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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: zaleros on November 21, 2012, 07:17:16 PM

Title: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: zaleros on November 21, 2012, 07:17:16 PM
Hey Everyone!

I was wondering if anyone could suggest what lens or lenses would be great for taking pictures of real ice cream. My family owns an Ice Cream chain and we would like to get some great shots of our products.

At the moment we are buy a 5D3, but I would like to get the appropriate lenses for the ice cream shots as well.

I'd greatly appreciate your input.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 21, 2012, 07:20:01 PM
Love the thread title.

I'd recommend the 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: Drizzt321 on November 21, 2012, 08:04:57 PM
It sounds like you don't have any equipment at all, and it sounds like you are jumping to the 5d3 right away. While an amazing tool, probably you don't need to spend that money for food photography, especially starting out. Also you'll need to buy lighting, good quality tripod, editing software (if you are doing editing yourself), appropriate background if you don't have a suitable table/wall area, etc.

It like is easier, and possibly actually cheaper in the long run to find a decent food photographer in your area to take the shots you want, and if you see their sample images you'll know you'll be getting a certain quality of output.

If you are going to insist on buying, I'd go for the 5d2, and as neuro said the 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS lens (don't forget to turn off IS when using it on a tripod). Then add a good tripod & lighting, possibly a ring light, and I don't have any specific recommendations on those as I need to research a good tripod myself sometime soon.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: ChrisAnderson on November 21, 2012, 09:38:18 PM
It sounds like you don't have any equipment at all, and it sounds like you are jumping to the 5d3 right away. While an amazing tool, probably you don't need to spend that money for food photography, especially starting out. Also you'll need to buy lighting, good quality tripod, editing software (if you are doing editing yourself), appropriate background if you don't have a suitable table/wall area, etc.

It like is easier, and possibly actually cheaper in the long run to find a decent food photographer in your area to take the shots you want, and if you see their sample images you'll know you'll be getting a certain quality of output.

If you are going to insist on buying, I'd go for the 5d2, and as neuro said the 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS lens (don't forget to turn off IS when using it on a tripod). Then add a good tripod & lighting, possibly a ring light, and I don't have any specific recommendations on those as I need to research a good tripod myself sometime soon.

I agree, the 5D2 would work just as nicely for still macro work like this.  I shudder to think of how many ice cream sales it would take to cover the cost of a 5D3. One little correction, the 100L Macro (and most newer IS lenses) are tripod-sensing and it's sort of a moot point these days.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: Schruminator on November 21, 2012, 09:40:59 PM
I agree with the posters above me. A macro lens is probably the way you want to go for lenses. However, if this camera is strictly for food photography (and not for a side hobby of yours) a 5DIII is a bit overkill. For food product photography, I can't see a sizable advantage of the 5DIII over the 5DII-- and the 5DII is $1K less expense at the moment.

Also, it will be worthwhile to invest in a good tripod and make sure and shoot your pictures in RAW format. You can search the internet for more info on RAW, but it provides for much more flexibility for adjusting tones and colors after the shot than JPEG's do.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: Area256 on November 21, 2012, 10:12:50 PM
Lighting will be the most important thing.  After that a tripod and macro lens.  Since you'll want to be shooting on tripod there is no need for IS, and the 100mm non-L macro lens will do just fine (optically it's so close to the L version you won't notice a difference).  A 5D mark II will be more than enough since you'll be shooting low ISO and likely manual focusing anyway.   A standard zoom like the 24-105mm f/4L could be handy if you want to do shots with people/larger props in them as well.

Don't obsess about the camera gear too much, lighting will be the most important factor in getting high quality images - and that means learning how to light - not buying fancy expensive lights.  Even the best camera/lens with the poor lighting will produce poor results.   Yet I've seen very cheap cameras and lenses do wonders with good lighting technique.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: dave on November 21, 2012, 10:24:12 PM
The OP didn't necessarily say the camera was solely for taking photos of ice cream, so advising against a 5D3 seems not to answer the question.

The 135 f/2 would take some nice photos if you didn't need macro. Everyone always describes it as creamy. Seems a good match. You'd also be able to take great headshots of people licking the delicious ice creams.

