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Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

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111 249755 Dec 23, 2012
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98% of reviewers $409.23
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.32
8.81
9.6
efs60_28macro_usm

Specifications:

A thoroughly modern design that's optimized for select Canon EOS digital SLRs. Its angle of view is equivalent to a 96mm lens on a 35mm camera, with a floating optical system that can focus down to full life-size (1:1) magnification. Inner focusing, driven by a silent and powerful ring-type USM, means the lens' overall length never changes during focus. This lens is a wonderful multi-purpose lens that's equally at home shooting macro shots, portraits or available-light photos. Like all Canon EF-S Lenses, its use is restricted to the EOS 20D, EOS Digital Rebel and EOS Digital Rebel XT cameras.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 60mm 1:2.8

Lens Construction: 12 elements in 8 groups

Diagonal Angle of View: 25

Focus Adjustment: Manual

Closest Focusing Distance:0.2m /0.65 ft.

Filter Size: 52mm

Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 2.9" x 2.8", 11.8 oz. / 73 x 69.8mm, 335g (lens only)


 


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abam
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Registered: Apr 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4201
Review Date: Nov 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: extremely sharp as both a macro and a portrait lens. this is in line with the MTF charts found at canon's website, which show that the 60mm is right up there with the 135L in terms of resolution. build quality is nice (surprisingly heavy for as small as it is).
Cons:
because it's EF-S, it gets much less respect than it deserves. even though the lens is 400 dollars, it doesn't come with a lens hood (which is a necessary piece of kit). come on, canon; include hoods with all but your cheapo lenses. can hunt a bit in low light, but the use of a speedlight AF assist light (or st-e2 unit) takes care of that problem.

this lens is an extremely sharp piece of glass. my macro shots have such astonishing clarity and detail, and the portraits that this lens produces (when shot correctly) always have to be "photoshopped down," because the 60mm will resolve all of the blemishes in a person's skin. for a sharpness comparison, check out the MTF charts for the 60mm 2.8 macro and 135L at:

http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=155&modelid=11156

and

http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=153&modelid=7312

gear snobs seem to enjoy trashing the EF-S line of lenses - and among other things, claiming that EF-S is a bad investment (while in reality, unless your camera gear is bringing in revenue, NONE of it is an investment...rather just a hobby expense), or that EF-S is going to be phased out in the near future; the truth of the matter is that the vast majority of canon DSLR owners use 1.6 bodies, and will continue to do so until FF can compete pricewise with the 1.6 line. consider these coments in a recent online forum by canon guru bob atkins ( homepage: www.bobatkins.com):

"(1) It will be a long time - 3 years or more - before we see a full frame sensor camera selling for $2000

(2) Canon won't be phasing out the 1.6x sensor in their consumer (Rebel) line anytime in the forseeable future.

(3) There are (and will probably always be) more 1.6x bodies out there than anything else.

So there's absolutely no danger of EF-S lenses (or the demand for EF-S lenses) going away within the next, say, 10 years..."

(more interesting reading on the topic at: http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/digital/canon_questions_eos30d.html)

i opted for this lens over a 50mm 1.4, because it proved to be sharper than the 50, and i got macro as an added bonus. cheers!


Nov 12, 2005
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Sox2
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Registered: Sep 14, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
Review Date: Nov 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, a pleasure to use, good design
Cons:
AF very occasionally hunts, also a little slow.

Bought this lense as a comprimise between a macro and a potrait lense. It does both very well. This lense is one reason to forget about the full frame 5D and stay with your 20D/XT!

Highly recommended.


Nov 9, 2005
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badowski
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Registered: Oct 31, 2005
Location: Poland
Posts: 14
Review Date: Oct 31, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp and f2.8. Nothing else matters...
Cons:
EF-S only. Quite slow, despite USM.

I would never think that non-L lens may be that good! Its sharpness is amazing across whole frame. The picture quality is the same as of EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro but 3 times cheaper and lighter (f2.8).

There is nothig you can compare to that lens in this price range (Sigmas 50 and 100 macro are way more soft).

The AF is hunting sometimes and it takes over a second from end to end, but for good macro photo I switch to manual.

I love this lens!


