What are the 3 Best Lenses for Food Photography?

Silvain • updated June 20, 2022 • 5 min read

What are the 3 Best Lenses for Food Photography?

What are the 3 Best Lenses for Food Photography? All of these are things I asked myself when I first started taking pictures of food. I had tried myself out in different places before. Whether it’s a picture of a landscape, a portrait, or a building.

  • How do you take photos of food that look good, and what lenses should you use?
  • Should I spend my money on a lens with a fixed focal length or a good zoom lens?
  • What is best for taking pictures on a table?

I’ve had my own experiences and tried out one lens or another over the years. My eyes were opened when I switched from a kit lens to a fixed focal length.

I found the difference in quality and the possibilities so interesting! It made my photos of food so much better. That’s when I realized that the lens is more important than the camera itself.


The best 3 lenses to take pictures of food (my opinion)

canon 50mm f/1.8 best lens for food photography
Canon 50mm, f/1.8

#1. 50mm f/1.8 Prime Lens

The 50mm fixed focal length lens is the best all-around lens, and every beginner photographer should get one. Whether you’re taking pictures of food, people, or nature, this lens is a must-have for every photographer.

With a fixed focal length of 50mm, you can take great shots from above (like your table from above), as well as great close-ups with beautiful background blur.

The lens is quick, great for bokeh shots, and gives sharp, distorted-free images.

The field of view of a 50mm lens is about the same as that of the human eye, so there is no distortion. It’s called a “normal focal length” because of this.

With a wide-angle lens, objects can be very big or very small. This is not the case with a telephoto lens.

There are a lot of different kinds of 50mm lenses, from cheap ones to expensive ones.

For starters, the cheap version is enough:

Because it is so cheap, it is a great lens for people who are just starting out with photography. You can get used to how a fixed focal length works and learn about all of its benefits without having to spend a lot of money.

If you take care of your lens, you can use it for a long time. I still like to use it, but I’ve since upgraded and gone with something even faster.

You can get a 50mm fixed focal length lens with an aperture of 1.8, 1.4, or 1.2. The fastest lens has an aperture of 1.2. If you already love the 50mm with a 1.8 aperture, I can only suggest that you switch to a better version over time.

It’s a good idea. But I would rather spend my money on one of the other two lenses than on a 50mm upgrade.

Canon 24-70mm Zoom best lens for food photography
Canon 24-70mm, f/2.8 Zoom

#2. 24-70mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens

People say that lenses with fixed focal lengths are better than zoom lenses. In general, that’s true, but I still don’t want to be without this piece of glass.

I not only use the lens to take pictures of food, but I also like to take it on vacation. If so, I don’t need another. That saves time, weight, and space.

The best thing about a zoom lens is, of course, that it has more than one focal length. You have more freedom with that. For example, I don’t have to keep switching lenses if I want to take numerous shots from various angles during a shoot.

Most of the time, I use a 50mm lens for shots from above and a second camera for shots from the side. Most of the time, the 24-70mm zoom lens is on the second camera.

You can read about why I like shooting with a tripod here, but I also like shooting off to the side and being surprised by the results.

And this lens is great for that. It’s one of the zoom lenses with the fastest speed. That means that the lens takes great, bright pictures even when there isn’t much light.

Again, you can get great bokeh with the aperture open, and the focal lengths are perfect for food photography.

For example, if you want to take a picture of a large set from above, the 50mm lens is often not wide enough to fit everything in. Then it would be best to get the 24-70mm.

At 35mm, for example, you can take beautiful pictures of wide scenes. The perfect addition to the 50mm fixed focal length, in my opinion.

Canon 100mm Macro best lens for food photography
Canon 100mm Macro

#3. 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

With the 50mm and the 24-70mm, you can pretty much cover all of your food photography needs. When you’ve used them all up, it makes sense to think about a different lens.

Macro photography has been something I’ve been interested in for a long time. That is, close-ups where you are so close to the subject that you can get structures, textures, and even the smallest details to be razor-sharp.

I fell in love with the 100mm f/2.8 macro lens in the end. The quality and sharpness are top-notch. And it’s so much fun to take close-up pictures that are sharp and clear.

This lens isn’t good for every situation because it’s so close. With this lens, you can quickly reach your limits, especially if you only have a small room to operate in.

It also doesn’t make much sense for shots from above. But the 100mm is great if you want to take pictures of very small things or draw the viewer into the picture.

This lens is almost certainly the best one out there. It captures creamy toppings, saucy details, and different textures and structures.

The right lens for your food photography

There are, of course, many more on the market, and which one you choose will always depend on your own taste and budget. Some people love to shoot from above with a 35mm lens instead of a 50mm lens.

If you like to take pictures of landscapes on the side, you might want a wide-angle lens. Other people might feel more at ease with a macro lens.

But I stand by what I said and tell everyone to get the 50mm for less than €150. Before you spend more money on a lens, you should try out a few different ones first.

I recommend spending some money on a good tripod.

Frequently asked Questions

What is a Macro function?

Every lens has a minimum distance where it can focus. Most of the time, the minimum focus distance gets farther away as the focal length gets longer.

A macro function lets you focus from a much closer distance than you would normally be able to with a lens of that focal length. Food bloggers usually need to do a lot of close-up work, a lens with a macro function is recommended.

What brand of the lens should I buy?

Canon, Nikon, and Sony all make a lot of different lenses for their cameras. But the price of good lenses is often too high for a new photographer to afford.

Tamron and Sigma are two great lens manufacturers offering alternative lenses. They make lenses with mounts for most brands, and their prices are very attractive.

If you only make images for online use and look at the results side by side, you might not be able to tell the difference in quality. Learn more about how to start with food photography.

What is the difference between Prime and Zoom lens

With a quick turn of a dial, a zoom lens lets you see more or less of a subject. With a prime lens, you can only see one thing at a time. If you want to get closer, you have to move yourself. “Then why wouldn’t I just get a zoom lens?” you might ask.

The problem with zoom lenses is that they often have to make trade-offs in order to be both affordable and able to zoom. This is especially true of cheaper zoom lenses. 

Which is the best lens for me?

You should take your time when choosing a camera lens, just like you should when choosing a camera body. Lenses are a long-term investment, and if you take good care of them, they will last longer than your camera body.

After doing more online research, you may go to a camera store near you and rent the lens before you decide to buy it.


What is your take on Best Lenses for Food Photography – let us know in the comments!

By Furoore team member Silvain

Silvain is a French/German national and has been with the Furoore Team since the beginning. He likes to write about various photography themes, especially food photography. If you leave a comment, he will come back to you to answer any questions you may have.


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