Best Food Photography Lenses (2022 Honest and Unbiased)18 min read

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Hi there foodies! Today we talk about the best food photography lenses.

There’s a lot of things that you need to know before you purchase a lens for photographing food. A food lens needs to be as compact as possible because the lighting and space in the kitchen are typically tighter than what you’re used to when shooting portraits or landscapes.

A good lens needs to have the ability to create photos with texture and depth, without creating superimposed shadows or highlights.

You will want a natural perspective when you are taking food photos, and this will be accomplished with a good lens that captures the depth of a dish.

You will also want your lens to have the ability to capture details in your photos, but again, not at the expense of naturalness. The lens should be able to capture both wide shots and close-ups without missing anything in between.

RankTitleItem NamePrice (from)Amazon RatingAmazon Link
1Best OverallCanon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM$1,0294.4View on Amazon
2Best BudgetCanon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM$3494.8View on Amazon
3Best Runner-UpNikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S$5974.8 View on Amazon
4FastestSigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art$9494.7For Canon
For Nikon
For Sony
5Best Walk-AroundTamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD$7404.5 For Canon
For Nikon
For Sony
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The 5 Best Food Photography Lenses

The best food photography lenses for you will depend on what type of lenses your camera uses and what kind of equipment budget you have to play with.

The best focal length for most dishes is a 35mm lens.

The effects that these lenses produce on the food photographer can be beautiful or not so good. If these effects aren’t desirable, then the photographer needs to change his or her angle in order to produce better results.

With food photography, it’s always best to catch the light at an angle that matches your lens’ effect on your shot so you can have a seamless finish in your final image.

Food photography lenses will help you get all the shots you need for your photographic venture and not break the bank like actual camera equipment!

You might be interested in our review of the best lenses for night photography.

Best Overall – Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM

Best Overall Lens for Food Photography
Best Overall Lens for Food Photography

What is the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM lens?

Aperture: f/4.0
Range: Wide
Price: From $1,029

The incredible Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM lens is a food photographer’s dream! This incredible lens is perfect for wide-angle shots and portraits but also gives you the ability to zoom in on the details of your subject.

IS in this lens means that you can handhold and shoot at lower shutter speeds than normal while still maintaining tack sharp images. This lens is a little on the pricey side, but it is worth every penny! The EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM is also Canon’s first zoom lens to feature image stabilization.

Features of the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM lens

It is one of the best food photography lenses in the market.

The EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM also boasts a very fast autofocus system with impressive zooming capabilities in a relatively compact package.

This lens is popularly used by food photographers who need to get close up on the details of their subject without losing the stunning background effect.

It is also commonly used as a general-purpose lens for weddings, events, and other photography ventures where a fast, high-quality zoom lens is required but not necessarily something that covers multiple focal lengths.

The awesome stuff
  • This lens has the capability to produce tack sharp images at lower shutter speeds so that you can take handheld shots without any blur. This is a dream for any food photographer who has to cook in tight quarters and may not be as steady as they would like!
  • The Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM gives your wide-angle shots some depth and texture without creating superimposed shadows or highlights.
  • It also allows you to get in close on the details of your subject without zooming out.
  • This lens is perfect for almost all situations – portraits, landscapes, and food photography!
  • While this lens is not the cheapest, it definitely doesn’t break the bank! You get a lot of bang for your buck with this lens, so don’t let its price tag turn you away. This is definitely not a super-cheap plastic lens that you would be afraid to drop on the ground, either.
  • The EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM is a great lens for anyone looking for a high-quality, fast zoom lens.
What we don’t like
  • The EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM is a great lens for anyone looking for a high-quality, fast zoom lens. However, it is not the cheapest and does not have certain features that some photographers might like such as manual focusing capabilities and manual aperture control.
  • You will want to be careful with this lens as the IS feature is not meant to replace a tripod or a good, solid surface like a table for shooting. While you will be able to take handheld shots at lower shutter speeds, they may still come out blurry without the aid of an actual platform.
  • This lens is also best used for still shots and not very active scenes; you can expect some blur if your subject moves around too much or if there are rapid changes in lighting and composition in your frame.
  • Unless you value the image stabilization system or wider focal lengths more than anything else though, there are many better options for food photographers.
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Why do I recommend The Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM?

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM is a high-quality, fast zoom lens for food photographers who shoot with a wide-angle lens. This lens boasts an impressive zooming ability in a relatively compact package and an outstanding image stabilization system.

It will allow you to shoot beautifully at lower shutter speeds than normal while still maintaining tack sharp images.

This lens is perfect for anyone who needs an extra boost when shooting food! You can also take advantage of Canon’s first zoom lens with image stabilization, as well as the best zooming performance on any zoom lenses Canon makes (although it isn’t perfect).

