The Best Micro 4/3 Lenses and Reviews– The Ultimate Guide

The micro four thirds format has reached a strong level of maturity over the past few years. It’s a firm favorite of photographers everywhere. Olympus and Panasonic in particular continue to produce some of the best products out there in this category. Despite its popularity, 4/3 setups can be tricky to buy for.

There’s loads of choice out there from a few key names that crop up again and again. If you’re a newcomer to this pocket of photography, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. If you’re scratching your head wondering which 4/3 lenses to buy, you’re in the right place.

On this page, we’ll run through the best micro four third lenses available today. We’ll discuss options from most of the big manufacturers and cover a broad range of shooting scenarios. Whether you’re a professional videographer or a casual newbie, we’ve got options for everyone here.

Read on to become a four thirds pro!

What is a Micro 4/3 Lens? The Format Explained

In case you’re unsure, it’s worth briefly touching on what ‘4/3’ actually refers to when talking about camera lenses. The type of sensor your camera uses will determine the lens that’s right for you. The last thing you want to do is pick up a product that won’t actually work with your gear!

The four thirds standard was originally invented by Olympus/ Panasonic in 2008 as a more portable, lightweight format. Unlike older camera formats, the standard was designed from day one to be fully digital. The name comes from the fact that micro 4/3 cameras use sensors that are roughly 32% smaller than the older APS-C standard.

Confusing jargon aside, all you really need to know is the following:

  • Micro four thirds lenses work with smaller (by 32%) camera sensors
  • Micro four thirds lenses work best with micro four thirds cameras
  • They’re smaller and lighter, with a touch less room and ‘oomph’ than a full-frame setup (but they’re still excellent in the right contexts)

If you hear someone trash talking micro 4/3 products and claiming that full-frame options are always better – they’re wrong. It’s just not that simple. It all comes down to the kind of photographer you are and the work you like to do.

Check out the pros and cons listed below to see if these lenses are right for you.

Micro 4/3 Advantages

We think micro four thirds products are great for the following reasons:

  • Great portability – they’re much smaller and lighter than DSLRs
  • Typically more affordable overall
  • Less operational heat and therefore less image noise
  • They tend to have snappier autofocus than older DSLRs

Micro 4/3 Drawbacks

It’s worth noting that this format isn’t for everyone. You might like to keep the following in mind:

  • You’ll be working with a cropped area that’s 75% smaller than a full-frame sensor
  • Your image quality and resolution will be less than more expensive full-frame options
  • Some users with larger hands can find the smaller size unergonomic

Best Panasonic Lenses – Micro 4/3

Right, let’s jump into it! Below are our two favorite micro 4/3 lenses available from Panasonic in 2021.

Panasonic LUMIX Professional 12-35mm Micro Four Thirds

Panasonic LUMIX Professional 12-35mm Camera Lens G X VARIO II, F2.8 ASPH, Dual I.S. 2.0 with Power O.I.S., Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds, H-HSA12035 (2017 Model, Black)

When we first took a look at this 12-35mm micro four thirds lens, two things stood out to us immediately. These were the lightning-fast autofocus and spectacular optical image stabilization. Expect your photos to be sharp and steady every time. A 240fps linear motor powers the focus tracking features of this lens.

Even with fast-moving subjects, you should find it much easier to keep things sharply in focus. The zoom range on this option from Panasonic gives users a reasonable amount of wiggle room to crop in and out of their chosen subjects. For a sub-$800 lens, this thing delivers great levels of optical performance.

We’re huge fans of the color accuracy, sharpness, and ease of use that comes with this one. Overall, it gets a big thumbs up from us.

Pros:

  • Great optical performance
  • Fast, reliable autofocus with tracking
  • Decent zoom range

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest option on this list

Panasonic 35-100mm Micro Four Thirds

Panasonic H-HSA35100 F2.8 II ASPH 35-100mm Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Mount POWER Optical I.S. LUMIX G X VARIO Professional Lens

If you’re looking for significantly more flexibility when it comes to your zoom range, this second option from Panasonic is unlikely to disappoint. With a variable focal length of 35-100mm, you’ll have plenty of wiggle room to get your shot looking perfect. If you do a lot of shooting outdoors, you shouldn’t have much to worry about if you’re using this lens.

It comes with weather, dust, and freeze protection that’s significantly more impressive than a good chunk of the competition. This is a big factor to consider and is overlooked all too often by newbies. The best way to extend the life of your expensive equipment is to buy options with decent weatherproofing in the first place. If your existing lens has already succumbed to things like fungus damage, check out our repair guide here.

As with the other Panasonic option listed above, this lens comes with great OIS, autofocus, and focus tracking right out of the box. It’s hard to go wrong with a zoom lens like this.

Pros:

  • Great weatherproofing
  • Durable build
  • Takes excellent photos with a great zoom range

Cons:

  • Not ideal for video work

Best Olympus Lenses – Micro 4/3

This wouldn’t be a guide to the best micro 4/3 lenses if we didn’t mention some options for Olympus cameras! For our money, the two recommendations below are the best of the best in 2021. Read on to learn more.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 Micro 4/3

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras

We’ll level with you – this one isn’t cheap. For the right photographer, however, it packs more than enough punch to justify its price tag. Expect exceptional optical performance across the entire zoom range with vivid colors, sharp focus, and crisp details that far surpass some of the competition. This lens really impressed us when we first looked at it.

Despite its size, this lens is pretty darn lightweight at just under 2lbs. Compare this to an equivalent DSLR zoom lens and there really is no competition in terms of portability. You won’t think twice about the extra weight this thing adds to your kit bag.

The dual VCM autofocus system on this lens has two separate lens groups controlled by individual drive motors. What this means in layman’s terms is that autofocus performance is extremely snappy and whisper-quiet. For quick setups on the fly, this option is tough to beat.

Pros:

  • Excellent autofocus system
  • Surprisingly lightweight for the size
  • Vivid details across the whole zoom range

Cons:

  • It’s pretty expensive

Olympus 60mm Macro Micro 4/3 Lens

OLYMPUS M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras

For those who need a killer macro lens, this is an excellent choice in our opinion. It ticks a lot of boxes, including price. You can easily pick this thing up for under $500. Considering the optical performance and detail you get with it, this is an absolute steal!

We’re big fans of the 60mm focusing distance when it comes to macro products. It lets you get close enough to achieve the close-up shots you need while giving you enough space to avoid unwanted shadows and similar concerns. It’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely the one we’d choose. Check out our macro guide if you’re new to the subject.

When working outdoors, you’ll benefit from reasonable levels of splash and dust protection with this Olympus shooter. Overall, this thing is a great performer with decent durability and a super enticing price tag.

Pros:

  • Versatile macro distance
  • An affordable option
  • Still performs very well

Cons:

  • Not ideal for moving subjects (autofocus is just okay)

Best Micro Four Thirds Lenses for Video

If you’re a videographer, you’ll understand full well that a lens that takes great photos isn’t necessarily a good fit for video work. There’s a different set of specs to keep an eye on. This section contains some of our favorite micro four thirds lenses for taking videos in 2021. Check them out.

Olympus Digital ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras

The fisheye FOV isn’t for everyone, but it can produce some absolutely stunning results if you know what you’re doing. This Olympus option knocks it out of the park on several fronts. When it comes to flare and ghosting, this is a very well accomplished design. Small changes in lighting environment or movement can quickly ruin your videos.

It’s far less likely you’ll encounter this kind of issue when using a lens like this. It’s not absolutely foolproof by any means, but it’s much more reliable than some other options. Another important consideration when it comes to video work is how quietly a lens operates.

The autofocus system on this lens is completely silent, making it a great candidate as a new videography tool. Sharpness is another area where this product really shines. With edge-to-edge sharpness across the entire frame, you won’t have to worry about blurry subjects toward the edges of your scene.

If you’re into the fisheye style, definitely give this option a look.

Pros:

  • Silent autofocus system
  • Great anti-aberration and flare design
  • Edge-to-edge sharpness

Cons:

  • The fisheye FOV isn’t for everyone

Panasonic LUMIX G Vario Lens 7-14mm F4.0 4/3 Lens

PANASONIC LUMIX G VARIO LENS, 7-14MM, F4.0 ASPH., MIRRORLESS MICRO FOUR THIRDS, H-F007014 (USA BLACK)

Another brilliant option for video work, this time from Panasonic. When using this product with your micro four thirds camera, you’ll be working with a 14-28mm equivalent focal length. This should be more than enough wiggle room for a broad range of video requirements, including those with less-than-perfect lighting conditions.

One thing that definitely stands out about this lens vs some of the competition is its image stabilization. Provided your camera comes with reasonable built-in OIS, this thing should keep your videos rock-solid, even if you’re relatively clumsy while you work.

Another thing that makes this lens great for video work is its super smooth aperture transitions when adapting to your changing scenes. Some lenses can jump between auto-settings too abruptly, resulting in sections of your video that become over or under exposed. This is much less common with a lens like this.

Tracking performance, too, is great with this lens. Your moving video subjects will stay sharply in focus almost every time.

Pros:

  • Great Lumix camera image stabilization
  • Smooth aperture changes for video
  • Strong tracking performance

Cons:

  • HDR performance could be better

Best Wide Angle Lens for Micro Four Thirds

Let’s say you’re a landscape or nature photographer at heart – which micro 4/3 lens will be right for you? In this section, we’ll find out. The recommendations below are some of our absolute favorites in 2021. We recommend checking them out if you need a wider FOV.

Rokinon Cine DS DS35M-MFT

Rokinon Cine DS DS35M-MFT 35mm T1.5 AS IF UMC Full Frame Cine Wide Angle Lens for Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds,Black

Rokinon maintains a great reputation for producing some of the best lenses around. The brand’s micro 4/3 offerings in particular deserve a fair bit of praise. This fixed 35mm lens gets a lot of things right. If the wide-angle FOV is right for your photography work, this option should serve you well for many years to come.

With an angle of view of 33.4 degrees, you’ll have plenty of room to fit everything into frame. For landscape work, nature photography, and big group selfies, this thing is great. Low-light performance is particularly noteworthy with this lens. Your evening videos and photos will still come out great, even if it’s dark.

This is one of our favorite 4/3 wide-angle lenses. Check it out today.

Pros:

  • Strong low-light performance
  • Plenty of space to fit everything into frame
  • Good durability

Cons:

  • Weatherproofing isn’t great

Meike Mini Fixed Prime Wide-Angle Lens for Micro 4/3

Meike 8mm T2.9 Mini Fixed Prime Manual Focus Wide-Angle Cinema Lens for M43 Micro Four Thirds MFT Mount Cameras BMPCC 4K Z CAM E1 E2 Black

This option from Meike comes with a 108-degree viewing angle. This should give you tons of room to work with. 12 lens groups with 17 different elements work in tandem to produce some pretty spectacular results. For a sub-$500 lens, we were quite impressed.

