Best Lens for Product Photography

Best Lens for Product Photography

It is very difficult to name one best lens for product photography as each type of product photography has its peculiarities and requirements to focal length. In this article, I will specify the best lenses for different kinds of product photography including universal lenses, for furniture, jewelry, food, and apparel photography.

best lens for product photography

18 Best Lenses for Product Photography

top 3 best lenses for product photography

Product photography is a kind of commercial photography which is aimed at accurately but attractively representing a product. Commonly, it is used in advertising industry. According to the subject, this type of photography may be subdivided into Jewelry, Food, Furniture, Clothes, Shoes photography, etc. Each group requires separate lenses. Today I’m ready to help you make the right choice and pick up the best lenses for product photography.


1. Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II

Canon 24-70 mm Buy for $1900 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Great sharpness over the entire zoom range when the aperture is open
  • Minimal chromatic aberration
  • Wonderful glare control system
  • Dirt and waterproof
  • Fast autofocus
Cons-
  • Weak sharpness at the edge of the frame when the camera aperture is open
  • Rather tough bokeh
 

EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM lens is certainly the best Canon lens for product photography. It guarantees awesome photo quality along the whole focal length range thanks to aspheric and glass lenses. They are characterized by ultra-low and super-low dispersion. The optical system has been greatly modernized to improve photo quality. All lens elements are covered with Super Spectra antireflection coating that helps take photos of goods made of highly-reflective materials. Moreover, front and back sides of the lens have dust-resistant coating.

canon 24-70mm product photography Photo by Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II

2. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70 mm f/2.8E

Nikon 24-70 mm Buy for $2200 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Excellent photo quality with balanced colors
  • Shake control system to prevent vibration and ensure sharp images
  • Noiseless focus motor to eliminate noise while focusing
Cons-
  • High price
  • Heavy (you may even lose your balance while shooting if you carry it on your body)
  • Sharpness is slightly reduced while taking photos of close items
 

I can surely name a NIKKOR 24-70 mm f/2.8E lens one of the best focal lens for product photography as its technical features will satisfy the needs of all demanding advertising photographers. Furthermore, the main thing that attracts potential buyers is its excellent picture quality. NIKKOR lenses have improved optical design and Nikon vibration control system. It helps set shutter speeds four steps longer and avoid blurring, which appears as a result of camera vibration. It is really important for me since I often face the problem of blurring while taking photos without a tripod in natural lighting.

Nikon 24-70mm product photography Photo by Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70 mm f/2.8E

3. Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8

Sony FE 50 mm Buy for $220 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Convenient to carry
  • Best overall sharpness even when an aperture is open
  • Minimal chromatic aberration
  • Great contrast
  • Appealing bokeh
Cons-
  • Noisy and slow autofocus
  • Chromatic aberrations may occur in bokeh
 

This 50 mm lens is a good choice for subject photography too as its f/1.8 aperture helps you take photographs even in poor lighting. Sometimes even a lightbox doesn’t provide enough light for bright images, whereas f/1.8 aperture focuses on some elements keeping unnecessary ones blurred. This top rated product photography lens is equipped with Optical Steadyshot, which prevents blurring and guarantees sharp pictures without a tripod. Thanks to an original optical design, the product photographs are sharp and of high quality - with minimal distortion and chromatic aberration.

sony 50mm product photography Photo by Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8

4. Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.8

Tamron SP 35 mm Buy for $550 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Good overall sharpness
  • Well-balanced distortion and vignetting
  • Optical stabilization system
  • Quality construction
  • Not very expensive
Cons-
  • Possible appearance of halos in the blur area around items
  • Rather slow focusing in poorly lit places
  • Cheap bokeh
 

Though this 35 mm lens for product photography has a wide angle, it helps take attractive photographs with sharp background. I’d rather use a 35 mm lens for lifestyle or still life photography. Tamron SP 35mm ensures perfect sharpness, impressive picture, and volume. Speaking about disadvantages, I am concerned about chromatic aberration but it may be easily removed in Photoshop.

tamron 35mm product photography Photo by Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.8

5. Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8L

Canon 100mm Buy for $900 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Dirt and water protection
  • Fast autofocus
  • Macro range with focus range limiter
  • Impressive stabilization system
  • Best overall sharpness when the aperture is open
Cons-
  • Angular highlights in unsharp areas when the aperture is closed
 

The EF 100 mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens is equipped with a 1:1 magnification ratio that is essential for macro photography. The full-size object is easily detected by a camera photo sensor. Unlike other 100 mm lenses for product photography, it has a stabilizer, which prevents image blurring. It also has three options for autofocus distance whereby you may quickly bring small items in focus.

canon 100mm jewelry photography Photo by Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8L

6. Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40 mm f/2.8G

Nikon 40 mm Buy for $300 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Maximum ratio is 1:1
  • Convenient and portable
  • Perfect picture sharpness when the aperture is open
  • Low chromatic aberration
  • Fine bokeh
Cons-
  • Rather slow autofocus
 

AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 40 mm f/2.8G is characterized by small weight and compact design. It is the best Nikon lens for jewelry photography as it gives quite a wide angle while taking photos of different jewelry objects, with all the elements and other details in focus.

