If your current lenses are unable to focus close enough to shoot photos of tiny objects such as insects, seeds, and flowers, then it’s time to upgrade to macro lenses. You see, unlike regular lenses, macro lenses take you closer to the microscopic world by magnifying tiny subjects to make them bigger for the human eye to appreciate. But, to enjoy this type of close-up photography, you need to get the best lens for close-up shots.
Shooting photos of tiny subjects such as insects and flowers are quite fun. The process of making those tiny subjects larger with excellent detail and sharpness is quite beautiful and intriguing. But, to enjoy all these, you need a non-zoom macro lens with the perfect focal length.
The best macro lens should have a 1:1 magnification ratio. With this ratio, the lens will manage to magnify the image of a small subject to make it large enough to fill the entire image sensor of your camera. That said, let’s discuss some of our favorite macro lenses that will allow you to take close-up shots.
Best Lens for Close up Shots: Editor’s Top Picks
Top 12 Best Lens for Close up Shots Reviews:
1. OLYMPUS M.Zuiko Digital ED PRO Lens
- Maximum Magnification: 0.48x
- Maximum Aperture: f/4.0
- Focal Length: 300mm
Take photos of insects, flowers, or portraits of your family and you’ll be amazed at how clear and stunning the OLYMPUS M.Zuiko F4.0 PRO looks. If you’re wondering why it claimed the pole position, then you’ll definitely see it yourself. This lens is compact, powerful, excellent and above all, it delivers double the magnification that’s achieved by its rivals.
But, for this lens to succeed, Olympus has employed a proprietary cutting edge technology that has perfected this lens making it better. First, they’ve reduced the weight of this lens to just 2.7lbs to make it compact. Secondly, they’ve used a mix of high refractive index lenses to improve resolution while lowering ghosts and flares.
These lenses consist of 3 Super ED lenses, 3 High Refractive Index lenses, and 1 Extra-High Refractive lens. With these lenses, the M.Zuiko F4.0 PRO has a high focal length of 300mm and a wide f/4.0 aperture that shoots telephotos with advanced clarity. This lens has a 5-axis image stabilization feature that corrects any blurs that might occur when shooting images without a tripod stand.
- 11 hermetic seals make this lens all-weather proof
- Compatible with the MC-14 1.4x teleconverter for improved performance
- Manual Focus Clutch lets you switch between manual and autofocus modes
- Focus Limiter switch lets you adjust the focal range from 1.4-4m, 4m-Infinity and 1.4m-Infinity
- The collapsible lens hood protects the lens from any potential damage
2. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
- Maximum Magnification: 1x
- Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
- Focal Length: 100mm
When shooting images of tiny objects, silence is one factor you must consider to avoid scarring or startling your tiny subjects away. For that reason, you need to get the best Canon lens for close up shots that has both speed and silent autofocus. The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM is a premium lens that can match such demands.
Equipped with the newest Canon technology, this lens will take you closer to the action in a dramatic fashion. First, Canon has equipped this lens with an ultrasonic AF that won’t startle your subjects. Secondly, they’ve paired this feature with a 100mm focal length to ensure that you don’t get too close to the subjects.
As if it’s not enough, Canon has even added a built-in Autofocus Limiter Switch to increase the autofocus acquisition speed by locking out the long or short ends of the focal range. To improve image quality and clarity, Canon has used an f/2.8 aperture range that lets in ample light. They’ve paired this feature with Ulta-Low Dispersion lens elements to remove chromatic aberration. With these features, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM can shoot stunning images of tiny objects without creating blurs or distorting facial features.
- Hybrid Image Stabilizer compensates for any camera shakes when shooting images hands-free
- The ultrasonic AF lets you shoot images at close range without scaring the subjects
- High magnification lets you view tiny images in large sizes
- The f/2.8 aperture lets in enormous light to make the images sharper and clearer
- The chassis is robust enough to prevent damage
3. Sony SEL90M28G FE 90mm f/2.8-22 Standard-Prime Lens
- Maximum Magnification: 1x
- Aperture: f/2.8
- Focal Length: 90mm
When it comes to telephotography, Sony has proven its worth by manufacturing a premium lens that packs plenty of premium features. At just 21.3oz, the Sony SEL90M28G FE Standard Prime-Lens has a lot to be celebrated. One of those is its lightweight that reduces the overall weight of the camera to let you shoot stunning photos without straining your hands.
The second feature is the high 90mm focal length that’s paired with a bright f/2.8 aperture to guarantee highly detailed true-to-life images of tiny subjects. To take you closer to the action, Sony has done several things. One, they’ve equipped this lens with a 1x maximum magnification, and two, they’ve added a focus hold button and a focus range limiter on the side of the barrel.