If you’ve encountered ‘focus breathing’ before, you’ll know how frustrating it can be to retweak your setup on the fly. Fortunately, the design of this lens does a great job of eliminating this issue. You’re far less likely to have your focal length or angle of view thrown off as you work. This gets a big thumbs up from us!

For a spacious viewing angle, attractive price, and surprisingly good performance, give this Meike product a go.

Pros:

  • Quite affordable at under $500
  • Very little focus breathing
  • Still performs well

Cons:

  • Sharpness is ok but could be better

Best Micro Four Thirds Zoom Lens

We’ve already touched on a few zooming options higher up this page, but we’ve saved the best zoom products for this section. In our opinion, the recommendations below represent a great blend of affordability, performance, and reliability. Read on to find your next micro four thirds zoom lens.

Panasonic LUMIX G X 45-175mm F4.0-5.6

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0-5.6 R Zoom Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras (Black)

This is a pretty stunning all-rounder lens for those who can afford it. If you do a lot of video, sports, or portrait work, this one is definitely worth a look. The almost silent focusing motor is great for videography, and the macro-style focus range is perfect for taking photos of people.

With a range of 45-175mm, this thing comes with a ton of versatility. It should be able to handle basically anything you can throw at it. Whether you’re outside, indoors, close-up, or far away – this thing can do it all. What’s more, the impressive onboard OIS will keep your work nice and steady, even without a tripod.

We’re huge fans of this one.

Pros:

  • Fantastic all-rounder
  • Very good for portraits and sports
  • Strong OIS

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest option on this page

Rokinon Telephoto Micro Four Thirds Lens

Rokinon 135mm F2.0 ED UMC Telephoto Lens for Olympus & Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens

Next up is another great telephoto option, this time from Rokinon. It’s available for a broad variety of cameras and formats, including micro 4/3. Rokinon works hard to associate itself with pro-level performance at a fraction of the cost. While this lens won’t be perfect for everyone, it does a great job of most tasks in our opinion.

Expect impressive reach, great optical performance, and a level of durability that far surpasses a good chunk of the competition. Take a look today and see if it’s right for you.

Pros:

  • Excellent performance for the price
  • Nice and durable
  • Pretty versatile

Cons:

  • Not quite as sharp as we’d like

Best Portrait Lens for Micro Four Thirds

For stunning portrait photos, it’s hard to go wrong with the option below.

Olympus 45mm F1.2 for Portraits

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm F1.2 PRO Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras

The fixed 45mm focal length of this shooter from Olympus provides a comfortable middle ground for portrait photography. You’ll be able to get the close-up results you need while still having the option to take a step back if you need to. We’re really impressed by how well this thing handles portraiture.

We also love the customizable function key on the side of the body. It’s user-programmable and can be tweaked to your heart’s content. For exceptional optical performance, killer portraits, and versatile features, this one’s a great option if you can afford it.

Pros:

  • User-programmable button
  • Takes excellent portraits
  • Very good optical performance

Cons:

  • Well over $1000

Best Micro Four Thirds Lenses for Travel

For a lens to be a good fit for travel, it must be at least some of the following:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Versatile
  • Good in low light

The two options listed below definitely perform well on these fronts. Check them out.

Olympus 12-40mm Travel Lens

OLYMPUS M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras

In our opinion, this Olympus lens is a fantastic travel companion. It’s super portable, offers a versatile variable focal length, and is much more affordable than you might expect. When looking at some of the results of this product, you’d be forgiven for expecting it to cost much more.

When travelling, you’re likely to encounter a whole host of different shooting scenarios. This thing can tackle basically anything you throw at it. From architecture photos, to close-up portraits – it’s very impressive considering the price. In fact, it’s one of the best budget micro four thirds lenses around.

Pros:

  • Super versatile
  • Nice and affordable
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • The LN button doesn’t work on Panasonic cameras

Laowa Micro 4/3 Travel Lens

Laowa VE7520MFTSTBLK 7.5-mm Lens for Micro 4/3 Cameras (16.9 MP, HD 720 P), Black

This is another very versatile lens that comes with a palatable price tag. While it’s not ideal for sports photography or fast-moving subjects, it can handle most other scenarios with impressive levels of versatility. When travelling, the best lens will be one that can adapt to new environments in a heartbeat.

This Laowa shooter is more than capable of holding its own in more situations than you might expect. The wide viewing angle gives users tons of room to fit sweeping city skylines and group travel selfies into frame. While it might not impress the top level pros, we absolutely love this option as an everyday travel lens.

Pros:

  • Excellent versatility
  • Very manageable price tag
  • Nice wide FOV

Cons:

  • Not ideal for sports photography

The Best Micro 4/3 Lenses – Last Thoughts

We hope you’ve found the recommendations on this page helpful. Remember that the best micro four thirds product looks a little different for everyone. Take the time to consider what you’re actually hoping to achieve with your new gear. The clearer you are about your goals as a photographer, the easier it will be to find options that work for you.

Whichever lens you choose, we hope it serves you well for many years to come!

What to do With Old Camera Lenses – Your Best Options

No matter how long you try to make each piece of your gear last, a lens upgrade is inevitable from time to time. This raises the question – what should you do with your old camera lenses once they’ve outlived their usefulness?

If you’re anything like us, you might find the thought of passing with such an important piece of kit quite difficult. After all, you invested a ton of money in it at one point and it’s likely served you well over the past several years. This page is designed to take the stress out of repurposing your old lenses.

We’ll run through some of your best options, including some ways to earn a bit of money back on your gear. Read on to learn more.

old-lenses

Where to Recycle an Old Camera Lens(if it’s Working)

If your lens is still functional, there are plenty of ways to find it a new home. The specific option you go with will depend on the value of your equipment and how much effort you’re willing to put into any reselling or exchanges.

Sell Your Camera Lens via Facebook and Online Groups

Places like Facebook Marketplace and similar sites can be a great way to find a new home for your lens. Depending on the condition of your gear, you can make a fair bit of money back when reselling. It’s important to set clear boundaries for yourself and potential buyers on platforms like these.

Learn to weed out time-wasters quickly. What’s the minimum $ amount you’re willing to accept for your equipment? Stay firm to that amount when negotiating.

Use Lens Resale Websites

This approach may garner a touch less money, but involves far less hassle from negotiating and waiting on a random buyer. Sites like Keh and MPB will happily take old lenses off your hands. Just keep in mind that if you were hoping to make your fortune on sites like these, you may be disappointed with their offerings.

Trade-In Schemes for Camera Lenses

There’s a decent chance your lens manufacturer runs its own trade-in scheme. This of course will depend on the specific model and date of your product, but it’s always worth getting in touch to see what’s on offer.

If you already have a specific brand in mind for your new lens, you can save a substantial amount on the new purchase if you trade in your old model when buying. For a more universal approach, stores like Best Buy run their own schemes too.

If you have the time, get some quotes from a few options and see if you can leverage competitors against each other. Can’t hurt to try!

Go Local

Sometimes it can pay to go the old-school route. It can take significantly more effort and time, but the rewards can often pay off. If you choose the right yard sale, your negotiating skills can earn you tons more than an online sale. Newspaper listings and newsletter postings might seem old-hat, but some collectors still check them frequently.

Your mileage may vary, but use your best judgement and see what you can find in your area.

Donate Them

Not everything has to be about cold, hard cash. If your equipment is decent quality and performs well enough, a donation can make a world of difference to the right people. See if your area has any schools, universities, charities, or charity shops that could benefit from your old camera lenses.

Imagine if someone had been kind enough to lend you a freebie when you were first starting out. While we’re on the subject, it’s worth thinking about any family or friends you know who might like to get into photography. Gifting old equipment can be a great way to get a younger sibling into a new hobby, for example.

Retro Film Cameras

Some people assume that their old film lens will automatically be worth a small fortune because of the format. While there has been a resurgence in film popularity in recent years, you’ll need a pretty choice lens if you want to make a big sale.

If it was manufactured before the 50s/60s and still performs well, a collector will be your new best friend. Otherwise, don’t set your hopes too high. It always pays to check, though!

Other Uses for Old Camera Lenses

So what if you don’t feel like selling or donating your old lenses? This section will run through some other ways to repurpose old camera equipment.

Experiment With Expired Film

If you’ve got an old film lens, there’s tons of fun to be had with various photography experiments. Picking up some good quality expired film, for example, can give you a chance to really get creative with your shoots. Check out ebay or local markets for expired film options that work with your old lens.

Keep Them as Backups

You might not think you need it now, but having a backup is almost always useful. Saving an old lens for a rainy day can really pay off in certain contexts. Of course, this all depends on how much equipment you already own so use your best judgement when deciding what you’d like to do.

Build a Hobby Project

This one’s not for everyone but we wanted to mention it just in case. If you’ve got access to decent tools and a good shop, old lenses can be turned into a bunch of different hobby projects. Coasters like these are just one example of this. When you know you don’t need to use a lens anymore, why not get creative with it?

Decorations

When in doubt, a well-maintained lens can look great on a bookshelf or coffee table. It’s not the most inventive use for old camera lenses in the world, but it’s a heck of a lot easier than finding a local buyer!

Related

Best Canon FD Lenses

What to do with Old Camera Lenses – Final Thoughts

We hope you’ve found the suggestions on this page useful. In an increasingly junk-filled world, it’s a good idea to think closely about how we repurpose our old photography gear. If at all possible, try to donate or recycle your lenses whenever you can.

Happy clicking!

Fungus in Lens – How to Fix it With Step-by-Step Instructions

Great camera lenses are super expensive – there’s no real way around that fact. For this reason, finding invaders like fungus within your equipment is a terrible experience. Most standard warranties don’t cover lens fungus damage and it can significantly affect the performance of your gear.

It goes without saying that the longer you can make your lens last, the better. On this page, we’ll explore the fungus-in-lens problem. We’ll explain how to fix a lens that’s already been damaged but, more importantly perhaps, we’ll discuss how to prevent the problem from happening in the first place.

Read on to protect your gear.

fungus-and-lens-cap

What is Lens Fungus?

Dust and similar particulates are everywhere. No matter how careful you are, it’s inevitable that at least a small amount will make it onto and into your equipment over the years. Fungus can start to grow if this dust contains any fungus spores.

The annoying thing about spores is that they can stay dormant for a very long time. They can sit undetected for months and years, waiting for favorable conditions to arrive. Once things are just right, they start to grow and ruin your expensive camera lenses.

