My sister-in-law owns a small jewelry store, so i saw the opportunity that i always see: testing lenses. I grabbed my gear and went to her store to do my thing. I tested around 14 different lenses to try see which one performed better. After completing the testing and reviewing the footage, i was able to conclude that the Nikon AF-S DX Micro 40mm F/2.8G Prime Lens was the best performer when it comes to photographing shiny objects such as necklaces and bracelets. Keep in mind that this is on the budget-friendly category. If you want to get the absolute best, then i don’t think anything can beat the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens.
We will discuss the pros and cons of each lens i tested and how they performed in the following sections of this article!
Photographing jewelry can be challenging because of the fine size of the products and their reflective nature. Some of the jewelry products, whether it is a gemstone, necklace or diamond ring, it can be very difficult to stage for shooting. The photographer must keep in mind the background, the props to be used, the lighting, and there could be reflections everywhere. However, with the right techniques and equipment and a little bit of planning, it is possible to get perfect results every time one photographs jewelry.
One of the most essential equipment for jewelry photography is the lens itself. If your camera is not equipped with the right kind of lens, do not expect the results you are looking for. After all, it can be intimidating to capture those shiny and intricate products. However, if you are carrying a proper jewelry photography kit, you can surely feel more confident about the results.
While there is no dearth of high-end photographing equipment for jewelry photography, there are some lenses that make a cut above the rest. Here are some top-quality lenses that are best for photographing jewelry.
The Top 5 Best Lenses For Jewelry Photography
5. Nikon AF-S DX Micro 40mm F/2.8G Prime Lens
Nikon is well-known for the most advanced cameras across the world. The compact and lightweight DX-format close-up lens is highly popular among jewelry photographers. AF-S DX micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G is just ideal for taking close up shots of jewelry and high-quality stills. One can capture all the fine details and reflections of a jewelry piece once their camera is fitted with this lens. Moreover, the lens is extremely easy to install and use.
The Micro-Nikkor Lens supports standard focal length in DX-format and provides high resolution and contrast from infinity to life-size (1X). Go ahead and capture those hidden edges and reflections within jewelry from infinity to life-size (1X) and get the finest details at any distance. The 40 millimetres DX-format macro lens offers a 1:1 reproduction ratio for close-ups and comes with a large maximum aperture. One can switch quickly between autofocus and manual operation because of the two focus modes. Nano Crystal and Super Integrated Coatings on the Lens overpower any glare and ghosting for finer contrast when photographing jewelry in bright and backlit conditions.
The standard close-up Lens is a great choice for shooting detailed product shots such as jewelry. What you get is sharpness and clarity in every image and brilliant results in every composition. Enjoy peace of mind as the product comes with a 2-year warranty.
4. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
The next on the list of the best lenses for photographing jewelry is Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens. The Lens is optimized for close-up shooting, and the Autofocus lens is perfect for macro photography up to life-size. As a macro lens, the EF-Mount Lens allows 1:1 maximum magnification, while the inner focusing allows a long working distance.
The Lens features a focal length of 100 mm and a maximum aperture of 1:2.8. The filter size is 58 mm, while the closest focusing distance is of 1 foot, and the diagonal angle of view supports 24 degrees. The full-frame format lens features an aperture range of f/2.8 to f/32 and comes with a super spectra coating. The macro lenses capture details of jewelry that are impossible to detect even by the eye, and this gives a whole new perspective to jewelry photography.
The three-group floating system offers exceptional close-up performance and provides an excellent autofocusing speed for all kinds of focusing needs. Even in the AF mode, one enjoys a full-time manual focus, and there is smooth action because of the manual focusing ring. The three-group internal floating focusing system allows fast and quiet autofocus performance and maintains image quality.
Get a faster focusing performance of 1′-infinity and 1.6′-infinity and selective focus techniques because of the rounded eight-blade diaphragm.
The Lens is small and compact and thus is easy to handle. It is .7 inches long and weighs 21.1 ounces. This is a great lens that is much sought after by jewelry photographers not just because it offers excellent results but also because it comes with 1-year warranty.
3. Sony SEL90M28G FE 90mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS
Another great lens for those interested in photographing jewelry comes from Sony, and it is the SEL90M28G FE 90mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens. The 90mm medium macro E-mount lens features image stabilization and allows up to 1:1 magnification even when shooting jewelry with a handheld device. These G Lenses are renowned for their innovative optics and superior coatings, and the 9-blade circular aperture offers exceptionally smooth bokeh.
The floating focus mechanism overpowers aberration equally, whether the subject is near or far away. The lenses support advanced technologies like Super ED glass and the Nano AR Coating that lead to extremely high standard overall performance. The jewelry photographers can get sharp, clear images at up to 1:1 magnification because of the built-in image stabilization. The full-frame 90mm macro E-mount lens features sharp in-focus rendering and is a perfect match for 35mm full-frame E-mount cameras in the α7 series.
The dust and moisture resistant design of the Lens offers other useful features include Focus hold button, focus range limiter, Sliding Focus Ring, and Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM) for quiet, precise focusing.
