289 of 290 people found the following review helpful
This was one of the first lenses that I purchased with my Rebel XT. Now after taking several thousand pictures with it I can honestly say it was well worth the cost. I very rarely have any unsharp pictures with this lens unless it is my own fault by trying to use too slow of a shutter speed without a tripod.
I also have the 180mm f/3.5L Macro Lens, which costs about 3 times more than this lens, and although it is very clear and the extra reach is nice at times especially since it can be used with both the 1.4X and 2X TC's, it is very difficult to use inside without a tripod. The 60mm can be handheld if needed with very good results even if you have to bump your ISO up a little to do so.
I have also used this lens for both inside and outside portrait work with very nice results.
All-in-all, given it's small size and light weight I very rarely leave this lens behind when I go out because you never know when you might see a great macro shot.
188 of 195 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2007
I once thought that macro lenses were too specialized and that I would seldom need something so fine that I could photograph the segments in an insect's eye. That was until I bought this lens.
I use it with a Canon 20D. My other lenses include the 17-85 IS zoom (versatile range but slow and not sharp), the 70-200mm f2.8L non-IS zoom (great for those moderate telephoto needs), and a 50mm f1.8 prime (very good for the price). But the 60mm is now my favorite lens, by a large margin. It's on my camera all the time, and the other lenses spend most of their time in the bag.
It's very sharp; it's not heavy or conspicuous, and it handles fine macro photography or standard walking-around work (though not useful for wider angles).
It's a little unfortunate that it doesn't come with a hood - Canon must make a fortune selling those hoods at the prices they charge. I'm probably going to have to buy a hood or hope somebody sees it on my Amazon wish list. It also doesn't come with a case, but if you're keeping the lens in a decent camera bag you don't need a case for the lens.
More important than a hood is some kind of support for camera if you're doing any serious macro photography. With the lens wide open at f2.8 and the subject close to the lens you will only have about 1/4 inch (2-3 mm) of depth-of-field. Your breathing can move the camera enough to ruin your composition or knock the subject out of focus. So I'd suggest investing in some kind of small tripod or a bean bag or something to help hold it still. Of course, you can also boost the ISO and thereby get away with a faster shutter speed, but that's at the expense of a slight loss in quality. Depending on how your pictures are being used, that may or may not be important.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2006
the optics are the best i've ever seen. the clarity is great. the abillity to focus on small objects only 2" away allows great macro pictures. however the auto focus is much slower than most canon lenses, but i can focus manually. this is my favotite lens ever.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2010
I own two of Canon's greatest lenses: the Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 L USM and the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro. As every Canon fan knows, these two expensive lenses are both optically superb in sharpness, distortion, chromatic aberration, etc. And these lenses are made in Japan, where Canon's main office resides.
The mark on the box, "Made in Taiwan" gave me the impression that this is a cheap lens for beginners who don't want to spend too much money and mediocre image quality is more than good enough. I have nothing against Taiwanese but I thought the Japanese will have more experience in manufaturing lenses since they've been doing this for much longer.
I tried the lens, took several shots with my 7D, downloaded the 18MP raw images to my computer screen and then inspected the images -- pixel by pixel.
Then I realized this lens is SHARP! Especially at f4, f5,6 until f11. Even at f2.8 it is very good! It has a nice blur (bokeh) especially at f2.8 and its shading isn't noticable from f4 beyond. As for CA and distortion, maybe it has slight but I can't see it. Focusing is fast, almost as good as the 135mm f/2. The only disadvantage maybe is, you may not want to use it for portrait images. It is too sharp!
All in all, this lens can challenge the "Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 L USM" and the "Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM" in terms of optical quality. A great lens at less than half the price of either two.
But i don't want my now three great lenses to "fight" and "compete" with each other, they will all work together with me and take best photographs possible. I'll keep all of them and use each where each is best at.
I highly recommend this lens. It's a great "Made in Taiwan" product!
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2005
I only wish that I had bought this lens earlier so I could have been using it longer. I am especially pleased with the short minimum focus distance - about 3 inches. This allows you to get very close to a small subject and to still fill the frame with the subject.
I have had no problems with this lens and I love it.
64 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2005
This lens is well worth the price. The first thing you will notice is the quality when you handle the lens. It has a very solid construction. But once you mount the lens is where it REALLY shines. The clarity of focus is the best I've seen and the focus is super fast. The macro functionality is just awesome. I highly recommend this lens.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2007
This is a great macro lens for a pro or a beginer. It produces very sharp photos, and works great for a semi-telphoto lens and close up portraits. I love this lens for the fact that you can use onboard flash for 1:1 work, any other macro lens you will need alot of light or a dedicated macro flash for up close work. Great price for a macro/2.8 prime lens with USM and full time manual focusing.
Manual focus is recommended during 1:1 work, but it will still work in AF close to 1:1, the focus speed is very fast for normal lighting conditions.