They’ve also added a sliding focus ring and an optical image stabilizer to correct any blurs that might occur when shooting images with bare hands. Since it’s quite hard to get closer to insects when taking photos, Sony has designed this lens with a minimum focus distance of 0.92ft. They’ve added a DDSSM focus drive to this lens to make it extremely quiet when shooting images at close range.
- Circular aperture reduces blurs when defocusing the background
- The Aspherical lens used reduces aberrations when shooting images
- Nano AR Coating block reflections that cause flare and ghosting
- The sliding focus ring lets you switch between manual and autofocus
- Light and very compact
4. Sigma 258306 105mm F2.8 Macro Lens
- Maximum Focal Length: 105mm
- Maximum Aperture Range: f/2.8
- Maximum Focus Size: 35mm Full Frame
Despite its hefty asking price, the Sigma 258306 Macro Lens is a smart addition to your arsenal if you’re planning to boost your career as a telescopic photographer. This lens comes in two variations that let it fit Nikon DSLRs and Canon ESOs. Unlike contemporary lenses, the Sigma 258306 has improved features that make it one of a kind.
One of those is the OS (Optical Stabilizer) that lets you shoot handheld close-up images without creating blurs. Another smart feature is the high 105mm focal length and large f/2.8 aperture. Combining these two features with the 1:1 maximum magnification, the Sigma 258306 can magnify tiny subjects by making them appear bigger with extremely high contrast.
Other than that, this best camera lens for close up shots is equipped with two lens groups in its optical path. These are the Special Low Dispersion (SLD) lens and the High Refractive Index (HR) lens. Driven by a floating focusing system that uses a Hyper Sonic Motor, these lenses can reduce both spherical and astigmatic aberrations to give you an extremely high optical performance. This lens also has super silent autofocus that doesn’t scare tiny insects away when taking shots.
- Lens has a multi-layer coating that reduces flares and ghosting
- The splash-proof design makes this lens all-weather proof
- Different lens groups correct all types of distortions and aberrations
- Hyper Sonic Motor provides a quiet and faster autofocus
- The lens comes with a hood adapter and front/rear lens caps for added protection
5. ZEISS Touit 1.8/32 Lens
- Maximum Focal Length: 32mm
- Aperture Range: f/1.8-f/22
- Weight: 7.0 ounces
Sharpness, ease of use, effective stabilization, and compact size are just some of the characteristics that make the ZEISS Touit 1.8/32 Lens an excellent pick when it comes to taking close-up shots. With this lens, you can easily extend your creativity by shooting images of tiny objects with pin-sharp details. So, whether you want to bring out the finest details of an insect’s eyes or the delicate structure of its body, this lens has everything it takes to turn those dreams into a reality.
Now, to achieve that, the ZEISS Touit 1.8/32 Lens has a 32mm focal length and a large aperture range of f/1.8-f/22. By combining these two features, this lens is capable of shooting images of extremely tiny objects with fast and accurate autofocus. Since the lens is designed for close up shots, ZEISS has gone ahead to improve specific areas.
One of those is using an Aspherical lens that’s shaped specifically to block stray light. This gives your images added contrast without any faded parts. Additionally, the Aspherical lens eliminates any optical aberrations that interfere with the quality of your photos. Another one is adding reliable autofocus and a floating element design on this lens. These two features allow smooth and accurate shifting of key lenses without creating any optical aberration.
- Compatible with the Sony E-mount APS-C sensor
- The rugged metal housing is durable and withstands the test of time
- ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating reduces flare for clearer image quality
- Smooth autofocus mechanism reduces noise that scares away tiny subjects
- Aspherical lens blocks stray light to generate images with high contrast colors
6. Fujinon XF80mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens
- Maximum Focal Length: 80mm
- Aperture Range: f/2.8
- Weight: 2.0lbs
Although you’ll have to dig out a considerable chunk of cash to get it, the Fujinon XF80MMF2.8 Lens is a wonderful piece of technology that every avid photographer can’t miss having. With this lens, you have everything that’s needed to shoot close-up images with the finest details you can ever imagine. But, to achieve this, Fujifilm has invested heavily in certain areas.
One of those is the lens where they’ve used a combination of Aspherical, Super ED, and ED lenses to create sharper images while suppressing chromatic aberrations. Next, Fujifilm has designed this lens with an 80mm focal length and a large f/2.8 aperture. With these two features, this lens can take stunning close-up images with extremely high-resolution performance.
