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Top Macro Lenses for Stunning Close-Up Photography

An essential piece of gear for your close-up detail shots is a macro lens! No matter if you want to capture detailed shots of nature, products, humans, or your pet, in this guide we have compiled the best macro lenses for you.

By definition, Macro means that your subject is the same size or smaller than your camera sensor, and fills the frame (if your camera sensor is one inch wide, your subject is 1 inch or smaller). A commonly used metric for macro is “magnification”. This simply explains the ratio between your subject size and your sensor size (like 1:1 = “life-size” or 2:1 = “double the size of life”).

Of course, you can easily get close to your subject with many lenses until it fills your frame, but the issue is focusing. And this is where macro lenses come in. Macro lenses can focus on subjects that are very close to your sensor.

Getting up close can give your subjects interesting and new perspectives. The sweet spot for macro lenses is around 100mm or longer, this way you don’t get so close that you block your own light or disturb your subject.

Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 macro lens(Leica L)

Panasonic’s main focus when designing the new 100mm macro lens was to make it as light and compact as possible while keeping the aperture at f/2.8.

Thanks to the optical structure with three aspherical elements, the engineers managed to keep the lens roughly the size of the other LUMIX S prime lenses, which is quite an achievement in our opinion.

With a weight of 300g and the dimensions of Φ73.6 x 82.0mm, the new lens is much smaller and lighter than the existing competition throughout all mirrorless mounts. In fact, Panasonic claims the new LUMIX S 100mm f/2.8 macro is the world’s smallest and lightest macro lens (for full-frame mirrorless cameras with AF, 1:1 magnification, and focal length of 90mm or more).

Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro

Deemed as “the best macro lens for full frame and APS-C cameras” by many, this lens delivers incredible image quality and good build quality.

This lens includes weather-sealing and a fluorine-coating on the front element that helps keeping your lens clean.

The ‘hybrid’ optical stabilizer assists you keeping your image steady and reduce vibration. Just be aware that in macro use, every movement is also magnified so don’t forget your tripod!

Pricing on these lenses is very aggressive which makes this lens a go-to for many photographers and filmmakers.

Max. magnification: 1.0x

Canon RF 100mm /2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens

The successor of the very popular and very good EF-version, this Canon RF 100mm macro is a great upgrade of an already stunning lens.

This lens features 8 stops of stabilization, sharp optics, barely any focus breathing and the popular RF lens control ring make this lens a pricey, but extremely high quality and futureproof macro lens.

Max. magnification: 1.4x

Canon EF 100mm /2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens

The classic Canon EF 100mm macro lens is found in a lot of lens kits because of its high performance and great build quality.

It features optical stabilization and an autofocus limiter-switch, to increase autofocus speed. Being an “L”-series lens, weather sealing is standard and an ultra-low dispersion element.

No matter weather you use this lens wide open or stopped down – sharpness is constantly well controlled. With a Canon EF to RF adapter, you can even use this lens for years to come, even with new RF-mount cameras.

Max. magnification: 1.0x

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens

A great budget lens for Canon EF and Nikon F shooters, this Sigma 105mm macro lens features impressive overall performance. The lens features a range-limiter-switch to limit autofocus range, quiet and fast autofocus, as well as optical stabilization.

The lens is perfectly sharp and the lack of weather-sealing is quickly forgotten when comparing the price with other lenses.

Max magnification: 1.0x

Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM Lens

If you are looking for a less expensive lens for your RF-mount camera that also doubles as a great all-around portrait lens, the RF 85mm macro is a steal, compared to the bigger L-series 100mm brother.

Theoretically not a real macro lens, the 0.5x magnification makes this lens a close focus lens, but if you want to save space and money, this lens is a great multi-performer.

5 stops of stabilization and a quiet STM autofocus motor also works great for video.

Max magnification: 0.5x

Venus Optics Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO Lens

A great third-party alternative, the 2x Ultra Macro APO features an apochromatic design that greatly reduces chromatic aberration.

