Canon MP-E65mm Macro Lens

Canon MP-E65mm Macro Lens

The Mighty MP-E65mm EF Macro lens by Canon

For those who don’t know my work or that only recently started following me, macro photography has always been part of my journey. I have always owned a Canon 100mm L Series Macro lens, but as with any other genre of photography, we always seek to push the limits, as in this case getting a better than 1:1 ratio. The MP-E65mm is one of Canon’s most challenging lenses especially if you are not a fan of using tripods in photography. This lens is a manual lens, with no image stabilizer, every mm is important were focusing is concerned.

Without getting too technical for those who don’t know this lens at all, I thought I would share some of the most obvious differences between the two before sharing my own experience with the lens. One cannot really compare the two as the 100mm Macro lens can be used for other genres were the MP-E65mm is a low power microscope and your working distance is only millimetres away from your subject with very narrow DOF (Depth of Field).

Canon MP-E65mm LensCanon 100mm L Series Lens
Focal Length65mm100mm
Weight710g625g
MagnificationX5X1
Minimum ApertureF/16F/32
Maximum ApertureF/2.8F2.8

I was quite excited to get my hands on one of these lenses and to put it to the test in a creative and different way. I hope my review will help beginners, as not everyone as has the knowledge or the equipment like a tripod or the editing software but would like to enjoy all the equipment on offer and not be intimidated by what social media has on show. Most of the images circulating the internet are stacked images that produce exceptional close-up renditions of subjects, where you can see all the detail and beauty that the naked eye would not see otherwise.

I have spent some time getting to know the lens while deciding how I can showcase the “superpowers” of the lens in a creative and different way. I took a tablespoon from the kitchen and created a micro garden, by carefully collecting mini organisms and placing them strategically on the tablespoon with the help of a magnifying glass and tweezers, trying to create a micro-world as realistically as possible. Once all the elements were placed on the spoon I took an image of the spoon to showcase my “garden” with the 100mm Macro lens, and then took images of the elements with the MP-E65mm lens.

If you have a very steady hand you can capture fairly sharp images with a magnification between 1 and 3 x, but it is almost impossible at 5 x, and a tripod will be required. You will also need some external light due to the very small aperture required, you can make use of off-camera flash, or an on-camera flash with a diffuser to funnel light towards your subject. This lens has re-awoken my macro passion with a vengeance. This lens is a must for anyone who is serious about capturing macro and our micro world, it will blow you away.  

Love and Light

Melanie C