What lens to take food photos


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May 8, 2004
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#1
I am using 500D, i also have the following lens

1) Canon 18-55mm IS

2) Canon 18-200mm IS

3) Canon 50mm F1.8

so given the above lens, which is best to take pictures of food?
Do i also need a flash, currently own a 270EX.
And what setting should i use. many thanks in advance.:)
 

Last edited:
Sep 8, 2009
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Choa Chu Kang
#3
All can :)
Try and experiment. The effects of each is different.
DOF may be a problem wide open at f1.8 though.

Have fun !! ;)
 

May 8, 2004
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#4
given only 1 choice, which will you choose, i try 3 lens, but cannot see the difference.
 

Sep 8, 2009
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Choa Chu Kang
#5
I dont own the 18-200mm, had owned the 50mm previously.

I will ..
1. Pick a focal lenght to fill the frame (any lens is fine, the focal lenght is the prob)
2. Pick an aperture to give enough DOF to make sure the food is recognisable
3. Select ISO to as low as tolerable (400 for me)
4. Use flash if the resultant shutter speed is too low to handhold the lens
5. Shoot RAW to adjust WB in PP
6. Ignore point 1-5 and just eat the food ;p

my humble 2 cents worth;)
have fun shooting
 

limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#6
given only 1 choice, which will you choose, i try 3 lens, but cannot see the difference.
Hello speedtest99.
If I may offer my opinion:
The 18-55mm has a shorter minimal focussing distance of around 25cm, as compared with 45cm for the 18-200mm and the 50mm f/1.8. This is quite an advantage as you can go nearer which is pretty important in food photography.
However, its widest aperture at 3.5 is not that adequate indoors, as compared to the prime.
But for its MFD, I would choose the 18-55mm.
 

May 8, 2004
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#7
thanks for all the feedback and comments.

which shooting mode should i choose to shoot food, is program AE recommended?

what are the things or setting to take note, for example ISO etc?
 

Sep 8, 2009
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Choa Chu Kang
#8
any mode u like as long as u know what u are doing ;)

U may want to consider reading "Understanding exposure" by Bryan Peterson before shooting

If not, can always take the pictures and then put them up for C&C where ppl can help out

Have fun shooting and eating !!
 

May 8, 2004
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#9
haha, the problem is i do not know what i am doing. anyone can help.:)
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#10
thanks for all the feedback and comments.
which shooting mode should i choose to shoot food, is program AE recommended?
what are the things or setting to take note, for example ISO etc?
Have you read the newbie guides? Do you know how each of the exposure parameters will affect the image? Have you read the manual of your camera about how these different modes work? There are no 'standard settings for food' - it all depends on a lot of factors starting from environmental conditions (light), the subject (size) and the intended outcome and presentation.
Regarding flash: 270 can so, but you might need to add diffuser or use reflector in order to avoid shadows.
 

May 8, 2004
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#11
Have you read the newbie guides? Do you know how each of the exposure parameters will affect the image? Have you read the manual of your camera about how these different modes work? There are no 'standard settings for food' - it all depends on a lot of factors starting from environmental conditions (light), the subject (size) and the intended outcome and presentation.
Regarding flash: 270 can so, but you might need to add diffuser or use reflector in order to avoid shadows.
i did read the newbie guide, but somehow cannot digest.
 

Sep 8, 2009
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Choa Chu Kang
#12
Master Yoda says....
Read more, you shall .... Improve you will ... :bsmilie:

Its hard work to learn about how to get a good exposure and to get a nice picture !
Dont give up! Read again, if cant understand, try the books. Some books are quite simple to read and digest. Keep learning, and you shall find the answer ....
 

jaRv1s

New Member
Jun 5, 2009
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#13
不管黑猫白猫, 抓到老鼠的就是好猫。

any lens that could take the photo is the right lens... despite saying this... kindly not using the 200mm end and stand 2 tables away from food to take the photo... ;p
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#14
i did read the newbie guide, but somehow cannot digest.
Then you should consider a basic photography course. If you are a person who needs guided hands-on training then this would be most beneficial. Along that way you will learn to understand the very basics and with that knowledge your questions are easily answered. Also, do read up about composition (will come in such a training as well). No editing later can correct composition errors.
 

2evans

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Nov 8, 2007
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#15
Hello speedtest99.
If I may offer my opinion:
The 18-55mm has a shorter minimal focussing distance of around 25cm, as compared with 45cm for the 18-200mm and the 50mm f/1.8. This is quite an advantage as you can go nearer which is pretty important in food photography.
However, its widest aperture at 3.5 is not that adequate indoors, as compared to the prime.
But for its MFD, I would choose the 18-55mm.
If you need even closer focusing, you can reverse the 50 mm and combine it with the 18-55 or 18-200 to give you a macro shot. You'd probably have to manually focus by moving your body.
 

jlkk76

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2006
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Tampines
#16
I am using 500D, i also have the following lens

1) Canon 18-55mm IS

2) Canon 18-200mm IS

3) Canon 50mm F1.8

so given the above lens, which is best to take pictures of food?
Do i also need a flash, currently own a 270EX.
And what setting should i use. many thanks in advance.:)
how abt getting a 35mm F2 or 60mm F2.8? :devil:

both does well for me when I use it to shoot makan pics.. ;)
 

May 8, 2004
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#17
how abt getting a 35mm F2 or 60mm F2.8? :devil:

both does well for me when I use it to shoot makan pics.. ;)
i have no plans to buy another lens, hence i will stick to my current 3 lens.

i think 18-55mm is the best option here.:)
 

May 8, 2004
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#18
i know i may have to do more read up, but before i do more study on my skills, does anyone wants to contribute some techniques and setting you will recommend under the following lightings when taking food in a restaurant.

1) Restaurant with bright white lightings(still need flash?)
ISO?
Aperture?
shutter speed?
Any shooting mode like TV, M, P etc to set?

2) Restaurant with semi bright lightings. example crystal jade restuarant.ISO?
ISO?
Aperture?
shutter speed?
Any shooting mode like TV, M, P etc to set?

3) Restaurant with dim lightings, example in candle light dinner.ISO?
ISO?
Aperture?
shutter speed?
Any shooting mode like TV, M, P etc to set?
 

Last edited:

tabako

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2005
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#19
Food cannot have too shallow DOP, if not will not be nice although a lot of people like to take very shallow DOP.

I recommend you try f5.6 - f8 and see for yourself.
 

NovJoe

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2009
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#20
I have tried using 50mm 1.4 & 18-200mm before and both can do the job. Of course, with 50/1.4 I can play more with the DOF.

I agree with the bros on working distance, which is the most critical part. You do not want to appear too prominent in the restaurant by standing up, moving away from the table just to take the shot, right? Unless, you are there to really shoot for the owner, then nobody will really bother giving you the weird look on whatever you are doing.
 

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