Best Macro Lenses for Canon
A macro lens is usually the first special purpose lens that an amateur photographer dabbles into beyond the kit and the standard prime. The reason is simple. While there are a limited opportunity to use telephoto lenses in real life situations, with a macro lens you will never run out of subjects to photograph. With a macro lens the whole world around you gets a fresh new perspective.
There are a number of other ways to shoot macro photos. You don’t always need a dedicated macro lens. These include close focusing lenses, extension tubes and lens reversing adapter rings. However, for the best results and for professional quality output, a dedicated macro lens is the best option. Today, we shall be looking at the best macro lenses for Canon mount.
Note: Canon EF lenses work with full frame and APS-C Canon DSLR cameras, the Canon EF–S lenses are designed for the smaller sensor found on the Canon APS-C cameras (see more details about this below).
Overview: Top 10 Macro Lenses for Canon DSLRs
|Lens||Amazon Price||Amazon Ratings||Amazon Reviews|
|EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM||$799.00||574 Reviews|
|Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens||$599.00||422 Reviews|
|Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Lens||$1,049.00||64 Reviews|
|Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM||$1,399.00||55 Reviews|
|Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens||$399.00||307 Reviews|
|Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro||$516.59||155 Reviews|
|Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro Auto-focus Lens||$499.00||224 Reviews|
|Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD lens for Canon EF||$649.00||52 Reviews|
|Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art lens for Canon EF||Coming Soon||-||-|
|Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro Lens||from $1,099.00||55 Reviews|
We start this discussion with a list of proprietary Canon macro lenses. First up is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM.
1. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
The EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is probably one lens that you have already seen in action. Either while images are being made with it or actual images shot with it and then published online. This is one of Canon’s more popular special purpose lenses. At 100mm it give the right balance between focal length and magnification that ensures that you have almost everything covered as a macro photographer.
The maximum aperture of the lens is f/2.8. The lens consists of a total of 15 elements arranged in 12 groups. Internal construction of the lens includes one Ultra-low dispersion element. Additionally, the lens also comes with super spectra coating. This Canon technology evolved out of Canon’s strict benchmark for accurate color reproduction.
Add to all these the fact that the lens also includes an Ultra-Low Dispersion element. This element takes care of chromatic aberrations (color fringing) and helps producing a better overall color reproduction.
The lens produces a 1:1 reproduction of a subject (or life-size). It features a powerful image stabilization feature too. This is rated to up to 2 stops. So, in most lighting situations and specially when focusing at 1:1 working distance you can use up to two stops slower shutter speed than what the camera’s metering system would recommend. When focusing at a longer distance (sub 1:1 aspect ratio) you would be able to use four-stops of image stabilization.
The EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM is powered by a ring-type ultra-sonic auto-focusing motor. This AF motor is quieter and more reliable than the older micro-motor type AF mechanism that Canon lenses sported. This technology is backed up by full-time manual focusing override.
The lens feature internal focusing mechanism. Internal focusing ensures that the barrel length of the lens do not change when focusing. This is suitable for macro photography because a barrel that changes length when focusing can scare away insects and other creepy crawlies.
Still on the subject of focusing, there is a focus delimiting switch. This ensures that you can set the focusing range yourself. A limited focusing range allows the lens to spend less time hunting for focus and therefore should be able to produce images quicker than traditional lenses without a focus delimiter switch.
However, it is imperative to note that the advantage will only be apparent when shooting in a smaller focusing range, if the subject is at infinity, then the focusing motor will shuffle between 11.8″ to infinity to lock focus.
Note the L moniker. It means this lens is designed well. It comes with weather sealing and should be able to handle inclement weather well.
- 100 mm focal length and 1:2.8 maximum aperture. The EF1.4X II/EF2X II extenders cannot be used with this lens. There...
- Lens construction consists of 15 elements in 12 groups.
- 23.4-Degree diagonal angle of view
- Inner focusing system with USM and full-time manual focus option.Closest focusing distance 0.99 ft./0.3m (maximum...
- 67 mm filter size
2. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
This is the non-stabilized version of the Canon EF lens that we discussed before. Both these lenses share a lot of their features. They have the same maximum aperture of f/2.8, they have the same focal length and similar optics. That said, there are some major difference as well.