Thanks to 1:1 shooting scale, it is the best lens for close-ups as the minimal focal distance is 16 cm. High brightness (the maximum aperture value is f/2.8) lets capture objects in the background keeping it blurred. It also helps get qualitative images in dim light.

Nikon 40mm jewelry photography Photo by Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40 mm f/2.8G

7. Sony 30 mm f/3.5

Sony 30 mm Buy for $250 on Amazon
Pros+
  • High sharpness and contrast
  • Convenient blend
  • Fast focus
Cons-
  • Reduced focusing distance while taking pictures with the maximum scale
  • Non-circular diaphragm
  • Distorted vision in the unsharp zone
 

It is a compact wide-angle macro lens. Zooming ration of 1:1 allows shooting at small distances by taking full-size pictures of tiny products and save them on the matrix. The minimal shooting distance is 2.4 cm; minimal focus distance is 9.5 cm. These are ideal technical features for jewelry photography where small details are very important. Qualitative optics with aspheric lenses and glass low-dispersion details provide excellent accuracy and sharpness whatever diaphragm and focusing values are used.

sony 30mm jewelry photography Photo by Sony 30 mm f/3.5

8. Tokina AT-X 100 mm f/2.8

Tokina 100 mm Buy for $500 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Minimal chromatic aberrations
  • Splendid bokeh
  • Zooming ratio of 1:1
Cons-
  • Lens mounts are restricted
 

Tokina AT-X M100 PRO D is a macro lens that allows shooting on the scale of 1:1 from a 30 cm distance. The lens has a focus limiter, which lets focus more quickly using the lens as an average telephoto one. Objects that aren’t in focus, have slight blurring without sudden transitions.

tokina 100mm jewelry photography Photo by Tokina AT-X 100 mm f/2.8

9. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L

canon 24-105mm Buy for $1200 on Amazon
Pros+
  • The whole range of focal lengths with a constant aperture
  • Minimum focusing distance is 0.45 m
  • Powerful optical stabilizer
  • Protected from dust and moisture
Cons-
  • Not found
 

I think that Canon 24-105mm is the best Canon lens for product photography. It is universal thanks to the zoom range from wide-angle to medium focal telephoto that will help you show even large furniture and its details at long focal lengths. A constant maximum aperture of f/4 is available over the entire focal length range, so the exposure values remain fixed while scaling. The image stabilizer reduces blur caused by camera movement (it is known as camera shake). You can shoot holding your camera in the hands in low light conditions with an exposure that is 4 steps bigger than usual.

canon 24-105mm furniture photography Photo by Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L

10. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G

Nikon 24-120mm Buy for $1100 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Excellent sharpness at wider angles
  • 5x zoom rank
  • Permanent f/4 aperture
  • Good image stabilization
Cons-
  • Visible distortion
  • Could be dim corners at wider angles
  • The pictures can lose sharpness at f/4 zoomed
 

This is the best choice for Nikon camera owners when it comes to shooting furniture. A constant f/4 aperture value at all focal lengths allows you to take good pictures when light conditions are not perfect. As a result, you will see some geometric distortion but you can correct it easily in the Photoshop. Excellent image detailing and stabilization for easy handheld shooting makes it one of the best lens for furniture photography.

Nikon 24-120mm furniture photography Photo by Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G

11. Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0

Sigma 24-105mm Buy for $800 on Amazon
Pros+
  • 4.4x zoom is available
  • Regular f/4 aperture
  • Nice sharpness
  • Good optical stabilization
  • Full-frame coverage
  • You can use a USB dock
Cons-
  • Small distortions while zooming
 

This product photography lens is a little slower than the previous ones and takes time to get the necessary sharpness but the result is perfect. The lens is characterized by minimal axial chromatic aberration and unsurpassed resolution even at the edges of the picture. The minimum focusing distance is 45 cm at any focal length.

sigma 24-105mm furniture photography Photo by Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0

