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Lens Rec for product photography


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Hi Brian

just wondering what type of lens you would suggest for photographing large furniture items for website use. 
I have a canon full frame

the space I have to work in is quite small in a small office so I’ll be pretty close to the products and worried about distortion


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What lenses do you have now?

How small is small? Meaning, how far away from the subject will you be?

Are you using strobes to help with exposure?

The two lenses that come to mind are the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens. In either case, MAKE SURE YOU GET THE VERSION 2 / VERSION II TYPE. ESPECIALLY WITH THE 24-70!! Never-ever-ever buy the version I of the Canon 24-70. The Canon 24-70 Version I is complete crap. I know lots of Photographers in real-life and on-line who can't trust their Canon 24-70 Version I lens. That said, Canon did fix all the issues with the 24-70 when they released the Version II. So the two lenses that I linked to is where I would start.

Distortion will be an issue, so you will need to shoot a little "Loose" to kill the sides. If you are really in a tight space, a Tilt-Shift Lens might be in order. But again, it really depends on your situation. Need more info.

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Thanks Brian

i have the canon 50mm 1.8

tamron 24-70 f2.8 I did read about the canon mk 1 when I was looking at the Tamron so thanks for pointing this out to me again 

canon 70-200mm f4.5

i think I’d be about 2m max from subject. 

lighting  I have a speedlite and prob just office lights. I think proper lighting will be stage 2 if we end up doing more ourselves. 

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I haven’t photographed products before I normally do portraits outside so it’s a new set up. Basically my manager said I can have a go at teaching myself product photography so they don’t have to hire someone to come in and do it. So it’s a new thing for the business. Saves them costs if I can do it for them. Just want to make sure my gear will be good for the shoot. I’ll show you an example of the type of shot and angle I will be doing 

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I will warn you, once you start shooting with Pro-Grade L glass, it will be hard to purchase 3rd party lenses. :) I’m not a fan of Tamron Lenses or even Sigma really. But that’s a whole other topic. 

For your case, I’d say the Canon 24-105 f/4 L II Lens will be a good fit. I’ve seen whole Creative Live Classes on product/food photography shot with a Canon 24-105 L. 

Let me know what you think of your new lens. 

Edit: Yes, lighting will be very important and there is a BIG difference between a $2000 Prophoto Light and a $200 AlienBee. Give it a go with your speed light and 24-105 and let me know of the results. I have a sneaky suspicion that the lens will be the CHEAPEST part of this whole situation. ;) 

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HI Brian,

just letting you know that my first session with products i think went fairly well. i ended up with teh 24-105. Will get more confidence the more i do. was way out of my comfort zone doing the shoot but had fun, and lots to learn still. once i get the hang of it lighting will be the next thing i do. Due to space limations i only could just shoot at 80-90mm and i was squashed up against the wall.  the larger items were a bit hard to shoot with the lack of space.

thanks once again for your advice

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Very Cool! You are off to a great start! 80mm to 105mm is where you want to be for product photography, so that's why I recommended a lens like a 24-105.

Enjoy your purchase. Don't be afraid to shoot at f/8 or even f/11...but usually these apertures tend to need some sort of strobe or two off camera, with a modifier of some sort.

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