If you’re on the hunt for one high-quality lens to help with your photography ventures without having to carry around multiple lenses this is the lens for you!

Best Budget – Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM

Best budget lens for food photography
Best budget lens for food photography

What is the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM lens?

Aperture: f/2.8
Range: Macro
Price: From $349

The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is one of the most compact lenses in Canon’s professional line of lenses. It features a macro feature as well as a built-in image stabilization system. It is the cheapest lens in this review of food photography lenses.

Usually, only photographers that specialize in macro photography or portrait photography will find this lens very useful. It is perfect for those that need both fast and wide focal lengths without sacrificing quality.

We have included this lens in our must-have lenses for wedding photography.

Features of the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM lens

The EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is a great lens for shooting recipes, food styling, and other wide-angle shots. It is always hard to find good macro lenses in this price range, but the EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM still holds its own despite its competition!

A fast and versatile lens that’s ideal for photographing close-ups and macro shots. This is a fantastic lens for those looking to add sharpness to their images without blowing their budget!

The lens is ideal for those who need a compact macro lens that covers both wide and close-range shots in one small unit.

This is a high-quality lens that will provide photographers with sharp, crisp images effortlessly. It features image stabilization and an STM motor for quiet, smooth autofocus.

The EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is fairly small and light, although it is a little larger than standard lenses.

The awesome stuff
  • The EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is a great lens for novice to intermediate photographers who want to take their food photography skills to the next level.
  • A fast and versatile lens that’s ideal for photographing close-ups and macro shots. The EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is a fantastic lens for those looking to add sharpness to their images.
  • This is a high-quality lens that will provide photographers with sharp, crisp images effortlessly.
  • Its compact size makes it ideal for traveling and outdoor use. Its macro feature allows you to get that extra close angle on your shots!
  • The EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM also offers a wide, standard angle of view for ease of use.
  • Its average size makes it more versatile than most other lenses of the same price range though!
  • For anyone that’s on a budget that’s looking to get into food photography. The EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is one of the best lenses for beginners!
What we don’t like
  • The maximum aperture is only f/2.8, which limits the amount of light you can take in and could end up causing some blur in photos without additional lighting or a tripod.
  • It also has a moderate weight and price tag.
  • The image stabilization system isn’t quite as effective as those offered by other lenses in its class.
  • The EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is not for videographers; it will wobble.
  • The EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM does not focus all the way to infinity, so you will need to be careful when using it.

Why do I recommend the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM?

The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is an overall high-quality lens that will be useful for those on a budget.

Its compact size and macro feature provide photographers with the perfect tool for close-up shots. The image stabilization allows you to take sharp photos even in low-light situations.

This lens is ideal for food photographers looking to expand their repertoire but aren’t in need of exceptional quality (although it still exceeds expectations!).

Unlike a lot of the other photography-related lenses out there, the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is something that fits in with most other equipment you already own.

A high-quality lens at a great price, this lens will give you all the macro shots you ever need without breaking your bank. It’s compatible with over 97% of Canon cameras out there so you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues.

Best Runner Up – Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Best runner-up lens for food photography
Best runner-up lens for food photography

What is the Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S lens?

Aperture: f/1.8
Range: Prime
Price: From $597

For anyone who is looking for a good lens to use in food photography, the Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S is a fantastic option! This fast and versatile lens is one of Nikon’s top-selling lenses. It offers an excellent macro feature that will allow you to take pictures from up close.

The Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S also features full image stabilization. Therefore, your shots won’t be blurry at all–even when you’re shooting in low light!

This lens is perfect for shooting food or any other object up close. You can even use it for portraits if you want. However, it doesn’t have a wide-angle lens so it might not be the best choice for those who are looking to take pictures of a larger scale.

Features of the Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S lens

The Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S is a great lens for anyone who is looking to get into food photography. It’s also a great addition to any enthusiast photographer’s collection.

The lens offers Nikon’s best optical performance and superb sharpness at an affordable price. Making it perfect for people who want to take their culinary photography game up a notch.

This lens is also quite small and lightweight so it’s the perfect addition to your everyday camera bag!

Whether you’re photographing food on your plate or prep work in front of you, this lens will be able to bring out all of your creativity and provide amazing professional-grade photos!

The awesome stuff
  • The Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S is a high-quality lens that will give food photographers excellent images each time they use it.
  • This fast and versatile lens has an excellent macro feature and full image stabilization.
  • This lens will bring out all of your creativity if you’re a food photographer and you won’t have to worry about the quality of your images!
  • The Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S is an excellent lens for beginners. It’s also useful for those who are looking to expand their food photography skills.
  • If you’re looking for a smaller, lightweight lens that focuses on what it’s meant to do, the Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S is a great pick for your kit collection!
  • You won’t have to worry about blurriness or zooming in too close on your subject; that’s what makes this lens so special.
  • Another great thing about the Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S is its price.
  • It might be a little bit more than the average lens but it gets the job done and you won’t need to run out and buy any other lenses if you want to expand your collection.
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What we don’t like
  • This isn’t a lens that you can use for long gatherings; it doesn’t have zoom so it’s not quite ideal if you want to capture your guests from a distance.
  • It is only compatible with Nikon cameras, but this shouldn’t be an issue since it’s specially designed to work with the Nikon 1 system.
  • The Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S focuses only up to half life-size, so it’s not ideal for landscape photography.

