What lenses for food photography

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
lehill Veteran Member • Posts: 5,971
Re: What lenses for food photography

AchilleasEmm wrote:

Good evening

I want to get into some amateur food photography. I will mostly shoot for a blog I intend to start around recipes , which i want to accompany with a nice photo of the particular dish.

After searching a little bit almost everyone recommends a macro, a 50mm and a 35mm. The latter two I will definetely buy as soon as they become available in my country. I don't know if I should buy a macro lens though. I know it is mostly used for a tighter crop on flat lays and a flattering 45 degree photo.

Considering that i will not use it professionally just for my personal usage is a macro needed? I would love to hear your opinions.

You don't say what camera these lenses are for. "Everyone" should have recommended a fast lens (like f/2.8 or faster) too.

  • Those focal lengths are suggested so you can be reasonably close to the food instead of 6 ft away (bad if you're at a crowded restaurant or don't have a high ceiling). They also don't have much noticeable perspective distortion.
  • A macro lens is usually suggested for food photography because you want to get a frame-filling photo of that hamburger or egg or blueberry or whatever. A regular lens can't focus that close.
  • A plain ol' kit zoom lens could work sometimes - they're designed to be versatile and can focus kinda close. But they're usually too slow to work inside a dim restaurant without using flash and disturbing other patrons.

Put these all together and something like a 50mm f/2.8 macro hits a sweet spot for food photography. What hits the sweet spot for you could be different depending on the list above.

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Lance H

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