Best Lens For Food Photography

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From beginner to proficient, budget to expensive, hither are the iv ultimate food photography lenses you’ll want to consider forth the way.

Of course, whatever conversation nearly lenses needs to outset with the ‘crop cistron’. Substantially does your camera have a full-frame sensor or a cropped sensor?

If that went over your caput, check out this post I’ve done on total frame vs cropped sensors.

My recommendation for these food photography lenses is based on having a full frame camera. If you have a cropped sensor, then you’ll have to take into account that additional cropping gene.

Most photographers when they start out will have a photographic camera that has a cropped sensor. I practice have a post here on the 2 focal lengths I recommend for cropped sensors.

My advice is to invest in the all-time lens you can afford. Your lenses will stay with you throughout your photography journey, whereas you lot’ll upgrade your camera.

Read 10 tips you lot should think virtually when upgrading your camera for food photography.

If y’all decide to upgrade your photographic camera to full frame but yous didn’t purchase FX lenses (compatible with full frame), you’ll take to replace them.

Ouch. That tin be plush.

photography lenses on a table with cookies in a bowl and cupcakes on a cake stand.

four Ultimate Food Photography Lenses

I shoot Nikon, and I dearest the prime number lenses in my kit. I use each of these lenses when I am working.

This mail service isn’t about
‘exactly which’ lens to buy, only rather to consider the focal length that is flattering for food photography.

When shopping for food photography lenses, consider the focal length of the lens and what you’re trying to capture.

Dry rose buds and petals in a bowl, with rose tea on the side.
Shot with Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art Serial

Read: The No.1 Mistake When Upgrading Your 18-50mm Lens

1. The 50mm ‘Nifty 50’

There is a reason why the 50mm is referred to every bit the ‘nifty fifty’.

Information technology’s an inexpensive lens, lightweight, great quality for the price and its focal length lends itself to many styles of photography. Every bit far as food photography lenses are concerned, this is your entry level lens.

But don’t let ‘entry level’ fool yous.

This lens isn’t crap!

At its price point, it’s no wonder it has get a staple part of every photographer’s photographic camera bag.

My Nikkor 50mm AF f/one.8D always become with me. On every shoot, on every holiday.

I wouldn’t say it is my favourite lens, merely it is my ‘condom lens’. I can rely on it and it gets me out of tight spots.

Why is the 50mm a great food photography lens?

It is corking for flat lays, tabular array scenes and capturing highly stylised stories where yous need to include a lot of elements.

It’s a perfect lens to capture a wider scene then you can crop your images in mail-processing to create a more powerful image without creating distortion that may come with a wider focal length such as a 35mm.

Use it in low calorie-free when you are shooting at cafes and restaurants as can go as high as f/1.4 and f/ane.8.

50mm Food Photography Lens

How I use my 50mm

The 50mm is usually my commencement go to lens for flat lays and overhead shots where I am trying to capture quite a few elements that connect the viewer to my food story.

I will also use it to provide a wide crop for minimal shots where I want to play around the ingather of the shot in mail-processing.

If you are looking to add a text element as an overlay and negative space is key, I use this lens to provide that option.

As I don’t tend to shoot food beyond f/iii.five, I don’t employ this lens to its highest aperture, (being f/ane.8). But this high aperture is certain handy to accept in low light when you are far abroad from your subject.

I call this my ‘safe lens’ sometimes as I know if I am shooting on location or at a eating place and the lighting is less than ideal I can go safe shots that will go me over the line.

Whilst not ideal to shoot subjects on a 45-caste angle, information technology is a much better selection than a 35mm.

Read: How To Blur Your Background in Nutrient Photography

4 Ultimate Food Photography Lenses For Beautiful Photos | From beginner to pro, budget to expensive. Here are the 4 food photography lenses that you need to know to capture stunning images of food. Nikon, Canon and Tamron. This post will have you covered. Click to read.

2. The 60mm Micro/ 6omm Macro

The Nikkor 60mm Micro AF-Southward 2.8G was the first lens that I purchased all by my wee self and remains one of my favourites.

It captures lite and so beautifully, is incredibly sharp, has i of the prettiest vignetting of any of my lenses and a brusk minimum focusing distance.

As far as nutrient photography lenses go, this is i is for the smart photographer. Ii-in-ane, affordable and corking quality. You lot can read more than about which specific macro lens you should buy for your food photography in this post I wrote.


Lens Quiz

Which Lens Matches Your Food Photography Style?

Why is the 60mm Macro a bully food photography lens?


It’southward the perfect combination of (well-nigh) ‘great fifty’ and macro in 1.

Obviously, it is non the same crop equally a 50mm, equally information technology is a 60mm, but it is pretty darn shut and has macro qualities to boot.

If you’re just getting started in investing in your lens drove this is a great combo of a 50mm with the versatility of macro qualities.