Anyway we need some ice-cream photos on this thread to make everyone hungry. This is the only one I have on me. Ambient light. 5D Mark II with Canon 35 f/1.4L. Cropped SOOC jpeg.

Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: CatfishSoupFTW on November 21, 2012, 11:37:49 PM
Agreed with everyone else, dont need to repeat obviously, but such a consistent opinion means a lot I feel in your case. regardless, keep us posted on how things go.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: RLPhoto on November 21, 2012, 11:43:08 PM
100mm macro L or non-L will be fine.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: zaleros on November 22, 2012, 01:38:26 AM
Hey guys!

Thanks for all the advice.

I guess I did forget to mention that I was gonna be using the 5D3 for everything else afterward, but I was asking about the lenses more than the camera itself.

I'm gonna be using it for cityscapes, people, and video work as well.

I just bought it on sale for 3,334, it comes with the body and a 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. I'll be looking into the other lenses shortly. We won't be shooting until January.

I'll keep everyone posted on my progress Thanks so much!!!
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: verysimplejason on November 22, 2012, 02:17:06 AM
100mm macro L or non-L will be fine.

+1.  100mm macro (both L/non-L) is the best lens for your ICE CREAM PHOTOGRAPHY, not to mention that you can also use it for portrait and macro photography.  Sharp edge-to-edge, almost distortion free and fast.  If you're really on budget, the non-L + decent flash/tripod is a great deal.  It's as sharp or sharper than L (as some review sites tested).  If you have money, the L version is a very good investment.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: Julie G. on November 22, 2012, 02:47:41 AM
About lighting, if you're on a budget, or don't have the space for studio lighting, you can just buy some cheap small flashes. I just bought some on ebay, gonna get it today.

In that case you are gonna need:
- Flash: ex. YN-560, maybe two or three
- Radio trigger: ex. YN-602 with one receiver per flash
- Collapsible light stands
- Bracket B
- Softbox/Umbrella/Honeycomb grid (or whatever you need)
- Background
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: Eli on November 22, 2012, 02:49:56 AM
Get the king of creamy creaminess; the creamy bokehlicious 50mm 1.2...
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: Eugene on November 22, 2012, 03:01:31 AM
A tilt shift lens may come in handy if you're doing cityscape or shooting ice cream with a large depth of field.
You'll need a tripod, of course.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: Julie G. on November 22, 2012, 03:04:59 AM
Get the king of creamy creaminess; the creamy bokehlicious 50mm 1.2...
Won't that be a bit wide? I mean, you can always get closer, but wont that be a bit impractical?
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: symmar22 on November 22, 2012, 11:05:32 AM
If you have the budget, one could think as well about the 90mm f2.8 TS-E that will offer even more possibilities for food pictures on a tripod. It's the lens I use the most (by far) for studio pictures of small items.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: tron on November 22, 2012, 01:49:40 PM
Anyway we need some ice-cream photos on this thread to make everyone hungry. This is the only one I have on me. Ambient light. 5D Mark II with Canon 35 f/1.4L. Cropped SOOC jpeg.
Hey! Watch your posts! Ice-cream lover here  :P
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: tron on November 22, 2012, 01:51:25 PM
If you have the budget, one could think as well about the 90mm f2.8 TS-E that will offer even more possibilities for food pictures on a tripod. It's the lens I use the most (by far) for studio pictures of small items.
I was about to suggest the same when I saw your post. Unless the OP intends on shooting other subjects this TS-E is an excellent choice. Maybe THE choice.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: symmar22 on November 22, 2012, 02:03:30 PM
Do we get some ice cream samples for all these advices ?   ;)
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: Ryan708 on November 22, 2012, 02:27:35 PM
I would end up eating the ice cream before I shot a pic, dont ask me for adivice :-P
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: sandymandy on November 22, 2012, 03:18:56 PM
100mm macro L/non-L both work fine. I think 50mm 1.x isnt a bad choice either since customers also like to see the product like they get it and not always only super enhanced close up. Well at least that counts for me :) So tired of all this "show off" food stuff and then ur so disappointed when u get the real deal cuz it looks 70% worse...
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: Dylan777 on November 22, 2012, 03:21:10 PM
A "L" Macro lens would be a good choice.

