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Product photography is no less popular direction in photography than, for example, portrait, landscape or reportage. Most often, this genre is used in advertising. Especially with such an active development of social networks, where people offer their goods and services. When you set yourself the task of choosing the right lens for product photos, you need to be guided by one important rule: the subject must always be in focus. A new review from Expertology magazine provides examples of the hottest product lenses in 2020.

How to choose a lens for product photography

The choice of optics always depends on what goals you are pursuing and what result you plan to achieve. If the requirements for photographs are not high, then a standard KIT lens, which often comes with a semi-professional camera, will suffice. But if you plan to seriously engage in product photography, of course, it makes sense to think about specialized optics.

Obviously, the choice of lenses is very wide, so you should immediately exclude wide-angle and zoom lenses. Using a wide-angle lens, you will encounter distortion in the size of the subject being shot. If you take pictures with a zoom lens, then the image will have noise and chromatic aberration. Portrait lenses may be more or less suitable, but they still have a different purpose. Portrait cameras tend to be softer and have less color reproduction and detail.

It is best to stay on macro lenses. The great thing about these lenses is that they are able to focus at close focal lengths, and the closer you are to the subject, the more detail you can capture in the image. Such lenses provide exceptionally high-quality, contrasting and clear images when shooting from a minimum distance of almost 2 centimeters from the subject being shot.

The main advantages that are inherent in a macro lens in relation to other “glasses” in subject photography:

  1. the image is as detailed as possible;
  2. the ability to take pictures at a scale of 1: 1;
  3. sharp and contrasty picture.

Now let’s go directly to the review of models recommended by Expertology experts.

Rating of the best lenses for product photography

Nomination Place Name Price

Rating of the best lenses for product photography

one

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 (A17)

8 900 ₽

2

Tamron AF 90 mm f/2.8 Di SP AF/MF 1:1

30 000 ₽

3

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

81 000 ₽

four

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

60 000 ₽

5

Fujifilm XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro

98 000 ₽

Also Read: 13 Best Canon Lenses

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 (A17)

Rating: 4.5

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 (A17)

Let’s start with an interesting and affordable Tamron model. And it is interesting because it combines the functions of macro and zoom shooting, and for a very nice price of about 100 USD. This is the rare case when the zoom does not harm the quality of subject photography.

The macro scale is 1:2. The lens is quite compact and weighs only 435g, so it is convenient to work with it in almost any situation. The Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 is a great choice for those who want to save money and still get pretty good image quality.

The case is made of plastic, which inspires confidence in terms of durability. The bayonet mount is metal, but it does not have protection against the ingress of moisture and dust. The rubberized focus and zoom rings “walk” at the same time smoothly and tightly enough so that this mechanism does not come loose in the future.

The weak point of the lens is the “trunk” that moves out strongly when zooming, so you should not use it without protection in places where there may be an excess of dust, fine sand and other abrasive suspensions in the air – construction sites, open spaces with dry soil, etc. e. Under normal conditions of use, there should be no problems. The filter mount is 62mm and the minimum focusing distance is 1.5m.

It’s nice that Tamron supplies a good petal hood in the kit. With it, the overall size of the lens increases by one and a half times, and this even gives it seriousness. Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 and in principle all the latest glasses of this brand are equipped with fast and silent ultrasonic focusing motors.

The optical design of this model is relatively simple. It consists of 13 elements in 9 groups, one of which is made of low dispersion glass. Chromatic aberrations appear only at a focal length of 300mm, and regardless of the selected aperture.

This lens allows you to achieve high image detail at all focal lengths, and with the maximum aperture. At the edges, the detail is slightly reduced, but still remains at a good level. Out of focus of the subject being photographed, the image is obtained with contrast. Other lenses with a focal length of 70-300mm at a comparable price cannot boast of such an advantage.

A nine-blade diaphragm is responsible for building bokeh. Thanks to the nine petals, the circles of confusion present a truly round shape, rather than angular geometric shapes. In addition to all of the above, with this lens you can get a high-quality image with a pleasantly blurred background, due to the combination of a longer focal length and a small distance from the subject being shot.

Advantages

  • light weight;

  • metal bayonet;

  • Suitable for full frame cameras

  • ultrasonic motor;

  • accurate autofocus;

  • high detail of the image for its price.

Flaws

  • no stabilizer;

  • small luminosity;

  • strongly moving trunk when zooming.

