Best Lenses For Food Photography – 2020 Top Picks Reviewed

Food photography is emerging as a popular form of photography nowadays. People love to share their food on Instagram. Plus, food bloggers need good quality photographs.

To get perfect pictures, you need to have a proper food photography lens.

Here is all you need to know to find the most amazing food photography lens. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Lenses For Food Photography

PRODUCT
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Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

  • Has a focal length of 60 mm
  • An aperture of f/2.8 makes it the best overall
  • 25-degree angle makes it equal to a 96 mm lens
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Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G

  • Has a focal length of 105 mm
  • FX-format extends its range of view
  • G type lens with f/2.8 aperture is the runner-up
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Tamron Auto Focus 60mm f/2.0 SP DI II

  • Has a focal length of 60 mm
  • Best for the money food photography lens with f/2.0
  • 1:1 macro lens with the maximum reproduction quality
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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM

  • Has a focal length of 100 mm
  • Best Canon lens for food photography
  • f/2.8 aperture makes shutter quick and smooth
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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

  • Aperture is very fast at f/1.8
  • 50 mm focal length is ideal for food photography
  • Best Nikon lens for food photography with autofocus
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Sony - E 50mm F1.8 OSS

  • APS-C angle of view is 32 degrees
  • Best Sony lens for food photography for professional
  • 50 mm focal length makes it great for food photography
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Can Any Lens Be Used for Food Photography?

No, not all lenses are suitable for food photography. Food photography has small subjects and the background is more than likely out of focus. This makes food photography a little tricky, so you need a specific lens for it. Here are the features that a lens should have for better food photography.

Small Minimum Focus Distance

Food photography lenses should come with the minimum possible focus distance. This is because you need to capture the minute details in food to make it seem more attractive. This will also help you capture the right feel of the texture of food items, as well.

Bokeh

The major subject in food photography is the food, right? So, food photographers need to blur out the background most of the time. This is why they need a lens with great bokeh effects. The bokeh should enable you to practice different variations of the blurriness effect to see what works best.

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

Maximum reproduction ratio is another important factor when it comes to food photography. No matter how good your food looks, sometimes it is hard to get the exact feeling in a photograph. This is something you will not have a problem with if your lens has a high maximum reproduction ratio.

What Makes a Lens Great for Food Photography?

There are no special lenses for food photography in the market, but some offer the specifications you need for it. Here are the characteristics which make a lens great for food photography. 

Moderate Focal Length

The focal length plays an important part in the quality and focus of an image. So, you have to be particular about it when you are looking for a new lens for food photography. The focal length should neither be too long nor too short. It has to be moderate, around 35 to 50mm. 

Quick Shutter

The shutter speed matters a lot, too, as it affects the sharpness and quality of the image. The quicker the shutter is, the clearer the image will be. So, go for the maximum aperture you can find in the market. 

Brightness

Now, brightness is another important aspect of a food photography lens that you have to consider. Normally, restaurant settings have soft lighting, which makes it hard to focus on the food. So, the lens should have a wide aperture to let maximum light in and increase brightness. 

Good Optical Performance

A good photography lens comes with amazing optical performance. The light dispersion is minimum and there is no chromatic aberration in the images either. 

Quick Take - Best Lenses For Food Photography

Before we dive into our review, here are the best lenses for food photography:

  1. ​Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
  2. Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G
  3. ​Tamron Auto Focus 60mm f/2.0 SP DI II

Review of the Best Lenses for Food Photography

The best food photography lens is going to help you get the best food photographs, isn’t it? So, you should get the best one available in the market. Keeping this in mind, we have brought you a list of our favorite ones for food photography. 

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

PROS

  • Ring-type monitor is silent and powerful
  • Ultra-sonic monitor for a quick autofocus
  • 2.9-inch diameter makes its highly compact
  • Lifesize focus with the help of a floating optical system
  • 1-year warranty by the manufacturer makes it more reliable

CONS

  • Bokeh is not very good
  • Feels slightly more expensive than other models

What Recent Buyers Report

The people who bought it recently came up with really positive reviews, as the lens did not disappoint them. They were hesitant about the price at first, but when they used it, they found it well worth the money.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like this lens primarily because of its ultrasonic monitor, which helps in keeping the images sharp. The ring-type monitor is great for focus as well as image stabilization. There are fewer shaky angles and food photography becomes more fun with this lens.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is most useful for people who want more stable images. Other than that, it is highly compatible with a wide range of cameras, so you can use it without any issues. This makes it amazing for nearly all kinds of photographers.

