Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own the best lens for macro photography to easily capture incredible images of small insects, leaves, and minuscule objects?
Shooting macro is excellent since every image can be a unique phone or computer background, giving us a visual representation of how our surroundings look from proximity.
Unfortunately, the internet doesn’t follow up by providing helpful guides to purchase such optics that could ease obtaining these lenses.
With that idea in mind, I have created the ultimate buying guide to help photographers pick the best macro lenses suitable for their macro needs.
Unleash your creativity with this exceptional lens, delivering stunning results with remarkable sharpness and exquisite bokeh.
Capture breathtaking moments effortlessly with this versatile lens, offering exceptional image quality and stunning close-up shots.
Elevate your photography without breaking the bank, thanks to this affordable lens that delivers impressive performance and beautiful portraits.
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 has an optical design of 14 elements in 12 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades, an angle of view of 23° 20′, and a maximum magnification of 1x. A maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1 also supports optical image stabilization and an internal focus that ensures fast and silent autofocusing (without changing the lens length).
I included it on the best macro photography lens list due to its versatility and ability to blend in any photographic scenario.
I noticed the macro Nikon lens is quite heavy, and it is a good idea to mount a tripod when operating it, but other than that, it provides an excellent overall performance. The focus system does a phenomenal job of capturing images accurately, responsively, and relatively silently.
The macro photography with this gem is next to excellent. It can captivate subjects with such precision that it leaves out the defocused background completely “invisible” while sharpening and enhancing details on the subject.
The color distribution is another crucial point since it provides natural coloring without artificial saturation but still offers good vibrance. Another awesome thing is the focal length which can capture even live subjects without disturbing them, and the VR comes in handy when you don’t want to use a tripod.
- Fast focusing
- Rugged design
Mounting Type: Sony E-mount
Focal Length Range: 70mm
Minimum Focus Distance: Approximately 25.8cm or 10.2 inches
Weight: 1.10 lbs (pounds)
Dimensions: 4.2 x 2.8 x 2.8 inches
Sigma made it into the best macro photography lens list since it is one of the first (if not the first) accurate 1:1 macro art lenses with extraordinary resolution and clarity. It has an optical design of 13 elements in 10 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades.
The angle of view is 34,3 degrees, with 1x maximum magnification and a 1:1 macro reproduction ratio. Although the lens doesn’t have optical image stabilization, it sports a fast aperture that ensures a solid lowlight performance. It is a fact that focus by wire doesn’t have a good reputation, but with the given Sigma, I didn’t have issues.
It does require a few rotations of the focus ring when you want to move from infinity to 1:1, but the focus by wire is quite handy when you want to make micro-adjustments when shooting your subject.
The Sigma 70mm f/2.8 lens is exceptionally well suited for tripod photography, so its quality is rock-solid, with sharpness and minimum distortion and edge vignetting.
The aperture is sufficient to capture images under low lighting without compromising the quality and takes solid photos even during dark hours. Since the Sigma macro lens is relatively heavy, it could be a good idea to mount a tripod, although you don’t need one if you don’t mind the weight.
- Fast aperture
- Optical design
- Overall image quality
- Rugged design
The third candidate sports an optical design of 14 elements in 11 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 27° 2′, and a minimum focus distance is set at 11,81 inches, with a maximum magnification of 1x and a macro reproduction ratio of 1:1.
One of the key factors that pushed Tamron 90mm f/2.8 on the best lens for macro photography list is the moisture-resistant design combined with optical image stabilization with a four-stop advantage.
The lens also has an ultrasonic silent drive that ensures fast and quiet focusing. The lens’s overall image quality is outstanding, and it combines a beautiful bokeh with sharp subjects with lots of details preserved in the image, even at the maximum opening. Another great thing is the absence of vignetting and ghosting; even the flare is almost nonexistent.
Combined with VR, the 1:1 macro reproduction ratio is fantastic for capturing mesmerizing macro images and can also double as a portrait lens. Furthermore, the color distribution is rock-solid, with natural yet vibrant tones and strong contrast.
The VC does a splendid job and can take great images under low light. The design is solid, although competitors offer better design solutions in the range. On the other hand, it provides a weatherproof design, so it is an overall winner.
- Fast focus
- Great bokeh
- Not the most robust design
Tokina 100mm f/2.8 has an optical design of nine elements in eight groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades and an angle of view of 24 degrees. The minimum focus distance is 11,81 inches, with a maximum magnification of 1x and a macro reproduction ratio of 1:1.
Tokina came on the macro photography lenses list thanks to a beautiful bokeh that offers nearly circular backgrounds convenient for macro shots aimed at commercial photography.
It also sports excellent edge-to-edge sharpness with virtually no distortion. I did notice slight vignetting, but it was an issue that was easily removed in the post-production. The image quality is outstanding, and even at an f/2.8, it produces beautiful results with tack-sharp pictures, and the “zoom” feature allows one to focus on the tiniest details.
I tested the lens on insects and flowers and was amazed by how well it captured wings and petals. The depth of field is excellent, which adds to the versatility, and it is possible to use the lens as a portrait.
Moreover, the color transmission is fantastic, and the colors pop with vibrance and contrast. I also love the design. It feels solid in the hands, with extra finishing touch and high-end materials used in manufacture.
- Excellent design
- Fast aperture
- Fast focus
- Lack of OIS
Canon 85mm f/2 offers an optical design of 12 elements in 11 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades and an angle of view of 28° 30′. The minimum focus distance is 1,15 feet, with a maximum magnification of 0,5x and a macro reproduction ratio of 1:2.
The macro lens Canon also has optical image stabilization of up to five stops of shake correction, which is one of the reasons why it is included in the best macro photography lens list. It also has a control ring for direct setting changes.
The lens offers outstanding image quality since, even at the maximum opening, it provides an excellent level of sharpness and detail preservation. It gets even more as you step down.
Image stabilization is quite an asset since it removes the need for a tripod, and it comes excellent if you want to maneuver with the lens. The focal length is quite versatile, and it can be used as both a macro and portrait lens due to its shallow depth of field and excellent macro capabilities.
The focus is solid, although it is pretty loud, and as with many macro lenses, it is somewhat slow in response. The low light performance is reliable thanks to an f/2 aperture and image stabilization. The design is made of solid plastic, so it doesn’t give a cheap look, but it is not an “L” grade lens. If you consider the price and the capabilities it offers, I would call it a good deal.
- Overall sharpness
- Loud focus system
Getting the best lens for macro photography is imperative if your goal is to capture excellent and memorable close-ups.
As you can see, it is possible to get rock-solid optics in this category if you do a little research and follow the guidance on the topic.
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 is our recommendation if you are unsure which lens is ideal.
No matter which brand or manufacturer you prefer, if you pick any of the lenses listed above, your macro shots will improve instantly.
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