How to Avoid Fungus on Lens – Can You Prevent Lens Fungus?

Absolutely. There’s no method that’s 100% sure to prevent all damage, but fungus can be avoided fairly easily if you keep a few basic principles in mind. In short, fungus relies on the following elements:

  • Heat
  • Moisture
  • Darkness

It stands to reason, then, that your main line of defense against lens fungus will be to keep these three conditions at bay. If your lens ever becomes damp for any reason, be sure to dry it out fully and as quickly as possible.

Consider silica gel packs to help with storing your equipment. Just remember that their effectiveness as a solution to water damage is questionable; they’re designed to absorb moisture from the air. For this reason, they’re best used as a preventative measure rather than something that can fix water damage.

Keeping things nice and cool won’t hurt either. Also be sure to wipe down your equipment regularly and use your lens caps as often as possible when you’re not taking photos. If your lens stays cool, dry, and is regularly exposed to UV light, the chances of lens fungus reduces dramatically.

How to Clean Fungus From Lens Without Opening it

So, is it possible to clean fungus from a camera lens without actually opening it up? There are a few things that can definitely help. Just keep in mind that the only way to completely remove fungus from a lens is to open it. If you’re not comfortable doing this, consider sending it in for repair.

Repair costs can be a tough pill to swallow, but when weighed against the cost of a new lens, they’re usually worth it in our opinion. That said, let’s get into a few ways to clean lens fungus without opening it up.

Fungus Cleaning Option One – UV Exposure

Be careful with this one – too much direct sunlight can damage camera lenses. However, UV exposure is a fungus spore’s worst nightmare. Shining some UV light on your lens can eliminate fungus invasions pretty effectively.

You might like to follow these steps:

  1. Remove the front and rear caps from your lens
  2. Take out any UV filters if you’ve been using them
  3. Expose the lens to your UV light source for at least several hours

With this method, you stand a decent chance of killing the fungus, but it won’t remove it from your lens. Hardened residue may still affect your equipment’s performance. Using a UV lamp will help you to avoid exposing your lens to further dust and contaminants outdoors.

Never look directly at a UV light source.

Lens Fungus Option Two – Copper Coin Moisture Removal

Check out this great YouTube tutorial here:

The driving principle behind this method is that copper has antifungal properties. You’ll be using some towels and copper coins to draw moisture from your lens and kill off any fungus that’s inside.

You’ll need the following:

  • Some copper coins – roughly 50-cents worth per towel
  • Some hand towels
  • A dryer

Follow these steps:

  1. Put a good handful of copper pennies into a few small towels. Wrap them up tightly and secure with a rubber band.
  2. Dry out the towels thoroughly in your dryer. Just a quick 10-minute cycle will do.
  3. Place your lens and the towels in a sealed ziploc bag. This will eliminate moisture and hopefully kill your fungus.

As with method one, this option can be pretty effective at killing fungus but it won’t remove hardened residue from your glass.

Lens Repair Specialists

We wanted to mention that it really is only worth dismantling a lens if you’re absolutely sure you know what you’re doing. You can end up doing more damage if you’re not careful which can quickly turn a small repair job into a much larger one.

The following online repair sites might be able to help for less money than you might think:

Many of the big lens manufacturers like Sony and Canon also offer their own in-house solutions. Check them out first before taking your lens apart

How to Clean Fungus from Lens – Our Guide

The first thing to mention is that every lens is a little different. It’s impossible for us to provide detailed instructions that will be exactly the same for every lens. That said, the same basic principles apply to most lenses, especially the older manual varieties.

The items you will need are listed below.

Cleaning Solution

We recommend using a solution of equal parts household ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. These can be picked up from your local pharmacy or online. You’ll be using this solution to clean the glass and metal elements of your lens and eliminate all those irritating fungus spores for good.

It doesn’t hurt to have a small dish around to help with soaking your different components. This could be a bowl you no longer need or anything else you can find.

Dismantling Equipment

You’ll most likely want a set of JIS screwdrivers (if your lens is Japanese-made) and a lens spanner to take your equipment apart. These tools are perfect for working with lenses and are much less likely to cause damage. Also make sure you have some very clean microfiber lens cloths to hand as well as some decent tweezers.

The Right Environment

You will need plenty of bright light and ventilation in equal measure. Your cleaning solution isn’t something you want to breathe in directly. Finicky projects like lens repair demand plenty of light so you can see things clearly while you work. Consider a good lamp if you haven’t already.

A pair of protective gloves and glasses won’t go amiss either. Pick some up if you haven’t already.

Lens Air Blaster

A “poofer” or blaster like will make it much easier to remove solution and debris from your equipment without rubbing it too much.

The Dismantling Method

If you value your lens, keep the following in mind:

  • Any step you take will have to be reversed when putting your lens back together. Keep a record of each step so that you know which way everything fits in place.
  • Be very careful with the smaller glass elements – they can be super fragile
  • Find specific dismantling instructions for your lens if at all possible
  • Work slowly, patiently, and with certainty

In a Nutshell

In short, you’ll be doing the following:

  1. Carefully dismantling your lens
  2. Soaking the ‘infected’ elements and carefully removing debris
  3. Cleaning the rest of the unit if required
  4. Drying off each element
  5. Putting everything back together

Remove the Lens Mount

Use your JIS screwdrivers to remove the screws holding your lens mount in place. The number of screws you’ll be dealing with will vary but it should be at least 4 or 5. Put them in a safe place and remember where you removed them from.

Remove the Aperture Ring (Watch Out!)

When doing this step, look for a series of notches somewhere on the aperture ring. This shows you where you’ll need to be extra cautious. Behind these notches is a tiny ball and a tightly wound spring that will shoot it across the room if you’re not careful. Be ready to catch this ball when you take the ring out.

Take Out the Rear Element

Use your lens spanner for this and very carefully remove the rear element from your lens. Be sure to set your spanner to the appropriate width when doing this. Refer to your tool’s user manual if you’re unsure. Place all your elements that you’ve removed so far onto one of your very clean microfibre cloths.

Remove Each Glass Element and Clean

You’ll now be able to carefully remove each glass element from your lens. Pay close attention to the correct orientation for when you’ll be putting it back together. Soak each ‘infected’ element in your cleaning solution and then gently rub it with some cotton wool.

This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes per element, but some heavier invasions can take a fair bit longer. Rinse each element under clean water once the fungus has gone. Then use your air blaster to blow away the remaining water droplets before finally drying with a microfiber cloth.

Reassemble

Carefully reassemble your lens following the photos or notes you took while working. Well done – you did it!

Lens Fungus Cleaning Conclusion

We hope you found this page helpful. Our advice is to only attempt dismantling a lens if you’re very sure you know what you’re doing. There’s no shame in hiring a professional in situations like this.

Best Lens Filter Brand and Reviews

Searching for the best lens filter brands? Wondering what the difference is between all the key names? You’re in the right place. This page is dedicated to turning lens-filter newbies into seasoned pros.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the main names to look out for when shopping as well as how to find the products that you actually need. Read on to up your photography game!

Main Lens Filter Types

In order to understand what sets each of these brands apart, it’s necessary to explain the different types of lens filters and what they’re used for. This section will run through the most common filter variants and bring you up to speed on their main pros/ cons.

Keep in mind that not all of these filters are useful if you’re using a modern camera. The type(s) that may prove beneficial for you will depend wholly on the kind of photographer you are and the equipment you’re already using.

Polarizing Filters

Photography that captures a lot of reflective surfaces can benefit very well from a polarizing lens filter. This can be anything from landscape photography to photos of architecture and other man-made structures.

While editing can tackle a chunk of the glare that these subjects produce, using a filter on the day is a much better way to handle the root cause of the issue.

UV Filters

Back in the days when film photography reigned supreme, UV filters were super popular. They protected sensitive film from ultraviolet light when shooting. Without this protection, an unwanted blue haze could quickly enter into users’ photographs.

While digital cameras don’t suffer from the same UV sensitivity, these filters can still offer reasonable amounts of protection when used correctly.

GND Filters

Graduated Neutral Density (GND) filters darken one half (either the top or bottom) of your frame. This can be useful when one half of your scene is too bright for your camera’s film or sensor.

Say you’re capturing a scene on a particularly bright day. Without this kind of filter, it can be much harder to tweak your setup so that it’s properly exposed. This is one example where a GND filter is a great choice.

ND Filters

Neutral Density (ND) filters follow the same general principle of GNDs, only they darken the entire frame. This can be useful for a number of reasons. Anything from controlling for movement, better tweaking the exposure triangle, or controlling for excess brightness can be made easier with an ND filter.

Warming/ Cooling Filters

As you may have already guessed, warming and cooling filters are designed to change the color temperature of your images. If you know you want a colder or warmer result, they can enhance your images with much less editing required.

They can also come in handy in certain lighting environments that affect your color temperatures in ways you don’t like.

Clear Protective Options

Even the most premium lenses can scratch fairly easily. A small amount of sand or other debris can quickly damage your lens elements if they’re not adequately protected. A good clear protective filter can add a much-needed layer of protection for your equipment.

The best filter brands produce options with minimal optical interference.

Filters for Special Effects

This one is fairly straightforward. There are a number of lens filter brands producing filters that help create interesting effects for your images. This includes soft focus effects, split focal lengths, and many more creative opportunities.

Best Lens Filter Brand and Reviews

This section runs through some of the biggest lens filter brands out there. Our reviews will touch on their main strengths, potential drawbacks, and which options you might like to choose for your own photography.

Read on to become a lens filter pro!

Tiffen Filters

Link – here.

Lens Filter Brand Cheat Sheet:

  • Produces a range of lens products for the US market
  • Big on cinematography and video work
  • Broad range of filters designed for hobbyists and pros
  • Has won Academy awards and Emmys

Tiffen Filters Overview

If you’re a cinematographer or regularly do video work, you may have already heard about this filter manufacturer. Tiffen produces a ton of excellent lens accessories including ND, contrast, and polarizing filters that are perfect for screen work.

The brand has been going since 1945 and has a great track record for producing phenomenal camera equipment. Their work has been so successful that they’ve even been recognized at both the Academy and Emmy awards.

These Filters are Great for:

  • Cinematographers
  • Video work in general
  • Pro-level photography

Lee Filters

Link – here.

Lens Filter Brand Cheat Sheet:

  • One of the very best lens filter brands in 2021
  • Great for a huge range of photography types
  • Handmade, quality products
  • A range of architecture-ready products

Lee Filters Overview

For our money, this brand is one of the best out there for lens filters in 2021. They offer a stunning range of products for hobbyist photographers, cinematographers, interior designers, and much more. They prevail as one of the leading names in the industry.