Tamron AF 90 mm f/2.8 Di SP AF/MF 1:1

Rating: 4.6

Tamron AF 90 mm f/2.8 Di SP AF/MF 1:1

The next Tamron macro lens we’re going to look at won’t be as budget-friendly. We are talking about the Tamron AF 90 mm f / 2.8 Di SP model, which is available in several versions for cameras from Canon, Nikon, Minolta and other manufacturers. The price of such a lens varies from 390 USD to 660 USD. The cost depends on which camera you purchase this macro lens for.

This model can be used for both macro and portrait photography. That is, it can be optimally suited for subject photography, since you have the opportunity to shoot not only very small objects, but also larger ones. The macro lens has branded markings – SP and DI. The first stands for Tamron’s highest professional quality (super performance). The second says that the lens goes to a full-frame camera.

The body of this model is made of plastic, but this does not negate the fact that the assembly and the feeling of solidity are quite at a high level. There is another atypical point, which is to switch the focus mode from manual to autofocus, it is done by the focusing ring. The ring itself is very wide and thus comfortable to use, especially when focusing manually.

The Tamron AF 90 mm f/2.8 also has a limiter that allows you to switch from 29cm macro mode to full mode up to 45cm. The lens is decently recessed inside, protecting not only from accidental impacts, but also from unwanted glare.

The lens mount is metal and does not have an autofocus motor. Therefore, it should be noted that it will focus automatically only in conjunction with full-frame cameras. In fact, this is not critical, because manual focus is mainly used in subject and macro photography.

Filters will only fit with a 55 cm thread, this is a rather atypical and rare diameter size. This is not very good, since you will not always find filters with such a thread pitch in mass markets.

In product photography, the depth of field often becomes shallow, but the model we are reviewing closes down to F32. This significantly changes the situation and helps to take sharp shots. The Tamron AF 90 mm f/2.8 has a nine blade aperture, which means the bokeh is rounded and soft. The macro lens is equipped with a focusing distance scale, which is located under the glass, it adds solidity to this model.

Advantages

  • quality assembly;

  • good color rendering;

  • excellent sharpness in focus;

  • rounded and soft bokeh;

  • the ability to use not only in macro, but also in portrait shooting;

  • light weight;

  • quite affordable price.

Flaws

  • slow autofocus;

  • no focus motor;

  • there is no optical stabilizer.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Rating: 4.7

CANON EF 100MM F/2.8L MACRO IS USM

This is a completely new professional model from Canon, which was announced in 2009. Yes, it was in 2009 – for equipment of this class it is almost “yesterday”. In addition, please note that this is an L-series, and this directly indicates a high technological level. This option is not from the budget, its approximate price is from 1000 USD.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is practically devoid of fundamental shortcomings and combines wide functionality with a low weight of 625g. The bayonet and focusing ring are made of metal, while the rest of the body is made of black plastic. The lens may feel a little fragile, but according to Canon, the plastic is of the engineering type and is designed to withstand heavy loads.

The lens is ergonomic and comfortable to use. The focus ring is wide and rubberized, which is important for the convenience of professionals in the process of photographing objects and other macro objects. Indeed, in this genre, photographers mainly use manual focus so as not to miss the focus. The design of the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro is sealed against dust and moisture with a rubber seal on the back of the lens.

The ability of the lens to focus to infinity does not exclude its use for work in other directions, but for subject photography this optics is used most often. The optical design of the lens is quite complex, it has 15 elements in 12 groups. One lens is made of UD (ultra-low dispersion) glass.

This is one of the first Canon macro lenses to feature a stabilizer. A feature of the new Hybrid IS system is its ability to eliminate not only natural hand shake, but also small angular movements of the camera. The stabilizer has 4 exposure levels, but when shooting macro, the efficiency of the system decreases, and at a scale of 1: 1 it becomes 2 stops less.

The nine-blade circular aperture, along with a long focal length, will gently blur the background. The model has a ring ultrasonic USM motor, with which the focusing process becomes fast, accurate and almost silent.

For greater autofocus efficiency, the lens is equipped with a three-position focus limiter. Also, the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro does not change its size during operation, that is, it has a monolithic design, as befits an Elke. Accordingly, its front lens does not rotate, which makes it possible to use circular filters.

Advantages

  • there is an optical stabilizer;

  • protection against dust and moisture;

  • quality assembly;

  • the presence of a focus limiter;

  • excellent sharpness and color reproduction;

  • aperture f/2.8;

  • USM ultrasonic drive;

  • no chromatic aberrations.

