You don’t demand to have a broad range of lenses to accept great pictures of food, or to spend a lot of money on lenses upfront. Peculiarly if you’re new to photography.
That being said, lenses are where yous should spend the most significant office of your budget. You should look at them equally a long-term investment in your photography craft.
Here’southward our rundown of the best lenses on the market and how to pick one for food photography.
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Consider the Crop Factor
Before buying a lens, you need to know whether your photographic camera has a full frame sensor or a cropped 1. You can have the best camera for food photography, simply the lens will only part well if you lot know your camera’southward sensor.
A ingather sensor is cheaper for a photographic camera manufacturer to make. This makes decent digital cameras available to a wide variety of consumers. In a crop frame camera, the sensor cuts out the edges of the frame. This increases the focal length.
Ingather gene describes the difference betwixt the size of your camera’s sensor and a traditional 35mm film frame. It is used to calculate effective focal lengths and compare lenses betwixt DSLRs.
The Canon Rebel serial is an first-class example of a popular DSLR with a cropped sensor. Information technology’s quite pop amid food bloggers.
But the focal length of your lens will exist different on a cropped sensor camera than on a full-frame one.
On a full frame camera, a 50mm volition comport like a 50mm. Put that same lens on a camera with a cropped frame sensor: it will act more like an 80mm. Your shots will be nowhere virtually as wide.
If you lot think you lot will upgrade from a cropped sensor to a total frame ane 24-hour interval, then you should take this into consideration when shopping for a photographic camera lens.
Also, note that lenses that are designed for a crop frame volition not role on a total-frame camera. You lot tin’t use the Rebel’south 18-55 kit lens on a full-frame DSLR.
What Lenses Should I Use for Food Photography?
Your virtually pressing business concern when shopping for a lens is the sharpness. This means using prime lenses when shooting still life or food photography. These are sharper than zoom lenses.
Zoom lenses have more moving parts to enable the zoom role. This can result in lower prototype quality and sharpness. Y’all can also become barrel and pin-absorber distortions at wide angles.
They can also cause an increase in chromatic aberration and vignetting. Vignetting is especially credible at wider apertures.
Prime number lenses are usually ‘faster’. They accept a larger maximum aperture, which enables quicker shutter speeds. They give you a much shallower depth of field. This allows you lot to isolate your subject and get that beautiful blurred groundwork.
The 50mm Prime Lens – for Quality on a Budget
The 50mm can likewise be a useful lens, specially if you don’t have a zoom. This lens is good for shooting food top-down and for tablescapes.
The 50mm f/1.viii is often referred to as the “nifty-l” because it gives you decent results for a very low price. If you’re simply starting out and your budget is tight, become this.
For food photography, 50mm is actually considered a wide-angle lens. If y’all’re shooting just an item or two directly-on or at a 3/4 bending, you will take too much of the groundwork and surface in your frame.
You need to have big backgrounds if yous use the lens this style. Compare the images of the shaved broccoli salad below.
The one on the left is at 50mm. You can see the background doesn’t take over the whole frame. You can also see the border of the surface. The food is as well far abroad to really encounter into the dish.
I took the shot on the right at 60mm. I didn’t motion the camera or tripod. You can come across that the extra 10mm makes a large divergence.
If you get a 24-70mm, then yous can take your overhead shots by setting it at 50mm.
Get Closer with the 24-70mm Zoom Lens
Although primes are ideal, information technology is handy to accept one zoom lens, such as a 24-70mm f/2.viii or a 24-105mm f/iv
I take both in Canon’s L-Series and observe the 24-70mm much sharper than the 24-105mm. The 24-105mm is the kit lens when you lot purchase a Canon 5D.
Aye, the 24-70mm is a zoom lens, but I find it very precipitous in comparison to most zoom lenses. Many food photographers consider this a staple in their kit.
60mm Macro Lens – for Less Distortion
A 60mm macro is an splendid selection if you lot’re shooting with a cropped frame sensor.
On a cropped sensor, it’south more than like having a 100mm. If y’all upgrade to total-frame, you can use it like you would a 50mm. This lens will allow you to get iii/4-angle view shots of your subject field with beautiful bokeh.
Yous also won’t become the distortion at this bending that yous would when shooting with a wider focal length, like a 50mm.
The 100/110mm Macro – for Portrait-style Food Shots
An outstanding lens to have in your kit is a 100mm macro lens. This lens is not only for macro or shut up shots. By pulling further away from your set, you can become lovely portrait-style shots likewise. You will get a great blurred background.
I take the consumer-form 100mm f/2.8, and it’s razor-sharp. In fact, I have read reviews where the photographer preferred the consumer-grade to the 100mm macro in the L-Serial! And it’s half the price.
If you become for the 100mm/105mm macro lens on a cropped frame sensor, you volition be shooting at a focal length of 150mm. This will be a very tight crop. Especially if infinite is an consequence, or if you have several props or a storytelling aspect to your images.
80mm Prime Lens – for Wider Scenes
This likely will not be one of the primary lenses for your kit. But if you already have a couple of lenses for your full-frame, like a 100mm macro and a 50mm or 24-70mm, consider the 80mm prime lens.
This is a expert lens for nutrient photography and shooting wider scenes, but not every bit broad equally you might do with a 50mm.
I shoot a lot of food portraiture. And I sometimes discover that shooting at 70mm is not quite shut enough. Just the 100mm gets me too close.
Also, when you shoot broad open, say at 70mm on a 24-70mm lens, you run a risk more than distortion. Zoom lenses usually part at their best somewhere in the middle of their bachelor focal lengths.
The 85mm/90mm Tilt-Shift – to Become the Best Angle
The cost is restrictive for a lot of photographers. Merely I demand to mention a tilt-shift lens for your food photography. Yous tin can e’er rent i if you cannot beget to buy it.
This is a lens used by food photographers in the advertising earth.
A tilt-shift lens allows you to control the plane of focus very precisely. You can shift the lens up or downwards, left or right, to minimize distortion.
The tilt functions let you to keep different elements in focus on unlike focal planes.
Yous can become the subject sharply in focus with a background that is very blurred out.
When you focus on a certain bending, everything on that angle will exist in focus.
With this lens, yous are able to shoot the nutrient at the best bending. You also control how many of the props or how much of the wider story appears within the frame. All without changing the camera angle or distance.
It’due south a fantastic lens, and in one case you lot have worked with one, you will be amazed.
I use the 24-70mm zoom lens and the 100mm macro for most of my nutrient photography. I find that I frequently shoot at a focal betoken of around 60-80mm.
Every photographer has their about preferred lenses to work with. Information technology depends on how you similar to shoot.
If you want to do food portraits as I practice, you lot volition demand a focal length of 50mm-80mm nigh of the time.
If yous prefer to shoot closer most of the time, y’all might want to go for the 100mm right off the bat.
Before you splash out for an expensive lens, y’all should try renting a couple. Meet how y’all similar working with a particular lens before yous invest your money in it. Yous will also be able to figure out the focal lengths that all-time match your photography style.
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