Product photography is a great way to advertise your products or get great pictures of your small items, in general.
While many factors contribute to getting the perfect product photo, a lens is an essential one.
Every type of photography needs an appropriate lens, to get the best out of it, so is our case with product photography.
I have a feeling you are lost and can’t find the right one, I don’t blame you at all, considering the huge portfolio of lenses offered all over the market.
To take a burden off your shoulders, I might just have the answer you are looking for.
I have rounded up some lenses that I think fill the bill, regarding the best lens for product photography.
Top 7 Best Lenses For Product Photography
7. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM – Best For General Use
Starting things with a zoom lens from Canon, a prominent one but this time it is redesigned to meet the new standards of superb optics, the Canon EF 24-70MM F/2.8L II.
This canon lens comes in a premium high-end construction and it has resistance to dust and water thanks to the dust sealing while the fluorine coating contributes to reducing soiling, smears, and fingerprints.
The optical lens design is another thing that is “quite high-end”, it uses 1 Super UD element and 2 UD elements that help on minimizing the chromatic aberrations, as well as color blurring. On the other hand, the 2 aspherical lenses minimize ghosting and flare.
This canon lens has a USM ring type that optimizes on fast AutoFocus and is silent at the same time and the zoom lock lever locks the zoom position at wide ends, for easy and safe transport.
Personally, this is my favorite lens for group photography. All this makes this lens a great pick for product photography.
- Waterproof and Dirtproof
- Really Fast Autofocus
- Low Chromatic Aberration
- Great Sharpness
- Bokeh could be better
- Sharpness is weak at the edges.
6. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L – Best Telephoto
Yet again, another pick from Canon, but this latter one is a prime lens instead, and it has the perfect amount of focal length.
It is a really well-built lens that sports great ergonomics.
The image quality is superb and it is as sharp as they come, the focal length of 100mm as I mentioned above, is pretty much one of the best ranges you need for product photography.
Chromatic aberration, ghosting, flaring all are well controlled, without leaving handling behind.
Its manual focusing ring is quite large and easy to spot/use.
What makes this lens a great product photography pick, is that it is a macro lens meaning that is perfect for ultra-close shots of tiny products like jewelry, thanks to the 1:1 magnification.
- Splendid Image Quality
- Really Well Built
- Sharp due to being a prime lens
- On the pricey side
- Fixed focal length due to being a prime lens
5. Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G – The Fastest
Next comes a counterpart or say a rival of the above option, just this one is for Nikon users, the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G
It is a prime lens that offers true macro capabilities and on top of it, it comes at a really reasonable price, unlike the pick from Canon.
It has a great focal length range of 105mm, giving you the freedom to work comfortably with your subject, without having to worry about getting too close or too far from your product.
It is really well built, but a bit heavy; that might be a way of Nikon telling us that they mean business with this lens.
It provides really sharp and beautiful image quality while having a 1:1 magnification of a macro lens, which translates to “getting up close and personal”
It sports a Nano-crystal coat and ED glass element that contribute to enhancing the overall image quality while heavy reducing ghosting, flare, and chromatic aberrations.
Definitely a great product photography lens that is capable of capturing very sharp images. Definitely my favorite Nikon lens.
- Well Built
- Versatile despite being a prime macro lens
- Great Image quality and sharpness
- Well Priced
- Fast & Sharp Images
- A bit on the heavy side
- It is not zoomable.
4. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G – Best For Everyday Use
Next, we have an interesting pick from Nikon, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G.
This is a prime lens and before you start “??” for the focal range you should know that 50mm is the average focal range on all lenses and types of photography, it is also the closest thing that can be compared to the human eye.
The reason I gave this lens a chance in my list, is due to the sharpness it offers and the cheap price it comes with.
This lens is the ideal one for Nikon users who just getting started on product photography. It will ensure them an easy way of capturing good wide-angle photos without distortion, and it does it without making a hole in your pocket.
The lens comes in a plastic build that makes the handling a joy to use, it might not be as robust as a premium lens but still, overall, it is well constructed.
This is a great everyday use lens, but it is also one of the best lenses for product photography.
- Affordable Price
- Great Sharpness
- Great focusing capabilities
- 50mm is the minimal length, we seek for product photography.
3. Sony 85mm F/1.8-22 – Best For Indoors
Next, we have a lens from Sony, obviously, I wasn’t gonna forget our fellow Sony photographers.
This prime lens is a favorite among photographers thanks to its versatility despite being a fixed lens.
It captures many types of photos from portraitures to macro/product photography.
It is a compact and lightweight lens that will work for both full-frame and APS C cameras. It is dust and moisture resistant which makes it really robust.
