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The nature photography "natural"

Dappled sunlight glistens down from the canopy as you tweak the focus on your EF 180mm macro lens. Summer internships don't often land you in the Ecuadorian rain forest but here you are, documenting a not-very-well-understood ant species as your chosen subject harvests a leaf. And what an image you're getting: Working with the camera a foot and a half away, you're getting a 1-to-1 image ratio — that means the image projected on the camera's sensor is as big as the ant itself. With today's 20+ megapixel sensors, that means unparalleled detail when you blow up the image to 8 x 10 or beyond.

The background will be creamy and nicely blended. Because this lens has a narrower field of view than most macro lenses, less of the out-of-focus background can be seen in the shot, making for a smoother, more homogenous background. The final result is a spectacular isolation of subject.

In addition to being a nature photography natural, this 180mm lens is a strong prime telephoto and portrait lens, with crispness and color rendition that few other lenses can match. And as it's an L-Series lens, it works on almost all Canon SLRs — and it has the rugged build quality and weather-resistance you'll be needing when using it for your outdoor work.

Product Highlights:

  • EF 180mm f/3.5 Macro USM L-Series lens
  • compatible with Canon digital and autofocus film SLR cameras
  • effective focal length:
    • 180mm with 35mm film or full-frame digital cameras
    • 288mm with APS-C sensor cameras
  • ideal for close-up nature photography
  • USM (ultra sonic motor) for silent focusing
  • auto focus system allows full-time manual focus override with lens still in AF mode
  • internal focusing system maintains constant lens length
  • working distance: 11" from front of lens to subject at life-size (1:1) magnification
  • minimum focus distance: 18" (from film or sensor plane to subject)
  • minimum aperture: f22
  • lens construction: 14 elements in 12 groups
  • diaphragm blades: 8
  • attachment/filter size: 72mm
  • front and rear lens caps, lens hood, tripod ring, and case supplied
  • lens is 3-1/4" in diameter, 7-5/8" long
  • weight: 38.4 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro Lens Reviews

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • EF180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
  • E-72 II Front lens cap (installed)
  • Rear lens cap (installed)
  • Tripod Mount Ring B (B) (installed)
  • ET-78II Lens Hood (installed)
  • Zippered storage case (LZ-1128)
  • Case strap
  • Instructions on CD-ROM
  • EF Lens Quick Guide
  • Warranty/Product Registration card

Features and Specs

Brand Compatibility Canon
Image Stabilization No
Focal Length 180mm
Maximum Aperture f/3.5
Weight 38.4 ounces
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research


Overview: The Canon EF180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens is a high-performance macro lens for use with Canon EOS cameras. The lens features a built-in Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for quick and quiet autofocusing. The lens is constructed of 14 elements in 12 groups, including UD (ultra-low dispersion) elements for excellent imaging capability.

Close-up Photography: The lens can be used as a telephoto lens for normal photography. It can also take close-up photos up to 1x (life-size) magnification. The minimum focusing distance is 0.48m (1.6 feet) from the film plane (or image sensor). The working distance (from the front of the lens to the subject) is about 0.25m (9.84").

Focus Modes: The EF180mm lens is equipped with a two-way switch for setting the Focus Mode. You can choose from AF (auto focus) or MF (manual focus). In Manual Focus mode, you can focus on your subject by turning the focus ring. The focusing ring always works, regardless of the focus mode.

Focus Range Switch: You can switch between two focusing ranges using the two-way switch on the barrel of the lens. You can choose from a range of 0.48 meters (1.6') to infinity, or a range of 1.5 meters (4.9') to infinity. Depending on your subject matter, the correct choice of focus range can reduce the auto focusing time.

Lens Hood: The included ET-78II lens hood cuts out unwanted light and protects the lens from rain, snow, and dust. When mounted, the lens hood adds approximately 3" to the overall length of the lens. You can reverse-mount the lens hood on the lens for storage.

Tripod Mount: The included tripod mount ring allows you to mount the camera onto a tripod by the lens instead of the camera body. You can loosen the orientation lock knob on the tripod mount and rotate it as needed for switching between vertical and horizontal positions.

Display Window: The EF180mm lens has a display window on the barrel near the focus range switch that provides the following:

  • Distance Scale: The distance scale gives you an indication of the focal distance of the lens.
  • Magnification Scale: When focusing with magnification priority, you can refer to the magnification scale and turn the focusing ring to the desired magnification. The scale is from 1:1 (life-size) to 1:10 (1/10x).
  • Infinity Compensation Mark: The lens provides an "L" infinity mark to compensate for shifting of the infinity focus point that results from changes in temperature. The infinity position at normal temperature is the point at which the vertical line of the L mark is aligned with the distance indicator on the distance scale.
  • Depth-of-Field Scale: The depth of field is the distance in front of and behind the plane of focus on the subject that appears sharp. The depth of field is indicated by the area between the depth-of-field scale lines below the distance scale.

Optional Macro Flash: The EF180mm is compatible with the optional Canon MR-14EX Macro Ring Lite and the MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite. These macro flash units enable fully automatic macro flash photography up to 1x magnification in E-TTL autoflash mode. The Macro Lite Adapter 72C (sold separately) is required for mounting either macro flash units.

Optional Lens Extenders: The lens is compatible with EF1.4x II and EF2x II lens extenders (sold separately). The extenders will increase the focal length to 252mm (EF1.4x) and 360mm (EF2x).


  • Focal Length: 180mm
  • Minimum Aperture: f/32
  • Maximum Aperture: f/3.5
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.6 feet
  • Filter Diameter: 72mm
  • Angle of View:
    • Diagonal: 13° 40'
    • Vertical: 7° 40'
    • Horizontal: 11° 25'
  • Dimensions: 3.249" Diameter, 5.566" Length, 38.4 Ounces

Our Product Research Team

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