To understand the best lenses for product photography, we need to know the types of lenses you will find on the market. These classifications are the same for every brand.
In terms of adjustability, there are two types of lenses, they are,
A prime is determined by its fixed focal length and aperture. You can’t adjust them to go from a wide-angle lens to a telephoto lens, which is a great option to have. But with a dedicated focal length and aperture, you can produce images of higher quality.
These lenses are the ones with adjustable focal length and aperture. You can choose a focal length from as little as 24mm to as long as 600mm with an advanced lens. It means both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses are accessible for you. The sweet spots are the 24-100mm or 55-200mm lenses.
The trade-off with a zoom lens is a little lower image quality. But it’s something negligible on the bigger scheme of things.
Then, we have types of lenses depending on the focal length, they are,
A wide-angle lens usually has a focal length between 8mm to 24mm. This is the ideal range for this genre. These lenses focus more on the background, delivering nice landscape images.
On the other hand, a telephoto lens has a focal length ranging from 55mm to 600mm or more. It can be either a prime or a zoom lens. With a telephoto lens, you can focus more on the objects to make a point of attention as opposed to the wide-angle lenses where the background is the target.
What to Know About Camera Lenses – Buying Guide
When it comes to product photography, you need to be careful about the lens you choose. To get the right perspective and the right scaling in your image, lenses need the right features. And that’s what this buying guide is all about. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Having the right focal length is important for two reasons. First, the focal length determines your focus on the object or the background. For product photography, you need the lens to focus on the product rather than the background.
Secondly, the focal length allows you to get the right perspective of the real thing. It won’t be eye-soothing if the same objects appear to be of different sizes. Experts in product photography always put this point in their first lesson.
So, what’s the ideal focal length for product photography? It can be anywhere from 50mm to 300mm or even more than that, depending on your requirement. Bottom line, get a telephoto lens.
Again, we can’t emphasize more on having the right size of the aperture. The width of the aperture determines two things.
Firstly, it determines how much light is going to enter the chamber, and secondly, it determines the amount of bokeh or blurred background your image is going to have. And for product and portrait photography, it’s vital to have the right aperture. The idea aperture is around f/1.8-f/2.8.
Apertures of f/4 or less can also give a good bokeh with the right focal length.
Prime Lens or Zoom Lens?
This is a great point of discussion among photographers as these two types of lenses provides different benefits. With a prime lens, you get a higher image quality, but you lose the ability to change focal length.
With a zoom lens, you can adjust your focal length from 50mm to 600mm, but you also lose a bit of image quality.
If you work with different types of product photography, the trade-off with a zoom lens is worth it, in our opinion. Else the prime lenses are the better option.
Optical Image Stabilization
This is not a new technology, but not many lenses incorporate it in their systems. Most of the lenses use electrical image stabilization, which is not as efficient as the optical IS technology. It’s not as vital as the above points for product photography, but it makes it a lot easier to take videos.
Types of Motor
There are a few types of motors used in the lens to drive its autofocus mechanism. For different brands, it has different names, but the outcome is the same.
Some motors are more silent than others, and some are faster than others. For Canon, there are two lenses, such as the STM (Stepping Motor) and USM (Ultra-Sonic Motor). For Nikon, there are motors like SWM (Silent Wave Motor).