.
Dust and Waterproof Coating:
This is an amazing feature of this lens. Most mounts get dirty very quickly. But the rubber sealing mount of the Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up Lens prevents the dust. Also, the water-resistant features are pretty good.
- A great standard prime lens
- 1:1 ratio magnification
- Lightweight and compact
- Best value of your money
- Doesn’t have the ability to zoom
Micro Four Thirds:
Olympus and Panasonic have these compact design lenses. Let’s have a look at the lenses for their compact body shape.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Lens
This is a great digital lens for Micro four-thirds cameras. If you consider quality over price, it’s going to be a perfect lens for you.
Olympus has been making the most top-notch product in the whole photography industry. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Lens is another high-quality product. This 60mm prime lens gives the best clear photos. And the light and compound feature makes it pretty comfortable to use as well.
Why is this a top pick?
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Lens comes with a lot of great features that make it better than most competitor brands. Let’s take a look at a few of those down below.
Very Lightweight and Compact:
It’s not the best feeling to carry around a heavy lens for your camera. This camera lens weighs about 6.56 ounces. That’s pretty easy to carry around with you. You’ll have much more freedom and flexibility with this camera lens than most other lenses available out there.
Great Image Quality:
The premium ED 60mm telephoto prime lens allows you to get the crispiest and most detailed picture with your camera. Besides that, it gives a 20-degree angle of view, which is pretty impressive for a telephoto lens.
Good on Low-Light Conditions:
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Lens is pretty good on low-light settings. The 2.8 maximum aperture allows more light to pass through the lens. That gives you a brighter and more gorgeous picture.
- Sharp and crisp image quality
- Fast auto focus
- 2.8 aperture allows for decent low-light photoshoots
- Good value of your money
- No zooming ability
Panasonic Lumix G Lens, 25mm, F1.7 ASPH, Mirrorless
You probably don’t have the budget for a Pentax macro lens. The Panasonic Lumix G Lens, 25mm, F1.7 ASPH, Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds, H-H025K.is a great quality lens that’s not gonna break the bank for you.
Panasonic has been dominating the market with their amazing products for years. They also produce great quality lenses that are pretty inexpensive. But at the same time, they are innovative and high-quality. The Panasonic Lumix G Lens, 25mm, F1.7 ASPH, Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds, H-H025K is a remarkable lens that’s available in the market. It’s surely the best investment you can make on a macro lens.
Why is this a top pick?
This lens is undoubtedly better than what most other competitor brands are offering for the same price. Let’s take a look at some of its features for a clear view of that.
The super-fast autofocus with the high functioning stepping motor allows you to take great pictures with utter ease. Most other lenses are not able to give you such speed in automatic focusing. Fast autofocus is a must feature to have in a lens.
Capture Exceptional Images:
The Lumix G lens allows you to take gorgeous pictures. Quality is the most important aspect of macro photography. And the Lumix G lens is just the perfect lens when it comes to the quality of the picture.
The Panasonic Lumix G Lens, 25mm, F1.7 ASPH, Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds, H-H025K gives you a wide-angle view for taking more in your picture. It has a 47-degree real angle of view.
- Wide-angle of view
- Gives exceptional image quality
- High-speed autofocus
- Best value of your money
- The focal length distance is pretty low
Sony produces the highest quality cameras and lenses in the whole market. But they are a bit pricey compared to the other manufacturers. Let’s have a look at the best sony mounts down below.
Touit f2.8 50mm Macro Lens from ZESIS
This is the best macro lens for Sony cameras. It’s compatible with the Sony E series mountings. If you value quality over money, you can’t find a better lens than this one.
A Sony E mount mirrorless camera requires a lens that will give the best possible detail, true-color, and contrast. The ZEISS Touit 2.8/50M Macro Camera Lens is perfect for that type of job. It’s undoubtedly one of the best macro lenses that you can get for your camera.
Why is this a top pick?
Let’s have a look at the features that make the ZEISS Touit 2.8/50M Macro Camera Lens better than all the other lenses available out there.
Stunning Image Quality:
The 50mm telephoto lens allows you to take pictures with the sharpest texture. Also, those pictures are super high resolution. That’s perfect for macro photography as well as taking close-up shots.
Amazing Focus Options:
The ZEISS Touit 2.8/50M Macro Camera Lens features auto/manual, autofocus. That gives you the flexibility to take pictures; however, you desire. Also, it’s very fast autofocus as well.
