In the field of product photography, the 50mm lens stands out due to its versatility and technical advantages.
From its large aperture to its fast shutter speed and portability, it’s a preferred choice for many photographers.
In this article, I’ll explore the best uses of the 50mm lens in product photography.
Does a 50mm lens good for product photography?
Without any doubt, a 50mm lens is one of the best to start with when it comes to product photography.
There are technical reasons to choose a 50mm lens for any product photography. Being a product photographer, I always felt a 50mm lens’s immense versatility to arrest the best photographs with any photographer from any level of photography skill set.
Especially if you are a budding product photographer, a 50mm lens is the best thing to start with.
Why is a 50mm Lens Beneficial for Product Photography?
Have you ever wondered why professional photographers prefer a 50mm lens for product photography? Let’s find out.
• Big Aperture Size – Best for Low light photography
Coming to the other technical layers attached to a 50mm lens, the size of the aperture should be the first thing to analyze. Most professional camera manufacturers develop cameras with 50mm prime lenses, also known as the ‘fixed focal length lens.’
Different 50mm lenses are good for product photography, but I will recommend a 50mm f-1.8 aperture size.
The diameter of the aperture for a 50mm f-1.8 lens is 50/1.8 = 27.78mm. This large diameter opens wider, and it sees more light.
So, your product’s picture appears sterling even when you have captured that in dim light conditions and even without using your camera flash.
You will get superior product picture quality over regular zoom lenses and kit lenses.
• Field of View: Capture what you See!
Here, we are talking about the field of vision. If a 50mm lens is installed on the right digital camera, it offers the same field of vision as our eyes offer us.
So, when it comes to product photography, a 50mm lens always comes in handy as it enables you to capture the product as your eyes see it.
Simply think creatively. Arrange the product and composition in the best possible manner and, you click a great shot.
• Offer a Maximum Aperture: Best for Indoor Shooting
As 50mm lenses offer the maximum aperture, it is always best for indoor shooting.
It’s needless to say that when you are shooting indoors, you face many issues with proper lighting.
Further, at times you need to shoot in low-light conditions too. Lenses are the best in all of these areas of low light shooting 50mm.
• Lower ISO & Faster Shutter Speed
With any photography, it’s always a privilege for the photographers to work with a lower level of ISO (the camera’s sensitivity to the incoming amount of light).
Now, a 50mm lens pours in 5 times more light for the camera sensors than other regular-grade zoom lenses.
So, you always get the best shot with the perfect balance of light and contrast.
When it comes to eliminating camera shake and other related disturbances that make a picture hazy for that, a 50mm lens is any photographer’s best chance.
Further, a 50mm lens is also called a fast lens for its high shutter speed. A high shutter speed enables you to freeze your physical motions while shooting, and it also helps you eliminate the camera shake that comes from the camera handling.
• Portability and Handling
Lastly, 50mm lenses are pretty small in size. So, if you are looking to set up something compact in its dimensions with a small digital camera, a 50mm lens should be your first choice.
Further, this lightweight lens is easy to carry and shoot.
For every type of product photography, whether on the streets or indoors, you always get the best shot when you can handle your camera with much ease.
How do you use a 50mm lens for product photography?
Product photography typically falls under still-life photography. And, the story between the 50mm lens and product photography starts from here.
• Separate Product from the Background
For any photography, having a lens with a wide aperture is always good. Now, any 50mm lens offers a wide angle of view when shooting.
And, this feature enables you to adjust your distance from the object properly.
Moreover, you can blur the background to create a beautiful photographic angle between your product and the background.
So, this feature also helps you separate your product from its background to create a beautiful context.
• Zoom Vs. Prime – Image clarity and handling issues
As a photographer, you might wonder whether to choose a 50mm zoom lens or a prime lens for product photography. Both have their unique features and uses.
The following table provides a quick comparison:
|50mm Zoom Lens||50mm Prime Lens|
|Slightly less image quality at 50mm||Superior image quality, ideal for product details|
|Variable depth of field and low light performance||Better control over depth of field and low-light performance|
|Heavier and larger, may affect handling||Lighter and easier to handle|
|More expensive, but offers a range of focal lengths||Generally less expensive|
But, with the 50mm zoom lenses, along with an enhanced optical range, other hiccups also walk in like:
- Poor image quality due to distortion and diminished sharpness
- Pretty slow shutter speed. Not suitable for low-light indoor shooting or without a camera flash
- A slow aperture restricts you from toying with the depth of field.
You need to handle these issues with fixtures like tripods and similar apparatus.
• Shoot a Beautiful Bokeh
A faster aperture means a shallower depth of field. And a 50mm lens is best for capturing the best bokeh.
Adjust and blur the foreground or the background to focus on your product as it needs.
• Capturing Stunning Portraits
With its shallow depth of field, 50mm lenses are best for shooting naturally lit portraits.
If you are especially a professional portrait photographer, you should have a 50mm prime lens in your camera kit.
Which Types of Products are Best for a 50mm Lens Camera?
With a 50mm lens, the best type of product to capture is colorful food dishes.
For my food product photography, a 50mm lens is instrumental in capturing mouthwatering shots.
It boasts a high shutter speed, wide view angle, and versatility in choosing the depth of field.
Additionally, it can effectively work with low ISO and excels in low or dim light conditions.
Besides, I’ve found an interesting video that provides a comprehensive guide on product photography with the 50mm f1.8 lens. I recommend you check it out for further reference.
In conclusion, the 50mm lens is a versatile tool in the realm of product photography, offering a multitude of benefits. Its ability to work effectively in low-light conditions further enhances its appeal.
So, if you’re looking to elevate your product photography, the 50mm lens is a worthy investment.
Justin Parker is a professional photographer and has been in the industry since 2007. He attended the University of Georgia. Justin combines his passion for photography and his interest in writing to give life to this blog which talks about photography in order to help and inspire young photographers.