9 Best Budget Macro Lenses for Canon (Excellent for Beginners)

Written by Matic Broz @matic_broz
(Updated on October 21, 2021)

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9 Best Budget Macro Lenses for Canon (Excellent for Beginners)

Choosing the right macro lens for Canon is difficult!

So I reviewed dozens of macro lenses to help you make an informed decision.

Let’s get right into it.

The Best Budget Macro Lens for Canon

The best budget macro lens for Canon is Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro. This lens is a great first choice for beginners starting with macro photography. It is a great combination of ease-of-use, low price, great performance, and decent build quality. The LED ring in front of the lens also takes care of your lighting problems, so you won’t have to purchase any additional equipment.

Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM
  • EF-S series macro Lens with built-in macro Lite
  • Bright f/2.8 aperture and 35mm standard angle of view
  • Hybrid image stabilization

9 Best Budget Macro Lenses for Canon

For more information, check this list of the best macro lenses:

1. Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro

The Canon EF-S 35mm F/2.8 Macro is Canon’s widest angle and the least expensive APS-C format macro lens. It is also the smallest and lightest Canon macro lens with a built-in Hybrid Image Stabilisation System.

Its build quality is mediocre, with no weather sealing whatsoever. Canon EF-S 35mm F/2.8 Macro is the first macro lens to have a Lead Screw STM (Stepping Motor) driven autofocus system. The motor is not noisy at all and quickly focuses on the subject without having to make adjustments.

A wide focal length of 35mm gives you ample room to frame your macro shots. And you can crop them later. The maximum f/2.8 aperture guarantees beautiful bokeh in your photos.

The EF-S 35mm has a very short working distance of 1.18″ (30mm), making lighting the subject that much more challenging. However, it has a pair of circular LED lights, also known as ‘Micro Lites’, at the front rim of the lens. These LED lights provide natural lighting, so you don’t have to bring along external lights.

This lens is a solid option for beginners. It is affordable and has a good image quality. Also, it’s very easy to use.

LIKED

  • Affordable
  • Quick autofocus
  • Good picture quality
  • Image Stabilisation
  • LED ring

DISLIKED

  • Small working distance 
  • Average build quality
Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM
316 Reviews
Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM
  • EF-S series macro Lens with built-in macro Lite
  • Bright f/2.8 aperture and 35mm standard angle of view
  • Hybrid image stabilization

2. Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro

The Canon EF-S 60mm F/2.8 Macro is very well built with a durable body. It feels balanced to hold, while also being pretty tiny and light. It has a broad focus ring that’s smooth to rotate. Thanks to its USM (Ultrasonic Motor) with FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing, its autofocusing is fast, quiet, and accurate. 

The lens produces sharp images even at the corners. It has low chromatic aberration with minimal distortion and produces realistic colours with balanced contrast. Loss of light is common with Macro lenses. To compensate for it, this lens uses the camera’s auto exposure and automatically fixes the lighting in your image to some extent.

If you need more magnification out of it, you may use a 12mm or a 25mm extension tube with the lens, which will magnify your focal length by up to 1.28x and 1.61x, respectively.

This lens is excellent for shooting products in a studio and can work wonders in low lighting conditions. You may also use it for closeups and portraits.

LIKED

  • Good build quality
  • Evenly sharp throughout the frame
  • Fast and precise autofocus
  • Small and lightweight 

DISLIKED

  • No LEDs on lens rim
  • Light loss at F/2.8
SALE
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
505 Reviews
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
  • 60mm macro lens with f/2.8 maximum aperture for EOS digital SLR cameras
  • 25-degree angle of view is equivalent to 96mm lens on 35mm camera
  • Focal length : 60mm, Closest focusing distance : 0.65 feet

3. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

The Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro is best-suited for close-ups. Its longer working distance is handy for taking pictures of insects or flowers. It is designed so that it reduces the influence of harmful light caused by reflections from the image sensor. 

The minimum aperture of f/45 helps you to achieve an incredible depth of field in your photos. Thanks to the extremely narrow aperture you can also capture grand landscapes. But the image becomes quite smooth beyond f/22 due to distortion.

The Dual Focus (DF) system makes it precise and easy to control during autofocusing. Manual focusing is also convenient because of its wide and smooth-to-rotate focus ring. 