Wonderful ZEISS T* Coating:
This allows you to take pictures without having to worry about the effects of stray light. The coating takes care of it and reduces the direct lighting. Thus, you get a clearer and radiant picture every time you take a shot.
- Mesmerizing resolution and picture quality
- Smooth in control autofocus
- Anti-reflective coating for ease in photography
- Aspherical design for consistency
- Not the best affordable option for everybody
If you are new to photography, you must get a better understanding of the macro lens definition. That’s going to help you pick the best lens for your camera.
But is it that simple? Yes, it is. But you have to know a couple of things before you spend your money on a macro lens.
Let’s go over everything you need to know for picking the best macro lens for your camera.
Picking the Best Macro Lens for You
You need to consider the following things to be able to pick the best macro lens for your camera.
It’s used to describe how big the image will make the object appear. The true macro lens got a ratio of 1:1. That allows the lens to take pictures that are similar in size in real life.
You can find macro lenses with other ratios as well. 1:2, 1:3 ratio macro lenses are pretty popular on the market. That’s because they are much more affordable than 1:1 ones.
But if you can afford it, go for the 1:1 macro lenses by all means. They will give you the best experience of macro lens photography.
The focal length of a macro lens is the most important aspect. Messing it up is not going to be an ideal situation.
For basic close-up shots, a 35mm lens will be fine. However, it will need a very small focus distance. That might be only a couple inches to get in the 1:1 macro ratio.
But for premium lenses, this distance is so much higher. It can even be a couple of feet for a 200mm macro lens. The zooming ability allows for such operation.
Wide-angle or Telephoto:
That’s another important aspect that you need to consider. These two types have distinctive abilities.
With a wide-angle macro lens, you’ll get more field of view in your pictures. Thus, it’s going to be ideal for capturing the best images of live objects.
The telephoto lens will give you a more cut out view. It also provides a more precise and sharp view that you might crave. That’s great for getting the most detail in your pictures.
Fixed or Zoom Lens:
Your style of photography dictates whether the fixed or zoom lens is perfect for you.
The fixed lenses are a much more inexpensive option than the zoom lenses. Those are perfect for taking shots of objects that are motionless. But the drawback is that you can’t zoom with these lenses.
So, the zoom lenses are a much better way to go. They provide you with different focal length distances. That’s perfect for photo shooting live subjects such as insects. But zoom lenses will cost you a bit more money.
When it comes to the aperture, it’s better to opt for something that’s around f/1.8. That will give you bright and clear pictures, even in darker environments. But if you usually shoot in bright lighting, you don’t need to worry about aperture that much.
Which Focal Length Should You Choose in a Macro Lens?
As you can tell, the focal length is the most important thing for a macro lens. It determines whether a lens is a good-quality one or not.
The best focal length for shooting close-ups would be anywhere between 90mm to 105mm. That gives you perfect shots with great depth of quality.
This will cost you a bit more money. So, if you don’t need to have that professional quality lens, go for a cheaper one. But it’s always best to consider quality over the price if you can afford it.
How can I Choose the Best Macro Lens for My Camera?
Unlike normal lenses, macro lenses serve a distinct purpose. That is to take the best pictures of close-up images. Keeping that in mind, you should go for a macro lens that fits your style of photography.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Spending more money on a lens won’t ensure a good quality lens. The best way to get a food lens is by buying what you need in a macro lens.
But nowadays, macro lenses include many extra features. Those are to give you more freedom and ease in your photo shooting experience. Be sure to look for those as well while picking up one for your camera.
Is a 50mm Lens Good for Macro?
It depends on the lens that you are using. But in most cases, it’s not the best lens to use in macro photography.
A 50mm lens is a great lens to take portraits. And you can also use it for macro photography as well.
But lenses designed especially for macro photography, give more depth in the field. Also, it maintains a 1:1 macro ratio in focal distance.
So, it’s best to go for a macro lens, rather than using your 50mm lens for super close-up shots. That way, you can get the most out of your photo shooting experience. Investing in a good macro lens is a worthwhile decision to make.
How to Capture a Variety of Portraits with just One lens
Your macro lens is far more capable of shooting macro images. You can take great portraits and close-up shots as well with a macro lens.
All it takes is some tweaks in the settings. Setting the right modes and the aperture will give you great close up and portraits.
