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MP-E65 macro lensCanon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo

Available from: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | B&H | Adorama


Launched in 1999, this is very much a 'one of a kind' lens. This macro lens is the only one having the MP-E designation in the entire EF range.

deph of field table for MP-E65The design is macro only - there is no focus adjustment. You set the magnification and the move the camera or subject to achieve focus.

Depth of field is very thin, as shown in this table.

Note though that the aperture values are those set via the camera, and not the actual effective values of the optical system, which varies with magnification and are higher.

Effective Aperture = (Aperture Setting) + (Aperture Setting x Magnification)

At high magnifications and higher aperture settings, loss of sharpness through diffraction can be discerned - however without focus stacking, this may be the only way of getting a usable DOF. The viewfinder gets increasingly dark too - this is a lens that needs a lot of practice to use well.

The filter holder ring is grooved on the exterior enabling quick and effective mounting of the MT-24EX dual flash unit and other ring lights.

MP-E65 lens with MT-24ex flash unit

If using with flash, at higher magnifications, it is well worth getting one of the special MP-E65 lens hoods/shades (cheaper versions can be found on eBay at a fraction of the full price)

mp-e65 lens hood

Between x1 and x5 magnification, the lens extends to what seems to be an astonishing degree, compared to any other lens you've likely used. Shown here on Keith Cooper's EOS 1Ds mk3

mp-e65 at x1 magnification

and at 5x magnification

mp-e65 at x5 magnification

Lens specifications

Angle of view (horzntl, vertl, diagnl) 15°40', 10°35', 18°40'
Lens construction (elements/groups) 10/8
No. of diaphragm blades 6
Minimum aperture 16
Closest focusing distance (m) 0.24
Maximum magnification (x) 5.00
AF actuator -
Filter diameter (mm) 58
Max. diameter x length (mm) 81 x 98
Weight (g) 710
Magnification - Extension Tube EF12 II -
Magnification - Extension Tube EF25 II -
Lens hood -
Hard case -
Soft case LP1216

mp-e65 internal construction

mp-e65 MTF chart

A quick guide to MTF charts (which only measure contrast and resolution. Canon's guide to their MTF charts)

Black lines reflect lens performance at widest aperture.
Blue lines show the performance at f/8

Thick lines indicate lens contrast
Thin lines indicate lens resolution

Dashed lines: Lens performance with meridional lines.
Solid lines: Lens performance with sagittal lines

Closer sagittal and meridional chart lines indicate more 'natural' out of focus areas.

Remember that MTF charts are good for comparing similar lenses, so comparing ones from the 14mm f2.8L and 300mm 2.8L won't tell you much at all, whilst comparing the EF14 2.8L with the EF14 2.8L II will show meaningful differences. Note that other manufacturers may have different ways of displaying such information that may or may not match up with the Canon figures.

Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo - reviews and articles

Written a review? Contact us and we'll add it to the list.

Sample images

Eye of a needle and electronic chip

electronic component and eye of needle

Chip balanced on head of match

Match head and electronic component

Garden spider and wasp

Garden spider and wasp

Ball point pen and line on paper.

line of ink and ball point pen

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