Sigma 105mm delivers low distortion and low aberration with exceptional sharpness. You can use it as a normal telephoto lens as well, which makes it a versatile option. Despite having a 105mm focal length, there is no significant light loss but only minor vignetting towards the edges.

A minor drawback is that the autofocusing is slow, especially in the macro mode. It is also quite noisy at the same time.

LIKED

  • Amazing picture quality
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Sharp images with natural colours
  • Good build-quality 

DISLIKED

  • Slow and noisy autofocus
  • Extending lens barrel
SALE
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens for Canon SLR Camera
1,067 Reviews
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens for Canon SLR Camera
  • Designed for use with full frame digital SLR cameras. May also be used with smaller APS-c size sensors with a corresponding effective increase in focal length to about 150mm with most cameras
  • 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

4. Canon 180mm f/3.5L Macro

The Canon 180mm F/3.5L Macro is probably the company’s sharpest lens and with no distortion. Focusing is easy at any distance. It has a rigid all-metal body. You can use it as a telephoto, portrait, nature, and landscape lens along with its superb macro performance. 

Its autofocus is good enough for normal use, but you will have to make do with manual focusing for macro shots. Even then, the focusing ring is to sensitive so it’s pretty difficult to nail the focus.

The bokeh quality will surely pleasantly surprise you. It’s smooth and does not distract the viewer’s eye from the main subject at all.

Its tough build quality guarantees years of excellent performance, even if you get a bit rough with it. On top of that, it solves many purposes for a single lens which makes it a versatile choice. 

LIKED

  • Sharp pictures
  • Tough build
  • Versatile
  • Beautiful bokeh

DISLIKED

  • Bad autofocusing
  • Small and sensitive focus ring
SALE
Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM AutoFocus Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
67 Reviews
Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM AutoFocus Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
  • 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

5. Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM for Canon Full Frame Mirrorless RF

The Canon RF 50mm F/1.8 STM is one of the best sellers from the company due to its wide aperture, compact size, and lower price.

The 50mm focal length on a full-frame camera gives you a natural-looking viewing angle which is the reason for the popularity of this lens. When you combine 50mm with the wide 1.8 aperture, you get ideal settings for portrait photography.

At the widest aperture, the image quality is not the sharpest but still decent enough. You can achieve a sharp image at this focal length by correctly placing the subject under the lights. 

The lens does not have image stabilisation for cost-cutting purposes. But it has an amazing economic focusing technology which is the best AF system at this price.

When it comes to the build-quality, this lens does quite well with mixed plastic and metal elements. But it is not weather sealed or fluorine-coated on either side, which makes it prone to dust entering your lens and camera body.

This budget-friendly lens is an incredible choice to learn portrait photography. It is also better to go for a 50mm lens with a full-frame camera.

LIKED

  • Compact, lightweight, & cheap 
  • Good picture quality
  • Fast AF system
  • Tough build

DISLIKED

  • No weather sealing
  • Plastic elements used in the lens body

6. Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro Lens

 

Canon EF 50mm F/2.5 is classified as a macro lens but offers only .5x magnification as compared to 1x magnification in most macro lenses.

Canon has given it mid-level build quality. It has a metal mount, but the focus ring feels a bit loose. The lens barrel protrudes while focusing but does not rotate.

This lens also does not feature USM (Ultrasonic Motor) focusing. As a result, focusing is quite noisy and slow. It manages distortion very well and deals with flare to some extent without any lens hood. 

At F/2.5, the output will be soft, but as you close down the aperture, the images will get much sharper. It produces soft and natural-looking colours. However, full-frame users complain about vignetting in the lens when the aperture is wide open.

This lens is suitable for product photography, semi closeups, and shooting small items like jewellery, gadgets etc. Its wide aperture proves to be very useful in studio settings.

LIKED

  • Wide aperture
  • Natural colours and good contrast
  • Minimal distortion

DISLIKED

  • Mediocre build 
  • Slow AF system 
  • Lens vignetting 
SALE
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
505 Reviews
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
  • 60mm macro lens with f/2.8 maximum aperture for EOS digital SLR cameras
  • 25-degree angle of view is equivalent to 96mm lens on 35mm camera
  • Focal length : 60mm, Closest focusing distance : 0.65 feet

7. Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art Lens

 

Sigma 70mm F/2.8 DG Macro Art Lens can be bought for Canon, sigma, and sony cameras. 