Two pictures below were shot inside a pre-school class room, with no flash nor studio light(5D III + 24-70 f2.8 II combo). Not the best, but it could be the lens you looking for.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: symmar22 on November 22, 2012, 04:48:40 PM
+1

On the other hand, good pictures are very important for the success of your business, especially in the food department. You can try on your own, but food styling requires experience, do not underestimate the task. It seems you have some time to make up your own mind, but IMO you should consider the possibility of hiring a good professional food photographer. That could be a real plus for the success of your advertising.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: RobertG. on November 22, 2012, 06:04:17 PM
If you have the budget, one could think as well about the 90mm f2.8 TS-E that will offer even more possibilities for food pictures on a tripod. It's the lens I use the most (by far) for studio pictures of small items.

The TS-E 90mm is definitely the better lens for food and product photography. To fill the frame with some icecream scoops and keep everything in focus is hardly possible with a macro lens, if you want to avoid difraction. A tilt-shift lens is the way to go on a DSLR. A used TS-E 90mm should cost about as much as a new EF 100mm f2.8 L IS. Of course a tripod and some kind of light setup is also needed.

I would hire a food photography nonetheless for the first pictures.  You can learn quite a lot, especially about the lighting. To set up the camera and lens is rather easy compared to the light and food preparation.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: dr croubie on November 22, 2012, 07:01:40 PM
A lot of people are suggesting "good lighting", which is a good idea, of course.
But there're many different types of lighting, big strobes, hot monolights, flashes/speedlites.
Seeing as you're going to be photographing Ice Cream, you'll want to steer away from monolights, you want photo of Ice Cream, not Puddle of Cream.
So I'd be going for flashes. 2 or 3 430EX should be sufficient for good lighting, search ebay for 'softbox' and you'll get a cheap plastic thing for $5 that sits over the flash head. Best $5 I ever spent.
But as you've gone for a 5D3, you'll need a way to trigger them, so you'll need an ST or 580EX (i'd suggest a 580EX on-camera or on a cord as master, and the 2-3 430EX on wireless slave). That's certainly a bit of overkill if that's all you're ever going to photograph, so maybe consider renting 1 or 2 for the weekend.
Or someone previous mentioned YongNuo and off/brand triggers, i'll presume they're as good but i've never used them.

After that, the lens is secondary. The 100LIS macro is good, very good, especially with the IS. But the 100 USM non-L macro is just as sharp, half the price, and you won't miss the IS on a tripod. If you're going to use it for other things afterwards then maybe the 100L makes more sense. Also consider the 100 f/2.0, I've taken great macros with that on Kenko Extension Tubes (there's a Lens Gallery around here somewhere).

Also consider that for Ice Cream you won't need 1x macro anyway, including the cone or bowl you can get away with 0.25x macro which most lenses will do. The 24-105L you got with the camera does 0.23x macro anyway, so if I were you I'd just experiment with that and maybe cropping 5% off the edges will be enough. Later on, if you want to print billboard-sized photos for the side of your Ice Cream Van or shop, then consider a dedicated macro lens.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: verysimplejason on November 22, 2012, 07:51:37 PM
A lot of people are suggesting "good lighting", which is a good idea, of course.
But there're many different types of lighting, big strobes, hot monolights, flashes/speedlites.
Seeing as you're going to be photographing Ice Cream, you'll want to steer away from monolights, you want photo of Ice Cream, not Puddle of Cream.
So I'd be going for flashes. 2 or 3 430EX should be sufficient for good lighting, search ebay for 'softbox' and you'll get a cheap plastic thing for $5 that sits over the flash head. Best $5 I ever spent.
But as you've gone for a 5D3, you'll need a way to trigger them, so you'll need an ST or 580EX (i'd suggest a 580EX on-camera or on a cord as master, and the 2-3 430EX on wireless slave). That's certainly a bit of overkill if that's all you're ever going to photograph, so maybe consider renting 1 or 2 for the weekend.
Or someone previous mentioned YongNuo and off/brand triggers, i'll presume they're as good but i've never used them.