The most notable difference is that this particular lens does not have image stabilization. The lack of image stabilization is a big factor no doubt. But if you almost never shoot macro photos without a tripod or almost never shoot handheld, then you are not going to miss it anyways. The other difference, and this is something that you will likely miss is the build quality. Being an L lens the first one is able to withstand inclement weather better. Compared to that the lens in question will not survive bad weather at all.
The internal construction of the lens constitutes 12 elements arranged in 8 groups. It includes one ultra-low dispersion element. This ensures that the lens is able to take care of the issues of color fringing which plagues wide aperture lenses. The lens also comes with Super Spectra coating that suppresses flares and ghosting issues.
Auto-focusing on the lens is powered by a ring-type USM auto-focusing technology. The focusing system is internal, thanks to the floating focusing technology used in the lens. This is same as the L series lens discussed above. This lens too comes with full-time manual focusing override which allow you to precisely lock focus even though the AF motor is engaged.
Another feature that is common between the two 100mm f/2.8 Macro lenses is the focus delimiter button. The focus delimiter button allows the lens’ focusing mechanism to limit hunting for focus within a predefined range, usually smaller.
Finally, the pricing factor. With the two lenses separated by only about $200 that makes the L lens a better buy compared to the non-stabilized lens.
- 100mm macro USM lens with f/2.8 maximum aperture for Canon SLR cameras
- Focal length: 100mm, Closest focusing distance : 1 foot (film plane to subject)
- Secondary diaphragm blocks stray light at f/2.8 for increased contrast, Ultra-sonic monitor provides outstanding...
- 3-group floating system for exceptional close-up performance; full-time manual focus
- Measures 3.1 inches in diameter and 4.7 inches long; weighs 21.1 ounces; 1-year warranty
3. Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Lens
There is something distinctly old-world about manual focusing lenses. They tend to give us a glimpse of what it used to be manually focusing a lens every time you needed to make an image. When it comes to macro photography, most lenses are manually focused anyways, most of the times. Therefore, unless you are absolutely hell bent on using auto-focusing, 100% of the time, you will not miss it.
As regards the lens in question, focusing elements feature a floating design. Speaking of focus this lens gives 1:1 aspect ratio of true life size and more. The full capability of the lens is to provide 5:1 or 5x magnification of any subject that you focus at.
The Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8. The internal construction of the lens constitutes a total of 10 elements that have been arranged in 8 groups. These include one ultra-low dispersion element that helps reduce the effects of color fringing and therefore improving the overall color reproduction and the sharpness of the images.
The overall design of the lens ensure it is able to focus properly producing sharp results regardless of the focusing distance.
The aperture diaphragm of the lens is constituted of 6 blades. The lens includes a Super Spectra Coating as well. This coating as has already been discussed elsewhere on this page, helps in suppressing ghosting and flares especially when shooting wide open.
The main issues of this lens, ironically, seems to be also its strength – the huge magnification. The extent of magnification possible with this lens is 5x. Thus, it is possible to not only get a fantastically close view of the scene, but it also means unless you have paid attention to cleaning the subject (product photography etc.) you will capture an incredible amount of dust and stuff you don’t want to see.
- E58 Lenscap
- Rear Lenscap E
- 1-Year Warranty
4. Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
The standard focal length that is widely used for macro photography is around 100mm. The longest non-Canon focal length that we have discussed here is the Sigma 150mm f/2.8. Detailed under Best macro lenses for Canon (third party choices). The EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM breaks that record.
The EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM is able to produce 1:1 (or life size reproduction) of a scene on to a full frame image sensor.
The maximum aperture of the lens is f/3.5. This is on the slower side compared to the f/2.8 lenses that we have been reading about. The lens aperture diaphragm is composed of 8 rounded aperture blades. This produces nice rounded bokeh.
This is a complex lens. The internal construction of the lens consists of 14 elements arranged in 12 groups. This includes three ultra-low dispersion elements which helps in suppressing color fringing and improves color contrast as well as overall sharpness.
Super Spectra coating on the lens ensures that the lens is able to suppress flares and ghosting which becomes a major issue when shooting in bright light especially when shooting wide open. Overall the lens is very sharp. The lens do feature an USM technology, however, auto-focusing speed is not as fast as you would come to expect out of typical USM lenses.
