What Is the Best Lens for Close-Up Photos?

There are a lot of things that enchant human beings and draw them in.

A good example is close-up photos also called macro photos (extremely close). Such pictures reveal specific details about people and objects in their full glamor.

But the question is, do you know the best lens for close-up photos that can perform to your heart’s content?

If you don’t, then you may want to read this article to the end.

We are going to list down some amazing lenses that will make your macro photography session successful. But first…

What is the key feature of a close-up photo lens?

Best lens for macro photography

Some photographers believe you don’t need special lenses to shoot close-up photos. Sure, it is true but there is one thing you need to know.

The best lens for close-up shots needs to have a longer focal length. This provides content creators with more working distance.

Working distance is simply the space between the subject and the camera’s lens.

Should this distance be too small, you’ll risk scaring the subject or obstructing light from sufficiently illuminating it.

But you are possibly wondering; just how long should the lens be?

Well, the sweet spot is somewhere between 85mm and 200mm. Now, any kit past 150mm is likely to be expensive.

If you want to balance working distance and price, settle for 100 to 150mm lenses. Nevertheless, price is likely to vary based on brand or the quality of the optics. 

With that out of the way, let’s now check out worthwhile choices as recommended by professional photographers.

Best Lens for Close up Photos

Here are a few selections you should prioritize:

1. Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro Lens is for those dabbling in both up-close and personal shoots as well as portraiture.

And it achieves both of these (and possibly more) without causing a dent in your pocket.

Its fast, 11-blade aperture will give any photographer in a hurry some peace of mind as it greatly reduces exposure times while delivering excellent sharpness and bokeh.

That’s not all. The optics are just as amazing as those of Sony, Canon, and Nikon lenses.

Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro Lens has a fully reliable focus ring to ensure the kit doesn’t alter locked-in dimensions.

Its design is robust with solid alloy compositions that boost mechanical strength. As such, you can rest assured the lens will hold steady even in bad weather.

Main features

  • Focal length: 150mm
  • Telephoto lens
  • F/2.8 aperture
  • 11 aperture blades
  • Focus lock ring
  • Internal focusing system
  • Fast aperture
  • Works with full-frame DSLR cameras

Pros

  • A multi-purpose gear (telephoto, macro, portraiture, etc.
  • Ideal in bad weather conditions
  • Fairly priced telephoto lens
  • Top-quality optics
  • No distortion and chromatic aberration

Cons

  • Its weight is a little on the higher side

2. Canon RF100mm F2.8 L Macro is USM

Pro shooters who are looking to up their game will find Canon RF100mm F2.8 a very pleasant rig to carry around.

Not only does it deliver optically impressive images but does pack a three-position focus limiter as well.

This lets photographers focus faster, and more accurately in multiple shooting scenarios.

As a high-end system, you sure should expect that it does have an innovative spherical aberration ring for controlling aspherical distortions.

The lens focal length runs all the way to becoming a telephoto brute which could be handy for shooting portraits.

Courtesy of the remarkable 5-stops of shake correction, pictures that come out of Canon RF100mm F2.8 are masterpieces.

There is another version of this lens that goes for almost half the price but lacks the shake correction advantage.

And frankly, that should not be a problem if you always carry a tripod around.

Worth pointing out, this lens works best with RF-mount mirrorless camera systems.

Main features

  • Adjustable spherical aberration
  • High-speed autofocus
  • 5 stops of shake correction
  • A medium telephoto lens with 1.4x magnification

Pros

  • Reliable image stabilization technology
  • Works silently
  • Takes care of spherical aberration
  • Fast and precise autofocus system
  • Doubles up as a telephoto lens

Cons

  • It’s a pricier model

3. Sony SEL90M28G FE 90mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS

Sony SEL90M28G FE 90mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS is one of the most outstanding gems on this list.

This is a pro-grade kit that deals out extraordinary compositions that usually escape the naked eye.

The lens comes with advanced spherical elements for controlling glare, ghosting, and spherical aberrations.

Its 9-blade aperture, on the other hand, guarantees gorgeous bokeh on every still with corner-to-corner sharpness.

Thanks to the special coating on Sony SEL90M28G FE 90mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS, the lens is effective in suppressing reflection.

Its design is also both dust and moisture-resistant. And before you ask, yes-both image stabilization and focusing are remarkably good.

Main features

  • Advanced spherical elements
  • 9-blade aperture system
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Sliding focus ring
  • Built-in shake correction
  • Focus range limiter
  • Direct Drive SSM

Pros

  • Extremely quick and silent focusing mode
  • Massively coated to get rid of spherical elements
  • Dust and moisture-proof
  • Delivers clear images even at 1:1 magnification
  • Exceptionally smooth bokeh
  • Limits focusing range to save time navigating through the entire

Cons

  • Relatively costly

4. Tokina ATX-i 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

Some photographers are okay with compromising a few features just to avoid causing a dent in their bank accounts.

If you too are of that leaning, then we might point you to Tokina ATX-i 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.

It’s a relatively outstanding lens and the multiple 5-star reviews it has received so far can attest to that.

It doesn’t offer many features but still, you get the basics such as corner-to-corner sharpness, zero distortion, and immersive bokeh.

The lens is really lightweight and compact as well.

At 100mm focal distance, Tokina ATX-i 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens gives you an incredibly generous working distance.

This way, you will not worry about casting a shadow on your subjects. 

The few iconic features that the kit lacks are weather sealing and image stabilization (things many photographers can survive without. F

ortunately, the autofocusing mode is effective but not that snappy.

Main features

  • Multi-coating elements
  • Soft bokeh
  • 9-blades aperture
  • Focus clutch mechanism

Pros

  • You can easily switch between autofocus and manual focus
  • Pocket-friendly price
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Generous working distance

Cons

  • Lacks image stabilization and weather sealing 
  • The autofocus is a little slow 

5. Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO Lens

Last but definitely not the least is Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO Lens.

It is pretty unique in that while others magnify at a scale of 1:1 (image and object are of the same size), it does it at 2:1 as well.

Meaning you can obtain an image that is two times bigger than the subject in real life.

So to some extent, you would be right to categorize this rig as a super macro lens.

The combination of the outstanding magnification and its generous focal length guarantees that you can capture marvelous stills that would be hard to shoot with other ordinary lenses.

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO Lens is equipped to reduce chromatic aberrations, create creamy bokeh, and focus to infinity.

And here is the best part; all those advanced features come at half the price you would spend on Canon and Sony lenses above. 

Main features

  • Aperture control motor
  • 9-blade aperture
  • 12 glass elements in 10 groups
  • 1:1 and 2:1 magnification
  • In-focus and out-of-focus chromatic aberration

Pros

  • Can create amazing bokeh
  • Shoots up to a 2:1 magnification ratio
  • Decent for both macro and portrait photos
  • Remarkably priced
  • Reduces chromatic distortions

Cons

  • Manual control demands some level of learning
Best camera lens for close-up shots

Final Thoughts

You just went through a list of a few worthwhile lenses for close-up photos.

As you have seen, some trade-off a couple of the most important features to keep the price down while others throw in the best stuff, albeit at a pretty penny.

So which way are you going to go? We guess that’s personal and this is where our ride ends. 

That’s all for now, happy lens hunting!