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Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

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112 253195 May 29, 2014
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98% of reviewers $409.23
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.32
8.80
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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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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Scrappy
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Registered: Jul 21, 2005
Location: Sweden
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, well build, focus is fast and accurate. Works well as a macro as well as a standard short tele. One of the sharpest lenses Ive tested.
Cons:
Sometimes it has difficulties focusing in dim light, hunts a bit.

I wanted a macro lens and went testing the 100/2.8 and the 60/2.8. I must say that after a day testing the choice was easy. The 60 is amazingly small and sharp, whereas the 100 is big and heavy. For macro shooting I think they are equivalent. I also tried the 60 for some portraits and architecture and it works well. I can really recommend this lens. The only downside is that now I want to but more prime lenses.

Jul 22, 2005
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byteseller
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Registered: Jun 18, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1861
Review Date: Jul 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP, pretty fast USM, compact, good build quality, excellent contrast and color, short lens allows usage of built-in flash for macro work
Cons:
EF-S digital only - this doesn't bother me, but it might others, price higher than other non-canon macros, but these don't have USM (which is nice for non-macro work)

My corneas as still bleeding from how sharp this lens is...

Jul 19, 2005
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rodkar
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Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Location: China
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jul 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp images. Light to handle.
Cons:
Expensive.

I have researched the EFS 60mm lens on this website. And thanks to you guys informative reviews, I have purchased the lens yesterday. This is only my 3rd lens to go with my 20D, my first DSLR. I couldn't wait to try out the lens at the shop I bought it and at home last nite. I have posted the initial shots I took with it at http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodkar/sets/577514/ . I have not done any possessing on the pictures. Pictures are very sharp. I am very impressed with it.

Jul 11, 2005
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Liscia
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Registered: Dec 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1470
Review Date: Jul 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $425.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: This lens is everything that I expected it to be-as sharp and. maybe even sharper than my 100mm2.8 USM. It's the lens that's left on the 20D because it does so much very well while being light and compact.
Cons:
Haven't found any yet.



Jul 3, 2005
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Chrisxxx
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Registered: Apr 20, 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13
Review Date: Jun 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very very sharp, low weight
Cons:

This lens surpassed my expectations, producing sharp clear and crisp images of everything from bugs to landscapes.

Originally I had the EF100/2.8 macro in mind, but then I got in touch with a guy who wanted to trade his new EF-S 60 directly for my EF50/1.4. I have not regretted for a second, and would never trade it back!

I often use my 60mm as my walkaround lens, it's light and the performance is simply outstanding.


Jun 27, 2005
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FlashZero
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Registered: Jun 26, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Ultra sharp, silent focus, lightweight
Cons:
poor focusing

This lens is the sharpest one i have used so far.
Sharper than my EF 50mm 1.8 II.
Great lens for portrait !
Nevertheless it has some difficulties to focus rapidly some object.
Great lens anyway, i recommend !!


Jun 26, 2005
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Rodney_Gold
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Registered: Jan 24, 2004
Location: South Africa
Posts: 218
Review Date: Jun 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $390.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Ultra sharp, great colour , good performance stopped down and wide open , Takes mr-14 and Mt-24 Flashes without adaptors , reasonable working distance , lightweight, easy manual focus, well constructed.
Cons:
Poor AF, Price , EFS, no lens hood , not sure where this lens fits in?