12. Canon TS-E 135 mm f/4L

Canon 135mm f/4 Buy for $2200 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Macro shooting is available at 1:2 scale
  • The optical axis can tilt ± 10 ° and the shift is ± 12 mm
  • Sharpness is perfect
  • No chromatic aberration
  • The shift block and the axis tilt block can be rotated independently
Cons-
  • Very expensive
 

The Canon TS-E is an excellent tilt shift lens for product photography that ensures high image quality. This lens can demonstrate amazing results with convenient perspective control. The model can be also called the best camera lens for product photography, as it allows you to control the perspective and depth of field while taking food pictures. It is possible thanks to stepwise tuning, excellent optical design, and precise GMo optics. This lens ensures low distortion, excellent resolution and macro photography at a 1: 2 scale.

canon 135mm food photography  Photo by Canon TS-E 135 mm f/4L

13. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Canon 50mm Buy for $120 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Autofocus is quick and accurate
  • The electronic focus ring is wonderfully designed
  • You get very sharp photos even on the open aperture
  • Minor chromatic aberration
  • Small minimum focusing distance
Cons-
  • If the aperture is open there is spherical aberration (soft effect)
  • Vignetting up to f/2.8
 

It is a cheap lens with a small weight and excellent quality. Such a focal length is suitable for many photo styles. As for food photography, this is an entry level lens. It is great for tabletop photography and a lifestyle photoshoot, when you need to arrange many elements. This is the best lens for product photography if you plan to capture a wider scene, so you can crop images during photo editing. As a result, your pictures will have no distortions that can occur at a wider focal length, for example, if you use a 35 mm lens.

canon 50mm food photography Photo by Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

14. Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G

Nikon 105mm Buy for $900 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Durable design
  • Highest resolution
  • Protection from glares
  • The lens has fast autofocus for macro shooting
  • There is a limiter of focusing distance
  • A powerful stabilizer
Cons-
  • Maximum aperture value is rather changeable
 

This is a great lens for shooting small objects or small-sized dishes. It is convenient to shoot at a 105mm at the angle of 25 to 45 degrees. Since it is a very narrow focus distance, you should be at a proper distance from the plate, therefore you must have enough space. This is probable one of the best Nikon lenses for product photography that has suppressing vibrations function (VR), but more often it does not help much and you need to use a tripod.

Nikon 105mm food photography Photo by Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G

15. Sony FE 90mm f/2.8

Sony 90mm Buy for $1000 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Excellent assembly
  • Protected against dust and moisture
  • The focus lock button is available in continuous mode
  • 3-position autofocus distance limiter
  • F/2.8 aperture ensures great sharpness
Cons-
  • Autofocus is not perfect for macro shooting
 

This focus distance is one of my favorite ones for shooting food. You can get incredible photos worthy the best magazine covers thanks to the narrow field of view. At the same time, the perspective lines in the picture remain straight and nice. Initially, this lens was created for full-frame mirrorless cameras but you can use it for the Sony NEX by adding an APS-C sensor. This model is an excellent macro lens for professional product photography as you can use 1:1 magnification.

sony 90mm food photography Photo by Sony FE 90mm f/2.8

16. Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8

Tamron 90mm Buy for $500 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Sharp images at an open aperture
  • High-speed focusing
  • Powerful optical stabilization
  • Amazing bokeh
  • 5-year warranty
Cons-
  • If you shoot in a hard backlight, you can get unwanted glare
 

Tamron is a perfect lens for product photography. It has a highly efficient optical stabilization, which allows saving 3–4 exposure steps. Besides, it helps you avoid blurring since food is most often shot with natural light and holding a camera in hands. Macro photography is done on a 1: 1 scale. The focus range switch has two positions: FULL and LIMIT. It corresponds to a focusing distance in the range of 0.45 m to infinity and from 0.29 m to 0.45 m, respectively. This option allows you to focus on the selected range even more quickly.

tamron 90mm food photography Photo by Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8

17. Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L

Canon 180mm Buy for $1400 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Perfect sharpness
  • 1:1 magnification
  • Hood and tripod collar
Cons-
  • High price
  • No picture stabilization
 

Choosing this telephoto lens you can take macro shots on a 1:1 scale. Chromatic aberration is perfectly suppressed by 3 low-dispersed elements in the optical scheme. You will also appreciate the sharpness of the pictures that you can get due to the internal floating lens construction. This is the best lens for close ups as it does not change its length while focusing. So you can be sure that the front lens won’t hit the object. You can also apply various circular polarizers or other elements. Their effectiveness is influenced by their position in the lens.

canon 180mm shoes photography Photo by Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L

18. Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8

Fujinon 50-140mm Buy for $1400 on Amazon
Pros+
  • The focal length range is 76-213 mm
  • No retractable parts
  • Protected against dust and splash
  • A special ring to adjust the aperture
  • Great image stabilizer
Cons-
  • Bulky and heavy in comparison with other models
  • You can catch highlights when shooting without a hood
 

This model of the best lenses for product photography has almost no drawbacks. It ensures consistently brilliant picture quality and excellent sharpness. There are practically no vignetting, chromatic aberrations, and geometric distortions. The efficiency of the optical stabilizer is one of the best I've ever seen.

