Best Lens for Product Photography in 2024

best lens for product photography

Whether you’re an eCommerce entrepreneur, a small business owner, or a professional photographer, you need high-quality images to attract your target customers.

However, capturing professional-quality photographs is not just about having a high-end camera. The lens you choose also plays a significant role. The clarity, detail, and overall quality of your images depend on the quality and features of your lens.

So, how do you choose the best lens for product photography?

In this article, we’ll walk you through the top 5 camera lenses that you can use for your product photoshoot. We will also educate you on the different types of lenses and important features you should consider when choosing a lens.

So, without further ado, let’s explore the must-have lenses for product photography.

Prime Lens Vs Macro Lens Vs Zoom Lens: Which Is Best For Product Photography?

When it comes to product photography, prime, macro, and zoom lenses all serve different purposes through their unique characteristics. Which of these lenses would be best for your photo shoot depends on your photography needs and preferences. 

Let’s explore the distinct features, pros, cons, and use of each of these lenses to help you select the best one for your product photoshoot.

Prime Lens

Prime lenses are compact and lightweight with a fixed focal length. You cannot zoom in or zoom out. This type of lens has a wide aperture ranging from f/2.8 to f/1.2. A wide aperture means more light can enter the lens, even in a low-lighting setup. For this reason, you will get clear, sharp, and high-quality photographs. A prime lens is considered the best choice for those who prefer the best image quality over other facilities.

Pros

Cons

High image quality

 Zooming feature is unavailable

Superior sharpness

Great for creating bokeh

Small and lightweight

Best for Which Product Photography?

A prime lens is great for photographing large products. You can move around to take your shots without experiencing difficulty due to the lack of the zooming feature. You can also use it to create a blurred background effect.

Macro Lens

A macro lens is a specially designed lens for capturing photographs from a closer distance. These lenses usually have minimum focusing distances of less than 30 cm and a magnification ratio of 1:1. For this reason, you can get very close to your product and capture its details.

Pros

Cons

Capture intricate details

Expensive compared to prime lenses

Excellent image quality

Not ideal for large size product

 Top-notch Sharpness

Best for Which Product Photography?

A macro lens is ideal for photographing small products like jewelry, watches, or electronic gadgets containing fine details.

Zoom Lens

Zoom lenses have a range of focal lengths that allow you to take both close-up and distant shots without changing your camera position. You can adjust the focal length through its zooming feature. It has different categories, including telephoto zoom lenses, super zoom lenses, wide-angle zoom lenses, and macro zoom lenses. Each of them has a unique range of zooming ability

Pros

Cons

A range of focal lengths

Heavy and bulky

Change framing quickly

Less sharp images compared to prime lens

No need to use multiple lenses

Best for Which Product Photography?

A zoom lens is good for both small and large-size products. You will have the flexibility to set the focal length as per your needs.

How To Choose The Best Lens For Product Photography?

The quality of your images is determined not only by your camera body but also by the lens you choose. You need to consider a few technical features to make the right selection. Each of these features impacts the performance of the lens, such as capturing intricate details, achieving clarity, accurately representing colors, and so on. 

Here are the features you must look for in your lens:

Focal Length

Focal length has a big impact on your photograph. This feature is related to the field of view of a lens. That means the focal length of your lens determines how much of the scene you can capture in your frame.

A longer focal length will give you a narrower angle of view and higher magnification. You can take the shots from a distance, ensuring clarity and sharpness. On the other hand, a shorter focal length gives a wide angle of view and lower magnification. For this reason, it’s ideal for capturing broader scenes.

Focal length is measured in millimeters. For product photography, you should choose a lens with a 50mm focal length. It will capture the accurate proportion of your products and minimize distortion. Your product will look natural as well as visually appealing with sharp details.

Aperture

The aperture is the opening of the lens. The size of this opening determines how much light enters the camera. The brightness and depth of field of your image depend on this feature. It is referred to as f-stops. Lenses come with a wide range of aperture values, usually ranging from f/1.2 to f/32.

It’s worth mentioning that aperture values can confuse many of you. So, to remember it easily, here is a simple equation:

Small number = Large aperture
large numbers = Small aperture

A higher f-number such as f/8 or f/11 is a smaller aperture. This means the opening will be narrow and allow less amount of light to enter the lens. It will give you a greater depth of field, focusing both foreground and background elements in a frame.

On the other hand, a lower f-number such as f/1.4 is a larger aperture. This means the opening will be wider, and more light will enter the lens. It will give you a shallow depth of field. That means a specific portion of the image will be sharp and the rest of the portion will be blurry.

For product photography, a medium aperture, such as f/8 or f/11 is considered ideal. However, the ideal aperture mostly depends on the size of your product. So, choose a lens that has a manual aperture adjusting feature. This will give you the flexibility to choose the aperture as per your photography needs.