It is pertinent to mention here that the lens features a floating design. This technology ensures superior focusing at any focusing range. This being an internally focusing lens helps things too. The front element does not move when you focus which means small subjects like insects etc. will not be intimidated when you get too close. Additionally, the lens features a full-time manual focusing override.
Finally, the lens has a focus delimiter switch as well. Toggle it between the different markers and your lens would be able to focus anything between the whole focusing range and the different shorter focusing limits as available on the delimiter switch.
A utility that every macro shooter wants to have in a macro lens is the ability to shoot in any kind of weather. This particular lens being an L series glass is able to work in most situations without much of an issue.
Finally, a physical attribute of the lens that needs mentioning is the detachable tripod ring. This tripod ring is provided with the lens. This is useful for shooting with a tripod system and helps produce more stable images.
- 180mm macro lens with f/3.5 maximum aperture for Canon SLR cameras
- 3 UD glass elements and internal floating system combine to minimize aberrations
- Advanced ultra-sonic monitor (USM) for high-speed, quiet autofocusing
- Focusing distance range of 1.57 feet to infinity; supports EF Extender 1.4x and 2x
- Measures 3.2 inches in diameter and 7.3 inches long; weighs 2.4 pounds; 1-year warranty
5. Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens
This is the only lens in this discussion that has been designed for the smaller crop sensor APS-C cameras such as the Canon EOS 80D and the Rebel series cameras. This lens has an image circle that is optimized for the smaller sensor.
The EF-S 60mm f/2.8 gives a 1:1 perspective or life size perspective when shooting small subjects. Internal construction of the lens includes a total of 12 elements arranged in 8 groups. The lens incorporates Canon’s Super Spectra coating technology.
Auto-focusing on the lens is powered by Canon’s ring-type USM AF motor. Speaking of focusing, the lens features an internal focusing technology which ensures that the barrel length does not extend whilst focusing.
The aperture diaphragm of the lens is constituted of a 7 blades. Though a 9 blade aperture diaphragm is probably the ideal design for best quality bokeh, a 7 blade aperture diaphragm still produces decent results.
Then again, bokeh isn’t the reason for which you would be looking to buy a macro lens. What you would be looking to do is shoot with a small aperture to get a large depth of field. Unless of course you are shooting something dead quiet and using the focus stacking method, in which case you would probably be shooting with a tripod and using several focus bracketed shots (focus adjusted slightly after each exposure) at the same f-number. That is also the reason why despite many of the lenses discussed here capable of shooting at f/2.8 you would likely be shooting at f/8, f/11 or smaller.
A Word on EF and EF-S Lenses
Lens buying isn’t as easy as it seems. Most newbie DSLR (as well as DSLT and MILC) buyers think they should leave the whole decision making process for lens buying to the store owner or the manufacture. Whatever lens the camera comes bundled with is often considered good enough. That’s what the common thinking tends to be.
The reason behind this is somewhat attributable to the millions of different acronyms and terminologies that one has to be familiar with before one can come to a conclusion. For Canon users the first thing that they need to understand is the difference between an EF lens and an EF-S lens.
Canon’s EF lenses are designed for the full-frame sensor cameras. These lenses are optimized to cover the full width of the 35mm sensor size (36mm x 24mm) on Canon’s DSLR and older SLR (film) cameras. In other words the image circle inside these lenses should cover the standard 35mm sensor. A little bit of vignetting is unavoidable but that is marginal when compared to the vignetting on an EF-S lens.
EF-S lenses, on the other hand are designed for the smaller (and therefore compact) series DSLRs designed by Canon. These cameras have a much smaller sensor on them. Approximate size is 22.5mm x 15mm (EOS 80D). The smaller sensor makes it illogical to use larger EF lenses on them because in any ways much of the light will not be used.
It is much more useful to produce smaller lenses. Smaller in the sense they have a smaller image circle to cover the size of the smaller sensor. These lenses are lighter, and also cheaper to manufacture.
