Choosing the perfect lens can sometimes be tricky for product photography, as different projects require different focal lengths. A lens that may suit an outdoor product shoot, such as a car, may not be ideal for capturing the details in jewelry and vice versa. There are universal lenses that work for multiple purposes, but those also fail for certain product photography occasions.
Many companies employ thousands of professionals and amateurs for product photography. Some of the popular industries that regularly require product photography are food, jewelry, furniture, shoes, clothes, and technological devices, among others. Good product photography is vital in any industry that sells or advertises their products visually.
It is vital to hone your skills as well as to have quality gear. In order to get the most out of your photos, you will also need a quality lens. It is the combination of these three factors that makes a product photography campaign successful. To get the best product photography experience, we have rounded up some of the best lenses for product photography.
The Best Focal Length for Product Photography
What is the best focal length for product photography?
Product photography can be tricky, especially with so many lenses to choose from. We shoot different types of products in a myriad of different conditions. From rings to jets, everything requires product photography, and using one focal length may not be ideal for every situation. It would be best if you decide your niche first before you venture into the product photography industry.
For instance, like most small product photography projects, Jewelry photography has to be shot with a macro lens with a short focal length.
Getting close to subjects is not always possible, so you need to be creative. You may want to explore other angles, where you may need a longer focal length. Most professionals use a full-frame camera with a 105mm macro lens, but again, that may vary depending on the subject.
Product photography is a broad category, and our list should help you select your ideal lens. All of the below lenses provide excellent results and are some of the best product photography lenses.
Best Third-Party Product Photo Lens
In our opinion, this is the best third-party lens for product photography. Though it won’t work in every situation, it is a great all-around lens, which will serve you well on most compositions. As it isn’t specific to any one camera brand, you will be able to find a version that will fit whatever camera you have.
1. Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.8 Di VC
This lens brings life to any product with its sharp and detailed image. The Tamron SP is a perfect fit for those who indulge in lifestyle photography, as well. The wide-angle ensures that you can cover a lot more background, which remains sharp even in low light. The build quality of the lens is excellent, and the matte black finish adds to its charm.
Features like Vibration Compensation works well in low lighting conditions, and the edges are always in focus and sharp. You don’t have to worry whether your product is at the center or on the sides, the lens will produce incredibly detailed images. The operating distance is small and so getting close to your product should not be a problem.
Ideal for: Still life and lifestyle photography
- Great low performance
- Minimum operating distance
- Metal body
- Excellent focusing speeds
- Vibration Compensation switch
- Bokeh effect could have been better
Best Nikon Product Photo Lenses
1. Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40 mm f/2.8G
This Nikon lens is one of the best product photography lenses. If you are on a tight budget and still don’t want to compromise on performance, this lens is a perfect match for you. The compact lens has an integrated coating, which results in less ghosting and lens flare. The three focus modes available in this macro lens help in overriding the autofocus, or you can use the focus limiter switch for quicker autofocus.
Being a macro lens, you can get up close to small objects, and the autofocus does a beautiful job in bringing minute details to life, which is not possible with a regular lens. This is incredibly important if your product is small. The results that you get from this lens are outstanding and retain sharp details throughout the image.
Ideal for: Jewelry Photography
- Compact and easy to carry
- It has a minimum focal distance of 16 centimeter
- Focus limiter switch for quick autofocus
- 1:1 reproduction ratio
- Great bokeh
- Limited to DX sensor cameras
2. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G
The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G is an excellent choice for professionals as the lens offers a constant aperture of f/4 across its focal length coupled with excellent image stabilization. The lens also features vibration reduction, which means you get more stable shots and crisp images. Photos appear sharp and focused thanks to its Nano Crystal Coating and three aspherical elements.
The lens can provide excellent detailed images even in low light, which makes it ideal for product photography. The weight is even, and the lens does not feel heavy. The quick autofocus also helps if you want to add some creativity in your product photography. It is one of the best product photography lenses from Nikon.
Ideal for: Furniture, cars, and other large products
- Consistent aperture across the focal length
- 5x zoom
- Excellent detailed images
- Excellent low-light performance
- Great image stabilization
- Visible distortion
3. Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G
Another outstanding macro lens or micro as per Nikon is the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G. This lens is one of the best lenses for product photography if you indulge in small and compact products. A 25 to 45-degree angle provides excellent convenience at 105mm, which can enhance the experience of shooting small objects. With features such as vibration reduction and image stabilization, this Nikon lens creates amazing, detailed images.
Photographers will also love the 1:1 reproduction ratio, which means that you can get very close to your subject. Although you might want to mount it on a tripod, handheld shooting is also excellent, as the lens supports 3.0 stops of blur that provides incredible background blurs. It also comes with an anti-reflective coating and extra-low dispersion glass to reduce chromatic aberrations. Overall it is among the best product photography lenses out there.
