If you’re looking for the best Fujifilm macro lens you can buy, then this guide is exactly what you need.
You’re going to discover the best macro lenses for Fujifilm–so that you have the gear you need to capture stunning macro photos, consistently.
So, if you’re ready to discover the perfect macro lens for your needs…
…let’s get started.
The Best Macro Lenses for Fujifilm, Ranked
If you’re looking for a quick list, here are the best macro lenses for Fujifilm cameras:
For more in-depth explanations, read on!
The Samyang 100mm f/2.8 macro for Fujifilm isn’t the well-known macro lens on the block, but is it impressive, offering a fantastic combination of great optics, a perfect focal length, and an impressively low price.
For under $500, the Samyang 100mm macro will get you 1:1 focusing, which is is the standard for macro photography and is perfect for nearly all close-up work. If you’re looking to shoot flowers or other unmoving details (e.g., leaves, snowflakes, shells), the 100mm focal length is going to be a great choice, though you’re going to struggle a bit when photographing skittish subjects such as dragonflies.
Plus, the f/2.8 maximum aperture is perfect for that “soft-focus” look and stunning bokeh that plenty of macro photographers love (though you’re always free to stop down to, say, f/16 for greater depth of field).
As for sharpness: The Samyang 100mm f/2.8 is crisp in the center of the frame, starting wide open at f/2.8, and moving through the apertures (though, as with all lenses, you’re going to run into issues around f/16 or so due to diffraction). Corner sharpness lags wide-open, but quickly becomes strong when the aperture is pushed to f/5.6 or so.
You also get very nice build quality, as well as a well-made, decently-sized manual focus ring for precision sharpness in the field.
The biggest drawback to the Samyang 100mm macro is the lack of autofocus; this is a manual focus lens, which means that it won’t allow you to autofocus in any situation. For most macro photographers, this shouldn’t be a problem (if you’re not focusing manually, then I recommend you start immediately!), but it’ll prevent the lens from making its way into your street or action photography kit.
Oh, and one more bonus is the old-school aperture ring; this lets you quickly switch from f/2.8 all the way down to f/32 with just a flick of your wrist. While it’s true that this shooting experience isn’t for everyone, I’m a fan of the more tactile shooting experience that it provides.
If you’re looking for a sharp macro lens for Fujifilm at a great price–especially if you’re a hobbyist shooter looking to really delve into the world of macro photography–then the Samyang 100mm f/2.8 macro is an excellent choice.
Best For: Beautiful close-ups of unmoving subjects (e.g., flowers, leaves)
It’s rare to find a macro lens that’s both incredibly cheap and incredibly sharp, but somehow the 7artisans 60mm f/2.8 has managed to pull it off (at around $160, a bargain!).
First, you’ve got the ergonomics:
An effortless focusing ring for smooth manual focusing, combined with a decent build and a relatively compact frame. The lens itself is pretty thin, though I must admit that I find the way it extends a little off-putting; as you focus, the center of the lens pokes out, like a telescope, toward your subject.
The optics themselves are very sharp, even wide open. It’s a bit unbelievable, really, given the price; this lens is at least on par with options out there that cost three times the price. And you do get 1:1 magnification (though, as I mentioned above, the lens extends as it focuses, making 1:1 focusing a bit awkward).
It’s important to note that the 7artisans 60mm f/2.8 does have some drawbacks. Chief among these is the lack of autofocus (you’ll need to focus manually, though that shouldn’t be hard for a macro photographer), as well as the short focal length.
Because while 60mm on an APS-C camera will get you a 90mm effective focal length, you just won’t achieve the same smooth background bokeh as a true 90mm lens can provide, even at f/2.8. And you definitely won’t want to use this lens for shooting subjects such as insects; they’ll be gone before you can get close!
When you take the optics, the price, and the ergonomics together…
The 7artisans 60mm f/2.8 macro lens for Fujifilm looks pretty darn appealing!
It’s a great option for anyone looking to get started in macro photography, but who doesn’t want to pay a premium for one of the other lenses on this list.
Best For: True macro photography on a budget
It’s a ridiculously good lens.
It’s also a ridiculously expensive lens, costing noticeably over $1000, which makes it far too costly for most photographers to even consider.