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this is that it is easily the best lens out there. It is perfect for still and sedentary photography, which makes it ideal for food photography. So, it is going to be a wise decision on your part to invest in it.

Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens

PROS

  • 5-year warranty for increasing its reliability
  • Internal focus without any change in the length
  • Comes with the maximum reproduction ratio of 1.0x
  • Vibration reduction technology increases the stability of the image
  • Nanocrystal coat to remove light dispersion and chromatic aberration

CONS

  • No manual focus available
  • A little on the heavier side of the weight spectrum

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love this lens because of its amazing features, which others fail to offer. They like its focal length, which is easy to adjust and great for close-up shots. They are also fond of the internal focus as well, which minimizes any extra disturbances.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It impresses us with its maximum reproduction ratio of 1.0x, as it helps in life-size photography. The Nanocrystal coat helps in improving the quality of the image by minimizing the light dispersion. There is an active control on chromatic aberration, as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This is going to be most useful for professional photographers looking for greater stability. The lens offers a wide aperture and a quick shutter, which increases the sharpness of images. Hence, it is great for expert photographers who need perfection.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is an incredible option for modern photographers. No matter the light conditions, this lens will modify brightness accordingly. So, there is nothing to worry about when you have this on your camera.

Tamron Auto Focus 60mm f/2.0 SP DI II LD IF 1:1 Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Model G005E)

PROS

  • 3.15 x 2.87 x 2.87 inches dimensions
  • Internal focus design for better focus
  • Macro lens with 1:1 ratio for great close-ups
  • Sharp images with a fast aperture and shutter
  • Two LD glass elements for clearer and brighter images

CONS

  • AF is not very smooth
  • Manual focus is not as good as autofocus

What Recent Buyers Report

People who bought it lately are impressed by the lens as it improved their food photography a lot. They found it more impressive due to its dimensions of 3.15 x 2.87 x 2.87 inches. They also liked it for its compact design and sleek construction.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It grabs our attention with its 1:1 ratio, which makes it great for macro photography. It helps photographers focus on even the smallest details so that their audience loves it. It is also great because of the LD glass elements which improve the inlet of light.

Who Will Use This Most

This is the most useful lens for people who want to practice autofocusing. Its internal autofocus is exceptionally good and photographers love the ease that it provides. It is a great option for both novice and professional photographers.

Bottom Line

All in all, this is a great lens that beats all others in terms of price and quality. The features offered clearly outweigh the price, and buyers love it. So, choose this one whether you are on a budget or not, as it offers you a lot.

Best Canon Lens for Food Photography:
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras, Lens Only

PROS

  • Filter size is of 67mm
  • Diagonal angle of view at 23.4 degree
  • 15 elements in the construction of the lens
  • Full-time manual focus for professional usage
  • Active stabilization of the images improves their quality

CONS

  • No zoom ring present
  • Not scratch-resistant and can be damaged easily

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers had very positive reviews for this food photography lens by Canon. They liked the way it works with non-Canon cameras, as well. They also reported having a great time with its manual focus, which others do not offer.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It makes it to our list due to its active image stabilization phenomena. They minimize both light dispersion and chromatic aberration, leading to a more intact image. The diagonal angle of view also makes it stand out more to us.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera is going to be most helpful for those who want ultra-stable images. The image quality is satisfactory even for experts and professionals, so anyone can buy it. The filter size also increases its range of uses.

Bottom Line

The final verdict on this one is that it works well with most cameras in the market. The lens focuses more light on the subject, so there is no issue regarding optical performance either. Hence, you can buy this without any hesitation regarding the lens or image quality.

Best Nikon Lens for Food Photography:
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens

PROS

  • Maximum reproduction ratio of 0.15x
  • Silent Wave Motor for quiet operation
  • Minimum focus distance of 1.48 feet for greater details
  • Aspherical lens element makes the optical system better
  • Edge to edge sharpness optimization on FX and DX formats

CONS

  • Does not zoom
  • Fitting on non-Nikon cameras gets difficult

What Recent Buyers Report

This lens has a long chain of happy customers, as they found a considerable change in their food photography. They liked it, particularly because of the Silent Wave Motor, which helped them stay focused. Buyers also had a great time using it due to the life-size photography it promises.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It catches our eye because of the maximum production ratio of 0.15x. It helps photographers capture all the right feel and texture of the food items. They bring the subject into sharper focus with this one, so we recommend it for food photography.

Who Will Use This Most

The lens is most useful for food photographers who have more than one camera and want it to work with all of them. It is equally great for FX and DX-format cameras, so you can keep using it with both.

