cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Best Lens For Product Photos - EOS 7D ?

AdamSanderson
Apprentice

Hi,

 

   I have a Canon EOS 7D and I'm using it strictly for product photography.  We are taking photos of pre-owned laptops, smartphones, tablets etc. Often times there are very minor scratches or dents on the items.  Is there a single lens that I could use for both the photos of the product but also have excellent marco capability to capture the small scratches and dings? I have a budget up to $700 for the lens. 

 

Thanks for you advice!

 

8 REPLIES 8

pjmacd
Enthusiast
The Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM and EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lenses are both well within your budget.

amfoto1
Whiz

I use a TS-E 45mm "Tilt Shift" for small product photos. It's often useful to be able to manipulate the plane of focus, depending upon the shape of the subject. The shift function of the lens can be handy too, dealing with reflections.  

It's very close focusing, though not truly macro capable on its own. However it can be used with macro extension tubes for closer work. I believe Canon literature says it can only be used with the shorter 12mm tube. But on a crop camera such as your 7D (which is also what I'm using), it's also possible to use it on longer tubes for higher magnifcation. The 45/2.8 TS-E is manual focus only.

 

I would think a 90, 100, 105mm or longer macro might be too long for a lot of indoors work... especially using them on a crop sensor camera. .

 

If you have adequate working space, the EF-S 60mm macro might be good.  There is also a Tamron 60/2.0 macro lens. It's nice for portraiture, with a full stop larger aperture than most macro lenses. It's a little more expensive than the Canon 60mm, and doesn't enjoy USM focus like the Canon does. The AF of the Tamron is adequate, but not fast enough to track movement or shoot sports.

 

One of the 50mm macro lenses might serve, too. There is the Canon EF 50/2.5 "Compact Macro". It's a 1:2 lens unless you add an adapter. It also is not a USM lens. Sigma also offers a 50/2.8 macro lens.

 

If you are working in a fairly tight space you might need even shorter.... The shortest AF macro lens I'm aware of is the Tokina 35/2.8. It's a "crop only" lens (as are the two 60mm mentioned above... everything else mentioned is both crop and full frame compatible).

 

***********
Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & PRINTROOM 

 





TCampbell
Elite

I'd also strongly recommend the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM.  Of all the EF-S lenses Canon makes, I think that lens really stands out as having the best detail-resolving capability of them all.

 

I no longer use a crop-frame body, but when I bought my EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro USM, I compared the results from the two lenses -- and that 60mm lens definitely competes in with respect to detail resolving capability.  I always liked that lens.

 

You might check out the photo pool for that lens on Flickr:  http://www.flickr.com/groups/canon65mmmacro/pool/with/4315716542/

 

You can also check out it's Pixel Peeper page:  http://www.pixel-peeper.com/lenses/?lens=18&p=1

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

A tilt-shift is way out of your budget.  But if you have to ask advice on what lens to get, then I'm sure you're going to be quite impressed with the resolution that you get from just about any prime macro lens.  Personally I'd recommend the 100mm Canon macro (non-L) over the 60 mm if you have decent space to shoot in.  It gives you more working room to get light in when shooting smaller objects.

 

As far as scratches, getting those to show has far more to do with lighting than it does the lens.  Bring your light in from the side and you can see just about anything.  With a macro lens and some side lighting you can see the texture on a smooth sheet of paper.

Actually I prefer a shorter focal length when doing small product/table top studio work... With smaller products that puts me close enough to be able to reach out and adjust the subject while looking through the camera's viewfinder. This can really help speed up the work, when there are a ton of items to shoot!

 

I haven't had any problem with lighting in a controlled, studio situation. (But, yes, I do generally prefer a longer focal length for outdoor macro shots for the greater working distance... in part to keep from casting an unwanted shadow on the subject).

 

If interested in a TS-E lens, the 45mm is one of the older designs and I paid close to the OP's budget for mine, used. The newer 17mm and 24mm are quite pricey, while the older 45mm and 90mm are generally more affordable. TS-E lenses show up a lot on the used market... As a somewhat specialized lens, people sometimes buy them for a specific purpose, then sell them off after the project is completed.

 

But my purpose in mentioning the 45mm was actually more in regards to the focal length. For indoor/studio use, I wouldn't hesitate to use a 50mm or 60mm macro... maybe even the really short 35mm Tokina offers, in some situations.

 

***********
Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & PRINTROOM 

 






@amfoto1 wrote:

Actually I prefer a shorter focal length when doing small product/table top studio work... With smaller products that puts me close enough to be able to reach out and adjust the subject while looking through the camera's viewfinder. This can really help speed up the work, when there are a ton of items to shoot!

 

But my purpose in mentioning the 45mm was actually more in regards to the focal length. For indoor/studio use, I wouldn't hesitate to use a 50mm or 60mm macro... maybe even the really short 35mm Tokina offers, in some situations.

It's mostly personal preference.  I prefer the additional space I get when shooting near 1:1 with a 100mm, and I also prefer not having as much background to worry about with the reduced field of view - which allows me to use smaller backdrops and fabrics and whatnot.

 

As to your first point: Whatever works for you.  Personally, I pretty much always use a laptop and wireless remote when shooting anything in a studio.  If I was doing some really precise or high quality product photography I'd probably even bring out a monitor so I can really check the results in detail.  I set it up on my bench right next to where I'm working and just flag it so it the lens doesn't pick up any glare.  I really don't physically touch my camera much at all when doing table top work.

"It's mostly personal preference. I prefer the additional space I get when shooting near 1:1 with a 100mm, and I also prefer not having as much background to worry about with the reduced field of view - which allows me to use smaller backdrops and fabrics and whatnot."

 

OP states they're going to be shooting "pre-owned laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc." The larger of those will require a very spacious studio space to frame the whole item when using a 100mm lens on a crop camera. That's why I recommended 45, 50 or 60mm. I bet even shooting close-up details of scratches, etc., they'ill be unlikely to need anything close to 1:1 (approx. 15mm x 22mm area with a crop camera) much of the time. But some of those lenses are fully capable of it, if needed. It would probably be easiest with the Canon EF-S 60/2.8 or Tamron SP 60/2.0 macro lenses. The EF 50/2.5 Compact Macro only does 1:2 on it's own (which may be all the magnification that's ever needed), needs a separately sold adapter to achieve 1:1 mag. Alternatively, Macro Extension Tubes might be used. 

 

I also prefer a 100mm focal length outdoors and when working with live subjects, for more working space. Or a 180mm when the subjects bite or sting and/or are poisonous! I just think any longer macro lens will be difficult or impossible to use indoors for products the size the OP wants to shoot.

 

***********
Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & PRINTROOM 

 





BTW, if you want to calculate the specific dimensions of the field of view, this website has a lot of handy calcuators for photography:

 

http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/calc.htm

 

Scroll down to "Dimensional Field of View Calculator" and plug in some values.

 

For example, if you plug in 60mm for the lens, 1.6 for the crop factor (all Canon APS-C sensors are 1.6) and punch in a distance from the subject such as 4 feet, it'll give you the physical dimensions of how large an object can be at a 4' distance to fit in the frame.  In this case it's 1' tall by 1'6" wide.  That would be a bit too close for a laptop, so you'd probably back up a bit more... perhaps 6' away.  

 

In any case, you can see that a 60mm lens would be plenty far for photographing a laptop.  

 

Showing detail photos of scratches is often more about the placement of light and using good reflectors out of scene (white or black card stock to control the color of the reflections on very shiny products.)

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Announcements