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Best Nikon FX: Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro at Amazon
"Boasts upgraded optics, better coatings, and better autofocus features."
Best Canon EF: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM at Amazon
"Notable features of the camera lens include a nice 100mm focal length."
Best Olympus Four Thirds: Olympus M.Zuiko Macro Lens at Amazon
"It sports a large f/3.5 aperture and is still relatively lightweight and compact."
Best Pentax KAF: Pentax D-FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro WR at Amazon
"You should be able to shoot in different weather situations without any issues."
Best Sony Alpha: Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens at Amazon
"Sony offers a seven-blade circular aperture, a focus hold button, and a focus range limiter."
Best Canon EF-M: Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM at Amazon
"The world’s lightest autofocus lens for interchangeable lens cameras."
Best Sony NEX E-mount: Zeiss Touit Sony E-Mount at BH Photo and Video
"It's quite well designed, too, featuring a relatively minimalistic overall look."
Best Samsung NX: Samsung Macro Camera Lens at Amazon
"The lens offers a focal length of 60mm and has an aperture of f/2.8, which should be more than wide enough for most low light shots."
Courtesy of Amazon
The Tamron 90mm Di VC USD is our choice for the best Nikon macro lens. It's the latest line of macro lenses from Tamron and boasts a new hybrid image stabilizer and XY-shift compensation, which will help make your shots look nice and smooth and not off center. Depictive capabilities in the lens ensure you won't get unwanted reflections in your images. And with the low dispersion glass and full-time manual focus override, you can maintain a high level of control on every facet of your focus and settings.
Apart from the optical features, the lens is well built and sturdy; the 90mm focal length is excellent for everyday use. When you're out in the field shooting photos, the Tamron SP is moisture-proof and dust-resistant and comes with a durable fluorine coating on the front to repel water and fingerprints, and, in turn, reduce flare and ghosting.
However, you will need to make sure that you buy the correct model for Nikon’s FX mount, as the lens is also available for the Sony A and the Canon EF.
There are plenty of lenses that fit Canon’s EF mount, but perhaps the best of them is Canon’s own EF 100mm. The lens has been around for quite some time now, but that doesn’t make it any less of a great option for macro photography. Notable features of the camera include a 100mm focal length, a diagonal 23.4-degree angle field-of-view, and 15 elements in 12-group construction (the number of individual pieces used to create the lens, and in this case, it means amazing zooms and minimal softness). Additionally, this has near-silent Ultrasonic focusing if any bit of noise bothers you.
The lens also has an f/2.8 aperture and includes Canon’s sophisticated hybrid image stabilization tech to help prevent distortion on close-up shots or objects in low light. It's also multi-purpose and can do more than macro photography if you're aiming to add portrait photos to your repertoire. The lens isn’t the most compact out there; it's 4.8 inches tall and 3.1 inches wide so you may need to make a little room for it in your camera bag.
Olympus may not be as big of a name these days as the likes of Nikon and Canon, but we still recommend their quality products. The Zuiko Digital ED 30mm lens for Olympus’ Four-Thirds system has a large f/3.5 aperture with a range all the way down to f22, and 1.25X image magnification (2.5X is the equivalent of 35mm if you're a cinephile). With the Zuiko Digital ED, your backgrounds will become defocused and more clear, you'll have plenty of speed to capture moving subjects, and you get a wide range of shooting versatility.
If you shoot underwater, you'll want a lens that is designed to work well for it. The Zuiko comes with an anti-reflective ring so you can take pictures of colorful fish or make a splash at a pool party. The lens weighs 4.8 ounces and is 2.2 x 2.4 inches so you can slip this into your pocket or purse for travel.