I have a lot of macro lenses and use them for various purposes , I have the 50mm 2:1 lens , the Canon 100 and a Sigma 105. I use my lenses on a 10d and a 20d with either the 550 ex , the Mr-14 ringflash and the Mt-24 twinlight.
I use the lenses for product shots , technical stuff , flowers , bugs and general work. I dont always have both cameras and all lenses with me , as one camera , the 10d is always at work and the other , the 20d is mostly at home. On a whim I bought the 60mm as I use the 50mm and the 105 sigma on my 10d and wanted a shorter lighterweight lens to compliment the Canon 100 macro I use on the 20d.
The 100's and 105 are fine lenses , a few problems are the fact that they are long and heavy , the Sigma extends substantially and using the front lens mount macro flashes makes for a rather cumbersome setup. The 100's are a little too long for general usage with 1.6 FOV cameras and also require shutter speeds appropriate to their length (at least double the 50's and 60's). This isnt a problem with tripods and the like , but is not that great for a hand held solution.
At any rate , here's my impression of the 60 and some comparison to the other lenses.
ALL the macros are really sharp , to all intents and purposes there is nothing between them in real life, you might see some differences if you pixel peep and some differences at various apertures. The 60 is up there with them , exceptional clarity and good colour. wide open , it's very good
AF is positive , quick and silent - but this HAS to be qualified. In true close up macro mode , I never use AF anyway so lets disregard this. As far as AF goes in terms of other lenses , the 60 sucks (but so does the 100 and the 105) and IMHO is sucks more then the 100 or 105. This lens hunts like crazy and in lower light with less than contrasty subjects (and even sometime with contrasty subjects) often NEVER achieves focus. We arent talking dim or candle light here. All my other lenses outperform it under those circumstances. As far as action goes with this lens , forget it. The lens DEFINITELY needs a limiter to be more functional as a all purpose. I feel the 50mm is a better bet for general work , it focuses faster and better under low light it is also a LOT cheaper , however it is not 1:1 and the front extends - I paid about $180 for mine
Bear in mind this is MY point of view and you would have to actually try the lens under all conditions to see if its suitable for you.
Of course this lens will never work on older models or the 10d or full frame sensors and this is somewhat of a limiting factor , tho for me it was academic as I have got lenses that WILL work with these, I would seriously consider this tho. I got mine quite cheap , but I also do feel the advertised price is pretty high. I also feel the lens hood could have been included as without it , flare can be problematic under general shooting and if you have the Mr-14/mt-24 attached , a lens hood is out of the question.

I'm not quite sure where this lens fits in if one was choosing one's first and only macro lens. I dont feel it substantially outperforms the others in AF and in fact in my experience it is worse. It does not outperform the others in terms of quality , it *is* lighter and has a shorter focal length then the 100 (not quite sure this is a big plus for macro) , but then it wont work on all cameras as the 100 will, It is also effectively (due to shutter speed issues) a stop faster than the 100 in some circumstances. With a normal flash on the hotshoe (550ex) the 60 does not achieve great coverage up close , whereas , albeit not ideal , the 100 does do better in this regard.
However the 60 with the 580 ex which takes into account distance achieves more consistent results then it does with a 550ex without jumping thru hoops (this is quite important as there are many complaints about inconsistent results with the E-ttl sytem and unless you know your oats as to exactly how the system works , you can get into trouble)
The 580/60mm combo which fully utilises E-ttl II seems to work better than any of my other macro lenses with either the 550 or 580 although I'm not really comparing apples with apples
At the final analysis , I would advise the 100 over the 60 as a first serious 1:1 macro and the 50 as a lower cost all purpose with nice close up ability.


Jun 20, 2005
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CTO-Photos
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Registered: Dec 2, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
Review Date: Jun 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Just got this lens today and have already been blown away! Crisp edge to edge. Just right for portraits as well as spider's eyelashes! The color tends to the warm, but is rich and just right
Cons:
AF is somewhat slow, but I got this lens for tripod and manual focus work, so not a big deal.

In the first few hours, I shot some honeysuckle pollen, water drops on ivy, a tiny red spider enjoying an even smaller fly. All shot in raw and one or two images printed at 13x19 on an Epson R1800 acquired at the same time. (I snagged my local dealer's first copies of the both the lens and printer!) To compensate, I took him a large print to mount and display. It should excite others to buy both products.

I also did a standard portrait of my wife using a 580 EX in bounce mode. Using AF and TTL metering, both exposure and plane of focus were spot on. Perfect color and sharp where it ought to be. Good compression. Overall a very flattering image. The print was poor for as yet unexplained reasons. My current guess is that I allowed the use of the gloss optimizer, but I was using Ilford Smooth Gloss Paper and it probably doesn't work properly on that paper.


Jun 18, 2005
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higginsg
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Registered: Jun 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 262
Review Date: Jun 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: This lens is compact, wickedly sharp, has all the attributes you'd find in a USM lens and is designed from the ground up for digital.
Cons:
Price. With quality this good, it should have a red ring around it.

On the 1.6 crop cameras, this lens fills the niche between the 50mm and 85mm lenses. It gives you a good standoff distance for portraits, and it has a true 1:1 macro capability. It has internal focussing and a 4 inch macro working distance, which helps when shooting insects. I've already got a 50mm and 90mm macro, so I speak from experience. This lens is not hype or marketing, its the real deal.

