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Canon Macro Lens

Updated on November 8, 2014

Canon Macro Lenses - They Make a Difference

Macro lenses really rock!!

They REALLY do.

If you are a Canon digital SLR owner, please don't make the assumption that all lenses are created equal. This just in not true.

If you are considering a macro, this "lens" is for you. (For those not familiar with Squidoo, every article is considered a Lens, and this is simply a play on words I could not resist.)

There is no shortage of subjects you can photograph using a close-up, or macro, lens. Then, because of the intimate relationship with the camera lens and the subject, whenever anything changes, the whole mood of the pictures changes. It's just so much fun. And it all starts with a macro lens.

The Monarch Butterfly photo is by the author, but PhotoShop had some influence.

Chive Flower - taken with Sigma Macro Lens
Chive Flower - taken with Sigma Macro Lens
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens for Canon SLR Camera
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens for Canon SLR Camera

Sigma has improved its 105mm macro lens significantly. The HSM (fast focus motor) is a major addition over the older version of this lens.

 

Qualities Of A Good Canon Macro Lens

(Not all lenses are created equal.)

Nearly every photographer will agree that the lens on your digital SLR plays an extremely important part in obtaining a good image, and this is just as true, if not more so, for macro lenses.

Do not buy a macro lens based on price alone, and for goodness sake, don't buy a macro lens just because it happens to have the word "macro" in its name. Some self-proclaimed macro lenses really stink.

The absolute best Canon Macro Lenses are single focal length (or prime) lenses. This simply means they do not zoom to multiple magnifications.

So, you will see 100mm macro lenses, 50mm macro lenses, 180mm macro lenses, etc, etc. But please beware of a lens that claims to be a 70-300mm macro lens. Check out the ratings and experts' opinions about such lenses before spending your money on them.

If you are serious about getting into macro photography, it is better to wait until you have enough money for the right lens rather than buying a less expensive lens that you won't be happy with.

Do some research prior to making a buyer's decision.

Photo of a chive flower by the author. This flower is only about 1/2 inch, but with a true Canon Macro lens, it looks quite large and detailed.

Great 100mm Lenses For Macro Photography

The Canon 100mm Macro lens is arguably the most popular close up lens Canon makes. The detail in images makes them more interesting, and your viewers will be so impressed.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

This 100mm macro is the newest in the Canon Macro line-up. It is awesome!

See the red line around the end of the lens? That means it is one of Canon's best lenses. They have pulled out all the stops to make these products "top of the line."

 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

This lens is about 1/2 the cost of the other model. Why? It does not have Image Stabilization, and it has less quality glass. But it DOES have quality, and it can still produce the image quality you want with a macro lens. You just need to take a little care to get the camera steady if the lighting is not very bright.

 

An Additional Benefit For Macro Lenses

Keep in mind that a Macro Lens can also perform as a portrait lens. Most pro photographers use prime lenses for portraits, and Canon Macros fill the bill.

Using a Canon T3i with Live View for Macro Photos

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

While browsing through the comments of satisfied users, I noticed that there were no customers that gave this lens a low rating. The user satisfaction has one of the highest for a Canon Macro lens at 4.8 Stars.

This is important because users rarely lie about their experiences.

 

Canon EF-S 60mm Macro Lens

This lens is made specifically for Canon cameras like the Rebel series. It also works well on the Canon 60D (and other older models in this series).

It will not work on full-frame cameras like the Canon 5D.

The Right Flash For Macro Lenses

There are times when a flash is extremely helpful for Close-Up shots. But the regular built-in flash will simply not work for Macro. Your best bet is a ring flash, and this one is very budget oriented. It will do the job, though.

Third Party Macro Lens For Canon

Sigma, Tamron, and others offer lenses that compete with Canon. You can sometimes save some money by purchasing these quality lenses rather than the Canon brand. The ones below are recognized as excellent products by those who attach them to their Canon Digital SLR cameras.

A Picture Is Worth.. - Macro Images Taken With A Sigma 105mm Macro Lens

Tiny Creatures Look Large With The Help Of A Macro Lens

Every year, I wait for the parsley on my back deck to grow. It's not so I can eat the parsley, though. It's because Black Swallowtail Butterflies lay their eggs, and I get to watch the growth of the new caterpillars. They start out teeny-tiny like the one in the picture above, but they gorge on the parsley and become giants before the metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly takes place.

As you view the photo, realize that the caterpillar is sitting and dining on a single leaf of parsley which, as you know, is very small indeed.

They adult looks like this photo below. Quite a transformation.

Both photos were taken with a Sigma 105mm macro lens for Canon.

Bugs Are Favorites Among Macro Photographers

Green Spider Close-up Photography
Green Spider Close-up Photography
Dragonfly macro image
Dragonfly macro image

Macro Photography in Black and White

Macro Photography in Black and White
Macro Photography in Black and White

This chain on the side of a barn wall made a nice close-up. The large aperture (f2.8) on my Sigma 105mm macro lens made it possible to have a blurred background.

Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR with 18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens (OLD MODEL)
Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR with 18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens (OLD MODEL)

The T4i is now my personal choice for macro photos.

The LCD screen flips out so you can see your shot from even the most difficult angle.

Then there is the added 5x-10x zoom that allows you to focus to pinpoint accuracy. (Watch the video above to see Live View in action.)

 

Canon Rebel T4i - My Preferred Digital SLR for Macro Photography

In the video, I am using a Canon Rebel T3i, but I now also own a T4i. The reason for recommending the T4i is simple.. it has newer technology, and if you shoot video, it is so much easier to switch from still shooting to video.

Also, if video is your thing, the newest 18-135mm STM lens is proving to be quite popular because it is made specifically for Rebel video - no focus noise in the sound output of your video.

A little side note here that should not go unmentioned: all the macro images on this lens were taken with a Canon Rebel Digital SLR.

Used Lenses Can Save Money - Lenses, unlike cameras are not upgraded very often

So, buying a used lens makes sense. Just make sure the seller has a good reputation. Make sure you read the description carefully, too.

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    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 2 years ago

      Thank you for a great hub and some superp photos