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.
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.
Price: about $1900
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.
Photo by Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II
Price: about $2200
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.
Photo by Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70 mm f/2.8E
Price: about $220
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.
Photo by Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8
Price: about $550
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.
Photo by Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.8
Price: about $900
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.
Photo by Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8L
Price: about $300
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.
Price: about $250
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.
Photo by Sony 30 mm f/3.5
Price: about $500
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.
Photo by Tokina AT-X 100 mm f/2.8
Price: about $1200
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.
Photo by Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L
Price: about $1100
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.
Photo by Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G
Price: about $800
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.
Photo by Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0
Price: about $2200
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.
Photo by Canon TS-E 135 mm f/4L
Price: about $120
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.
Photo by Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
Price: about $900
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.
Price: about $1000
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.
Photo by Sony FE 90mm f/2.8
Price: about $500
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.
Photo by Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8
Price: about $1400
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.
Photo by Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L
Price: about $1400
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.
Photo by Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8
|Canon EF 24-70mmBEST CANON||VIEW PRICE|
|Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mmEXPENSIVE LENS||VIEW PRICE|
|Sony FE 50mm||VIEW PRICE|
|Tamron SP 35mm||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon EF 100mm||VIEW PRICE|
|Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mmBEST NIKON||VIEW PRICE|
|Sony 30mm||VIEW PRICE|
|Tokina AT-X 100mm||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon EF 24-105mm||VIEW PRICE|
|Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mmFOR FURNITURE||VIEW PRICE|
|Sigma 24-105mm||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon TS-E 135 mmBEST TILT-SHIFT||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon EF 50mmBEST CHEAP||VIEW PRICE|
|Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mmOUR CHOICE||VIEW PRICE|
|Sony FE 90mm||VIEW PRICE|
|Tamron AF 90mm||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon EF 180mm||VIEW PRICE|
|Fujinon XF50-140mmBEST FUJIFILM||VIEW PRICE|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.