This 100mm macro lens from Pentax has an f/2.8 aperture that fits on the company’s D-FA mounting system perfectly. The lens also comes equipped with rounded aperture blades that are aimed at improving bokeh, which allows a nice smooth background in your shots. On top of that, it has a long focal length that should help you get close up to your subject, whether you're shooting a hummingbird in search of nectar or a newly engaged couple. Precipitation in the forecast for the shoot? Not a problem—it's weather-resistant and also fits seamlessly with an array of Pentax DSLR and SLR bodies, many of which are also designed to shield out the elements.
The D-FA is optically optimized for digital imaging, and at wider apertures, you get more emphasized foregrounds for that ideal depth of field you're after. Plus, it'll fit snug in your bag since the lens is 3.2 inches tall, 2.6 inches wide, and weighs 12 ounces.
If you’re searching for a macro lens that fits with Sony’s Alpha mounting system, check out the Sony-built 50mm f/2.8. This versatile lens is ideal for everyday use, as you can get as close as six inches from any subject. The ED glass effectively compensates for axial chromatic aberration (technical speak for when rays of light hit your camera and blur the colors).
Sony offers a seven-blade circular aperture, a focus hold button, and a focus range limiter, which can be helpful in saving time during autofocus. The 50mm f/2.8 macro even has a distance encoder that calculates how much flash is needed in a given moment. The lens is also very compact (2.36 inches tall and 2.83 inches wide) and weighs 10.4 ounces.
Canon doesn’t just have great lenses for its EF mounting system, it also has some worthy options for the EF-M mirrorless system, like the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5. It works with Canon’s mirrorless cameras and has around 45mm of focal length to get you up to 1.2x magnification. And because the focal length is relatively short, the lens is pretty small (1.8 inches in length) and lightweight, too, which is fabulous for those who take their camera gear on the road. (It weighs just 4.6 ounces and Canon says it's the world's lightest autofocus lens for interchangeable cameras.)
Canon also touts the world's first Macro Lite in the lens that supplies light to your images and provides a better sense of depth and dimension. Some other highlights: It's the world's first autofocus lens capable of focusing at infinity, it has image stabilization for reduced camera shaking, as well as a stepping motor that quiets operation and reduces chromatic aberration.
Courtesy of B&H Photo
Zeiss is known for building ultra high-quality camera gear, especially when it comes to lenses. Notable is the Zeiss Touit 50mm macro lens that works with Sony’s E-Mount and offers a range of features that any macro photographer will love. The lens has a 50mm focal length with a standard f/2.8 aperture, which is more than enough for shots in low light to turn out well. This camera lens is ideal for macro shooting and affords high sharpness at a minimum focusing distance of 5.9 inches.
The Zeiss Touit utilizes two anomalous partial dispersion elements (what the glass is made of) to lower color fringing and make the fidelity as high quality as it can be, rendering everything more accurately. The lens weighs 10.23 ounces and is 3.58 inches tall and 2.95 inches wide. It's quite well designed, too, featuring a relatively minimalistic overall look, and sporting an anti-reflective coating and autofocus motor for noise reduction during photo sessions.
If you’re using a Samsung camera with a NX mounting system, then the NX 60mm f/2.8 Macro Camera Lens is the perfect complement. The lens offers a focal length of 60mm and has an aperture of f/2.8, which should be more than wide enough for most low light shots. The minimum and maximum focal length are both 60 millimeters, and the photo filter thread size is about 50 millimeters (that's the size of the ring you can attach different filters). The NX comes equipped with a supersonic actuator for precise autofocusing, so you don't have to futz with it to get the right shot (but there's also a manual focus override to choose what you want to focus in on if you're so inclined).
Samsung included OIS or Optical Image Stabilization to eliminate camera shake and help keep objects in the foreground in the frame. They also included one-touch access to controls with Samsung's i-Function feature (it's a single button on the lens barrel that allows you to customize your settings using the focus ring). And the entire package is whisper quiet, so you don't have to worry about being a distraction during more formal shooting occasions.
As for dimensions, the lens is 3.3 inches tall, 2.9 inches wide, and weighs 13.8 ounces, which is slightly heavier than the average lens but not a deal breaker by any means.