Oct 31, 2005
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foolstop
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Registered: Jan 10, 2005
Location: China
Posts: 39
Review Date: Oct 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: light, fast, sharp, sharp, sharp
Cons:
hood not included

Wonderful, it became my walk around lens.
Fast focusing, thanks to the ring USM and FTM. Focus swiftly from 20 cm (from CCD) to infinity. A great macro and portrait lens for 1.6x body. Forget to mention, it is F/2.8 and can shoot wide open though two stops down would be excellent.

What do you want :P


Oct 9, 2005
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nighthawk
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Registered: Dec 19, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 30
Review Date: Oct 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, Internal focusing and light weight
Cons:
Focus hunts on areas of poor contrast.

I bought this lens for 2 reasons really, I needed a macro lens and I wanted a lens to fit in the gap between my 17-40L f4 and the soon to be replaced 75-300.

I use it was even more of a good buy as it's the brightest lens I have now :-)

Focusing on solid colours or smooth surfaces give the AF a hard time as you'd expect from any lens really, but point it at any other object and the USM does it's stuff quicker than the 17-40 L.

It spends more time on my 20D now than the 17-40 does.

A little bit expensive too.....but it seems everything in the UK is expensive!!!!


Oct 9, 2005
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2bruce
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Registered: May 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 280
Review Date: Oct 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $409.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: light fast amd very shoes does amcro and portraits
Cons:
only for 1.6 cameras slow focus

Well there are many positive things to say but first I love the sharpness and its weight of this lens it's light for a 96 mm equivalent lens
but also well built, and the fact you get two lens for the price of one,as in a macro and a portrait lens.
I would of liked to get a lens hood and soft pouch for the money but no complaints really, sometimes sit can be slow to focus.if Iever get the Canon 5d Iwill miss it


Oct 7, 2005
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donutley
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Registered: Mar 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 412
Review Date: Sep 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, fast, sharp, solidly built, FUN.
Cons:
None.

This is now my favorite lens. Of course it's sharp (as every review has stated), but it also works and feels like a superior lens is supposed to. It is simply a joy to use. A stunning lens.

Sep 16, 2005
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condrup.net
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Registered: Sep 7, 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 12
Review Date: Sep 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, great for portraits too, cheap since you actually get 2 for 1 (Macro and Portraits)
Cons:
No lens hood. Should imo have been the first EF-S L lens.

At the moment, im a 20D user, though soon switching to 1D MKII N. I had the 50mm f/1.4, which i liked alot, however i wanted to play around with som macro too and while i take alot of portraits, i saw this as a good opportunity to get 2 for 1.

This lens is awesome, very clear, crisp and razor sharp. So, if youre looking for a macro and take portraits too, you should get this one..

Regards


Sep 7, 2005
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jasonp1
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Registered: Apr 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 661
Review Date: Sep 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP! very good USM focus for a macro, very compact, doesn't extend while focusing and did I say SHARP!
Cons:
None

The deciding factor when I bought this lens (between the 50mm and 60mm) was the fact that the 60mm would go to 1:1 w/out additional accessories. I've used the 100mm macro and as much as I like it, it more-often-than-not required the use of a tripod and/or manual focusing. Although some situations with the 60mm has required manual focusing, most times it has AF'ed just fine and "handholdability" is very good.
The sharpness of this lens as others have mentioned is as good as ANY lens you can buy. The length makes for a good portrait lens and can be used as an all-around lens as well. I just can't say enough good things about this lens. You won't be disappointed.
Jason


Sep 5, 2005
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Grayray
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Registered: Jun 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 57
Review Date: Sep 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, usm is fast on the focus and fast is an under statement SHARP! SHARP!! SHARP!!!
Cons:
Nothing worth talking about here, but if you want to, read below

SHARP, SHARP, SHARP.

I dont think I will ever get over how sharp this lens actually is, after seeing portraits I had taken with the lens my friend put it best "that lens can make good skin look bad" that can be a bad thing if your getting right in someones face but if you have PS or a soft focus filter you will never need to worry about it.

only other thing is the manual focus on it can take sometime to get all the way around ie. going from macro to infinite, BUT it is USM with full time manual focus so just focus on the general area then fine tune it with the focusing ring (I have only had to do this once, it was in very low light)

and those are the only 2 things you could consider cons, I didnt put in more pros about it because everything good about it has already been said in the previous reviews.