If color accuracy and control is your thing, these guys are definitely worth checking out. They offer a number of excellent filters that can make it much easier to get the results you’re looking for. Their diffusion comparator app also makes a handy companion for interior designers.

These Filters are Great for:

  • Interior designers
  • Practically anyone who can afford them
  • Pros or serious hobbyists

Heliopan

Link – here.

Lens Filter Brand Cheat Sheet:

  • Killer range of general use lens filters
  • Great polarizing options
  • Plenty of specialty filters too
  • Operating since 1949

Heliopan Overview

“Perfecting perfection” has been at the center of this brand’s ethos since 1949. In our opinion, this attitude really shines through in their broad range of accessories. If you’re looking for some good general use options, this company is a particularly good choice.

There are a fair few reasonably priced products to be found among the Heliopan catalog as well as some decent pro-level accessories. If infrared or other specialty filters are more your speed, they’ve got plenty of choice in this department too.

These Filters are Great for:

  • Beginners looking for a good general use lens filter
  • Pros who know which specialty products they’re looking for
  • Those on a budget

Kenco Filters

Link – here.

Lens Filter Brand Cheat Sheet:

  • Super varied range
  • Some great astrophotography options
  • Prices for most requirements

Kenco Filters Overview

From astrophotography to beginner’s accessories, there really is something for everyone with Kenco. Drone shooting in particular can be made much easier with a good filter from this brand. These filters are made to remarkably high standards and are trusted by professionals around the world.

If you’re a beginner, you haven’t been left out here either. There are plenty of more affordable options to choose from too. For entry-level filters, the Kenco line of “Air II” products is probably for you.

These Filters are Great for:

  • Astrophotography
  • Drone shots
  • Beginners

B+W Filters (Schneider Kreuznach)

Link – here.

Lens Filter Brand Cheat Sheet:

  • Fantastic balance of performance and price
  • Range of polarizing, protection, ND, and close-up filters
  • German-made since 1949
  • Manufactured in house

B+W Overview

Precision German engineering goes into every one of these lens filters. This brand is particularly good for polarizing and ND filters. If you’re looking to up your color correction game or better tackle bright outdoor environments, these guys are worth checking out.

A phenomenal level of value can be found in the B+W catalog. These accessories offer the perfect blend of both performance and affordability. Whether you’re looking to experiment and get creative or have very specific color goals, this is one of the best lens brands in 2021.

These Filters are Great for:

  • Those on a budget
  • Those who value precision
  • Black and white filters

Filters for Nikon Lenses – Nikkor Filters

Link – here.

Lens Filter Brand Cheat Sheet:

  • Perfect filters for Nikon lenses
  • Reasonable range of options
  • Relatively affordable
  • Nikon’s rich history of optical performance

Nikkor Filters Overview

Nikon is one of the biggest names in camera equipment – and for good reason. The brand’s line of filters are ideally suited to its broad range of camera lenses. Close-up, protective, and other options can all be found at fairly reasonable prices.

Just keep in mind that these products are designed for Nikkor lenses specifically. Your mileage may vary considerably if you’re using lenses from other manufacturers. You might want to look into a step-up ring if you’re set on going with Nikkor.

These Filters are Great for:

  • People who own Nikon lenses
  • Those on a budget
  • Those who need an extra level of protection

NiSi

Link – here.

Lens Filter Brand Cheat Sheet:

  • Premium filters built for professionals
  • Great for Sony and Fujifilm users in particular
  • Killer filter cases also available

NiSi Filters Overview

If you’re a pro looking for something a little more premium, this awesome brand might be for you. They first made their name by producing excellent cinematography filters. They now stock a huge range of options mostly geared toward professionals.

For those who know they need options to cover all bases, NiSi offers a great selection of 100mm and 150mm systems along with finely tuned carrying cases to go along with them. While newbies might like to look elsewhere, pros around the world trust this brand every day.

These Filters are Great for:

  • Sony and Fujifilm users
  • Professionals
  • Those who want a full filter system

Hoya Filters

Link – here.

Lens Filter Brand Cheat Sheet:

  • Seasonal options for all weathers and environments
  • Great for astrophotography
  • Massive selection of products
  • Light pollution correctors are great

Hoya Filters Overview

This brand stocks perhaps the biggest collection of filters in the world. Name a use case and these guys probably have a filter for it. Of particular interest is the manufacturer’s line products designed to tackle light pollution.

If you’re into astrophotography, these will definitely come in handy. Don’t worry if you’re just looking for budget options, there’s plenty of choice here for you too. The company’s Alpha line in particular is probably for you.

These Filters are Great For:

  • Basically anyone (their catalog is huge)
  • Astrophotographers
  • Nature photographers

Best Lens Filters for Canon – Canon-Made Options

Link – here.

Lens Filter Brand Cheat Sheet:

  • Perfect for Canon lenses
  • Reasonable selection of filter types
  • Great for protective options

Canon Filters Overview

If you use Canon lenses and are unsure where to get compatible filters, the company produces a reasonable selection of options that are worth considering. They’re especially good if you’re just looking for some added protection.

Keep in mind that these products won’t necessarily play nicely with non-Canon lenses. It all depends on your lens diameter. Read our section on step-up/down rings further down this page if you want to know how to ensure cross-compatibility.

These Filters are Great for:

  • Canon customers
  • Those looking for some added protection
  • Pros who know exactly what they’re looking for

Opteka

Link – here.

Lens Filter Brand Cheat Sheet:

  • Some excellent budget filters
  • Plenty of polarizing options
  • Perfect for newbies

Opteka Lens Filters Overview

We haven’t featured this brand for outstanding performance but for its incredible value. While the Chinese manufacturer might not win many awards for cutting-edge results, it is definitely a great option for beginners looking for an entry-level lens filter.

For polarizing and protective products in particular, this brand stands out. If you’re mainly looking to try out filters for the first time but don’t want to spend a ton of money until you’ve got some experience, give these guys a try.

These Filters are Great for:

  • Beginners
  • Those on a budget
  • Those using budget cameras

Lens Filters and Their Brands – Some Pointers

We believe the lens filter brands listed above are some of the absolute biggest and best names in the industry. When doing your own shopping and research, it’s important to keep a few things in mind to avoid disappointment.

Image Quality and Lens Filters

The reality is that some image quality will always be sacrificed when using a lens filter but please don’t let this discourage you from using them. A small decrease in quality on paper does not necessarily translate to a poorer overall image.

This is especially true when using filters to correct for excessive brightness or color temperature issues; the corrections you make can actually improve your final results. Just remember that a small amount of compromise on quality is inevitable with this kind of accessory.

Compatibility

So how do you know if a specific filter will be a good fit for your lens? The good news is that most lens filters are fairly universal. The main measurement to look out for is diameter.

It’s worth keeping in mind that some manufacturers do make proprietary filters for their own lens lines so it’s always worth double-checking to make sure. If in doubt, check the user manual for any product you’re considering or contact their customer support.

If the diameter of a filter is the same as your lens, though, you’re probably good to go.

Step-Up Rings

If you realize your old filters aren’t compatible with a new lens, it’s not the end of the world. A simple step-up/down ring is what you need. They’re affordable accessories that screw on to the front of your lens to make incompatible filters fit properly.

Price

The world of lens filters can be pretty daunting to the uninitiated. Pro-level options can easily run you hundreds of dollars. While professional photographers can really benefit from these products, you might be wasting your money if you’re new to all this.

Our advice is to start with a budget option first to see if it meets your requirements. As you grow as a photographer and become more familiar with what your specific needs are, then it’s time to branch out into the more expensive stuff!

Protection Matters

Even if you don’t have any specific filtering needs as a photographer, we strongly recommend considering a clear protective filter for your work, especially if you take a lot of photos outdoors.

Damage from scratches, dust, and water can quickly ruin a lens if you’re not careful. A high-quality protective lens filter can save you hundreds of dollars on repairs down the line. The last thing you want to do is spend money on lens replacements after just a few months – trust us.

Best Lens Filter Brand – Conclusion

The best brand for lens filters will look a little different for everyone . Your specific requirement, skill level, and equipment will determine the kind of product that will be the best fit for you.

Remember that a low-cost clear protective filter can save you hundreds of dollars in damages in the long run. Considering that decent protective options can be found for under $15, it’s well worth the investment in our opinion.

Whichever lens filters you choose, we hope they serve you well when shooting.

Best Tripod for Wildlife Photography: Best Picks to End the Destruction of Blurry Images

Sick of capturing blurry images for your portfolio? Had enough of the fatigue that comes with holding your camera up for long periods of time?

We’ve got you covered! We wrote this guide especially for you!

We’ll help you choose the best tripod for wildlife photography that fits you! You’ll even learn how to choose the right one!

Your road to capturing better images starts here!

The 6 Best Tripods for Wildlife Photography

1) Feisol Tournament CT-3442 Tripod – Best Overall Pick

FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Rapid 4-Section Carbon Tripod - Supports 55 lbs

This particular tripod by Feisol is our BEST OVERALL PICK for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it’s astoundingly lightweight! At only 2.51 pounds, carrying this tripod around while shooting wildlife will surely be easy! Traversing locations with rough terrain won’t be a problem!

Secondly, it can hold an incredible weight of 55 pounds! That’s over 20 times its own weight! This heavy-duty tripod can support all the heavy equipment you need for wildlife photography!

It’s highly durable thanks to its quality materials, but what’s next seals the deal. This high-end tripod comes at a fair price too!

Combine those characteristics together, you’ve got what we think is the best tripod for wildlife photography! This is exactly what serious wildlife photographers need!

The only downside is it doesn’t include a tripod head though. But if you could afford the CT-3442, the extra cost for a tripod head won’t hurt.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.51 pounds
  • Folded length: 20.67 inches
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Load capacity: 55 pounds
  • Included tripod head: None
  • Leg lock type: Twist locks

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Incredible load capacity
  • Quality build
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • No tripod head included

2) Innorel AS80C Tripod – Best Value Pick

Carbon Fiber Bowl Tripod, AS80C Heavy Duty Camera Tripod Ultra Stable & Lightweight Professional Camera Travel Tripod,Max Load 44lbs/20kg,65mm Bowl Adapter as a Gift(RT80C Upgraded)

Up next is our pick for BEST VALUE, a great tripod by Innorel, the AS80C.

First, we have to highlight it has an INSANE PRICE TAG for a stainless steel and carbon-fiber tripod! That alone would tempt any wildlife photographer!

Want to shoot at DIFFERENT ANGLES? The AS80C has a three-level angle adjustment system!

Want to photograph wild animals with your PHONE? It has a phone holder!

Your location is ROCKY, maybe SLIPPERY? It has interchangeable stainless-steel spiked feet and screw-in rubber feet!

