Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L MACRO Review

January 16, 2018 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 L Macro Lens sits in the middle of the focal lengths of the new macro tilt shifts offered by Canon. While the 50mm can be described as a good “all round” type lens, the 90mm is an ideal focal length for quite a few different subjects, but especially product and portrait photography. It is less useful for landscape and architectural shots (save for close-up detail shots), so it may be less appealing to those who want something which is useful for a wider variety of subjects. 

As with all tilt-shift lenses, it takes some time, with a good degree of patience, to become adept at using a lens like this. It’s a specialist skill which is not for everybody, but rewards those who give it time with fantastic image quality. Being able to tightly control depth of focus, plane of focus and sharpness is a dream for professional product and food photographers, while the creative effects you can enjoy may be particularly appealing to wedding photographers and the like looking to create unusual portraits. 

You have the option to use the 90mm as a standalone prime lens if you would like to save room in your bag, which could make it a good swap out for the excellent 100mm f2.8L Macro lens - but bear in mind you have to be happy with relying solely on manual focus. 

Sharpness is extremely good with the Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 L Macro Lens. We have been using it with the 6D Mark II, but for even finer results, something like the Canon EOS 5DSR would really show off its capabilities - professional product photographers would do well to have this combination for ultimate high image quality. 

The Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 L Macro Lens is a specialist lens, with a high asking price which probably excludes most ordinary enthusiasts from buying it. It does however make for an excellent option for rental, especially if you’re not sure if you want one - or if you have the patience to learn how to properly use it. Some of the more creative effects it produces can be a bit gimmicky, so again, renting it makes sense to see if you think you will get much use out of the effects. 

Canon has produced a superb lens here, with excellent sharpness, high image quality and fantastic build quality. It is a more than worthy replacement for the older 90mm tilt shift lens, considering it now has “L” series designation and macro capability. Just like other tilt shift lenses, you pay a premium to own it, but for those who need one, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.

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