If your photographic camera has a cropped sensor, (similar my first photographic camera Nikon D300 had a crop factor of ane.five), then the 60mm Macro will go more than like a 90mm macro which is close to the professional Canon 100mm Macro.

Another killer lens on this list!

Shot with Nikkor 60mm 2.eight
Yogurt, granola fruit dish, with berries on top and a side of honey dish.
Shot with Nikkor 60mm ii.8

60 MM lense on a table, close up image.

60mm Macro Food Photography Lens

How I utilize my Nikkor 60mm Micro AF-S f/2.8

I tend to use this lens like I would a 50mm. I shoot overhead with it a lot, especially when I need to get close to a subject.

When shooting at a 25-45 degree angle and I want to get a few more elements into the frame than a tighter crop like the 105mm allows for, I’ll go for this lens.

I rarely shoot below f/three.v for a food shoot, so f/2.8 on this lens suits me perfectly.

4 Ultimate Food Photography Lenses For Beautiful Photos | From beginner to pro, budget to expensive. Here are the 4 food photography lenses that you need to know to capture stunning images of food. Nikon, Canon and Tamron. This post will have you covered. Click to read.
Shot with Nikkor 60mm two.eight

3. The 105mm Micro/ 100mm Macro

The Nikkor 105mm Micro f/2.8 is always with me on a nutrient shoot.

Whilst food photography doesn’t equate to macro photography, (viewers will desire to see more than a macro shot of a sesame seed on their burger), the power to go shut focus to your subject is where macro lenses come in handy.

Equally it is a more expensive lens when ownership Nikon and Canon, Tamron also have a 90mm Macro that photographers I know swear by for a much more reasonable price.

Why is the 105mm Micro a great food photography lens?

It allows y’all to get those really flattering and tight 45 degree shots of your dish, whilst keeping a shallow depth of field for the background elements.

Wider angle lenses like the 50mm or the 60mm mentioned above don’t provide equally flattering an image when used to capture your dish at 45 degrees.

The closer y’all go with these lenses to ‘crop’ the dish at 45 degrees, the more distortion yous’ll come across.

The dish won’t look right. A zoom lens similar a xc-105mm focal length will provide much flattering images of your dish when shot at 45 degrees.

If y’all’re really because adding a macro lens to your kit, y’all tin can read more near which macro lens to consider here.


Shot with my Nikkor 105mm

100 MM - 105 MM lense, close up picture, lense on a table.

90-105mm Macro Food Photography Lens

How I apply my Nikkor 105mm Micro

Overall I reserve this lens solely to shoot dishes with height at angles between 25 and 45 degrees.

I rarely shoot this lens at it’s highest aperture, choosing to stay around f/5.vi or f/8 as it has such a shallow depth of field.

The paradigm is an example of this flattering angle shot at f/5.6. Still a gorgeous corporeality of blur!

Equally information technology is a very tight focal length, I do need to be a decent distance from the dish, so I demand to have enough space to allow me to explore angles between 25-75 degrees.

This lens does have vibration reduction (VR) for when you are manus belongings it, but my hands are still as well shaky. I therefore primarily shoot with this lens on a tripod with VR off.

Y’all can also shoot with this lens both overhead and directly on, I merely tend to utilise other lenses for overhead and rarely shoot my subjects straight on.

In that location is no signal in having a great lens if you lot’re not focusing on your subject correctly. You can read more than in this post about how to use autofocus correctly in food photography.

Shot with 105mm 2.viii micro

Lens Quiz

Which Lens Matches Your Food Photography Style?

iv. The Tilt-Shift Lens

A zoom tilt-shift lens may just be a pro food photographer’s lens of choice. It allows you to precisely control the aeroplane of focus like no other lens tin can.

(Alas I don’t have one, but I rent now when I demand information technology for a task. It is the adjacent lens of my list).

Mix of focus/blur control.

Y’all can selectively control the plane of focus, assuasive the dish at the front end of the image to be super in focus, whilst the groundwork story is superbly out of focus.

Angle/subject position control.

You tin shoot a dish at its most flattering angle, and control how much of the story/props around the frame are included without changing the camera angle, distance or the subject field placement.

This is really powerful for shooting cover or product/packaging images.

If you want to read more in-depth about the tilt-shift lens, yous can read this post.

4 Ultimate Food Photography Lenses For Beautiful Photos | From beginner to pro, budget to expensive. Here are the 4 food photography lenses that you need to know to capture stunning images of food. Nikon, Canon and Tamron. This post will have you covered. Click to read.
Shot with 45mm T/S 2.eight

Why is the tilt-shift a great food photography lens?

You can shoot a dish in its nigh flattering bending, having full control over the plane of focus. Allowing the dish to be perfectly in focus, with the surrounding elements out of focus.

Tilt-Shift Lens For Food Photography

RELATED:
Using A Tilt-Shift Lens In Food Photography

Are you looking for your adjacent food photography lenses? Trying to create better food images? Let me know what you’re because buying in the comments below.

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