Want a tripod that’s FLEXIBLE to use? Its 4-section legs and screw knob make it easily adjustable and stable! That makes it great for bird photography too!

Work with heavy lenses? That’s light work for the AS80C given its excellent weight capacity!

All these make the AS80C ideal for different shooting conditions at an awesome price! Plus, the manufacturer provides a five-year warranty!

The only downside is it’s not ideal to use the AS80C for low-angle shooting.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Folded length: 22.8 inches
  • Material: Carbon fiber and stainless steel
  • Load capacity: 44 pounds
  • Included tripod head: Ball head
  • Leg lock type: Flip locks

Pros:

  • Sturdy build and design
  • No wobbling
  • Great for bird photography
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons:

  • Not good for low angle shooting

3) Neewer Aluminum Alloy Tripod – Best Budget Pick

Want all the basic features a wildlife photographer needs at an insanely low price point? Look no further than our BEST BUDGET PICK!

This good tripod by Neewer is one of the CHEAPEST among the camera tripods we listed! Don’t let it fool you though.

It’s COMPACT and EASY-TO-CARRY with its folded length of 18 inches!

Want your camera close to EYE-LEVEL? Its adjustable central column and legs reach a maximum height of 63.8 inches! You can even add stability by adding the sandbag to the central column!

Need a tripod that can SUPPORT your basic equipment? It can hold up to 26.5 pounds!

Slippery surfaces won’t be a problem thanks to its ANTI-SLIP feet!

You can even capture BREATHTAKING panoramic views with its 360-degree swivel ball head that gives you smooth movement! It even has a bubble level!

Want FLEXIBLE shooting? It even has a three-position leg angle adjustment system! All of its features even make it great for bird photography!

If you’re on a tight budget, this tripod is for you!

Specifications:

  • Weight: 3.75 pounds
  • Folded length: 18 inches
  • Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Load capacity: 26.5 pounds
  • Included tripod head: Ball head

Pros:

  • Very stable
  • Compact
  • Great for bird photography
  • Great design
  • Unbelievably affordable

Cons:

  • Slightly heavier than some

4) Benro Mach3 Long Carbon Fiber 3 Series Tripod (TMA38CL)

Benro Mach3 Long Carbon Fiber 3 Series Tripod (TMA38CL)

This tripod by Benro is one of the best tripods for wildlife photography not only in terms of function AND aesthetics.

This sleek carbon-fiber tripod is made with 9 layers of carbon material resulting in incredible build quality!

Do you use very large focal lengths? Don’t worry! The Mach3 features stainless steel spiked feet. Stability won’t be an issue, even if you’re working on soft ground!

It only weighs 4 pounds making it an easy-to-carry option! With its folded length of only 15.2 inches, it’s also very compact!

What makes it even better is its capability to support up to 35.3 pounds! HEAVIER lenses or cameras won’t be an issue with this tripod!

It also comes with rubber feet so you can work easily, even on slick surfaces! Wildlife photographers who need an all-around option would love this tripod!

Specifications:

  • Weight: 4.52 pounds
  • Folded length: 14 inches
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Load capacity: 35.3 pounds
  • Included tripod head: None
  • Leg lock type: Twist locks

Pros:

  • Stable
  • Works well on different terrain/surfaces
  • Easily supports heavy equipment
  • Durable
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • No tripod head included

5) Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 055 Tripod

Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 055 Carbon Fiber 3-Section Tripod with Horizontal Column (Black) Includes A Bonus ZAYKiR Tripod Strap Non-Slip with Two Quick-Release Loops (Black)

Manfrotto is a well-known tripod brand. Its 055 line attests to that!

It’s one of the best tripods for wildlife photography thanks to its design emphasizing HIGH STABILITY and STIFFNESS!

It doesn’t have a maximum load capacity as splendid as other tripods, but it’s sufficient to support most cameras and lenses.

Its light weight design makes it easy to carry and portable! Carrying it around in the wild won’t be an issue.

It has a redesigned upper disk with a rotating bubble level too! You’ll be able to keep your tripod straight and balanced!

Its central column has an easy-to-use design that can be operated with one finger. Height adjustments will be a breeze!

Overall, if you’re after something with a sturdy build and the right balance between functionality and ease of use, this one’s for you!

Specifications:

  • Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Folded length: 24 inches
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Load capacity: 19.8 pounds
  • Included tripod head: None
  • Leg lock type: Flip locks

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Strong build

Cons:

  • No tripod head included
  • Maximum load capacity is lower than others

6) Endurax RT80C Tripod

Endurax 66 Video Camera Tripod Stand Compatible with Nikon Canon, DSLR Cameras

We BELIEVE this tripod by Endurax is one of the best tripods for wildlife photography because of three main things:

  • It’s very compact
  • It’s easy to use
  • It has decent stability

Being only 18 inches long when folded, it easily fits any bag!

Adjusting its height is easy with its 5-section legs!

Its 1/4″ quick release plates allow you to attach a variety of cameras too! It’s very versatile!

As for flexibility, you can adjust the vertical angle, tilt, and rotate it 360 degrees! Getting the best shooting angle IS EASY with the RT80C’s pan heads that provide smooth movement!

You can also take selfies and do streaming activities since it has a phone holder!

Working on slick surfaces isn’t a problem with the RT80C’s non-slip feet! You can secure it on almost any surface!

If you’re a wildlife photographer in need of a great cheap travel tripod, then this one’s for you!

Specifications:

  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Folded length: 17.5 inches
  • Material: Aluminum, plastic
  • Load capacity: 11 pounds
  • Included tripod head: Pan heads
  • Leg lock type: Flip locks

Pros:

  • Great for traveling
  • Good stability
  • Lightweight
  • Insanely affordable

Cons:

  • Made with plastic materials
  • Lowest weight capacity among tripods listed

Why You Should Use a Tripod for Wildlife Photography

You might feel a bit hesitant about carrying around something bulky like a tripod, especially when you’re traversing different types of locations.

Don’t. In fact, there are several valid reasons to consider using a tripod. We’ll tell you all about why a tripod works well for wildlife photography.

1.) You Avoid Straining Your Arms

You avoid missing out on taking special photos when you have a tripod!

How though?

There are no do-overs in wildlife photography. You always have to be ready.

Wildlife photographers spend hours, even days, waiting for a certain animal to show up or for great weather conditions.

Imagine spending that time shooting with a heavy zoom or prime lens without a tripod. Your neck, shoulders, and arms will be killing you!

You’ll end up missing that elusive animal you’ve been waiting for because you were resting your limbs. You wouldn’t want that rare opportunity slip by, right?

2.) It Provides Great Stability With Long Lenses

As we mentioned, holding heavy lenses for hours strains your muscles. Tired muscles mean unsteady arms. This will lead to you producing blurry images.

You’d hate that to happen once you snap that once-in-a-lifetime shot.

That’s another reason to use a tripod for your wildlife photography. You avoid those situations since it provides stability.

A tripod reduces camera shake too!

We often shoot with longer lenses while photographing wildlife. Longer lenses produce TWICE the vibration. This amplifies any camera shake.

That’s when a tripod makes a huge difference in obtaining sharper images.

Pro Tip: Don’t rely on image stabilization and photo editing to fix your photo. If the image wasn’t pin sharp to begin with, you can’t rescue it.

3.) It Keeps Your Camera Position Optimal

Wildlife photography is a waiting game.

Imagine you know the ideal location of an animal you want to capture on film. You know where it nests, but you have to wait for hours before it pops out of its home.

You can easily pre-focus your camera setup on the entrance/exit of your chosen animal’s home with a tripod. Once it pops out, just snap away!

The opportunity to take a photo could only be a second or two. If you were holding your camera with your hands, you could’ve easily missed it.

4.) It Helps You Capture Photos With Great Image Quality

This could be the biggest reason to use a tripod for your wildlife photography.

It allows you to capture reliable pin sharp images.

A tripod is a must when shooting with slow shutter speeds. You just get sharp images, especially with dusk and low-light conditions.

How to Choose the Best Tripod for Wildlife Photography

You’re looking for the best tripod for wildlife photography that fits you. Of course, there are multiple things to consider first.

Let’s go through them.

1.) Weight

When looking at a tripod’s weight, there are two aspects to consider.

Product Weight

You’ll be transporting and carrying your tripod around a lot! Considering its actual weight is important.

Pro Tip: Go for a lightweight option if you’ll be carrying it around yourself!

Product Weight Capacity

This might be more important. The weight capacity of a tripod means how much weight it can hold.

Pro Tip: A DSLR and a telephoto lens can weigh 5 pounds or more. Choose a tripod with a weight capacity that’s about twice the weight of your camera and lens.

2.) Height

As for height, we recommend you choose a tripod that’s at least as tall as you are.

“That’s pretty tall! Why should I do that?”

Well, you won’t always be standing when using your tripod. If you are, you can easily bring your camera to your eye level though.

3.) Build Quality

When considering this, the two best materials for tripods are carbon fiber and aluminum. There are also other materials which we’ll cover below.

Carbon Fiber Tripods

Honestly speaking, this is the best material for a tripod. There are multiple reasons we say that too:

  • Firstly, carbon fiber is the lightest material for tripods! Hint: It’s 70% lighter than steel and 40% lighter than Aluminum.
  • It’s also very stable and durable! Hint: Its stiffness to weight ratio is five times greater than that of aluminum.
  • Lastly, it’s great for cold weather! Hint: The thermal conductivity of carbon fiber is very low making it comfortable to handle at any ambient temperature.

A downside, however, is carbon-fiber equipment costs A LOT.

Aluminum Tripods

Aluminum is a great alternative. It’s slightly heavier, but aluminum tripods aren’t as expensive.

Stainless Steel Tripods

Stainless steel tripods are used mainly for videography.

They weigh a lot though. Avoid stainless steel if you’re going to carry your tripod around a lot.

Other Materials

Some are made of regular steel and lower-quality tripods can be made of plastic. We suggest avoiding these too.

4.) Cost

This aspect’s pretty obvious. Always consider your budget!

Just a couple of suggestions though:

  • If you’re just getting started or aren’t mounting expensive equipment, get a cheaper option.
  • If you’re mounting high-end equipment or you’re a serious photographer, buy the best tripod you can afford.

5.) Stability

You’ll be using your tripod for wildlife photography. That means it will be used outdoors and be subject to weather conditions.

So remember the best tripod should be very stable and always be balanced. Most of the ones we listed fit those criteria, so don’t worry.

Pro Tip: A heavier tripod doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more stable.

6.) Versatility

Think of all the situations you’ll need your tripod. Where you’ll take it, how you’ll carry it, how often you’ll travel with it.

