Vintage Macro Lens

Top 5 Best Vintage Macro Lens – The Must Have Selection of 2023

Do you have a fascination with close-up photography? Then you may wonder about what is the best lens for macro photography? If yes, then keep reading…

In macro photography, photographers want to highlight the miniature details of insects, flowers, and some other natural intricate patterns.

If you are one of those who want to capture manually rather than based on random autofocus, then the best vintage macro lens is what you are looking for close-up photography.

Right vintage lenses are somewhat difficult to find. To make your macro photography easy, we have spent hundreds of hours discovering the top-rated macro lenses. Let’s get them.

ImageProduct NameEditor's RatingPrice

Canon MP-E Vintage Macro Lens | 65mm | F/2.8 | 1-5X
Canon MP-E Vintage Macro Lens | 65mm | F/2.8 | 1-5X

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MEKE 85mm Vintage Macro Lens | Medium Telephoto | F2.8
MEKE 85mm Vintage Macro Lens | Medium Telephoto | F2.8

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Voigtlander APO-LANTHAR Vintage Macro Lens | 65mm
Voigtlander APO-LANTHAR Vintage Macro Lens | 65mm

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Sigma OS Vintage Macro Lens | 17-70mm F/2.8-4
Sigma OS Vintage Macro Lens | 17-70mm F/2.8-4

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Canon STM Vintage Macro Lens | RF 35mm | F/1.8
Canon STM Vintage Macro Lens | RF 35mm | F/1.8

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Best Vintage Macro Lens Reviews

To give more detail about the features and specifications of these macro lenses, we have designed this reviewed section. By this, you will make an easy buying decision and come up with your most suited macro lenses.

1. Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

Got a canon camera? And still, looking for suitable vintage lenses? If yes, then stop your searching right here. Canon itself brought an exquisite macro lens for your SLR. Let’s reveal its other features.

First, talk about the most attractive feature, which is its focal length. Canon MP-E SLR lens comes with a 65mm focal length. However, if you use the lens on APS-C models, you will get the maximum focal length of up to 104mm. In fact, it is considered as the short telephoto prime lens.

Canon has specially designed the lens for full-frame EF-mount cameras. And the manual focusing function is awesome for close-up shots.

Plus, its floating elements system provides consistency in photo quality.

The MP-E macro lens got popular due to its minimum capturing distance. It can give the five times more magnificence of the original subject due to its short focusing distance of 9.4″. Alongside, you can use the lens for portrait photography.

To improve the color consistency and clarity, the lens comes with one ultra-low dispersion element. As a result, it can let you render the subject at up to five-times life-size magnification with a minimum focusing distance of 9.4″.

The front ring of the lens allows you for direct mounting that is optional of Macro ring lite or Macro twin lite. Besides, the electric contact of the lens provides the focus distance information and supports E-TTL II flash for canon.

Key Features

  • Lens focal length is 65mm
  • Aperture range from f/2.8 to f/16
  • Uses Super Spectra Coating technology
  • Allows maximum 104mm for APS-C models

2. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

Whether you are a professional or beginner macro photographer, if you prefer cost-effective lenses, then there is a good collection for you. However, it offers a minimum price that does not mean it devoid of any features.

First, see the construction of the lens. MEKE manufactured the lens through 11 elements in 8 groups. Besides, the formation of the lens is mainly based on metallic construction. That’s why the total weight of the lens is around one pound.

This is a medium telephoto lens that offers a maximum focal length of 85mm.

Though it is designed for the full-frame Sony E mount cameras, it can be used on APS-C models as well. For this model, it will provide a maximum focal length of 127.5mm.

As it is the best lens for close up photography, you can capture the photo from a minimum distance of 9.8″. Besides, the maximum magnification ratio of the lens is 1.5:1.

While working in strong lighting, you can use the lens. Due to its multi-layer nano-coating, it enhances the image quality and contrast by removing the ghost and flare.

