If you want to get professional in any genre of photography, you need to invest in some good lenses. And if food photography is your genre of choice, Skyler Burt of We Eat Together has some tips for you. He shares four of his favorite lenses that will help you capture all that delicious food in a variety of ways.
Skyler is a Canon user, so the lenses he recommends are for this camera brand. But of course, you can use the lenses equivalent for the camera you use.
1. Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS macro lens or equivalents
With this lens, you can tell a variety of food stories and Skyler suggests it should be the first lens to buy if you want to up your food photography game. It’s a razor sharp lens, and its background compression works perfectly with food photos. Other than letting you tell stories from up close, you can also use it to shoot backed off or from above.
2. Canon 50mm f/1.2L or equivalents
A fast 50mm prime is another lens that can give you a wide variety of shots. It’s just enough to capture larger scenes, and it’s neither too wide nor too close. You can use it to shoot both above and in front of the food. At f/1.2, you can get almost abstract food photos that can look quite interesting, and if you want super-sharp images, you’ll get them with this lens.
Of course, 50mm f/1.2 lenses are pretty expensive, but you can get cheaper “nifty fifties” with f/1.4 and f/1.8 at a much lower price. While Skyler uses Canon’s nifty fifty, there are of course many other brands: Nikon, Samyang, Voigtlander with f/1.2 and Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, and Samyang with f/1.4.
3. Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L or equivalents
This is probably one of the best lenses you can buy for food photography, especially if you’re just starting out. This zoom lens is versatile, sharp, and lets you shoot at various focal lengths without moving your camera or a tripod. It’s also great if you shoot multiple genres, not just food photography. It is a pricey piece of glass, but Skyler believes it’s worth investing in one. It’s built as a tank, it will last you a long time, and it can cover you in many situations.
4. Canon 24mm f/1.4 or equivalents
Canon 24mm f/1.4 is not a typical food photography lens, but it’s excellent for food and recipe videos, as well as b-roll and timelapse for food videos. It’s sharp and great for shooting from above because it captures food in the environment. Here are a couple of other brands and third-party lenses: Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sigma.