That’s why it’s only third on this list (if I were writing this article based on lens quality alone, the 80mm f/2.8 Macro would rank first).
So what does it offer?
Pretty much everything, including:
- Tack-sharp optics across the board, from the center of the frame to its corners, from f/2.8 on up
- Well-controlled chromatic aberration and vignetting (really, just all around great image quality)
- Incredible build quality and weather sealing
- A great focal length for all-around macro shooting
- Optical image stabilization, for shooting at slower shutter speeds
As you can see, the 80mm f/2.8 is really quite fantastic. You get stellar optics so you can capture superior detail. You also have great build quality (with weather sealing), in case you’re the type of photographer who likes to work in poor weather. And the 80mm focal length, combined with a Fujifilm camera, will get you around 120mm of effective focal length, which is right in that sweet spot for unmoving subjects (though still short for insects).
One more feature the Fujinon 80mm f/2.8 Macro offers over competitors on this list is autofocus. No, it’s not the fastest AF out there, but at least you get autofocus; if this is essential to your work, then you may want to just splurge on the 80mm f/2.8.
The only real downside to this lens, aside from the price, is its weight. At around 1.7 lbs, it’s not exactly light, so photographers that prize travel-readiness over all else would be better served picking a different lens.
Best For: Serious macro photographers looking for the best possible optics
The Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8 isn’t exactly a conventional choice–but if you’re not familiar with Lensbaby lenses, I highly recommend taking a look, because the results can be stunning.
You see, Lensbaby aims to create lenses that aren’t necessarily sharp, but are instead artistic. The Lensbaby Velvet series (which also includes the Velvet 56 f/1.6, here) is designed to create a glow, which looks like this:
Honestly, if you haven’t used a Lensbaby lens before, then the Velvet 85 is going to blow you away. The look is just too cool–and it offers so much potential for anyone hoping to create soft-focus, easy-on-the-eyes macro images.
One of the great things about the Velvet 85 is that you get that “glow” when using an aperture of f/1.8, but the glow disappears as you stop down (and you start creating tack-sharp images).
In other words, you can capture artistic images at wide apertures, but get standard, detailed macro images with an aperture of f/4 and beyond, where the optics become very sharp.
Now, the Velvet 85 is manual focus only, and it has an old-school style to go with it: An all-metal body, plus an aperture ring. This contributes to strong build-quality and nice ergonomics, though I do feel like the manual focus ring is a bit too smooth (I’d like a bit more stick).
Another potential issue is the magnification ratio: The Velvet 85 only gets you to 1:2 magnification, which is good, but not enough for true macro shooting. When I do my flower photography, 1:2 is a bit more limiting than I like, but still allows for plenty of possibilities (a lot of will depend on your shooting style and how close you like to get!).
All in all, I’m a huge fan of the Lensbaby lineup, and the Velvet 85 is the best of a great bunch. So while the soft-focus look isn’t right for everybody, if that’s something you’re after, the Lensbaby Velvet 85 is a tremendous option.
Best For: Artistic, creative macro images
The Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 Macro really is a great little lens, offering a lot for a decent price. Unfortunately, it only reaches 1:2 magnification–but, as with the Lensbaby Velvet 85, you may not actually need true macro magnification (i.e., 1:1), especially if you’re just planning to test the macro photography waters.
For instance, you get excellent sharpness–even extending to the corners of the frame when shooting wide open. Chromatic aberration is also pretty minimal, which will save your photos from any annoying fringing effects, especially in the center of the frame where it matters most.
The lens is also very lighweight, offering very good build quality and great ergonomics; you get a manual focus ring that’s very smooth and easy to grip, as well as an aperture ring for adjusting the f-stop.
Note that the Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 does offer autofocusing. And while it’s unlikely that you’ll need it for macro shooting, it’s a nice feature to have if you plan to use this lens for any other photography.
And speaking of using the Fujinon 60mm for other photography:
That is one of the strengths of this lens, because 60mm is a great focal length for street photography, portrait photography, and walkaround photography. On the other hand, 60mm is on the shorter end for macro shooting, and while it’s very usable for shooting flowers and other details, you’re not going to have much luck when using it for insects.
