Last updated on December 16th, 2020
One of the most common questions I got from new photographers is which lens to use when photographing food. If you’re looking for the best lens for food photography, you’re in .the right place. Before you purchase any lenses you should know about them.
What Is the Best Lens for Food Photography?
Not all lenses are suitable for food photography. It depends on the effect you are interested in and what are your final goals. Looking for the best lens for food photography but can’t choose between a fixed and zoom one? When choosing gear there is never a correct choice; it all boils down to the type and size of the food, your workspace, and set up, the style you hope to achieve, along with how you want your final image will look.
Each lens will have advantages, and even disadvantages, depending on your setup. It can be a flat lay food photo for your Instagram business page or a restaurant’s lifestyle photo of the staff. However, each food photographer is looking for the lens which will capture the food from its best side. I have tested many lenses and chosen 10 top ones suitable for food photography.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Best Lenses for Food Photography in 2020
There are a lot of interchangeable lens cameras which will move with food photography, particularly after you try that body with an excellent lens. But while kit lenses are affordable ways to get started, they don’t offer the best quality. Check out our recommended lens variants for taking pictures of spectacular, hyper-realistic food photos. Keep in mind that these are based on having a full-frame camera, with which you can best achieve wider-angled, higher-quality food images with a broader dynamic range. If your image requires much space, a telephoto lens is your variant. The wide-angle lens allows shooting from the above or does flat-lay.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”1. Canon EF 100mm” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%2381d742″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F2ncgsCx|title:Canon%20EF%20100mm%20|target:%20_blank|”][vc_column_text]This is an awesome lens that can deliver some great macro shots. The build quality is solid, and the optics are very nice. That said, lacking image stabilization, you will need lots of light (a flash can help considerably) and very steady hands (a tripod would help considerably) if you want good image quality at the most magnified ends that lens can achieve.
The Canon 100mm lens gives minimal distortions, saves food proportions and their location in the space. If you often shoot from above, it is not your variant. If the composition consists of more than one plate, you will have to climb very high.
It is a macro lens so you may easily take close-ups. Each macro food photographer knows that it is important to focus very close to the subject and this optics provides such an opportunity (the minimal focal length is equal to 31 cm). However, it is not convenient to work with it in small rooms. You often have to step away for a considerable distance from the shooting object. The 100mm lens gives light vignette but you may correct it in Lightroom using the Lens Correction Profile. Read more about the best lens for portraits.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”2. Canon EF 50mm” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%2381d742″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F2mCPtzW|title:Canon%20EF%2050mm|target:%20_blank|”][vc_column_text]First of all, this lens is used to take pictures of food from the top. For example, if the composition is on the table, you may shoot it from above, simply using the chair. I bought both the Canon 50mm 1.2f and the 50mm 1.4f in order to test them before committing. I’ve owned this lens now for about four months and it continues to blow my mind with each use, regardless of the price (which only makes it more mind-boggling). From portraits of my family to action shots of my dog and wildlife/nature photography, this lens does it all and makes the rest of my kit look like a waste of space.
It is convenient since you don’t have to climb somewhere (like with 100 mm lens, for instance). Moreover, 50 mm lens for product photography is suitable for shooting at an angle, when the part of an interior should be in the frame. 50 mm lens is not suitable for shooting small compositions at a short distance. In this case, it distorts proportions of a subject and their location in the space.
These optics offer high brightness, the maximum aperture value is 1.4. What does it mean? First of all, you may take pictures which have only a small part in focus. Secondly, you may shoot with hands when there is poor lighting. Widely open aperture allows saving noise values necessary for frame sharpness and low ISO values. Read more about the Best sony lens for wedding photography.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”3. Nikon 60mm f/2.8″ font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%2381d742″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F2lKjEF0|title:Nikon%2060mm%20f%2F2.8|target:%20_blank|”][vc_column_text]Bought this lens for food
photography, specifically flowers, and the bees and other insects that frequent them. Coupled with my Nikon D750 I was able to get some great shots. Images are crystal clear lens is perfect for close-up work without bothering the subject. It is a great macro lens providing ideally clear shots. Moreover, it is really easy to use.