Fujifilm 50-140mm cloth photography Photo by Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8

18 Best Lenses for Product Photography

Image Lens Characteristics  
Canon 24-105mm
Canon EF 24-105mm
OUR CHOICE
  • 24-105mm
  • f/4L
Check PRICE
Canon 24-70mm
Canon EF 24-70mm
BEST CANON
  • 24-70mm
  • f/2.8L
Check PRICE
Nikon 24-70mm
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm
EXPENSIVE LENS
  • 24-70mm
  • f/2.8E
Check PRICE
Sony 50mm
Sony FE 50mm
  • 50mm
  • f/1.8
Check PRICE
Tamron 35mm
Tamron SP 35mm
  • 35mm
  • f/1.8
Check PRICE
Canon 100mm
Canon EF 100mm
  • 100mm
  • f/2.8L
Check PRICE
Nikon 40mm
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm
BEST NIKON
  • 40mm
  • f/2.8G
Check PRICE
Sony 30mm
Sony 30mm
  • 30mm
  • f/3.5
Check PRICE
Tokina AT-X 100mm
  • 100mm
  • f/2.8
Check PRICE
Nikon 24-120mm
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm
FOR FURNITURE
  • 24-120mm
  • f/4G
Check PRICE
Sigma 24-105mm
Sigma 24-105mm
  • 24-105mm
  • f/4.0
Check PRICE
Canon 135mm
Canon TS-E 135 mm
BEST TILT-SHIFT
  • 135 mm
  • f/4L
Check PRICE
Canon 50mm
Canon EF 50mm
BEST CHEAP
  • 50mm
  • f/1.8
Check PRICE
Nikon 105mm
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm
  • 105mm
  • f/2.8G
Check PRICE
Sony 90mm
Sony FE 90mm
  • 90mm
  • f/2.8
Check PRICE
Tamron 90mm
Tamron AF 90mm
  • 90mm
  • f/2.8
Check PRICE
Canon 180mm
Canon EF 180mm
  • 180mm
  • f/3.5L
Check PRICE
Fujinon 50-140mm
Fujinon XF50-140mm
BEST FUJIFILM
  • 50-140mm
  • f/2.8
Check PRICE

How to Choose the Best Lens for Product Photography?

For photographers, a lens is as important as a camera. You should remember that the technical characteristics of the lens must correspond to the genre of photography you work in. Macro lenses are usually called the most suitable lenses for product photography. Due to the special design, you can photograph the object on a 1:1 scale. In addition, their minimum focal length is much shorter than that of other types. Using macro lenses you get clear images at a very small distance. These lenses can capture even the smallest details and that is especially important for photographers working in this field.

1. Focal Length

This is one of the main characteristics that you should consider when choosing the lens. You need a different focal length for furniture, jewelry, food, etc.

2. Quality of Lens

The quality of the lens is also important for any shooter. If you are an amateur, then a lens made of plastic and cheap glass will be quite enough. However, if you are a professional photographer, you need those that are made of high-quality metal and glass. Amateur and professional lenses are easily differentiated as the second ones are heavier.

3. Budget Models

You can buy a good lens for product photography at an affordable price. Manufacturers offer many options for less than $500. Great price for beginners. So mind Tamron, Rokinon, and Tokina models if you are an amateur.

4. Additional Equipment You May Need

Close-up filters are the least expensive way to take macro jewelry photography or shoot other small items. They are designed to additionally zoom in objects. Close-up single-element filters are known for their diopter (magnifying) power. Standard values are +1, +2, +3, and +10. Higher numbers mean better zooming.

To reduce the reflections that can appear when photographing liquids, glass, plastic, you should apply a polarizing filter that prevents reflections from reaching the lens and ensures an even color of the surface.

A macro reversing ring is also an affordable way to turn any lens into macro product photography lens. Having added these rings, you increase the focusing distance but the quality gets a little worse. This is useful if you want to photograph the really small details of objects.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments. read more