The biggest difference between EF and EF-S lenses, is the image circle they cover. Therefore while EF lenses are compatible on all modern EOS cameras. These cameras have a digital coupling that connects the lens with the camera body so that information can pass to and fro between the lens and the camera body. This includes both APS-C and full-frame systems. EF-S lenses, on the other hand, are practical only on smaller APS-C cameras.
Theoretically (and practically), you cannot use an EF-S lens on a full-frame camera like an EOS 5D Mark IV. Canon EOS mounts are designed in a way so that it prevents this. You can do that on a Nikon body though (that is, use a crop lens on a full-frame body) but the vignetting will be huge.
Plus, you will also lose a lot of resolution because the entire sensor real estate is no longer utilized. Imagine buying a full-frame Nikon and then mounting a crop lens on it. It will be like driving your new Lamborghini Huracan 3 blocks to pick up groceries. It is possible but not practical. We will discuss the Nikon part at some other time.
And just in case you are wondering how much will be the resulting megapixel if you mount a crop lens on a full-frame camera, then there is actually a formula for that. You divide the megapixel of the full-frame camera (MP) by the square of the crop factor (SC) and you get the effective megapixel.
Enough on EF and EF-S lenses and the possibility and probability of mounting a crop lens on a full-frame camera and vice versa. Let’s get back to what we have been out to find out. We have looked at the best Canon proprietary lenses for macro photography. Now let’s take a look at some of the best third party lenses for the Canon EOS mount.
Related Post: Great Macro Lenses for Nikon (Top 10)
Best Macro Lenses for Canon (third party choices)
6. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
A number of acronyms are associated with this lens. This is a Sigma lens and some users have complained about the weight of Sigma lenses. Let me assure you that the weight of a typical Sigma lens may be slightly on the higher side, but Canon L series lenses are not far behind in this regard.
This particular lens, for example, weighs 726 grams. On the other hand, the Canon EF f/2.8L macro IS USM is 625 grams. You are in all probability going to shoot with a tripod or a monopod, so this should not be a matter for concern.
The internal construction of the lens includes 16 elements arranged in 11 groups. There are 9 diaphragm blades which promises a nice bokeh.
This particular lens is capable of producing 1:1 (or life size) reproduction of a subject on to an image sensor. That makes the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 a true macro lens. There are many aspects that work for this lens. It comes with OS (Optical Stabilization), a first for Sigma’s line of macro lenses. So, technically, you can hand-hold the lens. Though, ideally you should be using a tripod as much as possible.
There are a few buttons on the lens body. These are the OS, AF / M and Focus Range Delimiter. The OS option comes with three possible modes. You can choose to keep it switched off, or set it to Mode 1 or 2. The first mode is the traditional optical stabilization. The second mode is designed for panning. That is when shooting a subject that is moving horizontally and the camera is moving with it, any vertical hand movement will be compensated for.
Traditionally, macro lenses are seldom used for moving subjects as because even the slightest movement becomes exaggerated at such close working distances.
Then there is the Focus option which can be toggled between AF and M. Finally, the Focus Delimiter button which can be toggled between 0.45m to infinity. This basically allows you to set your focus hunting range to a minimum (or maximum) depending on the subject that you are photographing.
Sigma has incorporated the HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) technology in this lens. Use of the lens in practical situations shows that the focusing is very quiet and accurate. However, focusing speed isn’t as fast as we would have expected. OS can be a bit noisy. So, if you are using a tripod and keep OS switched off, you would be able to bypass the OS noise.
A specific control of your macro lens, one that you are likely going to use more often than not, is the manual focusing ring. Thus, it is imperative that the manual focusing ring is extremely well dampened and gives solid feedback as you turn it either way. The manual focusing ring of the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 is very smooth. It does give beautiful feedback and makes it easy to make micro-adjustments.
Finally, a word on the lens sharpness. The lens is sharp but not in the same league as some of the other sharp macro lenses for the Canon mount, specifically the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM and the Carl Zeiss Makro – Planar T 100mm f/2 ZE. DxOMark gives the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 a lens sharpness rating of 20 megapixels when used with the Canon 5D Mark IV.
- Designed for use with full frame digital SLR cameras. May also be used with smaller APS-c size sensors with a...