As for those taking handheld shots, the Fujinon XF80MMF2.8 Lens has an optical image stabilizer that uses an in-built gyro and acceleration sensor to correct any angle and shift shakes that might occur. In addition to that, this best lens for close up portraits has a fluorine coating that offers excellent protection against inclement weather. Compatible with the XF 1.4x and 2.0x TC WR Teleconverters, this lens is an absolute must if you’re looking for a new challenge in close-up photography.
- 3 groups of lenses improve clarity and suppress spherical aberrations
- 1x magnification guarantees quality macro shooting without getting too close to the subjects
- Fluorine coating provides advanced protection to the lens under inclement weather
- Optical Image Stabilization reduces shift shakes when shooting handheld images
- Compatible with XF 1.4x and 2.0x Teleconverters
7. Samyang 100mmF2.8 ED UMC Macro Lens
- Maximum Focal Length: 100mm
- Aperture Range: f/2.8-f/32
- Removable Hood
Despite its generous 100mm focal length, the Samyang 100mm F2.8 Macro Lens is a relatively compact lens that provides edge-to-edge sharpness of your tiny subjects. This lens is also ideal for shooting outstanding landscape images, as it doesn’t compromise on image sharpness and clarity.
To achieve this, Samyang has combined a bright f/2.8 aperture with a 100mm maximum focal length to help you depict your tiny subjects in real size with pin-sharp focus and stunning contrast. To make this lens even mightier, Samyang has added a circular 9-blade diaphragm to shoot images with attractive bokeh.
As if it’s not enough, they’ve used a combination of high-performance ED lenses to reduce issues of image distortion, coma, astigmatism, and chromatic aberration. When it comes to compatibility, the Samyang 100mm F2.8 Macro Lens works with a range of cameras that include the Sony E, Canon EOS, Samsung NX, Fuji X, and Pentax K among others.
- Has a removable lens hood for ease of storage
- Compatible with most DSLR cameras
- Boasts a minimum focusing distance of just 1ft
- The lens is coated with an Ultra Multi-Coated glass for added protection
- A 9-blade aperture provides images with pin-sharp clarity and attractive Bokeh
8. Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO LENS
- Focal Range: 30-60mm
- Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
- Weight: 9.6 ounces
If you’re looking for the best zoom lens for close up shots, perhaps the Panasonic LUMIX G is a perfect option you might like to consider. You see, unlike most lenses we’ve discussed, the LUMIX G is the simplest, tidiest, and most budget-friendly lens that will not cost you an arm and a leg. Weighing just 9.6 ounces, this lens is incredibly light and perfect for shooting handheld photos.
To those worried about the performance, the Panasonic LUMIX G has got you covered. Here, Panasonic has used an effective focal range of 30-60mm and a large f/2.8 aperture to improve magnification. With such an advantage, this lens can shoot vivid images of tiny subjects with unmatched clarity.
In fact, they’ve even gone ahead to add an Aspherical lens in the mix to minimize blurs caused by stray light. With this advantage, images taken by this lens have high corner-to-corner descriptiveness with impressive bokeh expression. Other than that, the Panasonic LUMIX G is equipped with an Optical Image Stabilizer that corrects any blurs caused by camera shakes when taking handheld shots.
- Best pick for Micro Four Thirds users
- Comes with a tiny and compact body
- The high focal range of 30-60mm
- Aspherical lens reduces aberration for stunning crystal clear portraits
- Very close minimum focal distance of 0.1 meters
9. OLYMPUS M.Zuiko Digital ED Lens
- Maximum Focal Length: 60mm
- Maximum Aperture Range: f/2.8
- Minimum Operating Distance: 0.19 meters
As you all know, macro photography is all about the details. It’s all about shooting images of tiny subjects and producing stunningly detailed photos. The OLYMPUS M.Zuiko Digital ED Lens is one of those lenses that have the necessary features that suit all your telephoto and macro photography demands.
One of the features that you’ll truly enjoy with this lens is the high 1x maximum magnification that takes you closer to the subject but not too close to scare them or cast shadows on them. The second feature besides the magnification is the 60mm single focal length and extremely bright f/2.8 aperture. Now, to make photo shooting even more enjoyable, OLYMPUS has added a focus limit switch to the package to speed up autofocus while reducing noises to the minimum.
When it comes to compatibility, this lens is compatible with all Micro Four Thirds cameras that allow interchangeable lenses beyond their brand boundaries. Designed to offer an optimal balance of lightweight, compactness, and high image clarity, the OLYMPUS M.Zuiko Digital ED Lens is a must-have if you’re looking to shoot high-quality images of flowers and tiny insects.