Sep 3, 2005
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Canis
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Registered: Apr 19, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 232
Review Date: Sep 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, fast AF and very sharp. Excellent for Macro work and a quality walk around lens.
Cons:
Bit pricey compared with its peers.

I bought this lens with only macro work in mind but it has stayed on camera a lot more than I might have expected. It is light and makes a good walk around lens. The macro capability is outstanding, it is slightly prone to hunting but that goes with the wafer thin DoF when shooting small insects using AF. On larger subjects the AF is fast an accurate. The quality it produces is outstanding, very sharp, bright, this is a lens that can be used effectively even when hand held, for very small subjects.

Sep 2, 2005
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George Chew
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Registered: Sep 2, 2005
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 11
Review Date: Sep 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp. Very managable for macro works due to its size.
Cons:
Too sharp for portraits, if I'll to cmplaint.

Just have a for a couple of weeks, didn't really do any serious macro works, but did took a few beautiful pictures of one of my regular models. This lens is extremely sharp. It shows everything and hiding nothing. So I've to shoot wide open to soften the subject. An incredible lens to have.

Sep 2, 2005
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Vole
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Registered: May 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 797
Review Date: Aug 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb. Don't tell Canon, but I would have paid double the price for this Lens. Wonderful for shooting anything and everything.
Cons:
My zoom Lenses suddenly became crap.

I used to think that soft images were just an inherit part of dSLR Cameras...WRONG! It was my zoom Lenses all along, and the EF-S 60mm Macro proves it.

This is my first Prime, and nothing prepared me for the sharpness and realism a Lens like this offers. it's sharper than my 70-200mm f/4L, and the image quality is so good that it has become my first choice 'walk around' Lens on my 20D (with 1:1 Macro as a major bonus!)

While the AF can be slow, I haven't witnessed any of the low light focus problems noted elsewhere. Build quality rivals 'L' glass.

Buy it. But be warned, it's SERIOUSLY addictive, and if you've only ever used zooms, even 'L' zooms, be prepared to dump them for a life of prime(s) It's true, it's THAT good!


Aug 30, 2005
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someet
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Registered: Mar 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1226
Review Date: Aug 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tiny size, light wait, great AF, quiet, shaaaarp!... I am sooo much in love with it.
Cons:
Obvious... working distance

Well... the more I use it the more I am awed by its performance and usability. In my view this is the easiest lens for handholding macro photography. Being so small and light, macro photog has never seened to convenient. There are times when I dont want to carry a heavy lens or when the main purpose of my trip is not macro. In that case, I can just easily slip this lens in a corner and carry it for those surprise moments when you just suddenly encounter a beautiful insect or flower. Shaaaarp... can not say enough. AF is beautiful... even at the 1:1, I have always used AF with this lens. Previously 100mm macro of canon seemed to be a great option... but now i feel for me it is a good idea to have 60 for those days when I am not really thinking of macro and a sigma 150 for days when I want dedicated serious macro photography and am carrying a tripod, flash etc.
Love it Love it Love it!


Aug 29, 2005
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by32
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Registered: Dec 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 81
Review Date: Aug 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, great optical performance
Cons:
Relatively more expensive than other options

This lens has replaced my trusty 50mm/f1.4 as my prime walk-around lens. It has amazing performance.

The lens is a little overpriced relative to its full-frame cousins, but if you can overlook the extra 100, i highly recommend this lens as a must-have for 20d/rebel owners.


Aug 5, 2005
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joe mama
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Registered: Oct 3, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4618
Review Date: Jul 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp, internal USM focusing, small
Cons:
Will hunt on occasion, hood doesn't fit on tight

The below text is from my review here: http://www.pbase.com/joemama/canon_60mm_efs_macro. The advantage of going there is all the pics! : )