Magnification Ratio

You need to consider the magnification ratio of a lens, as this feature represents the size of your product. The recommended magnification ratio for small product photography is 1:1. You can zoom in without losing or blurring any detail. This can capture objects in life-size, ensuring that details and proportions are accurately represented. There are lenses with adjustable magnification as well. You can use them if you work with both small and large products.

Focusing Distance

Photoshoots for small and medium size products are usually done from a close distance. For this reason, you should select a lens that has a short focusing distance. A minimal focusing distance will allow your lens to capture sharp details and highlight unique features of your product in close-up shots.

Image Quality

You need to choose a high-quality lens if you want professional-quality product photos. Low-quality lenses have issues including chromatic aberration, inaccurate focusing, and distortion. These problems can affect your image quality.

That’s why you must invest in high-quality lenses to create sharp images. This lens captures the original color and gives your products a realistic appearance. Moreover, quality lenses are more durable. It will be a cost-effective choice for you over time.

Do you want to know about the best camera for product photography? Check out this article.

5 Best Camera Lens For Product Photography in 2024

Here are the top 5 camera lenses for product photography that you should consider for your next project.

Canon EF 100mm f 2.8L Macro IS

If you must choose 5 lenses for your collection, then the Canon EF 100mm f 2.8 L Macro IS should be in your possession. This is not our saying; rather, this is a review from a satisfied customer. This macro lens is compatible with Canon full-frame and APS-C DSLRs. You can also use it with Canon RF-mount cameras through an adapter. This lens will be ideal for capturing the fine details and textures of jewelry, electronics, and other small products.
Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS in black color

Key Features:

  • Hybrid Image Stabilization
  • Fast, quiet and accurate autofocus
  • Ultra Sonic Motor (USM) 
  • Weather-sealed design for protection against dust and water

Specifications:

  • Lens format: Full-Frame
  • Lens mount: Canon EF
  • Minimum aperture: f/32
  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Focal length: 100mm
  • Filter Size: 67 mm
  • Elements: 15
  • Groups: 12
  • Angle of view: 24°
  • Focus mode: Manual, Manual / Auto
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 1:1 
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Minimum focus distance: 30 cm or 300 mm
  • Weight: 625 g

Pros:

  • Great image quality
  • Color and contrast are great
  • Ultra-shallow depth of field
  • Bokeh is excellent

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Heavy for handheld shooting

Nikon AFS Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon AFS Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G is one of the best quality prime lenses available in the market in a budget range. This 50 mm fixed focal length lens is ideal for capturing fine details of your products. You will get high-quality photographs even in low-light conditions. If you are a beginner, then you should try this lens. It could be one of the best options for you within a budget range.
Nikon AFS nikkor 50mm F1.8G in black color

Key Features:

  • Compact and lightweight design for easy handling
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for quiet autofocus
  • Aspherical element decrease aberrations

Specifications:

  • Lens type: Prime lens
  • Mount: Nikon F-Bayonet
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Minimum aperture: f/1.8
  • Maximum aperture: f/16
  • Motor type: Ultrasonic
  • Maximum angle of view: 31°30′
  • Maximum angle of view: 47°
  • Filter size: 58mm
  • Elements: 7 
  • Groups: 6
  • Maximum magnification: 0.15x
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Minimum focusing distance: 45 cm
  • Weight: 185g

Pros:

  • Compact size
  • Aperture is fast
  • Top-notch image sharpness 
  • Low levels of chromatic aberration
  • Reasonable price

Cons:

  • Lack image Stabilization
  • No aperture ring
  • A bit stronger barrel distortion

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

Are you looking for a premium-quality prime lens for product photography? The Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM is considered one of the top picks for professional use. Its f/1.4 maximum aperture can highlight product details with a pleasing bokeh effect. Moreover, it has Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to lower lens flare and capture the true colors of products.
Canon EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM

Key Features:

  • Image Stabilization with up to 4 stops of correction
  • Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for fast and silent autofocus
  • Dust and weather-resistant design

Specifications:

  • Lens Format: Full-Frame
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF
  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.4
  • Angle of view: 28° 30′
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.12x
  • Elements: 14 
  • Groups: 10 
  • Filter Size: 77 mm
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Weight: 950 g

Pros:

  • Excellent image quality
  • Image Stabilization prevents camera shake
  • Wide aperture created great bokeh
  • Strong build quality with weather protection

Cons:

  • A bit heavy
  • High price

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Prime Lens

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Prime Lens is another good quality lens within budget. This lens has almost all the advanced features to capture professional quality product photos. Its  f/1.4 aperture creates a shallow depth of field. For this reason, you can blur the background to make your product pop up in the image. Moreover, it can manage lens flare and color accuracy to give the images a real-life appearance.