- Coated with a dustproof/waterproof body
- The lens has a Zuiko Extra-Low Reflection Optical coating to eliminate chromatic aberration
- Compatible with Panasonic G-range and Olympus mirrorless cameras
- Has a high magnification of 1x
- Large f/2.8 aperture allows immense light for super high-quality images
10. Canon RF35mm F1.8 IS Macro STM Lens
- Maximum Focal Length: 35mm
- Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
- Minimum Focusing Distance: 0.56ft
If you’re searching for a versatile lens that’s capable of shooting stunning macro photos with true-to-life details, then the Canon RF35mm STM Lens is exactly what you need. Weighing just 10.8 ounces, this best lens for close up shots is lightweight and compact enough to carry around. This lens is also versatile making it compatible with most EOS R series cameras as well as Canon’s Macro Twin and Macro Ring Lite Speedlite flashes.
About its performance, the Canon RF35mm STM Lens has surely outperformed most of its closest rivals. Here, Canon has equipped this lens with a stunning 35mm focal length and a bright f/1.8 aperture. They’ve then added a 0.5x magnification ratio and a minimum focusing distance of 0.56ft to allow the lens to shoot high-quality detailed photos of tiny subjects.
To enhance its performance, Canon has added a control ring on the barrel to help you adjust the lens settings with less ease. Just like most modern lenses, the Canon RF35mm STM Lens is equipped with an AF/MF switch that lets you switch between auto and manual focus. It also has an Optical Image Stabilizer that corrects camera shifts and shakes when shooting images without a tripod.
- Lens offers high compatibility
- Weighs just 10.8 ounces
- A high magnification ratio of 0.5x
- Optical Image Stabilization corrects shakes when taking handheld shots
- Displays lens information on the camera’s viewfinder for easy adjustments
11. Rokinon 135mm F2.0 ED UMC Telephoto Lens
- Maximum Focal Length: 135mm
- Aperture Range: f/2.0 – f/22
- Minimum Focusing Distance: 2.6ft
Although it appeared quite late, the Rokinon 135mm F2.0 Telephoto Lens is an excellent pick if you’re looking to shoot stunning images of tiny insects or the tiniest bugs. To those looking to advance their experience in portraiture, telephoto, and close-up photography, this lens is a perfect pick that will never disappoint you.
Now, at just 1.80lbs, the Rokinon 135mm F2.0 Lens is a compact lens that’s packed with rich features enough to take your close-up photography to the next level. This lens has a maximum focal length of 135mm and a bright/fast aperture range of f/2.0 to f/22. With these two features, the Rokinon 135mm F2.0 Lens can shoot sharp color-accurate images in both high and low light conditions.
To make this lens a performer in all respects, Rokinon has equipped it with 9 diaphragm blades to allow it to produce smooth and stunningly beautiful background bokeh. That’s not all, the optics of this lens has an Ultra Multi-Coating to protect the lens from flares and ghosting that lower image contrast when shooting photos under extreme light. Other than that, the Rokinon 135mm F2.0 Lens comes with a pouch, front/rear lens caps, and a removable lens hood for added protection.
- Compatible with most DSLR cameras
- UMC coating helps to reduce flare and ghosting to produce sharp and clear images
- 9 diaphragm blades improve bokeh
- Removable lens hood offers advanced protection
- Backed by a 1-year warranty
12. Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Lens
- Maximum Focal Length: 90mm
- Maximum Aperture Range: f/2.8
- Weight: 14.3 ounces
Last but not least, we have the Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. Although it came last, this lens doesn’t stand to be intimidated as it’s packed with cutting-edge features that make it one of the best lenses for both portraiture and telephotos. In fact, this lens is one of the best Sony lens for close up shots as it’s designed to pair with Sony’s DSLR cameras.
So, why consider the Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens? Well, first, this lens is equipped with a 90mm focal length and a decent aperture range of f/2.8 to provide high-contrast images of tiny subjects. To guarantee even better results, Tamron has equipped this lens with the latest macro lens features.
One of those is the AF/MF switch on the barrel that lets you switch from auto to manual focus without struggling. Another feature is the Optical Image Stabilizer that corrects any camera shakes and shifts when shooting images without a tripod stand. The last feature is the superb 1:1 magnification ratio that lets you shoot images at a minimum operating distance of 0.29 meters.
- High-quality construction
- Exclusively made in Japan
- Superb 1:1 magnification ratio
- Compatible with Sony’s DSLR cameras
- Compact and extremely lightweight
Things to Consider When Choosing a Lens for Close Up Shots
Now, macro means large. When it comes to close-up shots, a macro lens is what is needed to make small objects appear bigger for the human eye to appreciate. If you’re using a regular lens to take close-up shots, then it can be really hard as these lenses have a minimum focusing distance that doesn’t allow you to get too close to the subject.