Ultimately, I’d recommend the Fujinon 60mm f/2.8 macro for anyone hoping to try out macro photography without diving in headfirst; you’ll be able to test out some close up shooting, while also using the lens for other types of photography if macro doesn’t turn out to be your thing.
Best For: Serious photographers getting started with macro photography
Choosing the Best Macro Lens for Fujifilm
If you want to do macro photography, then a macro lens is a great buy–it’ll allow you to get closer than you can with a normal lens, plus macro lenses are designed for optimal sharpness when shooting up close.
Let’s take a look at a few important features you’ll want to consider when choosing a Fujifilm macro lens:
If you’re going to invest in a macro lens, you’re generally going to want it to be sharp.
Fortunately, pretty much every macro lens available today offers extremely crisp image quality, though you do want to be careful with chromatic aberration. Some lenses are ultra-sharp but really struggle with fringing, making them a lot less impressive than they might initially seem.
True 1:1 Magnification
To get high-quality macro photos, you want a lens that can focus up close.
Now, the standard for macro photography, also known as true macro focusing, is 1:1 magnification. This means that the lens creates an image that is equivalent to lifesize on a 35mm sensor.
And if a lens offers 1:1 magnification, it’s referred to as a true macro lens.
Personally, I prefer true macro lenses when doing close-up photography, simply because they allow you to reach a level of detail that you can’t get any other way. But 1:2 lenses still let you get pretty close, so if you’re comfortable with the loss of true macro magnification, this can be an acceptable way to get started in macro photography.
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Manual Focusing Ergonomics
Unlike most forms of photography, the best macro shooting is usually done with manual focus. Focusing manually allows you to fine-tune your focus point, which is critical when you’re capturing shallow depth of field shots, like this:
Plus, most lenses just can’t focus well at small distances. They hunt for long moments–at which point you’ll just want to switch over to manual focus!
Anyways, while you don’t need a macro lens with lightning-fast autofocus, it does pay to purchase a Fujifilm macro lens with good ergonomics. Specifically, a lens with a large and grippy manual focus ring, so you can et your plane of focus with ease.
There are essentially three focal lengths for macro lenses:
Wide (in the 30-60mm range); this is good for just getting started in macro photography, but tends to offer a too-short working distance for more serious macro shooters. In other words, with a 50mm macro lens, you’ll have to get very close to your subject to achieve true 1:1 magnification, which can result in you casting shadows on the subject or even bumping the lens against it.
Standard (in the 80-120mm range); this is a very common focal length for serious macro photographers, and offers a balance of length, working distance, and compactness. This is my preferred focal length, because it allows for better working distance than a wide macro lens, but isn’t as heavy as longer lenses.
Telephoto (in the 130-200mm range); these lenses are very pricey, very heavy, and tend to offer the best background blur of the bunch. They’re also essential if you need to get close to insects, because the working distance tends to be longer than their standard and wide counterparts. Unfortunately, I’ve not yet found a quality telephoto macro lens for Fujifilm–but, if I do, I’ll update this list and add it!
The wider your maximum aperture, the more light your camera lets in.
If you’re working in good light, this isn’t an issue–but at high magnifications, light is pretty limited, plus macro photography is often done on cloudy days, when you don’t have a huge supply of light to work with.
That’s where a wide maximum aperture comes in handy. Fortunately, most macro lenses allow you to shoot up to f/2.8, which is perfect for macro purposes–though a few, like the Lensbaby Velvet 85, allow you to shoot even wider.
By the way, a wide maximum aperture has another benefit:
You can create an ultra-shallow depth of field, which allows you to create a stunning soft-focus look:
And beautiful background bokeh, like this:
When you shoot at high magnifications, camera shake is magnified.
Which means that you need to do everything you can to keep your setup as still as possible.
If you prefer using a tripod, then that’s fine–but if you’re looking to handhold, then a great option is image stabilization (which Fujifilm refers to as OIS). This will keep your lens stable even as you drop the shutter speed down to 1/60s or so, which is invaluable when handholding at high magnifications.
Best Fujifilm Macro Lens: The Next Steps
Now that you’ve finished this article, you should be well-prepared to pick the perfect Fujifilm macro lens for your needs.
But don’t stop there!
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