__________________________________________________


I'll state the conclusion first: for a good-light "walkaround" lens, this has come to be my favorite lens in the short time I've owned it -- usurping the Sigma 18-50 / 2.8 for now (that may change when the novelty wears off, though!). I have since purchased the 85 / 1.8 to complement this lens for low light situations since it's usability under low light is marginal at best. Nonetheless, I have no qualms about going right to ISO 3200 with this lens to get the shot.
However, for macro I would prefer a longer lens like the Canon 100 / 2.8 macro, or, even better, the Sigma 150 / 2.8 macro. The reason is that when shooting macro, the to-and-fro motion of not being perfectly still has far greater consequences than the camera shake. Obviously, this applies mainly to hand-held shots but also can affect tripod shots as well since your subject may move slightly (a flower in a gentle breeze, for example). If you or your subject is wavering back an forth a few millimeters, this will be much less of a problem at 150mm than at 60mm and will even outweigh camera shake in terms of getting a sharp pic.

The EF-S 60mm / 2.8 macro is "wicked sharp" across the entire frame from f / 2.8 to f / 11 and gradually goes downhill until a horrible performance at f / 32 (albeit f / 16 and f / 22 are still fairly good). There is no PF (purple fringing), or color fringing of any type, at any aperture, and flare is extremely well controlled. However, vignetting is an issue below f / 4. Nonetheless, if you're shooting that wide open, I imagine that vignetting will rarely be an issue for the type of pictures you are taking since the DOF is more shallow. Interestingly, the Sigma 18-50 / 2.8 (reviewed here) shows the same pattern.

The AF is quick and accurate except at macro distances and low light where sometimes it just plain sucks (it can hunt a lot under this circumstances). Honestly, and I know this sounds weird for this FL (focal length), but an AF limiter would have been useful. Anyway, the minimum focus distance is reported as 7.9 inches (from the sensor), which has translated to about two inches from the end of the hood. The lens is 1:1 IF (internal focusing -- in other words, the lens does not extend). The 1:1 magnification has nothing to do with EF-S. 1:1 is 1:1 no matter the sensor size.

All shots are unsupported hand-held on a Canon 20D except for the "aperture" test where all the shots were on a tripod. For most pics here, that is not an issue, but for some it is. For example, due to my inability to remain perfectly still, that the macro shots are most likely not as good as they could be. In fact, I learned that IS would help little as the to and fro motion caused way, way, way more problems than the side to side motion (not that IS wouldn't be great for non-macro!). Even the smallest motion produces from soft to OOF shots. Obviously, the macro shots were selected as the best of several similar shots. The non-macro shots, however, were just a single quick point and shoot (which should be obvious due to the lack of care I took to make them level!).

Additionally, it should be noted that all pics are at ISO 100 unless otherwise specified. The images were converted from RAW to 90% jpg with BreezeBrowser Pro using combined conversion method, +0 saturation, -2 contrast, -2 sharpening, and HQ style sharpening in the RAW PP (post-processing) stage. No other processing on the images has been performed. All pics (except for the vignetting pics) begin with the full size image, followed by the same image resized for web, followed by one or two unedited 100% crops. The focus point is always the first crop, with, on occasion, another area crop to demonstrate a weakness or strength of the lens. Often, due to DOF, it didn't make sense to post more than the AF point crop. Regardless, the full size image is available for inspection. However, only 1024 x 682 resized pics were posted for the vignetting examples, as that size is more than sufficient to see what is being tested.

Incidentally, I'm not a macro photographer (I got this lens to have a ring-USM close focusing -- not macro -- lens in the 50-80mm range). The 50 / 1.4 I owned had occasional problems at f / 2 and below (inconsistent AF), the 85 / 1.8 has PF wide open and a long minimum AF distance. If I can deal with the f / 2.8 limitation, and this lens is at least as good as the aforementioned lenses with macro to boot, then it's served its purpose. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to do a shoot-off between the three lenses and compare them from f / 2.8 onward. Perhaps the 50 and 85, stopped down to this extent, would do as well, and perhaps even better, than the 60. But I'm just being open minded here -- I would be shocked if they did better, but would not be surprised that they were so close that any differences were meaningless. Still, those lenses wouldn't give you macro, but they would give you speed for the times you need it. That's the painful trade-off as I'm a shallow DOF speed freak. Can I say again how much I regret this lens not being f / 2? : )



Jul 27, 2005
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Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
111 249755 Dec 23, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $409.23
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.32
8.81
9.6
efs60_28macro_usm


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