Review Canon EF-S 60 mm 2.8 Macro (C APS-C)

Canon came with the Canon 60 mm 2.8 Macro in 2005. This lens, officially called Canon EF-S 60 mm 2.8 USM Macro, can only be used on a camera equipped with an image sensor of the APS-C format due to its construction. The crop factor amounts to 1.6 at Canon, so the focal length equivalent is 96 mm. Because of that, this lens can also be used well as a portrait lens. A disadvantage of a focal length of 60 mm at macro photography is the short subject distance. Lenses such as the Canon 100 mm IS Macro, Sigma 105 mm OS Macro and Tokina 105 mm Macro are more useful than the Canon 60 mm Macro as far as that goes.


  Construction and autofocus

The lens is built compactly and the weight is low. The housing is made of plastic and the fitting is made of metal. During focusing, the filter does not turn. The focus ring turns very smoothly, and the focusing stroke amounts to 180 degrees. That is sufficient for focusing manually, which is often necessary with macro.

The autofocus is of the HSM type, and focusing is very fast with a Canon 7D; from 15 meters to 1.5 meters in just 0.21 seconds. Focusing is quiet, and the camera rarely hunts at low-light.

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Vignetting in stops is only high at f/2.8. At f/4.0, this is already so low that in practice, this will rarely be disturbing. One would expect of such a lens a little lower vignetting at full aperture. Apart from that, vignetting can be combated software-wise. vignet


The distortion is so low, -0.015%, that it is negligible. jpgdistort


In case of backlight, we discover pretty strong flare. In addition, the image is a bit spoiled by ghosting. APS-C_Canon_Canon_60_mm_overstraling


Canon60mmMacroRezzJPG kopie

The resolution, expressed in lines/sensor height, reaches the top in the center at f/4.0. This top is not very high in absolute sense. The power of this lens lies in the minor difference in resolution between the center and the edges. Nearly all product photos at this entire site are made with this lens. 

Chromatic aberration

Chromatic aberration remains very low at all apertures. jpgca


Canon 60 mm 2 002
Canon EF-S 60 mm 2.8 USM Macro @f/6.3
Canon EF-S 60 mm 2.8 USM Macro @f/9.0


The detail shots are of the left glass and the right bottle.

The round, blurred parts are nearly uniform in covering at f/2.8 as well as f/8.0, making the image in the blurred parts come across nicely. This pretty bokeh is of great importance for a macro lens.

Bo APS-C 60  1 2
Bo APS-C 60  2
Canon EF-S 60 mm 2.8 USM Macro @f/2.8
Canon EF-S 60 mm 2.8 USM Macro @f/2.8

Conclusion Canon EF-S 60 mm 2.8 USM Macro review

Use the Lens Comparison or look in our list of reviewed lenses to compare this lens with other lenses.

WYSIWYG score: More and more often when designing a lens, distortion, color separation and vignetting are consciously not optimally corrected. As a result, fewer expensive lens elements or exotic glass types need to be used, which ultimately results in a more attractive selling price. The lens manufacturer relies on automatic correction of these characteristics in the camera or in photo editing software. The “jpg-score” gives you for a lens/test camera combination, “What you see is what you get” when all available lens corrections are applied in the camera. 

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Pure RAW score: With more expensive lenses, a manufacturer often goes to great lengths in the lens design to prevent lens errors. Neither costs nor effort are spared, which can be recognized by the use of exotic types of glass and many lens elements. The “RAW score” approximates the intrinsic quality of the combination of lens and test camera, with CameraStuffReview attempting to bypass any automatic lens corrections of RAW files. If you use lens correction profiles in Photoshop or Lightroom to convert RAW files, the RAW scores for distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration will be higher or equal to the corresponding jpg scores.

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  • From f/4.0 low vignetting
  • Same sharpnes across the whole image
  • Fast AF
  • Compact design
  • Value for money


  • Resolution could have been higher just a little bit

The Canon 60 mm Macro can be used as macro lens and as portrait lens due to the focal length. The lens is built compactly, and the autofocus is very fast. The resolution already reaches a top af f/4; this is not very high in absolute sense, but the difference between the center and the edges is distinctly small. In comparison to the zoom lenses designed for the APS-C format tested here, the Canon 60 mm Macro performs very well.

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