The aperture is quite standard for the bokeh background. It provides the aperture range from F/2.8 to F/22. That’s how it can give a creamy blur background on every clicking. Besides, you can try some m2 lenses.

Key Features

  • A dedicated lens for the close-up shot
  • Aperture range from F/2.8 to F/22
  • The lens magnification ratio is 1.5:1
  • Provides maximum focal length up to 127.5mm

3. Voigtlander Macro APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical Macro Lens

If you are looking for a macro lens for a Sony E mount, the Voigtlander macro lens will impress you for close-up photo shooting. Indeed, the lens offers everything that a macro photography needs. Let’s unlock it.

Voigtlander has specially designed the vintage lens for full-frame E-mount cameras. The good news is that it is compatible with the APS-C format systems. So, you can use it on other cameras along with Sony.

The Voigtlander macro lens is our favorite list due to its focal length. It comes with a 65mm focal length.

However, the focal length is depending on the cameras. It means you will get a maximum focal length of 97.5mm while using the APS-C format.

Let’s talk about the aperture. The aperture ranges of the lens are F/2 to F/22. So, never dare to capture the perfect shot in critical lighting because you will get the same quality picture in critical lighting conditions.

The main feature of the lens is its apochromatic design. As a result, it can minimize the longitudinal chromatic aberrations of RGB colors to zero. Besides, it comes with one aspherical element for controlling spherical aberration.

The manual focusing option provides refined controlling. Besides, the minimum focusing distance of the lens is 12.2″. And the lens’ magnification ratio is 1:2.

Key Features

  • The maximum focal length is up to 97.5mm
  • The lens aperture range is F/2 to F/22
  • Got 1:2 ratio for magnification
  • The minimum capturing distance is 12.2″
  • Apochromatic design minimizes chromatic aberration

4. Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS (Optical Stabilizer)

While choosing a macro lens, if your prime consideration is the focal length, Sigma’s macro-OS lens would be suitable for you. Let’s check out its other attractive features.

The main attraction of the lens is its focal length, which is 17-70mm. The lens can be used for both short telephotos zoom and a vintage wide-angle lens. A good advantage is that it can cover a maximum focal length of up to 112mm.

Sometimes difficult lighting harms the quality of the picture. However, to solve these issues, Sigma ensures the bright aperture ranges from F/2.8 to 4.

In fact, it is an advantage for the depth of field controlling while shooting close-up.

The lens consists of 6 elements. First, two F low dispersion and a single special low dispersion element have been designed to minimize chromatic aberration.

Along with that, the other three spherical elements work to reduce spherical aberration and distortion. As a result, the lens improves the color consistency, clarity, and sharpness of the images.

If you are bothered with the lens ghosting and flaring on your existing lens, you can rely on it.  Sigma uses a super multi-layer coating to eliminate these issues.

To provide the best close-up photography, it offers a minimum focusing distance of 8.7″. Besides, the magnification ratio of the lens is 1:2. That’s why camera geniuses consider it as the best vintage macro lens.

Key Features

  • The magnification ratio is 1:2
  • It comes with a bright aperture from F/2.8 to 4
  • Ensures multi-layer coating technology
  • Offers maximum focal length of 112mm

5. Canon RF35mm F1.8 IS Macro STM Lens

Are you searching for a vintage wide-angle lens for macro photography? Then there is a search ending solution for you. The last but not the least macro lens is from Canon itself.

What to look at first while choosing the lens for macro photography? The focus distance, isn’t it? Right! Canon RF lens comes with a minimum focus distance of 6.7″. Now you are ready to capture your most desired subject as close as possible.

Canon has manufactured the lens through super spectra coating technology. As a result, there are no worries about image quality, even if you are working in strong lighting.

Besides, the lens also ensures color neutrality and higher contrast.  For better lighting, you can use canon flash lights.

