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is this a worthwhile macro lens for the EOS Rebel T7?


Hello! I'm hoping to get my partner a macro lens for his birthday for his EOS Rebel T7 EF-S 18-55mm IS II, which he's had for a few months and is really enjoying.

I, however, don't know much about cameras past what I can remember of developing film in a dark room in high school. My humble query: is the RF35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM a good choice?

As for the type of macro, he does a lot of nature photography around our garden, close up shots of pollen, fur on a tomato stem, moss, etc. Is that feasible with this lens? If not, do you have an alternative? Budget is around $400.

Thanks in advance



Welcome. RF lenses won’t fit on the T7. You want EF or EF-S lenses. For macro look into the EF-S 10-18 lens. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


Although I can also recommend the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM it is not a true "macro" lens. However it can focus very closely which in some cases can be all that's wanted or required. Plus is will be a lot more useful in other situations which makes it a very good choice. Probably the best lens for EF/EF-S mount which is what your friend has is the EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. However it is well above your stated price limit unless you look to the used market. Another possibility is the off brand makers. Perhaps, the Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP A/M 1:1 Macro Lens for instance which is in your budget  I believe I heard it may have been discontinued but still available. 

Lens maker's canaprint the word "macro" on a lens pretty easily but that alone does not make it a macro lens. Sometimes they get pretty loose with the terminology.  And, the price limit is going to be a hurdle for sure for a true macro lens. Makes the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM even more attractive along with a good post editor just might be all that's needed.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


Thanks for the correction Ernie. Brain fog this morning. Not sure what I was thinking. I should have said the EF-S 60mm or the EF-S version of the 35mm macro. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


"...  the EF-S 60mm or the EF-S version of the 35mm macro."

Yup, I could go with either of those lenses too. Although I do like the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM as a good idea or choice for a person on a tight lens budget. Way more useful in the scheme of things. Plus the addition of a post editor like Photoshop Elements or the free DPP4 makes perfect sense.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


John is correct that you need an EF or EF-S lens, for use on a Rebel T7.

But the suggestion of a Canon EF-S 10-18mm lens is definitely NOT a good one. That's NOT a macro lens, by any means. It's a good and very affordable ultra-wide to wide angle zoom lens, but it doesn't get anywhere near macro magnifications!

Canon is gradually phasing out EF and EF-S lenses (they are converting from DSLRs like T7 to "mirrorless" cameras that use the RF lenses). As a result, there is now only one Canon EF macro lens being offered to purchase new and even on sale it's far more expensive than you wanted to spend. (EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM: currently $899) 

If you are willing to consider a good, used lens, there are more choices:

-  Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM  is an excellent macro lens that is a little older than the L/IS version mentioned above, but other than not having image stabilization has many of the same benefits of that lens. Around 100mm is a good focal length for general macro photography. It's not too short focal length, allowing reasonable distance from most subjects (it still ends up quite close at maximum magnification, but that's the case with all macro lenses). It also isn't such a long focal length that it's difficult to hold steady. Another great thing that's unique to this and the other Canon 100mm is that they can optionally be fitted with a tripod mounting ring. That's a very handy accessory for macro photography, which on other brands is almost exclusively found on much longer focal lengths. I have had a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM for many years. It is still one of my favorite and most frequently used macro lenses (I have about a half dozen). 

- Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM  is another excellent choice that's quite a bit more compact and fairly light weight. As such, it would balance well with a lightweight camera like the T7. For my tastes, it's a little bit short focal length that will cause the user to be quite close to their subject at highest magnification. But many people like it a lot and it can serve well.

There are also a number of "third party" macro lenses you might want to consider. Made by other manufacturers, I hesitate to mention these lenses here on Canon's website, but will list a few standouts below. Bought new some of these exceed your budget, but you may be able to find more affordable used.

  • Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro DG OS HSM is a full featured lens. Note: There was an earlier version of this lens without OS (image stabilization), that can be found for less money. I don't know if it has as good image quality as this latest version, which is excellent.
  • Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Macro VC USD (model F017) is the latest and best of a long series of macro lenses. While earlier models were very good, the F017 is the best of them all, very sharp and full featured. Tamron appears to have discontinued the version for Canon, but it can still be found used.
  • Tokina AT-X (old model) or ATX-i (new model) 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens is a budget option that is quite capable, but has a few minor short comings. All the other lenses listed above are internal focusing. This Tokina is not. All the above lenses allow manual override of AF (useful when shooting macro). This Tokina does not. The Tokina is one of the most affordable and capable of making very good images.
  • SIgma 70mm f/2.8 Macro DG Art is another possible budget option, if bought used. (It is over your budget new.) I have not used it and don't know how image qualty compares. Like the Tokina, it is not internal focusing. Because of the type of motor it uses, I suspect it will be a little slower focusing than the others (also similar to the Tokina).
  •  Tamron SP 60mm f/2 Macro is another recently discontinued lens that can be found used, at very reasonable price. This compact lens (like the Canon 60mm above) is only usable on crop sensor cameras like the T7. What is unusual with this Tamron is its brighter f/2 maximum lens aperture. That's a full stop larger than any of the f/2.8 lenses listed here. What this means is that it allows 2X as much light in, at f/2. It makes for a brighter viewfinder in a DSLR. But even more importantly, the larger lens aperture can more strongly blur down backgrounds, which can be a very desirable capability for portraiture, for example.