This is the first 2:1 100mm macro lens created and, despite being manual focus only, its compact form factor and wide variety of lens mounts makes this a great alternative to Canon, Nikon or Sony alternatives.

The focus mechanism is internal, which means, that the lens doesn’t expand when focussing. The price of this lens is also incredible for a 2:1 macro lens.

Max. magnification: 2.0x

Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro Lens

Nikon has been gaining a lot of ground with its Z-mount cameras and this Nikon Z 105mm macro is a great pairing.

This lens is built really well and features very fast and accurate autofocus performance. It has great stabilization (vibration reduction) which can work very well with the in-body stabilization of the latest Z cameras.

There is an autofocus range limiter switch to increase autofocus speed and there is also a customizable user button on the lens and an OLED display.

Weather sealing and excellent image quality make this lens a very good lens for your kit.

Max. magnification: 1.0x

Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS Lens

The Sony FE 90mm macro lens is the go-to macro for your E-mount camera.

Communication through the native E-mount delivers excellent autofocus performance and the stabilization is top-notch. This high-end Sony lens is compatible with full-frame and APS-C cameras and features a Dual DDSSM (Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor) for near silent and quick autofocus speed and accuracy.

There is also an autofocus range limiter switch on the lens. The weather sealed housing is rather heavy, but the image quality is unbeatable. Unfortunately, like most other G-series and G-Master lenses, this lens is expensive but you definitely won’t regret buying this lens.

Max. magnification: 1.0x

FUJIFILM XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro Lens

People who are invested in the excellent Fujifilm camera system, will love this FUJINON 80mm macro lens!

This lens delivers amazing image quality with very sharp optics and a solid, weatherproof housing.

Like all Fujinon XF lenses, this lens features a manual iris ring and there is an autofocus range limiter switch on the side of the lens.

When paired with one of the latest Fujifilm cameras, the autofocus performance is great.

Max magnification: 1.0x

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

This great MFT macro lens impresses with amazing image quality and overall performance.

The autofocus motor is great for photo and video applications and the housing is dust- and splashproof. Typical for Olympus lenses, this lens also has no image stabilizer but paired with cameras like the Panasonic LUMIX GH6, you’ll get amazing results.

The big benefit of this MFT lens is its relatively light weight and size, which make them a great companion on longer trips.

 The lens also doesn’t extend when focussing due to its internal design.

Max magnification: 1.0x

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 DG DN Macro Art Lens for Sony E

The above-mentioned Sigma 105mm macro lens got an upgrade to be used with Sony E-Mount cameras.

This great budget lens, now also available for Sony E-Mount cameras, features impressive overall performance. The lens features quiet and fast autofocus, a range-limiter switch to limit autofocus range, as well as optical stabilization.

The lens is perfectly sharp and the lack of weather-sealing is quickly forgotten when comparing the price with other lenses.

Max magnification: 1.0x

Venus Optics Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe Lens

When you don’t mind getting physically close to your subjects and have good control over your lighting, this probe lens from Laowa comes in very handy.

It is very long and therefore makes it a bit hard to maneuver in tighter spaces, but this can give you very unique shots. Due to its construction, it is a very slow lens at f/14, which means you will need A LOT of light. Depth of field becomes very manageable though and the built-in LED lights in the front of the lens make this easier to deal with. The snorkel is also waterproof so you can get great moving shots through liquids for example which makes this lens suitable for many macro projects.

Max magnification: 2.0x

Venus Optics Laowa 24mm T14 2X Periprobe lens

Laowa 24mm T14 2x Periprobe lens is a new wide angle macro lens with a long barrel, that now features a 90° “periscope” tip.

In fact, the new lens comes with both straight and periscope front elements that can be easily changed. The periscope version also features LED lights near the front lens, it can be freely rotated and is waterproof as well. There are certain types of shots that were previously quite difficult (or required special rigging and quite a lot of space) with the straight probe lens, such as “side shot”, “tilting”, “staying close to the floor”, or “looking up & down”. With the Periprobe lens, these types of shots now require much less space and are easier to perform.

Max magnification: 2.0x