Why do I recommend the Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S lens?

The Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S because it’s small, lightweight, versatile, and focuses on macro photography.

It does the job but still has a slight edge over other lenses. The Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S is also quite affordable and versatile. So you’ll be able to take your food photography game to the next level for a good price.

If your photography budget is limited, you won’t have to buy another lens.

Best Fast Lens – Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Best fast lens for food photography
Best fast lens for food photography

What is the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens?

Aperture: f/1.4
Range: Prime
Price: From $875

Sigma is well known for its exceptional lenses and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is no exception. This fast and versatile lens has a wide angular field of view that will allow you to capture almost everything in one shot.

The lens also has excellent sharpness so you’ll be able to take crisp, sharp images every time you use it.

It is a superb lens for food photography and other tasks that require a wide-angle. This lens will allow you to take close-up shots of your subject without zooming in on the shot.

Features of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens

You can get an ultra-wide view of your scene than with other lenses.

This Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is also highly compatible with a lot of cameras. It’s a great addition to your collection if you’re looking to take pictures on a larger scale.

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is also made from Sigma’s finest materials. It has a sleek, lightweight design that won’t be an inconvenience when you’re capturing your food shots.

The awesome stuff
  • The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is a quality one that will deliver fantastic images without having to worry about the quality.
  • This lens has a wide field of view and can focus attention on almost everything in one shot, making your food photography snaps look amazing!
  • If you’re looking to take shots of larger objects or even landscapes, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is an amazing lens to use.
  • It will take the whole photograph in one shot, meaning you won’t have to worry about zooming out or zoom shots of your subject since this lens will take care of that for you!
  • The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.4, meaning the photos it captures will be sharp even when you’re shooting in low-light situations.
  • It’s a well-known quality lens, but the price tag isn’t as steep as others, so you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to take your food photography game up!
  • The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is also compatible with a lot of cameras.
What we don’t like
  • One downside to this lens is that it doesn’t zoom up, meaning you’ll have to get closer to your subject if you want a shot of them from afar.
  • The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens doesn’t have autofocus either, so it’s really only useful if your subject is fairly close.

Why do I recommend the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens?

I recommend the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens because it’s durable, affordable, and produces sharp images. It’s a perfect lens if you’re looking for a wide-angle lens allowing you to get close to your subject for an ultra-wide view.

Also, it focuses on close-up shots so you can capture food shots without having to worry about the quality.

Sigma makes some of the best lenses and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is no exception!

It’s a prime lens that produces sharp images. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is also a solid lens for food photography purposes!

Best Walk-Around Lens – Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD

Best Walk-Around Lens for Food Photography
Best Walk-Around Lens for Food Photography

What is the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD lens?

Aperture: f/2.8
Range: Macro
Price: From $740

This Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD lens is designed to take exacting photos of what’s in front of you! It will focus on what you want it to do and produce crisp, sharp images that are detailed and perfect for food photography.

The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD lens is also great for portraits, landscapes, and other types of photography.

Features of the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD lens

It’s small enough to use and still produces high-quality images as well as your standard-sized DSLR camera.

The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD is also known for its excellent sharpness so you’ll be able to capture everything in high-definition while working with this lens!

If you’re looking for a lens that focuses on your photography needs, this Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD lens is a great choice, especially for food photography!

The awesome stuff
  • This lens’ macro capabilities are also fantastic. You can take photos of tiny details, such as ingredients, creating stunning food photography with this lens.
  • You can also use this lens for portraits and other photography types.
  • The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD lens is also a durable one, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking or becoming damaged while in use.
  • This is another great lens for food photography if you’re looking for a durable and reliable lens that can produce excellent-quality photos!
  • This lens is also a great fit for DSLRs because it’s compatible with a lot of cameras. It can be used with many different DSLRs, so if you’re looking to switch up your lenses, you can!
What we don’t like
  • There are a few cons to this camera lens, including the fact that it doesn’t come in a wide variety of sizes but you can still use it on medium-range cameras.
  • Another thing is that there aren’t a ton of lenses like this one and you’ll have to keep switching between a few different lenses if you’re looking to do portrait photography with your DSLR.
  • The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD lens is a little on the pricey side.
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Why do I recommend the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD lens?

I recommend this lens because it’s a great choice for the food photography hobbyist since it focuses on what you want it to do. It’s also durable and produces sharp, detailed photos!

