I have done little or no food photography myself, so I can't speak from experience - but my initial reaction would be to ask what the 24-70mm can't do. At 70mm, it will fill the frame with a subject less than 6 inches across, and I would imagine most food subjects are bigger than that.
Sun 17-Feb-13 08:14 AM | edited Sun 17-Feb-13 08:16 AM by briantilley
I don't know of a 24-70mm true Macro lens of any brand, if by "macro" we mean a lens that provides a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1. Some lenses have "macro" in their title are just normal lenses which have a close-focus setting, such as the AF 24-85mm f/2.8-4D Nikkor. Nikon distinguishes its true macro lenses with the term "Micro"; they mostly go to 1:1 or close to it - the 24-85mm D goes to about 1:2.
But - as mentioned above - I'm not sure that a true macro lens is necessary for food shots, though to be fair they are usually better corrected for close-up work that normal lenses. If you did go for a macro lens, then as John-Erik says you could maybe consider one of the PC-E Nikkors. These have a tilt and shift facility that allows you to alter the shape and angle of the plane of sharpness, and makes it easier to get all of a plate of food into focus - if that's what you want. They go to 1:2, but that should be plenty
>I saw a couple of Food Photograpers on videos using 24-70 >Macros in Cannon I believe....be there is no telephoto Macor >in the Nikkor line...thus my question.....
I think you mean a zoom macro, not a telephoto macro, so here goes:
Canon doesn't have a macro zoom at all, and for that matter neither does Pentax or Sony, but Nikon did, the 70-180, which was discontinued almost a decade ago. A quick search turns up zero current zoom macro/micro lenses at either B&H or Adorama for any DSLR.
If the reproduction ratios of the 24-70 are good enough for you, then that should be fine.
If you do mean telephoto macro, both the 200 and 105 mm Micro lenses both very capable.
Although any of the Micro Nikkors will work well, you simply pick the focal length you want, I would also think about the 85 mm PC-E Micro if I were you, as well. Since you're in a studio lighting is less of an issue, but by tilting the lens you can bring much more into (or out of) focus.
If you were using 50mm (as a reference) how close do you think you would have to get?
I would think that zoom level would be the most important parameter for you. And I would think that something relatively wide would be ideal. That way you can bring forward what you consider most important/interesting and have the rest in the background. The limitation would be if you have to deal with hot substances that produce steam. Then you may want to stay some distance away.
- Tamron 90mm f2.8 is a great macro lens, but it may be too much zoom for what you want. - Older Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 has manual "macro" mode at 35mm only. It is not a true macro. On the other hand you hay not need true macro, unless you plan to fill the whole frame with one strawberry.
I would consider one of these true macro lenses: - Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Micro - Nikon 40mm f/2.8G DX AF-S Micro Nikkor
If I was doing food photography and wanted macro for that purpose only, I would probably go with 40mm f/2.8G DX AF-S one.
Please, let us know what you decided and post some tasty samples
I found my 105VR macro on a DX body to be nice for food items at a camera club evening. However if you want to shoot an entire plateful or larger scenes then you have to stand back a bit so I think a focal length shorter than 105mm would be more useful on DX. Maybe the 85mm f3.5 or even the 60mm?
On an FX body the 105mm is more suited but now your relative depth of field is less. Try borrowing a few lenses before you buy.....or take an item the same size as your typical subjects when you go to the camera shop
What exactly are you trying to get out of your food photography? I mean are you trying to capture the pattern in a slice of kiwi? or are you trying set a scene around a plate or item of food?
For the kiwi shot then yes a macro lens would work best. For the plate a short zoom would be the best option.
I can only think of one or two shots where I used a macro lens for food photography. When using my D300 I generally got my best shots with my 18-70mm. I haven't had an opportunity to shoot any food shots with my D800 but I think I would stay in the equivalent range lens wise so probably my 28-105mm.
If I was going to use a macro today, I would probably stick with the sigma 150mm that I recently purchased, because it lets me get 1:1 while at the same time allowing me some distance from my subject giving me room for lighting and creative angles.