My 4th Favorite Food Photography Lens – 24-120mm Fixed. This lens is truly the most versatile lens in my camera bag, and delivers amazingly crystal clear shots. What you’ll love about this lens is that it can be used for way MORE than food photography!
You know the funny thing about this lens coming in as my 4th favorite? It’s a fantastic lens that is great for nearly any photography session, yet it came in at a paltry #4 – but that’s only because for the way I like to shoot, it had some tough competition!
Remember how in My 2nd Favorite Food Photography Lens post, I called my 50mm “nifty fifty” lens my favorite walking lens, because it took crystal clear shots, was light and portable – and easy to travel with? All of that is still true – but, this 24-120mm lens gives versatility that the nifty fifty does not, because this lens is a zoom lens that let’s you take both near and far shots without needing to move your feet by using the zoom functionality on the lens.
So, if we’re talking about every day lenses with lots of versatility, that snap-captures moments both near and far, this is the lens you want in your camera bag.
What I use:
24-120mm zoom lens. This exact lens is the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus.
The cost of this lens is roughly $1,100, and you can get it at Amazon, B&H Photo and Adorama, and possibly your local camera store. Or, you can purchase it by clicking the affiliate link I’ve provided above. I’ve owned this lens since May 2015.
When I use it:
Although I don’t use this lens a lot in my food photography, I am never disappointed when I do. It’s a great lens with a lot of versatility that lets me get up close or far away for a tablescape shot.
I use this lens primarily when I’m unsure of the environment I’m going to be shooting in. For example, this is the lens that I packed in my bag when I went to the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle (a.k.a. IFBC). Held in the Westin Hotel, I was uncertain of the lighting conditions and space requirements of the displays of food, wine and gadgets – so this was the perfect lens to accommodate all the variables I might experience while there.
How I use it:
This lens is the first lens I reach for when I need to get LOTS of real estate in the frame. I’m talking big tablescapes, party posts and scenes where there’s a lot going on and I want to convey the energy and volume of things going around me. This lens helps me tell a story, more than any of the others, simply because it’s captures all the elements and essence of the moment!
This is also the lens I most travel with, because of it’s ability to get up close, as well as take photos far away. The zoom feature alone makes it a great, versatile travel lens that serves many purposes while on vacation!
Why I use it:
With all the other lenses in my bag, this is the lens that gets me out of “focus trouble”. For example, the 105mm sometimes simply hogs space and needs me to stand to far back from my subject to get anything in frame. If you don’t have a lot of room to move around, and stand back, then the 105mm is not the lens to use.
The 60mm lens is a great lens for macro shots, but it’s not going to get other things you might want to take pictures of – because it loves to be up close and capture the minor details.
The 50mm, as I mentioned is a fixed lens – so to capture a particular thing in frame exactly where you want it, you have to move your feet. There IS no zoom feature!
Which leads me to My 4th Favorite Food Photography Lens – 24-120mm Fixed lens. This lens does it all. It gets up close – it let’s you shoot far, and everything in between from 24mm to 120mm. Which is why this lens is my “get me out of focus trouble” lens. 🙂
One would think it should be my #1 choice, wouldn’t one? Well, technically – I love all of these lenses equally #truth but when I started the series, it was to focus on which lens I used the most in food photography – which is why these lenses landed in the priority order that they did!
- crystal clear, sharp photos and great glass
- great focal length options in that it can take up close and far away photographs
- tons of versatility, will likely be the most used lens in your bag
- higher priced lens
- heavier lens, weighing in at 1 pound, 11 ounces
- lens length, with cap and lens cover on measures slightly over 5” in length, so when attached to your camera makes it a total of 7” in length – making it a bit long for camera bags and purses. Click the link below to purchase.