2. Nikon COOLPIX P900/P950 10x High Definition 2 Element Close-Up (Macro) Lens (67mm)
Nikon Coolpix P900 is another hot favourite among jewelry photographers. The high grade multi-coated & Threaded lens has Anti-Reflection Coating. It allows high speed auto-focus and is infrared compatible. For the best results, set camera to Macro Mode. This HD lens has bevelled design and high-index, low-dispersion 2 Element Optical Glass.
It is a perfect macro lens that can withstand heavy duty, water-repellent chassis. It helps to capture big shots of small subjects. This bayonet style macro lens is ideal for macro shooting.
This lens will improve jewelry photographs, as it gives the photographers much higher control over light and emphasize the features of the jewelry they are capturing in the Lens. No jewelry photographer should shoot without the essential lens to get the results he is looking for.
1. Sigma 258306 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens
Sigma 105mm Macro Lens is meant for those jewelry photographers who are looking for advanced performance and professional results. The Special Low Dispersion lens carries a high refractive index that provides excellent correction in the results that are free of any kind of aberrations and distortions. The floating focusing system allows movement of the optical path to different positions because of the two different lens groups.
The large aperture of the telephoto macro Lens allows you to preserve a suitable distance from subjects under natural lighting conditions.
Thus, the main subject, which is jewelry here, can be defined perfectly against both smooth and blurred backgrounds. The Lens provides very high optical performance from infinity to 1:1 Macro. Because of the super Multi-Layer Coating, one can get high contrast images due to lower flare and ghosting.
The Hyper Sonic Motor allows full-time manual focus capability along with high-speed autofocus. What makes the image to have an attractive blur to the out of focus areas is the rounded nine-blade diaphragm. Even if the lights are shining on the jewelry pieces, you will get smooth focus highlights when taking photos. The splash-proof design makes the Lens easier to use in harsh conditions. Photography jewellers are impressed by the build quality and functionality of these macro lenses.
So, which is the best Lens for jewelry photography? Well, a lot relies on your camera kit, and you may or may not need any additional lenses. While the higher-end cameras with expositive lenses support a greater number of advanced features, one must be a bit careful when working with them and exercise extra caution.
Things To Look For Before Buying A Lens For Jewelry Photography
It is not uncommon to find even expert and experienced photographers go wrong when they try to capture rings, earrings, necklaces & bangles in their lens. After all, the subject and working conditions can present a unique set of challenges when it comes to photographing them. Those tiny subjects with shiny surfaces can lead to disordered reflections, and it can be incredibly tough to get high magnification with enough depth of field when photographing jewelry.
Given below are some essential factors to keep in mind when looking for the best lenses for jewelry photography.
Prime lenses are of a fixed zoom and optimized to work best at zoom level, and thus give sharper images. One must move closer or away from the camera to get the subject in the frame. The basic 18-55mm Lens works well when shooting necklaces, bracelets, chunky earrings, etc. The smaller the distance, the better is the photograph.
Another crucial factor to consider when choosing a macro lens for photographing jewelry is the focal length. Unlike other lenses, it is more about minimum focusing distance when shooting jewelry pieces. Macro lenses with a longer focal length place more working space and thus demand maximum magnification.
When photographing jewelry pieces, it is not really about the wide-angle coverage, but the detailing and accuracy. It is seen that macro lenses with a focal length between 90mm and 105mm are widely popular among the photographers.
Prime lenses are of a fixed zoom and optimized to work best at zoom level and thus give sharper images. One has to move closer or away from the camera so as to get the subject in the frame. A macro lens is a much better choice for photographing rings or small studs, as you get a better-quality picture with them.
Most zoom lenses offer a supreme magnification factor of about 0.3x zoom, but when buying a lens for closeup photography, the macro prime Lens offers a full 1.0x magnification, due to which it is considered as a better choice.
The feature of image stabilization has become important for photographers, and luckily, most macro prime lenses these days feature image stabilization. Image stabilization allows more effective shooting for closeups and gets rid of any vertical/horizontal shift or the usual vibrations in the camera.
Photographing jewelry is not an easy task and may require careful planning and preparation. One must be careful regarding the equipment and correct exposure. As lenses play an important part in the whole procedure, be very careful about your choices, as they can mar or make the results.
A macro lens with a 90mm to 105mm focal length and a fast f/2.8 aperture with facilities like autofocus and image stabilization is more suitable for portraiture and general shooting. One can get great jewelry pictures once they have a good quality lens in their camera and are an expert with basic functions like aperture and shutter speed.
The lens kit is likely to work in almost all scenarios, especially when photographing jewelry and shooting under strong lights pointing directly at the product. Just be attentive to the minimum focus distance and macro focus range indicated with every Lens. This is essential as some lenses are better than others.
Just follow the useful techniques and get suitable lenses so as to make the whole process so much easier. Capture pro-level jewelry pictures every time with ease and confidence. Go for a lens that is a good one and will meet your photographing style, individual preferences, and budget. Look out for the essential specifications and key features to keep in mind when shopping for a jewelry photography lens.