You’ll need to think of those and make sure your tripod meets your needs.

Next, we’ll just briefly touch on a tripod’s components. These could also help you choose actually.

Tripod Components

1.) Tripod Head

This is the top portion of the tripod your camera connects to.

It secures your camera and keeps it steady. It also allows you to easily adjust the angle and view.

There are different types of tripod heads:

  • 3-way/pan and tilt heads
  • Ball heads
  • Pistol grip head
  • Geared head
  • Gimbal head

2.) Chassis And Center Column

The tripod chassis connects the legs to the head. Sometimes, a tripod comes without a head or center column. They can be added separately to most tripods though. The chassis is where you attach them.

The center column is the pole in the center of the three legs. It extends towards the ground.

This part lets you extend the height of your tripod further once its legs are fully extended. Some tripods do not have or need a center column.

3.) Legs And Feet

The tripod legs are the main parts of tripods. They make a tripod what it essentially is. Another element is also the leg locks which secure the legs to your desired adjusted height.

There are different types of feet and each type works best for different terrain and uses:

  • Claws work best on rocky terrain.
  • Spikes work best on ice, mud, sand, loose dirt, etc.
  • Rubber feet are for slick surfaces.
  • Adjustable feet are great on uneven ground.

Normally, tripod feet are universal and can be swapped out for different situations though.

Wrapping Things Up: Our Top Picks

We’ve gone through our list of the best tripods for wildlife photography and everything you need to know about choosing the right one.

Let’s wrap things up by briefly covering our top picks.

Best Overall Pick: Feisol Tournament CT-3442 Tripod

The Feisol Tournament CT-3442 is our best overall pick for the following reasons:

  • It’s LIGHTWEIGHT and easy to carry around!
  • It has the HIGHEST weight capacity among the tripods listed!
  • The clincher is it’s FAIRLY-PRICED for a carbon-fiber tripod!

If you’re a serious photographer working with heavy equipment, this is the best tripod for you!

Best Value Pick: Innorel AS80C Tripod

As for the Innorel AS80C, we can sum up why it’s our pick for best value in a few points:

  • It has an insanely LOW price tag for a stainless steel and carbon-fiber tripod!
  • You get so much FUNCTIONALITY from it!
  • Lastly, the manufacturer provides a five-year WARRANTY too!

Do you want an all-around option for different shooting conditions that’s affordable? Get the Innorel AS80C!

Best Budget Pick: Neewer Aluminum Alloy Tripod

There’s no question why the Neewer Aluminum Alloy Tripod is our best budget pick.

It’s actually one of the cheapest among the tripods we’ve listed!

That doesn’t take away from its usefulness though. There are these points to consider too:

If you’re on a tight budget, look no further! This Aluminum Alloy Tripod by Neewer is for you!

Wildlife Photographers, Have You Chosen Your Tripod?

We’re sure you have!

Whichever you choose, we’re sure it’s the right one for you!

Hopefully our guide helped you out a lot. Now it’s time to capture your favorite wild animals on film! Good luck!

7 Best Mini Tripod to Bring Along in Your Trips

Want to upgrade your vacation photos?

Get those Instagram-worthy travel pictures with the best mini tripod!

Mini tripods are both portable and sturdy. Definitely a MUST-HAVE for amateur and professional photographers.

In this guide, we’ll show you the BEST MINI TRIPODS in the market.

And if you read further, we’ll also let you know the things you should look for in order to pick the best mini tripod for you!

Best Mini Tripods

Whether you’re using a smartphone, a GoPro, or a high-quality DSLR, these mini tripods will be your best travel buddies.

Here are our top picks for the best mini tripods:

#1 Best Overall Pick – Manfrotto Pixi Evo

Manfrotto MTPIXIEVO-BK, PIXI EVO 2-Section Mini Tripod for Mirrorless Cameras, Compact System Cameras, DSLR, Video, Compact Size, Aluminium

Section Mini Tripod for Mirrorless Cameras, Compact System Cameras, DSLR, Video, Compact Size, Aluminum

Features

  • Weight: 0.26 lbs (190 g)
  • Max Capacity: 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
  • Height: 5.3″ (13.5 cm)

Manfrotto is our top overall pick because besides being the SMALLEST and SIMPLEST tripod out of everything in this list, its structure is the best choice to get a stable shot.

This mini tripod has a large ball head that allows you to get that PERFECT ANGLE you’ve always wanted. It clamps securely and can be locked and loosened by just pressing the red button.

It’s made of aluminum stainless steel making it very DURABLE. This mini tripod can also withstand hot and cold weather. Perfect for all travel adventures!

Manfrotto is well-known for their good quality regular tripods and they made this tabletop design with its portability in mind.

It’s LIGHTWEIGHT, COMPACT, and can easily fit a jacket pocket!

Whether you’re using a smartphone, a GoPro, or a DSLR, it’s the PERFECT mini tripod to bring in your travels.

Though, if you’re using a DSLR with it, its fully extended tripod legs MIGHT not be as stable.

It has an above-average price, not the most expensive but also not the cheapest.

Pros

  • Lightweight and a SPACE SAVER when folded, perfect for traveling activities!
  • Extendable two-section legs.
  • Can lock into SIX different extension points.
  • Reliable ball head.
  • You can use your DSLR devices that weigh up to 2lbs

Cons

  • Not that stable when the legs are at full stretch

#2 Best Value Pick – Joby Gorilla Pod

Joby JB01507 GorillaPod 3K Kit. Compact Tripod 3K Stand and Ballhead 3K for Compact Mirrorless Cameras or Devices up to 3K (6.6lbs). Black/Charcoal.

Compact Tripod 3K Stand and Ballhead for Compact Mirrorless Cameras or Devices

Features

  • Weight: 0.86 lbs ( 393 g)
  • Max Capacity: 6.6 lbs (3 kg)
  • Height: 2.56 x 2.36 x 12.01″ (6.5 x 7.2 x 30 cm)

Joby’s Gorilla Pod is the most VERSATILE and STURDIEST out of all the mini tripods in the market.

It stands out with its unique structure that has MORE THAN 24 leg joints.

The GorillaPod’s flexible legs allow it to have DIFFERENT MOUNTING VARIANTS. The legs fold so that it can be fastened to any surface.

You can pretty much get any camera angle you desire as you can rotate and bend each joint 360 degrees.

It may be overwhelming for newbies and beginners, but for professional photographers, this rig can hold other accessories like LED lights, microphones, and video monitors.

Want to know why it’s our best valued choice? Because you get to use it for photography and videography!

You can hang the GorillaPod safely on tree branches and fence posts to get a bird’s eye angle. It comes with a strap that lets you secure it tightly.

Though it does give you more options, it can be BULKY and HEAVY compared to others. Still, it’s of great value for those who really want to go the extra mile in their vacation photos and videos.

Pros

  • VERSATILE – has 3 mounting modes: stand, wrap, and grip
  • You can use it for both GoPro and DSLR
  • Can carry and secure heavy loads
  • Has a HIGH-QUALITY BALL HEAD that allows for separate pan adjustment
  • Great for shooting video closeups and macro stills

Cons

  • Pricey for basic photography, but a WORTHY investment for professionals.
  • Not as portable, can be bulkier and heavier compared to other mini tripods.

#3 Best Budget Pick – Pedco Ultrapod

Pedco UltraPod Lightweight Camera Tripod black ,One Size

Features

  • Weight: 0.26 lbs (119 g)
  • Max Capacity: 6 lbs (2.7 kg)
  • Collapsed Height: 7″ (17.8 cm)
  • Extended Height: 6″ (15.2 cm)

If you’re tight on the budget, this Pedco Ultrapod is the perfect table top tripod for you.

It costs a few dollars less than 20 bucks but it’s one of the MOST STABLE mini tripods out there. The Pedco Ultrapod is also foldable making it EASY TO BRING AROUND in your travels.

This table tripod is equipped with non-slip feet made from vinyl with a cinch strap and three foldable legs.

Its resin frame with nylon and aluminum makes it DURABLE in the long run as well (a pretty good deal for something less than USD 20!).

Like the GorillaPod, you can secure this small tripod to any other surface like trees, railings, bridges, etc.

You can also tilt and adjust it in any way you want to (even on uneven surfaces!) so that’s another worry you’re free of!

And FINALLY, it can support all sorts of cameras like small cameras, action cameras, camcorders, and optic scopes.

Pros

  • Affordable Price
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Portable, can be folded to fit into a pocket
  • Strong enough to support DSLR cameras with telephoto lens

Cons

  • The velcro straps get worn out pretty quickly

#4 Sirui 3T-35K

Sirui 3T-35 Table Top/Handheld Video Tripod with Ball Head - Black, Model Number: 3T-35K

Features

  • Weight: 250g
  • Max Capacity: 22lbs (4kg)
  • Collapsed Height: 4.5 inches
  • Extended Height: 10.1 inches

An alternative WE’RE EAGER TO include in the best mini tripods list is the Sirui 3T-35K.

What makes it stand out is its LOAD RATING of 4kg.

Despite its STURDY and DENSE structure, it’s very PORTABLE. You can pack it inside a camera bag and carry it with you on the go!

It functions like a regular tripod, just not with extendable legs.

It’s pricey, but for a good reason!

It’s versatile and can double as a monopod with its EXTENDABLE and REMOVABLE centre column.

The legs may not be as extendable like other small tripods but its adjustable centre column makes up for it.

Pros

  • STURDY build quality and high load capacity
  • Portable and compact
  • Detachable centre column and can double as a tripod and monopod
  • Smooth lock knobs
  • Equipped with rubber feet to keep it stable

Cons

  • Might be too expensive for amateur photographers
  • The tripod head doesn’t pan easily
  • Legs can’t extend like other tripods

#5 Ulanzi Camera Tripod

ULANZI Camera Tripod, Mini Flexible Tripod Stand with Hidden Phone Holder w Cold Shoe Mount, 1/4'' Screw for Magic Arm, Universal for iPhone 13 12 Pro Max XS Max X 8 Samsung Canon Nikon Sony Cameras

Features

  • Weight: 420g
  • Max Capacity: 2kg
  • Collapsed Height: 290mm
  • Extended Height: 310mm

Ulanzi’s tripod is equipped with FLEXIBLE LEGS that makes it versatile when it comes to height adjustment.

Its thick legs make it function like a scaled-down tripod, but flexible enough to wrap around any surface securely (similar to octopus legs!).

You can do a 360-degree rotation with its ball head. It allows you to do BOTH vertical and horizontal shooting as well.

It comes along with a BUBBLE LEVEL too so you can tilt and adjust to your exact desired alignment.

Among other high-end and versatile mini tripods, this one is a pretty great introductory tripod.

