My TOP 4 Lenses For Food & Still Life Photography
There are so many different lenses on the market. Each one of them serves a specific purpose, depending on what you are photographing. If you are not careful, you can quickly end up spending a bunch of money on lenses.
So what are the best choices for food and still life photography? I think it´s very personal what you prefer and it also depends on the style you´re going for. The answer to this question might be different depending on who you ask, but today I´ll share my favorite four lenses.
I´ve been a full time lifestyle photographer for more than 7 years and my recommendations are based on hours and hours working in the studio shooting everything from food, flowers, still, and interior.
Lens nr. 1: Canon 50mm Prime
In reality, the truth is, that you can manage with one lens for food and still life photography. That lens is the 50mm. I recommend it to all my students.
It´s perfect for beginners who need a little help creating those beautiful images but also perfect for the advanced photographer who needs a workhorse of a lens. So if you´re only going to invest in one lens this is the your best choice.
The 50mm lenses come in different price levels and qualities. The best choice is the 50mm f/1.4. It cost about $300 which is cheap for a good quality lens, and you can use it for food, flowers, interior, travel, kids, portraits, newborn and landscape.
Another great thing about this lens is that it´s small and lightweight and, therefore, perfect for traveling.
The 50mm f/1.4 has a big brother, the 50mm f/1.2. It´s a lot more expensive, but you will not see much difference in the image quality + it´s very heavy. The 50mm f/1.4 also has a little sister; the 50mm f/1.8 which is a lower quality but great if you are on a budget. It’s perfect for teenagers, bloggers and beginners who want just the basic equipment – but still wants to be able to capture creative + bright images.
Below you see the 50mm family from Canon, but all camera brands make at least one 50mm.
You can´t zoom with the 50mm because it´s a prime lens and it has no zoom function. You have to zoom with your feet, but you will get super sharp images with a clear focus and a delicious soft background.
Photo Example: here´s a photo shot with the 50mm f/1.4. As you can see there´s a sharp focus on the main subject and the rest of the image is beautifully out of focus. This is what this lens do so well and why I love it.
Lens nr. 2: Canon 40mm f/2.8 Prime
The 40mm is another favorite of mine. This lens is even smaller (and cheaper) than the 50mm. I love to use it for flatlays (photos taken from above), because it can fit a lot more into the frame than the 50mm.
Therefore if I want I can fit almost the entire table top into my frame. It gives me a lot of freedom and and plenty of workspace for creativity. It´s also SUPER sharp and has a fast focus.
I also like to bring it with me for shooting in small places like a cafe or a shop, because I can truly capture the atmosphere of the whole room – and because the 40mm is so incredible small I can easily stick it onto my camera and throw it into my lady bag 🙂
Lens nr. 3: Canon 100mm f/2.8 Prime Macro
Another affordable prime lens, giving you amazing quality and endless of creative possibilities. This lens is PERFECT for capturing food and flowers up close. The lens make small things look big and therefore it´s great for shooting small details like flowers heads, berries, leaves, and jewelry – just to name a few.
Even though it´s a macro lens, it´s also incredible to use for other types of photography, like portraits, fashion and weddings. If you use it for portraits it will blur and soften all of the background making your subject stand out. So if you decide to get it for food or still life give it a go and try it for other styles as well.
Only problem is; it´s really, really heavy, so a tripod comes in handy to avoid any handshake.