Jun 17, 2005
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Ejnar
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Registered: Jun 8, 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, Silent, Easy manual fucusing, Usefull AF even at closest range
Cons:
None so far

Only got the lens today, s I haven't shot more than 50 test-pictures yet. But first impressions are very good. I can't wait to go hunting for small bugs anf butterflies with this one.
I was surprised about the AF. I didn't expect it to work this well at closest range, but it is actually usefull, - though one wouls probably use manual focus often.
The focus-ring is wide and easy to fine-ajust since you have turn it alot at close distance.

Here are two some testshots just for fun (no postprocessing):
ISO 200, F5, 1/200 sec:
house
house(100% crop)
Rose
Rose (100% crop).


Jun 8, 2005
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benpaul67
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Registered: May 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Jun 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

Hey all,
I just bought the 60 2.8 micronikkor for my EOS XT, but I just found out canon has a 60 macro now too. Will there be no difference between the two? Should I buy the Canon macro and return this lens? I don't want to lose sharpness in the trade though. The micronikkor lens used to be my Kodachrome 25 lens. I can only use manual focus on the XT with the Nikon lens. I don't trust AF still, but I really need a focusing screen with the Nikon lens, but that is not an option on the XT. I don't see how Canon (or anyone else) can equal the 60 2.8 micronikkor's sharpness, or improve upon it overall, so I'm skeptical.
I could use a reply soon, thanks.


Jun 8, 2005
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Photo Coyote
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Registered: Feb 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros:
Cons:

I own the Canon 100mm macro, which is an awesome lens. But it's heavy and hard to hold steady. I don't use a tripod because I'm constantly lying down, standing up and leaning over objects to take take photos of flowers and insects. So, when the 60mm was introduced, I knew immediately that I wanted it, given that it's about half the size and weight of the 100mm.

The 60mm is wonderful! Not only is it light enough that I can operate my 300D with one hand, it's comparable in quality to the 100mm. It's truly a fun lens to use. Great for portrait work as well as macro, and performs excwptionally as a general purpose walk-around. USM is nearly silent. I'm thrilled with this lens!


Jun 5, 2005
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Jim Healey
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Registered: Oct 23, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 574
Review Date: May 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, compact and well constructed.
Cons:

I already had a 50mm f/2.5 macro which was very sharp, compact and handy for portraits as well as macro. However it used to annoy the heck out of me having to switch between manual focus for macro and AF for everything else!

The EFS 60 doesn't disapoint in any way. it's brilliantly sharp (a touch sharper than the 50mm f/2.5 macro, especially at full aperture) and solidly built. it has a similar apearance to my 10-22 but feels better constructed to me. It's slightly chunkier and longer than the 50 macro, but doesn't extend during focussing, so overall is probably just as compact.

Full-time manual focus is perfect. The USM operates silently of course and being able to focus to 1:1 is a welcome benefit.

This lens is good value in Australia, being only slightly more expensive that the 50 f/2.5 macro and exactly the same as the 50mm f/1.4. In other regions it seems to be closer in price to the 100 macro which put's the 60 at a disadvantage in my opinion.



May 30, 2005
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toralfsan
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Registered: Dec 5, 2004
Location: Norway
Posts: 1
Review Date: May 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp from open aperture, distortion-free. Fast USM for a macro lens.
Cons:
Must be stopped down for reproduction work.

Compact, fast and extremely sharp all the way from f/2.8 from close-up to long distances. This lens is also virtually distortion free and ideally suited for technical work. Fast USM AF makes it suitable also for portraits and general photography. ALso, the lens does not get longer when focusing. Additinally, the distance scale and enlargement scale are clear and detailed. A very solid short telephoto all-purpose lens that focuses down to 1:1, great for all suitable cameras.

Visible vignetting at f/2.8, virtually disappears at f/5.6. DIffraction makes the smallest f-stops less usable.


May 30, 2005
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MARTHIN
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Registered: Apr 18, 2005
Location: Brazil
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: FANTASTIC
Cons:
NONE



May 30, 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
112 253195 May 29, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $409.23
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.32
8.80
9.6
efs60_28macro_usm


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