Key Features:

  • Gaussian optics design reduces distortion and spherical aberrations
  • Super Spectra coating decreases lens flare 
  • Micro Ultrasonic Motor (USM) gives  fast, precise, and quiet autofocus performance

Specifications:

  • Lens format: Full-Frame
  • Lens mount: Canon EF
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.4
  • Angle of view: 46°
  • Maximum magnification: 0.15x
  • Elements: 7 
  • Groups: 6 
  • Closest focusing distance: 0.45 m
  • Filter size: 58 mm
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Weight: 290 g

Pros:

  • Sharp images with color accuracy
  • Small and easy to carry
  • USM motor provides fast and silent autofocus
  • Wide aperture creates great background blur
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • No weather sealing
  • Lacks image stabilization
  • Cannot zoom in or out

Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II Zoom Lens

Do you need one lens to shoot a variety of products? The Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II Zoom Lens can be the ideal one for you. This standard zoom lens can be used to capture clear and high-quality photographs of all-size products. This lens is perfect for ensuring color accuracy and sharpness in images with blurry backgrounds.
Canon EF 24-70 mm F2.8L II zoom lens in black color

Key Features:

  • Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for fast autofocus
  • Super Spectra coating reduces lens flare
  • Weather-sealed for protection against dust and moisture
  • Three aspherical elements for decreasing spherical aberrations and distortions

Specifications:

  • Lens format: Full-Frame
  • Lens mount: Canon EF
  • Focal Length: 24 to 70mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Angle of view: 84° to 34°
  • Elements: 18 
  • Groups: 13 
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.21x
  • Minimum focus distance: 38 cm
  • Filter size: 82 mm
  • Weight: 805 g

Pros:

  • Super Ultra-Low Dispersion element
  • Robust weather-sealed body
  • Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) gives fast, precise, and silent autofocus performance
  • Protective fluorine coating prevents fingerprints and smudges

Cons:

  • Heavy and relatively large in size
  • Expensive

Why Do You Need Multiple Lens For Product Photography?

Using multiple lenses for your product photography isn’t mandatory, but it can provide you with several advantages to capture the best possible images. Different lenses offer unique perspectives, focal lengths, and features. These variations allow you to capture your products in various ways and highlight different aspects effectively.

Let’s check out some of the advantages in detail.

Flexibility in Shooting

Lenses with different focal lengths give you the flexibility to shoot a wide range of products. You can capture any sized product, be it small or large, without compromising your image quality. Moreover, you can make the best use of your creativity by capturing images from different perspectives and angles.

Versatile Image Needs

Your photography needs can vary depending on your products and photography techniques. When your purpose is to capture an overall high-quality image, you would need a prime lens. For large products, your best fit would be a wide-angle lens. On the other hand, for detailed close-up shots, you would need a macro lens. For this reason, you can complete your photoshoot effortlessly if you have all of these lenses with you.

Mastering Lens Operation

Using multiple lenses will improve your knowledge and operating skills. You can easily identify the ideal type of lens for a setup or product. Also, you will have a better understanding of the features of the lens such as focal length, aperture, shutter speed, and many more. You can adjust the settings as per your photography setup, without the need for trial and error.

Frequently Asked Questions about best lens for product photography

You can’t label a specific lens the best one for your product photography. The best fit depends on various factors, including the type of product, shooting environment, personal preferences, and so on. A prime lens would be best for you if you want sharp and high-quality photos. However, a macro lens would be the right choice to capture intricate details. For focal length flexibility, you should select a zoom lens.

Yes, you can obviously use a zoom lens for product photography. Its adjustable focal length allows you to capture products from short and long distances. You can take shots of products of varying sizes without changing your position. However, the sharpness of the image will be less compared to a prime lens.

The best focal length for product photography is between 50mm and 200mm. A 50 mm focal length can provide a natural perspective for small and medium-sized products. You can use an 85mm lens to create a blurry background. Moreover, a lens having a 100mm or above focal length is a macro lens which is ideal for capturing fine details.

Conclusion

Purchasing the right lens for product photography is an investment in building your brand identity. However, selecting the right lens can feel overwhelming with so many options available, each promising to deliver stunning results. 

Hopefully the lenses we have reviewed have helped you make a decision. Consider the features, specifications, pros, cons, and your needs when choosing your best lens. All the best for your lens hunting!

author
Isaac Travis is a versatile professional photographer who developed his skills across different fields such as commercial shoots, product photography, and model photography. With a knack for capturing the essence of his subjects, Isaac brings creativity and precision to every project he takes on. His diverse skill set and passion for photography make him a trusted choice for clients seeking captivating images that stand out.