Despite being 70mm, it is compact and lightweight and produces sharp images without failing. Its autofocus is a bit slow, and it does not include image stabilisation as most camera bodies now come with it. 

It uses an electronic manual focusing system to assist the photographer in taking macro shots. Turning the manual focus ring will activate the focus motor, which is tuned for minor adjustments to get that perfectly focused macro shot.

It has a comfortable working distance, and it can produce incredibly sharp macro shots. The only drawback is, if you are using a Canon camera, you will need to use a tripod or place your camera on a hard surface to prevent blur.

The lens focuses close enough for 1x macro capture and shows no distortion in any setting. You may get a little bit of lens vignetting but fixing that is not a big deal.

LIKED

  • Special AF system for Macro photography 
  • Sharp output quality 
  • No image distortion
  • Compact and light

DISLIKED

  • Slow AF system
  • No image stabilisation 
SALE
Sigma 70mm F2.8 Art DG Macro for Canon
48 Reviews
Sigma 70mm F2.8 Art DG Macro for Canon
  • Focal length: 70mm
  • Aperture range: f/2.8 - f/22
  • Canon EF mount lens

8. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro

 

Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro is a short-telephoto prime that has the ability to achieve a 1:1 lifesize magnification along with a 1′ minimum focusing distance for macro photography. 

Its optical design employs two SLD elements that eliminate chromatic aberrations and colour fringing which gives you an improved clarity and colour rendering in your pictures. 

Its Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) gives you a quick and silent autofocusing performance. The optical image stabilisation minimises camera shake and gives sharper handheld shooting outputs.

A floating internal focus design helps the lens to maintain consistent sharpness throughout the focal range. With the help of its rounded nine-blade diaphragm, you can achieve some breathtaking bokeh effects. 

A super multi-layer coating applied to the lens elements minimises lens flare and ghosting. It also helps in producing colour-neutral and contrast-rich images despite being in backlit conditions. 

LIKED

  • Fast AF system with Optical Stabilization 
  • Floating internal focus design for sharpness
  • Rounded nine-blade diaphragm 
  • The multilayered coating on lens elements

DISLIKED

  • Expensive lens
  • Soft images at F/2.5
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Medium Telephoto Macro Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
39 Reviews
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Medium Telephoto Macro Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
  • Compact and lightweight medium telephoto macro lens.
  • Optimized image quality for Digital SLR cameras.
  • Maximum magnification of 1:1

9. Tamron 90 mm F2.8 VC USD

Tamron 90mm F/2.8 VC USD has incredible optical performance with very good image stabilisation. 

This is a real macro lens with a working distance of 0.29m and a max magnification of up to 1x(1:1). Its optical image stabilisation helps you a great deal in taking sharp macro shots. 

The Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) autofocus system is silent as the name suggests and performs brilliantly in all conditions. You may switch to manual focus by simply turning the focus ring. 

Its metallic body inspires confidence in the photographer, and the ergonomic focus ring works smoothly. The lens is also weather-sealed for protection from dust particles and coated on both sides for easy cleaning.

There is some amount of distortion however and it might struggle with flaring. But such hurdles can be easily crossed by a photographer. Overall, this lens has got everything that a macro lens should have, and it is a great value for money. 

LIKED

  • Sharp image quality
  • Weather sealed
  • Optical image stabilisation 
  • Silent and fast AF system

DISLIKED

  • Lens flaring and distortion 
  • Lens vignetting 
Tamron AFF017C700 SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro for Canon Cameras (Black)
172 Reviews
Tamron AFF017C700 SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro for Canon Cameras (Black)
  • Moisture-Proof and Dust-Resistant Construction
  • Durable Fluorine Coating on the front element repels water and fingerprints
  • Advanced coating technology reduces flare and ghosting

What Canon lens is best for macro photography?

The best Canon macro lens is Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro. It’s easy to use, reasonably priced, well-built and provides sharp photos with very little distortion and chromatic aberration.

What mm lens is best for macro?

50mm lenses work the best for macro photography. 35mm to 105mm focal length range is usually used for macro, and 50mm lens offers the best of both worlds.

Is a macro lens worth it?

A macro lens is a must for macro photography. Although you can improvise with a general-purpose lens, these usually cannot focus at short distances.

 

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