It has a mount for both a smartphone, action camera, and a regular camera. This Ulanzi tripod can EVEN work as a selfie stick!

You can also use bigger camera gear with it, like a regular tripod. Just make sure it’s within the tripod’s load rating.

And let’s not forget how easy it is to carry around! Not to mention, rubberized feet for a STABLE GRIP.

All these features for an affordable price of USD 22 make it a worthy buy!

Pros

  • Affordable!
  • Wide compatibility to any type of camera, universal 1/4 screw
  • 2-in-1 Clip Design
  • Has a cold shoe mount where you can attach a microphone or LED lights
  • Thick and flexible legs that are stable enough to be used as a tripod and adjustable enough to be wrapped around surfaces.

Cons

  • Requires more time to set-up
  • Can be complicated to adjust for beginners

#6 Neewer Portable Desktop Tripod

Neewer 20 inches/50 Centimeters Portable Compact Desktop Macro Mini Tripod with 360 Degree Ball Head,1/4 inches Quick Release Plate, Bag for DSLR Camera, Video Camcorder up to 11 pounds/5 kilograms

Features

  • Weight: 1.59 lbs (720 g)
  • Max Capacity: 11 lbs (5 kg)
  • Collapsed Height: 9.1″ (23cm)
  • Extended Height: 19.7″ (50cm)

This mini tripod is built with aluminum alloy making it STRONG and STABLE. Its structure is quite similar to a full-size tripod.

Among all the mini tripods, this is the best tabletop tripod in terms of load capacity. It has a pretty WIDE RANGE for its height adjustment too!

To make it extra stable, it’s also equipped with a non-slip feet design.

It’s on the pricier side of mini tripods but its LARGE LOAD CAPACITY makes it a great value for money (if that’s what you’re prioritizing!).

Besides being highly stable, it also comes with a 360-degree ball head for customizable functions. It might be heavier than an average mini tripod, but rest assured it can carry any type of camera.

From smartphones to DSLRs with telephoto lens, you can trust the load capacity of this ehrm.. stick.

Pros

  • TALLEST mini tripod in the market
  • Has a WIDE RANGE for its height adjustments with legs
  • 360-degree ball head
  • High maximum weight capacity
  • Portable and can fit in a backpack

Cons

  • Heavier than most mini tripods

#7 FotoPro UFO Rainbow

Fotopro Flexible Phone Tripod, Camera Tripod with Bluetooth Remote for iPhone Xs Max, Samsung Galaxy S9, Huawei P20 Pro, Camera Stand for Mirrorless DSLR Sony Nikon Canon/Tricolor

Features

  • Weight: 260 g
  • Max Capacity: 2.2 lbs / ~1kg
  • Collapsed Height: 28cm
  • Extended Height: 30cm

If you’re not a heavy camera fan, this Fotopro tripod fits the bill.

It has a low maximum weight capacity so it’s more practical for smartphones and small cameras. It’s like a SMALLER and CHEAPER version of the GorillaPod and Ulanzi tripods.

You can make the legs fold and secure them on pole-like surfaces like tree branches and fence posts.

Just like other tripods, it also has a 360-degree ball head making EVERY camera angle possible for your shot (perfect for those trying to get the right light!).

The legs of the tripod have rubber coating making it ANTI-SLIP, giving you a stable mount. It’s also WATERPROOF so YOU CAN NOW tag this along with you on summer beach travels or water sports shoots!

Or if you want to get those rainy shots, its legs will keep your camera stable (just don’t forget to waterproof your camera too).

The tripod comes along with a shutter button you can use for faraway shots.

Among all the tripods, this model is the LIGHTEST and EASIEST to carry around. Just throw it in your camera bag and you can easily spot it with its colorful legs.

Speaking of compatibility, IT’S COMPATIBLE FOR ALL SMARTPHONES.

The phone clamp can hold devices measuring UP TO 3.5 inches. Just attach it to the head of the tripod and you’re all set!

Pros

  • Waterproof and anti-slip, perfect for beach and water sports travels
  • Comes with a bubble level indicator for more precise adjustments
  • Colorful design that can be easily spotted
  • 360-degree adjustable ball head
  • Bluetooth remote control shutter button

Cons

  • Not recommended for heavy cameras
  • The bluetooth might not be compatible with all devices

Things to Consider When Buying a Mini Tripod

These are our top picks for the best mini tripod in the market. But each photographer, whether amateur or professional, has unique needs.

Not sure how to narrow down your choices? Here’s a quick guide on how to pick the best mini tripod for you!

What Camera Are You Using?

First things first, what device do you plan to use with it?

Each device has different capabilities and weight. Will you be using the tripod with different devices?

The camera/s you choose to use ARE the basis when choosing a mini tripod.

Maximum Weight Capacity

The next thing you should look at is the WEIGHT or LOAD CAPACITY of a tripod.

A mini tripod is obviously way smaller than a regular one so of course, by physics laws, they can’t carry the same weight.

You already know the device you’ll be using. So the next thing you should do is pay attention to the weight of your device and see if the tripod can hold it securely.

If you’re going to use a DSLR camera, you’re probably going to attach a lens to it.

  • Do take note that the lens will put ADDITIONAL WEIGHT on your tripod.
  • Include in your calculations the weight of your lens and other gear that you’re planning to attach.

But if you’re traveling light with just a smartphone or a good old digital camera, most tabletop tripods would be able to hold them.

Sturdiness / Material

Next, look at the material the tripod is made out of.

If you’re planning on investing in a pricey tripod, the main thing you should consider is its DURABILITY:

  • Are you going to use it in simple shoots?
  • Or will you be using a GoPro with it for some extreme shots?
  • Do you need it to be waterproof or not?
  • How adventurous are you going to be with it?

You’d want your tripod to be STURDY and STABLE when you use it.

The material it’s made of IMPACTS its weight and portability.

  • One of the most common materials used is aluminum. Most regular-sized tripods are also made out of it. RELIABLE and AFFORDABLE, but can be very heavy.
  • If you want LIGHTER equipment, those made out of carbon fiber should do the trick!

Leg Structure and Height

A mini tripod with leg extensions can give you MORE OPTIONS for your shot.

Most of them are tabletop and non-adjustable, but again, depending on the shots you’re gonna make, you might prefer something more versatile.

Some of the ones we listed also had JOINTED and FLEXIBLE leg structures.

  • These types of leg structures allow you to mount them securely on poles for a bird’s eye view.

If you’re planning on getting an adjustable one, make sure to check the lock and knobs. They should be sturdy and adjustable.

  • If the knobs are loose, you might be in for a smashing surprise. ALWAYS test it first to keep your camera from getting damaged.

Ball Head

Another thing you’d want to get is a tripod with a ball head. A 360-degree ball head will give you options for every angle you want to capture.

Though take note of the size of it too!

  • A larger head is more CONTROLLABLE and STABLE. It’s also easier to clamp securely too
  • A smaller head might not be as sturdy, especially if you’re going to use large camera equipment.

Being able to adjust to any angle will help get the perfect light for your shot as well!

Set-up Process

Will you always be on-the-go or do you have time to get that perfect set-up?

Some models might have MORE FEATURES and KNOB ADJUSTMENTS but they take more time to set up.

Some have SIMPLE designs where you can just push a button to mount it.

A mini tripod can also be equipped with a QUICK RELEASE PLATE making it easy to lock any device in place!

Wrapping It All Up…

All of the products we listed are the best ones in the market, but let’s reel back to our top three picks:

Best Overall Pick – Manfrotto Pixi Evo

Manfrotto Pixi Evo takes the top spot in our list as it can give you high-quality features with its mid-level price!

It’s the SMALLEST and EASIEST one to use.

This Manfrotto tripod is sturdy as well despite its size. You can mount any device on it safely and it can withstand both hot and cold temperatures.

It’s the PERFECT mini tripod to bring along in your travels!

Best Value Pick – Joby Gorilla Pod

The Joby Gorilla Pod comes next as our runner-up giving us the BEST VALUE for its money!

Its unique jointed leg structure makes it HIGHLY VERSATILE, giving you three different mounting variants.

It might be a bit bulky and heavy, but if you really want to go all-out on your photos with different angles, this is the way to go!

Best Budget Pick – Pedco Ultrapod

Last but not least, our best budget pick is the Pedco Ultrapod. It comes in a neat affordable price but with high-quality material and durability.

This mini tripod is SMALL, COMPACT, and EASILY ADJUSTABLE with different mounting variants too!

We hope this guide has been helpful to you in choosing the best mini tripod for yourself!

Best Portrait Lens for Sony a6000 and Reviews

With its stunning blend of mirrorless performance and everyday affordability, the Sony a6000 is one of the most consumer-friendly cameras available. It offers a surprising amount of versatility and performance for the price.

One area where this camera can really shine is portrait photography. Its sensor, image processing, and overall ease of use make it a great candidate for your portrait shots. You just need to make sure you’re using the right lens. So, what’s the best portrait lens for the Sony a6000?

On this page, we’ll explore this question and help you become a better shopper when looking for lenses. We’ve scoured the internet for online reviews, comparisons, and recommendations.

After carefully weighing up price, performance, reliability, and compatibility, we produced the list of products below. Check them out – we genuinely believe they’re well worth the money.

How to Know if a Lens is Compatible With Your Camera

This might seem fairly straight forward, but it trips up more beginners than you might expect. In this section, we’ll briefly touch on how you can make sure your camera is compatible with any lens you consider. Read on to learn more.

Amazon ConfirmedFit

If you’re shopping on Amazon, the site’s lens listings usually feature their handy ‘ConfirmedFit’ option. It’s designed to take the guesswork out of buying a new lens for your setup. Just enter your camera’s brand and type in its model number and Amazon will do the rest.

You’ll know if your lens fits in just a few clicks. For the Sony a6000, this process would look like this:

  1. Choose ‘Sony’ from the brand drop-down box
  2. Type in ‘a6000’ and click the prompt that pops up
  3. You’re all done! Amazon will tell you if the lens is a good fit

The E-Mount

When shopping elsewhere, the process is still super simple. The a6000 uses Sony’s E-mount system for interchangeable lenses. If a lens you’re considering doesn’t mention ‘E-mount’ compatibility, it’s probably not going to work.

Adapters – A-mounts and Beyond

One selling point of the a6000 is that it’s compatible with a fair few adapters that let users significantly increase the number of lens types at their disposal. The recommendations on this page are all 100% compatible with your camera out of the box.

If you want to try some of Sony’s A-mount lenses, or even look elsewhere for lens types, an adapter is what you’ll need.

Awesome Portrait Lenses for the Sony a6000

Let’s get into it! This section contains our favourite portrait lenses for the Sony a6000. We think they represent a great balance of price, performance, and reliability. We also touch on some other great a6000 lenses further down this page. Be sure to check them out.

