Macro lenses are used to capture close up photos of small subjects. Macro lenses have the ability to focus on tiny objects without blurring them, the way most regular lenses do.
A true macro lens has a reproduction ratio of at least 1:1. This means that the size of the image on the sensor is the same size it is in real life. This allows photographers to take sharp detailed photos of microscopic objects. Higher reproduction ratios are available, such as 10:1, but are less common and substantially more expensive.
Most macro lenses aren’t cheap, but it’s important to invest in a good quality lens that will last you a long time while still improving the quality of your photos.
There are many great macro lenses, but some are undoubtedly better than others. To help you narrow down the selection process, we have compiled a list of the best ones on the market:
1. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM (Overall Winner)
The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is a force to be reckoned with! It flaunts a 23.4-degree diagonal view angle with an inner focusing system that has an Ultra Sonic Motor (USM) and a full-time manual focus option.
Its closest focusing distance is 0.99ft with a 1:1 magnification ratio that lets you take brilliant close up pictures of small subjects, like grasshoppers and bees, without scaring them away!
This lens has a 67mm filter size and includes a smart image stabilization system for crystal clear photos that boast impeccable attention to detail. The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is a great companion to have by your side during a close-up photo session!
2. Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS
The Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS is a real beauty. This lens is for mirrorless cameras and is an ideal pairing for E-mount cameras. It has a Nano AR coating that effectively reduces dust and moisture. Its internal reflections also help reduce unwanted noise in pictures.
This lens has a minimum focus distance of 0.92 ft, with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:1. Its focal length is 90mm, and it has an angle view of 27 degrees (35mm) and 17 degrees (APS-C). Its Super ED glass also has advanced spherical elements and multiple flare-reducing coats. This lens has a nine-blade circular aperture.
The Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS is also great for handheld shooting as it comes with an optical steady shot image stabilization system. The focus ring also has a sliding switch that gives you the ability to switch from manual to autofocus instantly.
3. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro is specially designed for Nikon, Sigma, and Sony DSLR cameras. It fits differently on the various cameras but works the same on all, with no compromise on image quality.
This lens can focus down to a 1:1 magnification ratio allowing you to take life-like pictures with incredible attention to detail! It’s closest working distance is 12.3 inches, which will enable you to focus things from a small distance away easily.
This lens is a prime lens and thus does not zoom. However, you’ll soon realize that there’s no need to zoom with this lens. Its focal length is designed to capture tiny subjects. The product comes packaged with a hood adapter, lens hood, and lens caps making it a great option to invest in!
4. Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
The Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM works best with EOS digital SLR cameras. Its 25-degree angle allows for breathtaking shots and goes beyond average picture-taking abilities.
The closest focusing distance of this product is 0.65 feet. Its floating optical system offers a 1:1 magnification ratio. With a powerful ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM), this device has the ability to focus on the subject automatically. This lens is best suited for Canon EOS 20D, EOS Digital Rebel, and EOS Digital Rebel XT cameras and has an EF-S lens.
5. Tokina AT-X M100 f/2.8 PRO D Macro
Tokina has much to offer with this stylish new lens that features a Nikon AF Mount. The Tokina AT-X M100 f/2.8 PRO D Macro provides a life-sized 1:1 magnification ratio for outstanding, life-like photography. Its closest distance for focus is 11.8 inches. This device is suited to DX and full-frame DSLR cameras and has a 100mm focal length.
The Tokina AT-X M100 f/2.8 PRO D Macro has a one-touch focus clutch mechanism that makes for an easy and comfortable photography session. It also has a 55mm non-rotating filter thread, with nine diaphragm blades. This device’s angle of view is 24 degrees at 30 inches. Its maximum aperture is f/2.8 while its minimum is f/32.
6. Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly
Irix is a well-known company that produces some of the best macro lenses available today. With a focal length of 150mm, the Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly can capture any small subject. This product has a 1:1 magnification ratio that allows you to take powerful close-up shots. It also has a 77mm front filter thread and a smart focus lock feature.
The Irix 150mm f/2.8 macro lens has a smart Internal Focusing (IF) system. This means that the lens does not behave unpredictably, for example, by changing its dimensions or focus while shooting. This device also appeals to the aesthetic sense thanks to its smart Dragonfly design.
7. Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD
The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD is an excellent option for high-profile everyday shooting. Thanks to its dust and moisture-proof build, this device can be used no matter where you are. It also has an impressive fluorine coating on the front element that helps prevent fingerprint marks and water staining.
Thanks to its advanced coating technology, the Tamron 90mm macro lens gives off minimal flare and ghosting during its picture-taking sessions. You can get a beautiful bokeh effect, with minimal effort, thanks to the lens’ circular aperture. The lens also has vibration compensation to reduce any blurriness.
This macro lens has a minimum focus distance of 11.8 inches with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:1, allowing for vivid picture-taking. Its focal length is 90mm, and it has an f/2.8 aperture with a minimum aperture of f/32. With all these features, this lens is one of the best macro lenses on the market!
8. Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G (Budget Winner)
The Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G is a compact device with a DX-format that will help you take better pictures of small subjects. It’s a close-up macro lens with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1 and a 40mm focal length. The lens’ angle view is 38 degrees (50 feet).
This product produces sharp images and has a Close-Range Correction system (CRC) as well as a Silent Wave Motor (SWS). The SWS ensures that your lens does not make too much noise when focusing on a subject.
The lens has a dust-proof and water-proof sealing mount with a lightweight and compact design. It also has an M/A switch that allows you to change between the autofocus and manual modes instantaneously. The in-built SWM feature allows for commendably fast picture taking, so you never miss a shot!
The Bottom Line on Macro Lenses
The perfect macro lens can be hard to find, especially given how many options exist today. The world of photography is brimming with numerous lenses to try, with companies releasing new ones every month! However, it is important to find a macro lens that will last you a long time so that the investment you make is worthwhile.
When purchasing a macro lens, be sure to take into account its focal length, magnification ratio, and aperture structure. Once you have taken note of all these details, you can begin comparing devices to help you find a macro lens that’s perfect for your needs!