Ideal for: Food and small product photography
- Excellent vibration reduction system enhances handheld shooting
- Durable design
- Anti-reflective coating
- Faster autofocus
- Comes with focusing distance limiter
- Extra-Low Dispersion glass
- A bit heavy
Best Canon Product Photo Lens
1. Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II
The original Canon 24-70 mm lens was brilliant, and this new update takes that brilliance to the next level. The autofocus and the low light performance are tremendous, and subject detection is instant, which means you won’t have to wait too long for your products to shine. The reverse focus ring helps in shrinking the lens’ size, so getting close to your product feels more natural.
The lens produces sharp and consistent images throughout the apertures and focal lengths. The lens is well built and handy in size, and the dust-resistant coating on both sides saves you the trouble of cleaning the glass regularly.
Ideal for: Jewelry photography
- Consistent, sharp images across apertures and focal lengths
- Compact and handy
- Fast autofocus
- Minimal chromatic aberration
A bit pricey
2. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L
Canon’s EF 24-105mm f/4L has excellent contrast and color levels. The circular aperture blades provide a quality image with a superior background blur, which makes your product shine out in the pictures. The image stabilization is incredible, which helps in taking better pictures without using a tripod even with the shutter speed set to 1/3 seconds or lower.
As with almost all the Canon L-series lenses, the EF 24-105mm f/4L has an excellent build quality. You can cover a variety of products with this lens, and it will be happy to deliver some incredibly detailed images. The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L is ideal for those who want a Canon lens that is versatile and can provide exceptional results.
Ideal for: Furniture, Cars, and other large products
- Constant aperture across all focal lengths
- Excellent built quality
- Incredible 3-stop image stabilization
- Moisture and dust-resistant
- Attractive background blur makes product standout
- Slightly heavy compared to others
3. Canon TS-E 135 mm f/4L
One of the best tilt-shift macro lenses by Canon, this lens produces incredibly detailed images. With studio photography as its primary focus, this Canon lens can provide high-quality product images. The precise control, coupled with Canon’s depth-sensing technology, means that your pictures come out sharp, with the subject always in focus.
You may have to use a tripod, but the results you get are excellent. The tilt function provides exceptional functionality and lets the photographer explore many angles. The lens delivers superior performance in low light, and the images look sharp and vibrant. The 1:2 macro ratio means you can get detailed product shots, even from very close.
Ideal for: Food and small product photography
- Tilt function to capture various angles
- Vibrant and crisp photos
- No chromatic aberration
- You can rotate the axis tilt and shift block independently
- Minimal distortion
- A bit heavy
- Not for amateurs
4. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
The wide aperture of this Canon lens makes it one of the best product photography lenses available. The f/1.8 aperture produces crisp images with sharp focus coupled with a blurred artistic. Additionally, it lets in much more light if you cannot afford to buy a ton of expensive studio lighting. If you are into lifestyle and tabletop photography, then this lens will work like a charm for you. Wide lens means more on offer, and the best thing about it is that you don’t loose on details even while cropping.
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 delivers incredibly detailed images in low-light conditions as well. Having your background blur while the subject remains in focus is also vital for product photography, which enhances the whole experience and appeal.
Ideal for: Tabletop Photography
- Superb low-light performance
- Compact and durable
- Wide f/1.8 aperture allows more light
- Quick autofocus
- Spherical aberration if the lens’ aperture is open
5. Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L
This telephoto lens takes macro photography to the next level. The 1:1 ratio helps in getting close to your subject and provides crisp and sharp images. There is no issue of chromatic aberration, and the focus is instant, providing you with a better image quality every time. Despite being a telephoto lens, the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L performs better than most macro lenses.
The ultra-low dispersion elements improve color accuracy and clarity, which can help your product stand out in the images. You also have a focus limiter that allows you to get a better focus on subjects. The lens is well-built and is moisture and dust-proof. If you want a Canon lens for macro photography and want the advantage of adding teleconverters, then this lens will help your cause.
Ideal for: Studio product photography and studio setups
- Super Spectra coating to minimize lens flare and ghosting
- 1:1 magnification
- Ultrasonic motor for precise and fast autofocus
- Focus limiter switch
- A bit pricey
Best Sony Product Photo Lens
1. Sony 30 mm f/3.5
One of the best lenses for product photography, Sony’s 30 mm f/3.5 is a charm for photographers engaged in macro photography. The stylish silver finish makes it even more appealing, and the 1:1 magnification ratio can get as close as 3.8 inches from the subject. The design allows photographers to add 49mm filters, and the rigid body helps in reducing lens flare.
The Sony lens provides excellent detailed images with crisp and vibrant colors that are excellent for any small product. The sharpness of the photos is incredible, and you will not miss any details. Overall it is an excellent value for money product.
Ideal for: Jewelry and other small products
- Stylish and compact
- Focusing is quick
- Incredibly sharp images
- High contrast and color
- Value for money
- No aperture ring
There is a wide array of good lenses for product photography. You will need to pick your preferred lens depending on your camera and the type of product photography that you do.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to have to buy a camera, lens, and lighting for your own product photos, you can always use a studio. At a studio such as ours, all you are required to do is send us your product and instructions for the photos. We will take the photos for you, and then mail your product back, all at a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself. Also, as professionals in the industry, we have the lenses, lighting, and experience to know how to deliver the best possible result for you. If you’re interested, you can visit our order or about pages.