Flaws

  • small backlash of the focusing ring;

  • no tripod foot included.

See also: 12 best Nikon cameras according to customer reviews

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

Rating: 4.8

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

This is a professional Nikon model. So, if you plan to do professional still photography, then this lens will not let you down. Its average market price is approximately 985 USD.

In general, this lens is designed to work with full-frame cameras (full frame), but it is perfect for cropped cameras. The Nikon 105mm f/2.8G macro lens has a high build quality. There is also a metal bayonet mount, which is tightly and securely attached to the body of the camera. In this case, this is an important point, since the lens is not so light, its weight is 720g. The lens flange is equipped with an O-ring that protects against dust and moisture.

The Nikon 105mm f/2.8G has a wide and rubberized focusing ring, located at a convenient distance from the hood mount. The distance scale is applied to the body, which is graduated in meters (gray) and in feet (yellow). The focus drive (silent wave motor) is ultrasonic and virtually silent.

The optical design is no less simple than that of the Canon 100mm f/2. It consists of 14 lenses combined in 12 groups, including one ED glass element, which can effectively combat chromatic aberration. The rest of the optical glasses have a special coating (nano crystal coat) that prevents the formation of unwanted glare and “spurious” reflections on the surface of the lenses.

The 105mm focal length is ideal for macro photography. The photographer does not need to get too close to the shooting point and thus all objects and any other objects can be shot in their microenvironment. This is one of the few macro lenses from Nikon that is equipped with an optical image stabilizer. The stabilizer allows you to shoot even at macro distances with shutter speeds 2 or 4 times longer than the critical one and at the same time get sharp pictures.

Nikon 105mm f / 2.8G – very sharp and contrasting, it withstands backlight perfectly. With this lens, you can count on the most detail your camera can afford. If you are not interested in macro photography, then just use the focus distance limiter. The lens begins to focus in a limited range from 0.5m to infinity, which significantly increases the speed of focusing.

Advantages

  • protection against moisture and dust;

  • there is an optical image stabilizer;

  • excellent image detail;

  • quality assembly;

  • universal, can be used for both subject and portrait shooting;

  • accurate autofocus.

Flaws

  • no tangible flaws were found.

Fujifilm XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro

Rating: 4.9

FUJIFILM XF 80MM F/2.8 R LM OIS WR MACRO

Fujifilm 80mm f/2.8 LM OIS Macro is one of the most successful models among all the Fujifilm macro lens lines of recent years. It is endowed with rather unusual and interesting functions, and thus compares favorably with models from other manufacturers. The approximate price of such a lens is 1200 USD.

The construction of the Fujifilm XF 80mm f/2.8 is quite solid. Its body is made of metal with a pleasant matte finish. Like the previous model, the lens is quite weighty – 750g. The focus wheel is rubberized, and the ring rotates very smoothly.

The macro lens has an aperture ring that is paired with the camera itself. There is a focus range switch on the body, that is, when focusing on a certain area, you save autofocus from having to look for an object where it simply does not exist, thereby speeding up the focus.

Also, the lens is equipped with a small lever for turning on the stabilizer (OIS), which has 5 stops of compensation (according to CIPA standards). Among the above models, and macro lenses in general, this is not the most common phenomenon, and in this it compares favorably.

The Fujifilm 80mm f/2.8 lens has a rather rich and complex optical design, which includes 16 elements in 12 groups. One of them is aspherical, 3 (ED) low dispersion lenses and 1 element (super ED) with the lowest possible dispersion. This is an expensive optical design that will give you high quality images in both portrait and product photography.

The bayonet mount is made of metal, which adds to the confidence of wearing such a heavy lens. The Fujifilm XF 80mm f/2.8 is dust and moisture resistant thanks to a hydrophobic coating on the front lens. It is also interesting that this lens is resistant to low temperatures down to -10 degrees.

As for the sharpness of the image, there is a slight defocus with an open aperture, but in fact this “sore” appears in almost all lenses. To avoid this problem, you just need to close the aperture to at least f / 3.5, and you will already feel a big difference. If you look closely at the resulting image, you will see a very smooth and soft blur.

Advantages

  • high build quality;

  • there is protection against dust and moisture;

  • resistant to low temperatures up to -10 degrees;

  • the presence of an optical stabilizer up to 5 steps of compensation;

  • nice blur around the edges of the frame;

  • high detail;

  • convenient aperture setting ring;

  • confident work in the backlight.

Flaws

  • slight loss of detail in focus, at maximum aperture.