Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L MACRO Review

January 15, 2018 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


Of the three new Tilt Shift Macro lenses, it’s arguably true that the 50mm option is the most versatile. It’s a handy focal length to use for a variety of different subjects, including portraits, landscapes, architecture, food and products. 

You also have the option to use the lens as a standalone prime lens, if you don’t utilise any of the tilt, shift or rotate mechanisms. You’ll be relying on manual focus, but it saves you having to carry two lenses in your bag. 

Although it takes some time to get used to using a tilt-shift lens, once you do, the rewards are high. Being able to control precise areas of focus, whether for creative effect or for fine-tuning product shots, is a dream. Be prepared to put in the effort to learn exactly how to use a lens like this if you’ve never used a tilt-shift before, while those who are more experienced are likely to have more luck straight out of the box. 

Sharpness is excellent. We’ve been using the lens with a 6D Mark II, but for maximum resolution, and to take advantage of that fine sharpness, a camera such as the Canon EOS 5DSR would be ideal. 

This is a very specialist lens which is not for everybody. The high asking price probably precludes most enthusiasts, but for those who have a need for such a lens, you’ll probably find that it gets a lot of usage. It’s the perfect lens to rent for a couple of weeks to see whether you like it before investing in - you may also want to rent the other two new lenses to see which matches your personal preferences best. 

Overall, the Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro Lens is a very impressive performer. Having the macro ability, as well as the L series designation makes it a fantastic improvement on the previous TS-E 45mm f/2.8 tilt shift lens, but you do of course pay a premium for it. 

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 3