One more lens you might want to consider for its versatility is the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM . This is another lens that's recently been discontinued, but can be found used. It would completely replace the EF-S 18-55mm lens that came with the T7, as a significantly higher quality "walk-around" lens. But it also has an unusually close focusing mode for a zoom lens. All the above lenses are capable of full 1:1 magnification or "1.0X". This zoom can't quite do that, but is still able to do 0.7X, which is about triple the magnification of even the best zooms of this type. Granted, it is a little less wide, but a little more telephoto than an 18-55mm lens. (If wiser were wanted, the 24-70mm  would pair up very nicely with the EF-S 10-18mm John mentioned above... or with Canon's EF-S 10-22mm USM that's a bit better built, which I've used for many years alongside 24-70mm and 28-135mm lenses.)

While you are shopping around, you may come across Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Macro and Canon MP-E 65mm Macro lenses. For completely different reasons, I would NOT recommend either of those to you. The EF 50mm f/2.5 "Compact Macro" is an older model that is slower focusing and only able to do .5X on its own. There is an accessory needed to get it to full 1.0X magnification. The MP-E 65mm is an amazing lens, but it is VERY specialized and more difficult to use. First, it's manual focus only. It also is an ultra high magnification lens 1X to 5X. This makes it slower to use and almost necessary to use on a tripod all the time. It also is "macro only"... it cannot do any LESS than 1X. In other words, it picks up where most of the above lenses leave off. 

There are quite a few other macro lenses on the market... both new and used. Many are manual focus only, which isn't necessarily a problem for macro. In fact, a lot of experienced macro shooters turn AF off when they are doing higher magnification work. There are manual focus techniques that work well for macro shooting. However, a manual focus only lens will be less useful for other purposes. For example, some people like to use their macro lens for portraiture

If you shop used, I recommend sticking with well-established retailers who back up their sales with some sort of store warranty. Their prices might be a little higher than buying from a private party or through an online auction, but for that extra cost you get right of return/repair/exchange if something fails to work properly, at least for some period of time.

Also if buying used, look for accessories such as the lens hood to be included. If you purchase one of the Canon 100mm, try to find one that includes the matched tripod mounting ring, as it may add significant cost if bought separately.  The more affordable Canon 100mm uses Tripod Ring B (Black). That's discontinued like the lens, but can sometimes be found used and some 3rd party manufacturers are still offering them  (at considerably lower price, too). Note that Tripod Ring B comes in both white and black versions, and is used on a number of different lenses. The EF 100mm Macro is unique in that it requires a special adapter that fits between the lens and the ring. If a lens doesn't include a hood and the OEM item has been discontinued, as with that tripod ring, there still may be 3rd party manufacturers making them.

Finally, you may be able to find a lot more information about any of the above and many more lenses at website . It's one of the most comprehensive sites for information about Canon and other modern gear.

I hope this helps!


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7DII (x2), 7D(x2), EOS M5, some other cameras, various lenses & accessories

[Commercial links again disabled per forum guidelines regarding promotion of third party products, promotions, websites, organizations, goods or services.]


"...the suggestion of a Canon EF-S 10-18mm lens is definitely NOT a good one. That's NOT a macro lens,..."

Clearly stated! 

"...I can also recommend the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM it is not a true "macro" lens. However it can focus very closely which in some cases can be all that's wanted or required."

Add to the fact it is a very much more versatile lens opposed to a "true" macro. Especially when lens budget is limited. Yes, it is a good choice.


EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


The EF-S 10-18mm can focus to as little as 8.7”, but due to it’s Ultra Wide Angle focal length, the Max Magnification is only 0.15x, which is the poorest of almost any current Canon lens. Getting close is not enough. The subject will still be too small in the viewfinder.

Even standard EF-S 18-55mm kit lens would be a better choice for photographing small things close up because it has a 0.34x max magnification.

You really need a true 1:1 magnification Macro lens like the EF-S 35 Macro, EF-S 60 Macro, or EF 100 Macro if you want to photograph small subjects like pollen, moss, etc.

Mike Sowsun


I like to browse through some of the questions and answers given in the community. Thanks for this inquiry and replies as I would like to get into macro more into the future.


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