Macro (1:1)/

Canon MP-E65mm F2.8 1-5x Review

General information

This is a prime lens manufactured by Canon and the lens was released 1999.
The lens belongs to the category standard prime lenses, a normal lens where you do not have the possibility to zoom in and out.

The lens has macro-capabilities and is able to reproduce things in their true size (1:1) which is good, it tends to be the rule for calling a lens a 'true' macro lens.

Product description from Canon

At launch 1999 Canon wrote this regarding Canon MP-E65mm F2.8 1-5x :

"A unique manual-focus lens designed exclusively for macro shooting, between life-size (1x) and 5x life-size at its maximum magnification, you can fill a 35mm frame with a grain of rice. Compatible with the Macro Ring Lites and new Macro Twin Lite, it eliminates the need for awkward bellows accessories for many macro shooters. A floating system preserves optical quality at different focusing distances, and features a UD-glass element.

This lens, used alone without attachments, performs macrophotography from life-size to 5x magnification. This lens offers much better portability and operability for outdoor high magnification macro photography of flowers, insects, etc., than conventional bellows systems. The optics uses a 3-group floating system, which moves three lens groups independently for focusing. This compensates aberrations caused by the large changes of image magnification inherent in macrophotography, while achieving high magnification from life-size to 5x and a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture. A UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) glass lens element corrects chromatic aberration, which is often a problem in high-magnification macrophotography, and achieves a high-resolution and high-contrast image without color fringing. Automatic aperture drive by EMD (Electro-Magnetic Diaphragm) unit makes possible AE shooting with TTL metering for the entire range with EOS-1, EOS-1N and EOS-3 cameras (Manual exposure control for other EOS cameras). The wide manual focusing ring and detachable tripod mount assure good operability, and macro flash photography is possible with the optional Macro Ring Lite ML-3. The Angle Finder C, being marketed concurrently, is convenient for waist-level/low-angle shooting. Its 19.5mm long eyepoint and easy switching of magnification between 1.25x and 2.5x are very useful for macro photography."

Compatibility, autofocus and focal length

This lens is constructed to fit all models of Canon cameras, regardless of camera model or type of sensor.

The possibility of using autofocus (AF) does not exist, since this lens only supports manual focusing.

The lens has a focal length of 65 mm. Depending on which camera the lens is used, the experienced and perceived focal length will be different. Please visit the list of compatible cameras below, it will provide the equivalent focal length you get on each camera.

Lens brightness and image stabilizer

The lens brightness and aperture value is f/2,8.

This aperture value indicates that the lens is very bright.  This will make it so much easier shooting in darker environments where you do not want or can use flash lighting, for example in churches or at different sports venues.

The lens lacks image stabilization, which otherwise os good for avoiding the blur that can occur when using slow shutter speeds. Since the lens is bright, with good aperture value, the lack of image stabilization might not be that big of a deal, although a image stabilizer is always an advantage to have.

Filter and Lens Hood

The lens has a traditional filter thread on the front and its measuring 58 mm which also the filter you will use must have. If you use for example an UV filter can be a cheap insurance against scratches and dust.

There is a lens hood that fits the lens (model name "MP-E65") but unfortunately this is something that is not included when purchasing the lens and must be ordered and bought separately, as an accessory.

Tripod Mount

This lens is equipped with a tripod mount, which makes use of a tripod easier and more stable.

Things to consider before buying

Below you will find some summarized points and facts that can be considered as the 'pros and cons' of this lens. These are based entirely on the facts and values that are accessible through the lens specification, so we highly recommend that you also read the reported reviews available (see tab 'Reviews'); this in order to get a more complete view of the lens and its capabilities. Reviewer opinions reflect the lens, its use and its optical performance in a more accurate way, but any way - here a few different points to consider before buying this lens.

  • The lens brightness, f/2,8
  • Manages to reproduce things at 1:1 (Macro)
  • Works on all sensor types
  • A tripod mount is included
  • The lens supports only manual focusing, not autofocus
  • No lens hood is included
  • The lens is not sealed against moisture and dust
  • Heavy (710 gr)
  • The price (more info)

Our Review Ratings

Time to grade Canon MP-E65mm F2.8 1-5x .

Build Quality     
Image Quality     
Overall rating 3 of 5

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