Bottom Line

In our opinion, this is one of the best lenses for food photography, especially if you have a Nikon camera. The aperture is perfectly wide and has the right brightness level for low-light conditions, as well. Its high optical performance is worth your money, so go ahead and get it.

Best Sony Lens for Food Photography:
Sony - E 50mm F1.8 OSS

Sony - E 50mm F1.8 OSS Portrait Lens (SEL50F18/B), Black

PROS

  • Alloy construction makes it light and portable
  • Diaphragm has 7 blades for added sharpness
  • Optical SteadyShot for stabilizing images is built-in
  • Large aperture is great for both focusing and defocusing
  • Aluminum alloy exterior for better protection against weather

CONS

  • Focus can be a little slow sometimes
  • Close-ups of sedentary objects are hard

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers were blown away by its price, as they did not find any other prime lens at this price. They love it for its focal length of 50mm, which goes well with all kinds of food photography. They also like it for its sharp image quality due to the efficient diaphragm.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us due to its defocusing feature, which creates amazing bokeh. It provides you the right dreamy texture of the background, which makes the food more prominent. In addition, its angle of view is commendable, as it helps you cover more details.

Who Will Use This Most

This is most useful for those who want to practice multiple angles and shots before settling on one. The aluminum construction makes it so lightweight that there will be no hand fatigue. It has a compact design as well, so perfectionists are going to love it.

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this one is that it is a game-changer for those who love to photograph food. The angle of view is perfect for focusing on minor details and texture, which goes well with bokeh. So, get this one if you want to have a great food photography lens at the lowest possible price.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Food Photography Lens?

Buying a food photography lens should not be a difficult task for you if you know the basics. You have to make sure you consider the following aspects before buying one. 

Maximum Aperture

The aperture of the lens plays a significant role in the shutter speed and sharpness of images. This also controls the amount of light that enters into the lens, which then affects brightness. So, you have to look for a lens that has the perfect maximum aperture.

Focal Length

The focal length is something that every photographer looks for before buying a lens. It has the power to make or break your food photography. The focal length also determines the level of detail in an image, along with the distance from the camera. So, you have to be careful about it. 

Focus Mode

Lenses come with either autofocus or manual focus, both of which have their own perks. If you are a professional and know your way around cameras, then go for manual focus. But, if you are a novice, then autofocus is a better option for you. You can also go for autofocus if you want to keep things easy for yourself. 

How to Use Food Photography Lenses?

In order to click the best photographs of food, you need to have the right lens. Once you get that, you are good to go and take the shots of your favorite food. Here are the steps you need to follow to get amazing food photographs. 

  • The first step is to choose the right lens. Usually, microlenses are a better option, as they let you capture more details.
  • Open the aperture of the lens to its maximum point to let the most light into your camera. 
  • Then tweak the focus control and focus on the food while keeping other things in the background. 
  • Now, you need to work on the focal length as the lenses usually offer a range of focal lengths. Choose the one that complements the angle and food the most.
  • Then, try out different camera angles to see which one works best for you. 
  • Once you find the perfect angle, you can take as many shots as you want to.

You can find additional tips and help in the following video. 

Conclusion

To wrap up, a food photography lens is going to change the overall impact of your food blog. It also brings more details in the picture and makes your food look even better. You can use these lenses for other things too, so you do not have to feel bad about investing in them. 

People Also Ask

Food photography is reaching new levels each day and this makes people more curious about it. Curiosity leads them to ask multiple questions regarding food photography lenses and related aspects. So, we have answered some of the most common questions here to help you overcome any confusion. 

How Do You Stage Photos for Food?

Staging of food is very important when it comes to food photography. The best way to stage food for photos is to play around with colors. Go for colors that make the food stand out more. Utensils, cutlery, and background should support the color scheme of the food.

How Can I Make My Food Look Better in Pictures?

You can make your food look better by working on the serving and garnishing. The utensils and linens should merge well with the background to help the food look more prominent. You can also place the ingredients and other things that you used for making food to enhance its looks. 

How Do You Do Lighting in Food Photography?

Lighting plays a significant part in food photography, as it helps you focus on food better. The best way for this is to go for softer lighting so the food looks yummier. You can add in some natural highlights and shadows to play around with focus, as well.

How Do You Use a Food Reflector for Photography?

Reflectors surely make food photographs look more dramatic and attractive. There is no set rule for using them, so you just have to try different angles and positions. Then, settle on one angle and take the shots. You can use two or more reflectors for food photography too.