But you won’t get a great bokeh compared to the lenses designed for those shots. But changing up the macro lens camera setting will give you a variety in shooting pictures. Thus, you’ll be able to add more versatility to your photography.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s go over some of the most frequently asked questions on the macro lens down below.
1. What is different about a macro lens?
The ability of super close focus makes the macro camera lens different and distinct. Normal lenses tend to have a focus distance that’s a bit far off. But a macro lens allows for the closest focus that you can get.
Also, that lets you get the most depth and sharpness in the image. The quality of the picture is very high when you use a macro lens. It’s perfect when you are photo shooting any kind of insects or a tiny object.
It’s not possible to take the close off pictures using a normal lens. Those are not optimal for focusing that close. If you try anyways, you’ll see that they blur out on the closer shots.
Thus, professional photographers use premium macro lenses to capture nature pictures. That allows them to get the most accurate, precise, and sharp image of anything that they get shots off.
2. What makes a good macro lens?
Several things come into play that makes a macro lens great. Such as the least focus distance, whether it’s a wide-angle lens or telephoto lens, and aperture.
Lenses with normal focal distance such as 35m can achieve the 1:1 macro ratio in a few inches. But more premium lenses with say 200mm can achieve it from a few feet.
Wide-angle macro lenses will provide more field of view in your picture. And the telephoto ones will give you a more precise and cut out view. Most people prefer the telephoto lens over the wide-angle lens for macro photo shots.
Choosing whether it is a fixed or a zoom lens is also important. Zoom lenses are a bit more expensive. Those allow you to take shots of different focal length distances. Thus, you’ll be able to take great pictures of moving objects.
The fixed lenses are perfect for still objects. And these are also quite affordable for most people.
Finally, the aperture plays an important role in making a macro lens great. You want to opt for an f/1.8 aperture as it’ll give you the most radiant image possible.
3. Is a macro lens worth it?
Yes, it is worth it. A macro lens is very different from normal lenses. It’s used in professional, super close-up shots.
But can’t you use a normal lens for that? A normal lens can’t show the true texture of a subject that’s in a very close range. Most of them will blur out.
Even the most premium ones will fail to give a sharp photo. That’s because those are not designed for such types of photography.
But why would you need a macro lens? Well, macro lenses provide you with the best possible sharpness in the image. A true macro lens will have a 1:1 ratio. This will give you stunning pictures of a close off subject.
Photographers use the macro lens in taking nature photos. Most insects, small plants, or things of that kind require a macro lens. That’s why it’s considered to be the 2nd most important lens to have in your bag.
4. What is the best size macro lens?
When it comes to the size of a macro lens, you need to consider a few things.
First of all, they have to be manageable in their size and weight. What can be more annoying than a lens that’s very heavy to carry around with? The lenses with a convenient size help to ensure the best experience in your photography.
The most important thing to look out for is the least focal distance. That determines whether your macro lens is good or not. You can go for Nikon 40mm macro lens, but it’s always good to see if it fits your needs.
The most popular focal length distance for a macro lens is around 90mm to 150mm. Anything between that is perfect for macro photography. All you need is a lens that can focus around 30cm or so.
But you have to be mindful of the price too. These high-end macro lenses are pretty expensive. And you don’t always need the most premium macro lens for your camera. You should always go for the lens that serves your desire.
5. Can you use a macro lens as a normal lens?
Of course, the answer is YES. You can use macro lenses to take pictures at normal distances. Most people think they are for close up shots only. But that’s not completely true.
A macro lens can be a good lens to take portrait shots. But for that, you need a good macro lens. The Nikon macro lens 105mm would be a great option for that. But you can also go with a lens with a 60mm focal length distance.
But you need to keep in mind that macro lenses are better for close up shots. They provide great sharpness and detail in images. But the Bokeh effect is not that strong on macro lenses. Thus, they are not as great as a typical lens.
So can you use it for normal photography? It’s not recommended for other types of photo shooting. But if you have a premium 105mm lens, then go for it by all means.
Now you have several best macro lenses that you can pick from. These lenses guarantee to provide you with the best quality for your money.
Of course, there are cheaper alternatives in the market. Yet, when it comes to photography, you should consider quality over money. That will help to add so much life to the pictures you take.
Those top 10 picks of macro lenses will help you pick the best one for your camera.
Remember, at the end of the day, you should follow your passion no matter what. That will give you the ultimate joy in life which you crave for.