- Focuses down to 1:1 magnification ratio at its closest working distance of 12.3 inches
- A hood adapter, lens hood, front & rear lens caps are included with the lens
- Filter size 62mm
7. Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro Auto-focus Lens
The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro is designed for the Canon (full-frame) as well as the Nikon mount systems. We are going to take a look at the Canon version for the EF mount. Please note Di stands for Digitally Integrated Design. These lenses are developed keeping in mind the needs for digital SLR cameras.
The construction of the lens includes 10 elements arranged in 9 groups. This lens too comes with 9 diaphragm blades which promises a very nice bokeh quality.
The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di gives 1:1 perspective or life-size reproduction of the subject that you are photographing. The first thing that you are likely going to notice as soon as you pick up this lens is it is extremely lightweight.
At just 405 grams it is significantly lighter than the Canon EF f/2.8L macro IS USM as well as the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM that we discussed above. Thus lugging this piece of equipment when hiking is going to be that much easier.
To change from auto to manual focusing and vice versa you need to use push or pull the focus clutch mechanism. This allows the auto-focusing mechanism to disengage. The blue ring will appear suggesting that the lens has been set to manual focusing. You can now manually change focusing.
Speaking of which the manual focusing ring of the lens is smooth. This is important because it helps in getting a better control over the focusing aspect. And in anyways you would be using manual focusing a majority of the time.
The lens has an interesting focus delimiting function. It is a dial instead of a toggle button. Though this is queer, it is not impractical. Just that it takes a bit of getting used to.
The lens does not have image stabilization. This is one major point of difference between this lens and the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD, the other lens that Tamron manufacturers.
A fast wide aperture ensures that the lens captures a decent amount of light. This is of paramount importance. Especially when these lenses work within a small distance from the subject and that means they are likely going to obstruct some of the light.
Additionally, as is the case with most photographers, they prefer to work with small aperture and thereby expand the depth of field. But on the flip side this approach tend to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor.
- Front & Rear Lens Caps
- Soft Pouch
- 6-Year Warranty
8. Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD lens for Canon EF
The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD lens is the VC (Vibration Compensation or Optical Image Stabilization as it is referred to by Tamron) equipped lens. If you absolutely need VC this is the one you need rather than the plain vanilla version that we discussed above. The image stabilization is rated at 3.5 stops, which ensure that you can use a shutter speed up to 3.5 stops slower than what you would normally do in the given lighting situation.
The lens has a wide open aperture of f/2.8 (same as the non-stabilized version).
The elements of the lens consists of one Low Dispersion (LD) glass and two Extra Low Dispersion (XLD) glass. Apart from these the lens also constitutes eBAND unit, BBAR and fluorine coating. The first two coatings ensure that the lens suffers as less from flares and ghosting as possible. The fluorine coating ensures that the lens does not become a dust and smudge magnet. The lens, however, is not weather sealed. It has some amount of moisture resistance but it will not be able to withstand a torrential downpour or snow fall. Meaning, this is not an all-weather lens.
There are a total of 14 elements arranged in 11 groups. The aperture diaphragm of the lens is constituted by 9 rounded aperture blades. Theoretically, that should produce nice rounded bokeh.
Auto-focusing on the lens is powered by a ring type USD AF motor. The AF motor is supported by a USD actuator which ensures that the lens is able to focus more precisely when working at extremely close distances, something that is expected of a macro lens.
The AF motor allows full-time manual focusing override as well. This means even when the AF motor is engaged you can grab the manual focusing ring and turn it to precisely lock focus.
Just as the previous non-stabilized lens, the SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD gives 1:1 or life-size reproduction of any subject on to the sensor. That said, when you print that same image on to a photo paper the image becomes larger than life because the small sensor packs in a lot of resolution and that produces a large image when printed at 300 DPI.
- Moisture-Proof and Dust-Resistant Construction
- Durable Fluorine Coating on the front element repels water and fingerprints
- Advanced coating technology reduces flare and ghosting ; Camera Mount Type Nikon F
- Circular aperture to achieve beautiful, rounded blur effects bokeh ; Format Compatibility Nikon FX/35mm Film, Nikon DX
- VC enhanced with shift compensation ; Focal Length 90mm ; Aperture Maximum: f/2.8, Minimum: f/32
9. Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art lens for Canon EF
We next discuss the 70mm Macro Art series lens from Sigma. Sigma has launched this lens recently and it is the first macro lens in the Art series. It shares the same focal length as the older (and now discontinued) Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG macro. Since the new Art series lens is a new product some of its performance related issues will remain unanswered. We will try and update this when we have a better idea of the lens’ actual performance.