The ED glass helps on reducing chromatic aberration and provides great contrast in return across all the ranges. The 9-blade aperture contributes to bringing us a great creamy and smooth bokeh effect
While the known Sony Autofocus operates really quickly and silently, meaning you can even capture great video quality content for your products and not just stills.
Overall, this is a great lens for Sony users, definitely should be considered.
- Really well built and good coating
- Great Low-Light performer
- Great AutoFocus capabilities
- Not the sharpest lens
2. Sony SEL2470GM FE 24-70 mm F2.8 – Best For Professional Use
If it says GM on the lens, top-tier quality is taken for granted. Why is that?
Because Sony entitles only their best lenses with the G Master name.
This lens is basically a dream for photographers who use a Sony camera. It has a minimum focus distance of 0.38 meters and a nano ar coating that contributes to the clarity and contrast of the content.
It contains 9 blade aperture, which rewards us in smooth and attractive bokeh effect. It also sports a direct drive SSM or known as Super Sonic wave Motor, basically this is a focusing system that provides super smooth and quiet autofocus.
All this make this lens from Sony a great pick, not only for stills but also if you want to record your products. It’s also one of the best lenses for interior photography.
- Great Coating
- Well Built
- Minimal chromatic aberration
- Painful Price
1. Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC G2 – Best High-End
And to wrap the list up, we have a great telephoto lens from a known third-party brand Tamron, the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC G2.
This is a great zoom telephoto lens that will benefit small product photographers.
It is made to be durable and flexible, along with enhanced optical performance. The optical design includes an extra-low dispersion and a low dispersion glass to fight chromatic aberration while the coating minimizes flaring and ghosting.
It has a VC (Vibration Compensation) a really fast AutoFocus speed and accuracy, and a short MOD which means minimum object distance.
Most telephoto lenses have a problem with handling, that’s not the case with this Tamron, it has a really decent handling and the manual focus shouldn’t give you any trouble.
Despite being a telephoto lens it has a great aperture that comes in quite sharp.
Without a doubt that this telephoto lens will be use, for your product photography, or who knows even more.
- Great Focal Range
- Great Versatility
- Great Build
- Great Handling
- Not quite wallet-friendly
Maximum magnification could have been better
Choosing the Best Lens for Product Photography:
If none of the above piqued your interest, this buying guide will.
I will list some key things you need to know when shopping for the best lens for product photography.
I know that this goes without saying, but it is also the major aspect you need.
Customers aren’t quite tolerant when it comes to image quality. No matter how good your product might be, I am sure at least 90% of them will choose the one that looks best when advertised.
You want the lens to provide sharp and detailed images, a cheap lens that falls short on this field, won’t get you anywhere.
Lenses in general are all about focal length, hence they have it implanted even in their name.
The best and the most used focal length for product photography would be from at least 50mm up to 200mm.
You want a lens that can zoom in enough for the product to look clean and good, without distortion.
This is a great feature to prevent shaky hands or uneven images. Some flagship mirrorless camera already has their own built-in stabilization so you should be fine if you own one of these.
But if not some good lenses have it on their own system while cheaper lenses lack it.
Minimum Focusing Distance:
No matter what type of lens it is, it should have a close-focusing capability.
Basically what this means is how closer the lens can focus, and besides that point, it can’t go further.
The best lens for really small subjects, would be a macro lens, macro lens is the type of lens that captures those insect and flower shots, we all should be familiar with that.
Make sure to invest in a 1:1 focus, if your subject has to do with things like jewelry and such.
Frequently Asked Questions F.A.Q
Should I get a Prime or Zoom lens?
Well, it depends mostly on your preferences, both types will do the job.
A prime one will give you a sharper image but will be capped at a specific focal length while a zoom one will give you more versatility.
As I mentioned above everything above 80mm should be fine, after that you can play around with the focal length.
What would be the best aperture for product photography?
A deeper depth of field will give you the chance to capture more of the scene in the frame. So a narrow aperture, you can tell it by watching the f-stop number, the larger it is the narrower the aperture is.
Should I use a Tripod?
If you have one and you can, I don’t see why not.
It will benefit a lot on getting better stabilization, especially if your camera and lens lack one.
What About The Camera?
For product photography, i would recommend a full frame camera. A crop sensor camera is cheaper, but to get the best quality from your lens, you need a full frame camera.
As I said earlier, product photography plays a really huge role in modern times.
The better you market your product, the most likely it will sell.
In a way, I feel that people would opt for a good-looking product instead of a good value one.
Still, that stuff doesn’t matter to us, we are here to learn about lenses and which one will benefit our product photography the most, right?
Since we are done with the lens, I bet you don’t have a softbox, go on check some great softboxes here, they sure will benefit your product photography.
Or was it a tripod that you were looking for, I have also covered that one.
This is it guys hopefully everything was clear.