But, with macro lenses, these ones can focus from infinity to 1:1 magnification that lets them render images to appear larger than their actual size. Now, in our review section above, we’ve managed to list twelve of our favorite lenses for close-up shots.
But, despite listing them, there are other factors you need to consider, which play a key role in choosing the best camera lens for close up shots. So, to help you make the right decision, we’ve highlighted some of these factors below.
1. Focal Length:
As you all know, macro lenses are examples of prime lenses with fixed focal lengths. Therefore, when choosing these types of lenses, you need to think about the focal length, as it’s the one that will dictate how far or how close you’ll shoot your photos. So, to paint a clear picture, here are three classes of focal lengths you can consider.
- 40 – 60mm: With this type of focal length, you’ll expect to be at least 6” away from your subject. Since this is too close to scare insects and other tiny bugs away, such lenses are hence used for shooting still subjects such as jewelry, pendants, and flowers.
- 90 – 105mm: With this midrange focal length, you don’t need to get too close to your subject. This makes such lenses the best for photographing insects, as you won’t scare them away. Also, since you’re far away (about a foot away), you won’t cast a shadow on the subjects you’re photographing.
- 150 – 200mm: Lenses with this type of focal length are ideal for shooting images of subjects that are quite far away. So, if the subjects are easily scared, or if they’re extremely dangerous, like in the case of lions, snakes, or crocodiles, then lenses with this focal range are the best.
2. Maximum Aperture:
The next factor you need to consider when choosing a macro lens is the aperture range. You see, shooting photos at close range means that you’re likely to face unavoidable limitations on the depth of field. Since you intend to keep your subject on the same plane of focus to make it sharp, you need to pick a lens that can stop down to f/18 to make your image sharp and detailed.
Also known as the reproduction ratio, magnification is another factor you need to consider when choosing the best lens for close up shots. Here, you need to pick a lens that offers infinity to 1:1 magnification. You can even go beyond and pick a lens that offers a 1:2 ratio or even a 5:1 ratio.
4. Image Stabilization:
When shooting images at close range, a slight camera shake can throw your image out of focus. Since taking steady shots with sharp focus is key here, you need to pick a lens that has a built-in image stabilization feature. The second alternative to avoiding camera shakes is using a tripod.
However, there are times when a tripod will be unnecessary. For instance, if you want to shoot an image of an insect before it flies away, you’ll be forced to use your hands right. So, in such cases, Optical Image Stabilization will be needed to avoid any camera shakes.
Frequently Asked Questions about Lens for Close up Shots
Q1. Which Lens is Considered Best for Macro Photography?
You see, when shooting images at close range, there are several factors you need to consider. These factors include the focal length, aperture range, and whether you’re using a tripod or shooting handheld shots. So, to get the best out of your shots, you need to pick a lens that has at least 100mm focal length and a maximum aperture of f/2.8. It also needs to have an optical image stabilizer to correct any camera shakes that can throw your image out of focus.
Q2. Why Use a Macro Lens?
If you’re looking to capture images of tiny insects, plants, and flowers, macro lenses are the best to consider. These lenses have ideal features that let you shoot images of tiny subjects at extremely close distances. With a close focusing distance, photographers can easily capture images of tiny subjects with stunning details.
Q3. Can I Use a Macro Lens for Normal Photography?
If you’re looking for the best lens for close up portraits, macro lenses are some of the best to consider. Other than being used for close-up shots, these lenses can act as portrait lenses to deliver detailed ultra-sharp focus. In most cases, a lens with a 105mm focal length and f/2.8 maximum aperture is the best deal.
Q4. Which Types of Lenses Should a Professional Photographer Have?
Well, this depends on your photo shooting demands. However, any professional photographer should have a 24 – 70mm lens, 70 – 200mm lens, and perhaps an 85mm lens for portraiture photography. They should also carry a 50mm lens for general walk-around photography.
Q5. What’s the best Focal Length for Close Up Shots?
When taking close-up shots, the focal length should not be shorter than 90mm. You see, when shooting images of subjects that can be scared away, you need a longer focal length that will let you capture sharp images without getting too close to the subject. For that reason, a focal length that ranges from 90 – 200mm is considered ideal.
Whether you’re an enthusiast, armature, or professional photographer, owning a macro lens can open up a whole new world of photography. From close-up shots, portraiture to normal photography, the options are endless if you get the best lens for close up shots.
To those looking to experiment with macro lenses, this guide has discussed twelve of the best lenses that will let you capture detailed images of weddings, landscapes, and the amazing microscopic world with pin-sharp details.