Besides close-up photography, you can use the lens for fashion photography due to its wide-angle lens. Indeed, the focal length of the lens is 35mm.

Canon RF is an STM motor-based lens. It provides a fast, smooth, and accurate performance while autofocusing. Besides, the nine-blade diaphragm offers a smooth bokeh background. So, the lens is also ideal for video recording.

Therefore, the price of the lens is quite standard. You will find everything for close up photography within a budget price. Besides, you can use the lens for street photography.

Key Features

  • The maximum focal length is 35mm
  • The minimum capturing distance is 6.7″
  • It uses super spectra coating technology
  • F/1.8 aperture good control over depth of field

Things to Consider Before Buying Vintage Macro Lens

Some features of the lens are confusing to the new users. So, it demands careful consideration beforehand; otherwise, you will end up with a frustrating lens. Not to worry! We are here to solve the issues.

We have designed the section with the most significant factors of the vintage lens so that you can pick the best vintage lenses immediately.

Capturing Distance and Magnification Ratio

The first and foremost considerable factor of the macro lens is its capturing distance. The lens offers a minimum focusing distance that is considered the best lens for close up photography.

Another significant thing about the macro lens is its magnification ratio of 1:1, which is perfect for close up photography. In some cases, you can go with another ratio if other things are okay.

Focal Length

This is the most common and considerable feature while buying any vintage lenses. The focal length should be chosen according to your photography. For close-up photography, some photographers prefer a medium telephoto lens over a prime lens.

However, it is wise to choose a short telephoto lens that covers a maximum focal length of up to 120+ for some models. If you choose that one, you can do other photography besides macro photography.

Coating Technology

To get a better image quality, you cannot avoid the lens coating technology. Most of the lenses come with some coating technology such as multi-layer, nano, and super spectra coating.

The manufacturers mainly use these technologies to reduce the ghosting and flaring of the lens. As a result, the lens can be compatible with any lighting condition and enhance the sharpness and clarity of the images.

Bokeh Effects

To get better bokeh images, you need to choose the perfect aperture ranges. For example, if you need a creamy blur background effect, you must choose a larger aperture, it means a smaller number of apertures. For example, the aperture should be F/1.2 to 4 for smooth bokeh background.

In fact, it is a crucial factor in macro photography. So, check the aperture for getting a special bokeh effect before purchasing the lens.

Construction and Weight

Wildlife photography demands a lightweight and durable lens. So, you should prefer a lens that offers low weight. Otherwise, it would be troublesome while photo shooting or carrying the lens.

However, if you choose a metallic construction-based lens, sometimes it would be a weighty lens. Such a paradox, huh? In this case, you should prefer the lens construction first and then consider its weight.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Best Vintage Macro Lens

1. What is the good aperture for the bokeh effect?

To get a better blur effect, you have to prefer a high aperture range. That means you have to select the low number such as F/1.2 to around 4.

2. Can I use these lenses for APS-C models?

Yes, you are.

Though these vintage lenses are designed for specific cameras, you can use most of the macro lenses in APS-C format.

3. Do the lenses offer a warranty facility?

It depends.

In some cases, most of the manufacturers provide a warranty facility from 1 to 4 years. However, some of them are devoid of warranty facilities.

4. What is the ghosting and flaring about these lenses?

In this regard, you are safe to use any of these macro lenses. Because most of the lenses come with special coating technology. As a result, it can easily reduce the ghost and flare and ensure color consistency.

5. How can I find my best lens for close up photography?

To choose the right vintage lens, you need to consider the minimum focusing distance and the magnification ratio. Besides, check the other features such as coating technology, aperture, and price of the lens

Final Words

Choosing the macro lens would be easy if you consciously pick the lens which has a minimum capturing distance and magnification ratio. If other lenses’ features are good to go, that means you are about to have the best vintage macro lens.

Hopeful, you have stood with your desired macro lens as you have gone through the reviews and buyer’s guide sections.

Happy Macro Photography!

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