In comparison with 105mm optics (my favorite one), I have to stay at a distance of 2 to 4 feet from the subject to get the shot I have, using a 60mm lens.
So, if the distance is a problem (in case you like macro shooting and close-ups), it will be your new lens. It is an interesting focal length between 50mm and 85mm. One more reason why I recommend it is that it is very light. Unlike a 105mm lens which weighs 1 pound 12 ounces, 60mm optics is half of this weight (1 pound). Read more about best Canon wide angle lens.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”4. Sony 90mm f/2.8″ font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%2381d742″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F2lHu4p3|title:Sony%2090mm%20f%2F2.8|target:%20_blank|”][vc_column_text]The Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS allows shooting with a maximal scale 1:1. The minimal focal distance is 28 .cm, which is quite a standard value for a 90mm lens. During macro shooting in this position, the macro focus is the slowest but it is always accurate.
I tested the lens in the studio and it is ideal for indoor food photography. You may easily take pictures of small objects, and while shooting big ones, you take macro shots as well as capture tiny details.
The sharpness of the food lens is impressive. You will be already pleased with the sharpness on the aperture f/2.8. Starting with f/4.0, the image becomes sharp across the entire field. If you dream of a blade-sharp picture, it will be an ideal variant.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”5. Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8″ font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%2381d742″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F2mDab2H|title:Panasonic%2012-35mm%20f%2F2.8|target:%20_blank|”][vc_column_text]I have been using this lens with the BMPCC and it is an excellent choice. It does work with the focus and iris buttons. With this camera, you have to push the focus button if you don’t want to manually focus, it does not have continuous autofocus with any lens. The image stabilization is excellent. It is an alternative to 24-70mm at a full-frame. It is the optics every shooter has to own. No matter whether you are a food photographer or a wedding shooter, this optics is a must-have.
Moreover, it is also suitable both for video and photo shootings. In comparison with lenses for bigger matrixes, according to Macro 4/3 standards, it is quite massive. The manufacturer says that the lenses are covered with a “nano-covering” that removes undesired flares and reflections.
Autofocus motors are absolutely noiseless, the lens is sharp at an open aperture. I haven’t noticed visible distortions. If you need a universal high-aperture lens for all of life’s emergencies, 12-35mm f/2.8 is the best variant for today.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”6. Sigma 24-70mm” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%2381d742″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F2mDPEuQ|title:Sigma%2024-70mm|target:%20_blank|”][vc_column_text]
In general, it is a good universal zoom lens. Personally, I am not a fan of third lenses but Sigma Company offers decent gadgets and accessories.
One more peculiarity that should be mentioned is that it weighs almost 1.7 pounds and uses huge light filters with an 82mm diameter. The lens itself is considered a professional one which is proved with ‘EX’ letters (excellent lenses).[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”7. Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G ED” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%2381d742″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F2lbFj94|title:Nikkor%2035mm%20f%2F1.8G%20ED|target:%20_blank|”][vc_column_text]I am a travel photographer and this lens is my choice for 70% of my photographs. Almost none aberrations, nice bokeh, and good focus. My next lens from Nikon will be 105mm and I hope it will work like this one. Recommend!
This food photography lens has great compensated frame geometry. Straight lines near the image edges remain straight which is not typical for the wide-angle lens. The optics provide great sharpness in the middle of the frame with an open aperture.
Autofocus is very fast and sharp. The distance across the whole focal range does not exceed half a second. The minimal focal length is equal to 25 cm from the matrix plane. Read more about the best camera for macro photography.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Having a great food photography lens makes all the difference in your art. The sharpness and vibrant colors of a good lens make for great images straight out of the camera. And there you have it 7 of the best lenses you can use for food photography. Do keep in mind, however, that these are only suggestions. The best lens for you will still depend on your own unique needs, so experiment and play around to figure out which one (or two) best fits your shooting style and desired aesthetic.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]