After that, the lens is secondary. The 100LIS macro is good, very good, especially with the IS. But the 100 USM non-L macro is just as sharp, half the price, and you won't miss the IS on a tripod. If you're going to use it for other things afterwards then maybe the 100L makes more sense. Also consider the 100 f/2.0, I've taken great macros with that on Kenko Extension Tubes (there's a Lens Gallery around here somewhere).

Also consider that for Ice Cream you won't need 1x macro anyway, including the cone or bowl you can get away with 0.25x macro which most lenses will do. The 24-105L you got with the camera does 0.23x macro anyway, so if I were you I'd just experiment with that and maybe cropping 5% off the edges will be enough. Later on, if you want to print billboard-sized photos for the side of your Ice Cream Van or shop, then consider a dedicated macro lens.

I've been using the cheap Yongnuo 603C remote flash triggers for quite sometime.  It's cheap but fully manual but it works.

http://makingitasapro.blogspot.com/2011/06/yongnuo-rf-603c-radio-flash-trigger.html (http://makingitasapro.blogspot.com/2011/06/yongnuo-rf-603c-radio-flash-trigger.html)
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: bycostello on November 22, 2012, 08:35:49 PM
Love the thread title.

I'd recommend the 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS.

+1
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: dafrank on November 22, 2012, 09:56:09 PM
Others here have suggested that lenses are not the issue, but maybe lighting is more important. They are closer to the truth about this subject. Of course you need the proper lens, proper lighting, proper styling, but, most of all, you need a talented and experienced shooter, if, as you said, the results are critical to your family business' success. Perhaps you could eventually be that person, that photographer, but, if you need to get your pictures sooner than about a year from now, and if you cannot afford to spend hours and hours, weeks and weeks, practicing, learning and improving yourself, perhaps hiring a professional is truly your best option.

I am not suggesting that you hire me, but take a look at both my food portfolio and my people with food portfolios - only two of the 15 portfolios on my website - to see some good examples of food oriented images shot mostly for high-end editorial use, plus some for advertising type use. This will give you an idea of the road you'll have to travel in order to "get" where you'll have to be to do it yourself. I think you'll quickly understand that your best bet is to hire out this job. You can see my website information at the end of this post. Meanwhile, you can work on your skills and, hopefully, some day do the job properly yourself. By the way, there is no best lens, but the TS 90 is probably the most likely overall candidate, depending on multiple factors too numerous to get into in this forum post. Good luck to you.

Regards,
David
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: distant.star on November 22, 2012, 10:15:40 PM

.
I agree 100%.

Food photography isn't as easy as it looks, and equipment is only one side of the equation -- especially with a temperature sensitive product.


i use the same lens i use for potato photography....

if you really want great shoots of good looking food... hire a food stylist and a pro photographer.
or a pro photographer who knows food styling... otherwise you will end up with a photo like in this thread (sorry dave).

there is a reason why people make money with food photography.
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: sandymandy on December 01, 2012, 04:39:10 PM
My favorite kebab seller has such horrible photos of his products in the store. They are one some kind of overhead hanging thing so u can take a look what u wanna order. Theres even something in tinfoil that looks like it has been cut out in a reaaaally bad way with the magic wand. You can see the background color (mustard yellow) shine through.
Nevertheless his business runs very well  8)
Title: Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
Post by: verysimplejason on December 01, 2012, 08:51:54 PM
My favorite kebab seller has such horrible photos of his products in the store. They are one some kind of overhead hanging thing so u can take a look what u wanna order. Theres even something in tinfoil that looks like it has been cut out in a reaaaally bad way with the magic wand. You can see the background color (mustard yellow) shine through.
Nevertheless his business runs very well  8)

How about offering him to upgrade his food photos in exchange of some free kebabs and discount?  It will be a good practice for you aside from that, you get discounts and freebies.  If I know him, I'll certainly get into that opportunity.  :)