Canon EFS-60 2.8 Macro

Perfume bottle with rose by Mary C Legg

” 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” Canon USA

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)

Macro Family by Mary C Legg
Macro Family by Mary C Legg

The EFS-60 2.8 is my macro carry about lens. If I am deliberately going out to the fields to shoot insects, then it will be the second macro lens in the bag. If I am going on a long walk and basically shooting landscape or going someplace for sports, the little EFS-60 2.8 will be the macro lens in the bag and the 100 2.8 stays home on the table.

The compact macro has some distinct advantages over the 100 2.8. First, it has sharper image overall, particularly in the corners and it also has greater depth of field, acting much more like a 50 1.8 lens. It has a strong casing which makes it easy to put in a bag and is versatile enough so that it can be used in a pinch to substitute for a 50 1.8 / 50 1.2 for action photography. I’ve used it to shoot ballet on the streets.

Easter Bunny by Mary C Legg
Easter Bunny by Mary C Legg
Teddy bear with wooden horse by Mary C Legg
Teddy bear with wooden horse by Mary C Legg

The EFS-60 2.8 also has a dedicated extension, the EF 25II which can be added. The extension extends the focus to microscopic. This can be used for photographing something extremely small such as .2mm ladybird or very fine detail in the surface of a ring or stone. The problem of adding an extension to the lens is adjusting focus distance and allowing light between yourself and the subject. As the extension allows the lens to focus into minus infinity or toward microscopic detail, the focal area identified by your interest/ focal points may be very sharp, but periphery blurred. The amethyst ring, daffodil and daisy were photographed with the 25II extension. The first two with 400D and the daisy with the 7D.

Another advantage of the EFS-60 2.8 over the 100 2.8 is its very short stubby barrel which allows more light to enter the sensor in tricky situations such as photographing insects in dark places, under foliage or in low light situations for still life. The lens doesn’t search like the 100 2.8. It very desirable lens to have for still life photography as the corners of the image are sharp and there is virtually no distortion in the lens. If you are working in natural light settings, you can work until dusk without having many issues with the lens searching. The focus ring is wide enough for easy use so that it is easy to switch over form Autofocus mechanism to manual. It has very small problems with fringing, chromatism or vignetting. This is particularly important for food photography since potatoes look far less desirable when they have purple fringes or the food takes on a shade. The lens is good for resenting something that you want to have a “clean, bright” feel to it with vibrant colors and sharp edges and is extremely desirable tool to have for cramped workplaces where you simply can’t climb out the window on the fourth floor to use your fantastic 400 prime or street zoom walkabout. It’s a boon for working in cramped spaces where you have minimal focus distance or prefer to work closely with your subject.

Perfume bottle with rose by Mary C Legg
Perfume bottle with rose by Mary C Legg

Unlike the 100 2.8, it will shoot the edges nearly as sharp as the center which makes it the perfect lens for large still life such as soft toys, food, traditional still life and flowers. On the 100 2.8, there is a sweet spot in the center where things are quite sharp and then in the very short perimeter, the focus is soft and often the edges are blurred. This is good when you are shooting something such as an insect and you want the background to vanish, but it’s bad if you want even balance across the image. This is important in most product, still life and food photography.

The EFS-60 2.8 is made for the crop APS-C sensors so it can fit the X00 and X0 series and the 7D, but it can not fit onto any full frame body. There is a short barrel macro lens, 50 2.5, which Canon produced with its original 50 series. This lens is an unusual build, but exceedingly a sharp lens.

The 60 2.8 can also be used for video although it has no zoom capacity that is sometimes desirable with a long lens such as 70-200.2.8, it can track something as tricky as a hummingbird moth darting about on a flower.

For the investment, the lens is high value because of its versatility and technical quality.

If you’re looking for a prime lens that will serve as an all-purpose lens but need a macro; this could be your solution because it’s quite capable of shooting portrait or street scenes but its primary purpose is to shoot tabletop or macro.