Tamron makes some of the best lenses out there, so it’s no surprise that this lens has made it onto my list. It’s a professional-quality lens for those who are looking to take their food photography game up!

The Basics of Food Photography

1: Framing The Scene:

When shooting food, it’s important to frame your scene so the framing is not too tight or too loose. You want to give the viewer a sense of the entire dish and its context while still including all the delicious-looking details you worked so hard on.

2: Use Reflective Surfaces To Bring Out Colors:

If you want to make red sauce pop, background with an element that reflects red back at your camera like a stainless steel pan. Similarly, shiny metal tables or marble countertops look awesome with some fresh fruit on top!

3: Use Natural Light:

In hopes of avoiding the harsh light and unflattering shadows that come with high wattage lights, try using natural sunlight. This will often give you a more flattering light on your food. Just make sure to position your dish so that it’s not too close to direct sunlight as this can cast unwanted shadows or harsh shadows.

Too bright and you risk washing out colors.

4: Get Low, But Not Too Close!:

When shooting food, the best way to make your shot more appealing to the eye is by getting low and avoiding the “rat’s-eye perspective.” Get down on your hands and knees or even lie on your stomach for this. Use a low-angle/fish-eye lens or your widest angle to get that good high-low balance.

Not too close and not too far away. A telephoto lens will help you isolate the food against the background. This will enhance the contrast between near and far objects, and emphasize texture.

5: Get High!

Getting high is just as important as getting low. Get high with your camera but not so high that you lose the balance between near and far objects. Using a zoom lens will help bring the viewer up close with your dish, and we all know that food looks better without edges!

This technique will also help you take “window light” pictures so that your background is perfectly lit, balanced, and not blown out.

6: Use The Rule Of Thirds:

The rule of thirds states that an image is more visually pleasing when it follows the lines of thirds. This means placing your focal point in the intersection of two of the 9 lines that divide the image. An easy way to do this is to imagine your image as a tic-tac-toe board and position your subject accordingly.

7: Use Props To Create Depth And Texture:

Utilizing props is essential when creating an eye-catching food photograph. Larger objects, like plates, can serve as a centerpiece that draws attention to your dish.

Is 35mm good for food photography?

The 35mm lens is a versatile option for those just getting into food photography. It’s a great lens and produces high-quality visuals. This is because it has the right focal length and angle of view for shooting food, especially if you’re using natural light.

The 35mm prime is also inexpensive – making it an even more appealing choice for beginners!

35mm is a common lens you see when it comes to food photography, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best focal length. Some people may prefer a wider lens, like the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD for example, which gives you great results with little effort in your photo-taking process.

Do I need a telephoto lens in food photography?

The longer focal length telephoto is great for isolating and highlighting elements of your dinner. This is especially useful when shooting at a low height in order to get the “rat’s-eye perspective.”

This technique helps draw the viewer’s eye to your dish while also making it appear larger than it really is. The longer focal length also draws attention toward your dish, making it appear more appetizing to the eye.

A telephoto lens is great for showing off details in your dish, such as a slice of avocado or a cracker. This comes in handy when you’re shooting food at long distances from your camera.

A longer lens will help you get close to the food and let the viewer see all those delicious details that would otherwise be lost in a shot taken with a wide-angle lens.

What is the best focal length when it comes to food photography?

The best focal length for food photography is whatever works best for your environment. If you’re shooting indoors, and have limited space, then getting in close is your best bet.

However, if you’re shooting outdoors under natural light, then a wider focal length lens will give the viewer a more broad look into your dish.

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. The best focal length varies from person to person, so the best answer is to experiment and find what works best for your situation.

The key is to find the right focal length for each situation. Try shooting different scenes and see what works best for you!

Final thoughts on the best food photography lenses

There are different lenses and focal lengths that you can use for food photography, some are better than others. And so while there is no one size fits all lens, try experimenting with different lens lengths to find what works best for your situation.

Try shorter focal lengths for indoor shots, and a longer lens if you’re shooting outdoors or at a higher height. A compact camera is just what you need to get started with food photography because it’s easier to carry around and shoot at different angles when compared to a DSLR.

Before you pick up your camera and head out to take your first shot with a lens, there are a couple of things that need to be taken into account. It’s important that you find the right focal length for your environment.

Using the rule of thirds will also help you make sure that your composition is appealing and balanced. A telephoto will let you get up close to your dish and isolate it within the frame, giving it more visual appeal than using a wide-angle lens.

 


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James M

I've always been passionate about photography for as long as I can remember. I would take photos at any chance I got. I made up my own world and filled it with photos of friends, family, animals, natural forces, and more! This passion leads me till today where I have made myself so many happy memories and memories for others. This is why it means the world to me when I write these posts and get to make someone's day by inspiring them.

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