51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2006
This lens is my favorite as I keep it on my Rebel XT at all times. I enjoy taking macro close-ups and portrait-type shots, which makes this a great lens for everyday use. It is light-weight and not bulky. My last SLR camera (years ago) was a Minolta with 50mm f/1.8 lens, and various other lenses that I rarely used. I usually don't use a zoom lens due to the extra length and weight. Also, most non-professional zoom lenses are much slower at the closest tele-position due to the higher f/stop. With a fixed focal length of 60mm, I don't mind moving myself toward or away from the subject (not a big deal). The pictures always appear to be sharp with good contrast and color saturation.
My opinion on this lens is: "buy it ... you'll like it".
I did ... and I love it.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2008
I bought this lens after reading all kind of reviews that confused the heck out of me: I am ashamed to say that I am the type of photographer who keeps his SLR camera mostly on the "automatic" mode. f stop, ISO and other esoteric concepts escape me, despite reading the Canon manual now and then.
What I needed is to take close up shots of electronic components, the occasional lizard sunbathing, and funky bugs eating away at my garden to get help on the web. Without spending a fortune or hours figuring out the technical doc. Well, mission accomplished on the first try. The lens worked great. Without a tripod, fancy flash or lighting (bright sunlight works wonders) all pictures are clear and can be zoomed into in Windows.
The lens feels well made (it is heavier than the lens that came with my EOS Digital SLR), is very silent and focuses smoothly (with a professional sounding whir).
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2012
The Canon EF-S 60mm is one among a handful of lenses in the Canon lineup capable of 1:1 "life-size" macro focus. This means that the image projected onto the photo sensor at the minimum focus distance is the same size as the subject. The other lenses capable of 1:1 magnification include the EF 100mm f/2.8, the EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS, the 180mm f/3.5 L, and the MP-E 65mm f/2.8 (this last one is actually capable of 5x life size, but does not focus to infinity).
Of the above lenses, the 100mm f/2.8 and its "L" sibling are the most comparable to the 60mm. Aside from the longer focal length, the main distinction is that both are designed to work on full-frame cameras, whereas use of the 60mm is limited to APS-C 1.6x crop cameras like the Rebel and XXD series and the 7D. The 100 "L" is a more recent design incorporating image stabilization (IS) and environmental sealing. Both the 100mm lenses have focus limiters to limit the autofocus range depending on whether you are using their "macro" capabilities. Limiting the focus range in theory should provide faster autofocus. Optically all three of these lenses are excellent - in my opinion the optical differences are insignificant compared to differences in features and price.
Like many before me I agonized over which of these lenses I should buy. Ultimately I chose the Canon EF-S 60mm because it was the least expensive and most compact lens. I judged its focal length to be more useful on an APS-C camera for portrait and "walk-around" purposes. Also worth mentioning is that the 60mm lens tolerates slower shutter speeds for handholding compared to the longer lenses - this can make a difference when handholding macro shots outside on a cloudy day. On the flip side, a 100mm (or longer) lens has a narrower field of view, better isolating a macro subject from its background. The longer focal length also allows for 6 inches of working distance (measured from the front element to the subject) at 1:1 magnification, compared to the 3.5 inches of the 60 mm. It seems worth noting that the EF 100 mm is 60% longer and 80% heavier than the EF-S 60mm, so whether the extra 2.5 inches of working distance is worth these tradeoffs is something that has to be seriously considered.
Image Quality: This lens has a reputation for being very sharp wide open, and it does not disappoint in this respect. Contrast is very good as well. It deals well with light sources in the frame - I get wonderful shots with minimal flare shooting straight into the sun. The bokeh (quality of out-of-focus areas) is generally very smooth and even, particularly at macro magnifications. There is some potential for minor ringing of highlights in high contrast conditions at portrait focus distances. Looking around at sample images for other macro lenses (including the 100mm macros) this is not an issue unique to the EF-S 60mm. Also worth noting is that there is a fair amount of vignetting shooting wide open.
In Use: The construction of the lens is very satisfying, and it is a pleasure to use. It balances very naturally on my Rebel. Be sure to get a UV filter to protect the exposed front element. Consider the lens hood as well, which unfortunately is sold separately for most Canon lenses.
As a slight disappointment, I expected to be able to use this lens more indoors with available light. However, the bellows effect (reduction in apparent aperture as you approach 1:1 magnification) makes it often borderline usable without a flash. Even outdoors on a cloudy day I have found myself bumping up the ISO to 1600 to get reasonable depth of field and required shutter speeds for macro shots. In other words, don't expect to part with your fast 50 for available light photography - even f/2 makes a big difference. Again, this is an issue that applies to all macro lenses and not just the 60mm.
Focus is quiet, fast in good light and very accurate. In low light, expect some focus hunting, which is not aided by the lack of a focus limiter. For macro purposes manual focus is much more practical than autofocus, which becomes somewhat unhappy at high magnifications.
Overall this is a very fun lens to use, and it produces really amazing images without a ton of effort. It is a great way to start experimenting with closeups, and it serves very well as an all-purpose moderate tele as well. My main reservation is that it does not really work well as an indoor available light lens. The only remedy for this is a larger maximum aperture, as with the Tamron 60mm f/2 macro (a lens not without its own issues). Generally, though, Canon users can consider themselves very fortunate at their macro options. Providing you weigh the pros and cons of each I suspect you will be very happy regardless of the lens you choose.