This being a short focal length lens gets you close enough for the purpose of getting a large enough perspective. 70mm is also suitable for the purpose of shooting some portraits, especially with an EF-S camera where the effective focal length becomes the equivalent of a 112mm lens (1.6x crop factor) mounted on a full-frame camera.
The lens is compatible with both Canon’s EF and EF-S mount cameras. The maximum aperture of the lens is f/2.8 while it can stop down all the way to f/22. The internal construction of the lens constitutes a total of 13 elements arranged in 10 groups. This includes two FLD units which are cheaper compared to the standard (and naturally occurring) fluorite and has a performance that is comparable.
Auto-focusing is powered by a DC motor. The motor has a reliable auto-focusing performance. Plus, you also get full-time manual focusing override.
The lens diaphragm is constituted of 9 rounded blades. This produces a rounded lens aperture and the bokeh quality is very pleasing.
Flares and ghosting are two aspects that plague wide aperture lenses. Manufacturers use a multitude of technologies to ensure that this is suppressed. This particular lens comes with the Super Multi-Layer coating that ensures that flares and ghosting is suppressed as much as possible.
Also included are SLD elements and one anomalous partial dispersion elements. The lens also includes two aspherical elements. These elements suppress chromatic aberrations. Suppressed chromatic aberrations results in improved image sharpness and better color reproduction.
Sigma has utilized TSC or Thermally Stable Composite materials which does not change form, expand or contract when the temperature fluctuates. Therefore this lens can be used in extreme temperatures without much of an issue.
10. Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro lens
A long macro lens allows you to get pretty close to a subject from a comfortable working distance and yet get you the equal to life size reproduction that separates a macro lens from a close focusing lens or anything else that you might come across. The Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO fits that bill perfectly. That said the 150mm is a slightly longer than the usual 105mm or the smaller 70mm focal lengths that most photographers tend to use. In that sense the 150mm is an acquired taste.
This is a 150mm lens which gives a lot of room to aim at small creepy crawlies, butterflies, moths and anything else with wings and not scare them off. And it gives a 1:1 life-size reproduction of a subject. To add to that the lens enjoys a sharpness rating of 21 and a DxOMark score of 30 when mounted and tested with a Canon EOS 5DS R.
The lens consists of a total of 19 elements arranged in 13 groups. These include special low dispersion glass elements which control fringing and bleeding and help produce an image that is sharper and more saturated.
The diaphragm of the lens constitutes 9 aperture blades which ensures that you have a nice background blur.
The construction showcases a floating internal focusing mechanism. The front element of the lens is non-rotating. That means if you are using circular polarizers and variable ND filters you will have a much easier time getting them dialed in precisely.
The lens features optical image stabilization. 4 stops of it. That means you can use up to 4 stops slower shutter speed compared to what the ideal shutter speed should be depending on the exposure settings dialed in and the light meter is telling you to shoot at.
There are three OS modes on the lens. That is if you can say that ‘OS-Off’ is also a mode. The first one corrects any type of movement regardless of the direction the camera is moving. The second mode is all about correcting the movements that are vertical and is best used when panning with the lens.
Auto-focusing on the lens is powered by a HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor). AF performance is fairly accurate and quick. You also get manual focusing override. A macro lens with a manual focusing override is very handy as half the time you would be relying on manual focusing to nail focus.
That said, sometimes the lens do not tend to focus accurately. Sometimes, it tends to wander off. This happens mostly in low light situations and in scenes which has shortage of contrast to lock on.
The one thing that probably discounts this lens from being your go to macro lens, is its weight. At 1.18 kilos this is quite hefty. Not too hefty when compared to some of the super telephoto lens, even though it is made of plastic rather than metal.
- Telephoto macro lens with Canon AF mount
- Special low-dispersion glass for high image quality
- 150-millimeter focal length
- f2.8 maximum aperture
- Ultra-quiet high-speed autofocus with full-time manual focus override