The Best of the Best – Sigma 60mm f/2.8

Sigma 60mm F2.8 EX DN Art (Silver) for Sony SE

If you’re just going to buy one portrait lens for your a6000, we think it should be this one. Sigma has a phenomenal track record for producing excellent lenses and this 60mm shooter is no exception. Expect razor-sharp focus, stunning images, and super steady results.

The image quality in particular really stands out with this lens. Your models will be captured at their most beautiful every time! A veritable slew of optical technology has gone into making this lens a very strong performer.

Issues like chromatic aberration, image noise, and distortion are all very hard to find on this Sigma. Whether you’re shooting graduation photos or work professionally as a portrait photographer, this option is worth considering.

Pros:

  • Brilliant image quality
  • Relatively affordable
  • Makes for lovely portrait photos

Cons:

  • The outside of the silver model can scratch fairly easily

Sony E-Mount 50mm F/1.8 Lens

Sony - E 50mm F1.8 OSS Portrait Lens (SEL50F18/B), Black

When most people think of portrait photography, they imagine shots that use impressive bokeh effects with blurred backgrounds and a model sharply in focus at the center of the frame. The 7-blade circular aperture of this Sony E-mount lens will make it trivial to achieve these results.

It’s been built from the ground up to be an excellent portrait lens. While many people rely on a tripod for noise-free results, plenty of portrait photographers prefer to shoot handheld. If this sounds like you, Sony’s “Optical SteadyShot” technology will definitely serve you well.

It does a great job of keeping everything steady and blur free. Sony has been pouring a lot of their resources into lens manufacture over the past several years. The results really shine in this E-mount lens.

It offers the ‘nifty fifty’ form factor that so many people love and delivers image quality that far surpasses its price tag.

Pros:

  • 7-blade circular aperture makes bokeh super easy
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Built specifically for portrait photography

Cons:

  • Same issue as the Sigma lens – the silver model scratches a bit too easily

Rokinon 85mm E-Mount f/1.4 Fixed Lens

Rokinon 85M-E 85mm F1.4 Fixed Lens for Sony, E-Mount and for Other Cameras,Black

As a word of warning, this is a manually operated lens. If you rely on auto-mode for any of your portrait photography, you might want to look elsewhere. If you’re comfortable with manual settings, this lens offers superior levels of control than a good chunk of the competition.

You’ll be able to tweak your setup to your heart’s content. In the right pair of hands, this thing is capable of some stunning portrait photos. Bokeh, low-light, and overall optical performance are all brilliant on this 85mm shooter.

At under $250 for the E-mount variant, it’s cheaper than you might expect too!

Pros:

  • Brilliant manual controls
  • Strong low-light and bokeh performance
  • Takes killer portraits

Cons:

  • No auto modes

Sigma E-Mount Lenses for Sony a6000

In this section, we’ll explore some of the best Sigma lenses for Sony E-mount cameras, including the a6000. While they’re capable of brilliant portrait photos, they can also do so much more.

Sigma 30mm F/1.4 Lens

Sigma 30mm F1.4 Contemporary DC DN Lens for Sony E

If you need an affordable lens that can take some great basic portraits, this 30mm Sigma might be for you. In our opinion, it strikes a perfect balance of price, performance, and portability.

The 9 rounded aperture blades on this product make it fairly easy to achieve the blurred backdrop effects featured in most portrait photos. Add this to the fact that this lens delivers much better optical results than you might expect and you’re looking at a seriously compelling package.

The 30mm format makes this a decent candidate for an everyday travel and street photography lens. We’re big fans of this one.

Pros:

  • Great balance of price, performance, and portability
  • Decent travel lens
  • Lovely portrait results

Cons:

  • Video performance is just ok

Sigma 56mm E-Mount Prime Lens

Sigma 56mm for E-Mount (Sony) Fixed Prime Camera Lens, Black (351965)

We’re big fans of this prime Sigma lens. Its autofocus performance in particular caught our attention. Your subjects will come into razor-sharp focus in mere fractions of a second. The E-mount functionality of this lens means it plays nicely with Sony’s legendary tracking features.

When taking portrait photos, features like facial recognition and focus tracking can make the job significantly easier. If you regularly take advantage of Sony’s auto modes, this lens is worth considering.

For a full-frame lens, this thing is surprisingly portable. You won’t think twice about throwing this into your kit bag with the rest of your gear. Overall, this is a fantastic Sigma lens that will serve you well when taking portraits.

Pros:

  • Plays nicely with Sony’s focus tracking features
  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Excellent autofocus and overall sharpness

Cons:

  • More expensive than other options on this page

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 E-Mount Lens

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E (402965)

The 16mm focal length of this lens will be a touch smaller than some people will be used to. It does, however, offer plenty of opportunities to get creative with your portrait shots. One thing that really stands out to us about this model is its low-light performance.

The large f/1.4 aperture of this Sigma means that your shots will still look lovely, even if your lighting isn’t perfect. If you’re a fan of impromptu portraits on the fly, the low-light results here might impress you.

Like other options on this page, this Sigma lens works flawlessly with features like Sony’s hybrid autofocus and tracking features. You should always try to take full advantage of your camera wherever possible, so compatibility like this is great to see.

Pros:

  • Fully E-mount compatible (hybrid autofocus included)
  • Strong low-light performance
  • Creative portrait opportunities

Cons:

  • Bokeh results could be better

Macro Lens for Sony a6000 portraits

What about macro photography with your Sony a6000? This section contains a couple of our favourite macro lenses for this fantastic camera. Macros can deliver phenomenal results for portrait photos.

While you’ll want something else for full-body images, it’s hard to argue with the stunning sharpness of macros for headshots and close-up portraits.

Check out our Macro Guide here.

Sony SEL30M35 f/3.5

Sony SEL30M35 30mm f/3.5 e-mount Macro Fixed Lens

The 1:1 magnification ratio of this lens guarantees true macro results. Within the context of portrait photography, this means your models will be sharply in focus at close distances. The impressively lightweight and compact build of this lens makes it a refreshingly portable accessory for your camera.

One thing we love about this product is its simplicity. It’s designed to deliver great macro results and it achieves this flawlessly. If you want an accessory that can also help you take stunning images of insects, plants, and other close-up subjects, this option is well worth considering.

The lens-based OIS on this model does a brilliant job and chromatic aberration is very well addressed in this product’s design. It gets a huge thumbs up from us.

Pros:

  • Super portable
  • Great macro results
  • Very little distortion or aberration

Cons:

  • No zoom functionality

Venus Laowa 65mm f/2.8 Macro

Venus Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO Lens for Sony E

The design of this option from Venus Laowa is a little different from traditional macro lenses in that it can focus “from infinity to 2x magnification”. In layman’s terms, this means it offers a wealth of versatility when it comes to macro photography.

For your portrait shoots, this will likely give you more flexibility when working. No matter what kind of photography you’re doing, this lens delivers outstanding sharpness, with color accuracy that’s seriously impressive in our opinion.

While this lens is a touch bigger than some of the other options on this page, it’s still nice and lightweight for shooting on the go. This is a brilliant macro lens that will do a great job when fitted to your a6000.

Pros:

  • Super sharp with excellent color accuracy
  • Lightweight and relatively portable
  • Focuses from infinity to 2x magnification for versatile macro performance

Cons:

  • Fully manual – not ideal for newbies

Zeiss Lens for Sony a6000

Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens for Sony E Mount, Black

Last, but certainly not least, is this Zeiss shooter. For our money, it’s the best lens the brand makes for Sony E-mount cameras. Read on to learn why.

Zeiss maintains a killer reputation for producing some of the best lenses money can buy. You don’t have to spend long with this a6000 lens to see why. It offers incredible image quality with staggeringly high contrast results.

The robust, weatherproof construction should serve you well no matter where you choose to take your portrait photos. The name of the game here is versatility. This thing can handle virtually anything you throw at it.

Whether you’re taking portrait photos, nature shots, or something else entirely, this option is unlikely to let you down.

Pros:

  • Amazing optical performance
  • Fully E-mount compatible
  • Killer autofocus
  • Great for portraits

Cons:

  • The most expensive option on this page

Related

Conclusion

We hope this page has helped you to begin narrowing down your search. Remember that if a lens doesn’t mention E-mount compatibility, it might not work with your a6000. When in doubt, you can always use Amazon’s handy ConfirmedFit checker.

Whichever lens you choose, we hope it helps you take amazing portraits!

What Does the mm Mean on a Camera Lens?

We’re a little biased, but we think photography is one of the best hobbies in the world. With just a little practice, you can quickly start capturing the world around you in all its glory. Nothing helps you appreciate your surroundings more than a good photo shoot.

One thing that we don’t love about this hobby, however, is how intimidating it can seem to newbies. For example – what does the ‘mm’ mean on a camera lens? Why are there so many different measurements floating around?

If you’re wondering how to read camera lens specs then you’ve come to the right place. On this page, we’ll run through what the mm measurements on lenses are actually referring to. We’ll explore some of the most common examples and bring you up to speed on the basics.

Read on to up your photography game.

numbers-on-lens

What Does Lens Size Mean – Focal Length

So what kind of measurement is ‘mm’ referring to anyway? The first thing to explain is that this is a measurement in millimeters. Older lenses and formats could sometimes use measurements in cm or even inches, but this is increasingly rare. Millimeters has been the industry standard for many years now.

So what are we actually measuring in millimeters? The answer is focal length. These numbers tell you about the effective focal length of any lens you’re considering. While there’s a whole lot of optical science involved with focal length, it’s not too difficult to get to grips with the basics.

The focal length of a lens tells you how well it will perform in certain situations. It explains the following:

  • How much you’ll be able to fit into frame
  • How far away you’ll have to be from your subject(s)
  • How big objects will appear in the shot (magnification)
  • How much ‘wiggle room’ you’ll have to keep things in focus

Higher focal lengths (eg 300mm) offer a narrower field of view and higher levels of magnification (things appear bigger in the frame). The same is true in reverse – smaller focal lengths deliver wider viewing angles with lower magnification.

You’ll be buying lenses with different ‘mm’ numbers depending on the type of photography you want to do. A macro lens will have a very different focal length to a telephoto lens, for example.

What do the Numbers on a Camera Lens Mean – Prime Lenses Explained

So why do some lenses have just one ‘mm’ number (eg – 35mm) while others offer a range (eg – 75mm-300mm). The answer is that some lenses can zoom and some are fixed at one focal length. When a lens is fixed to one focusing distance, it’s called a prime lens.

As a general rule, these lenses can offer higher levels of optical performance and sharpness vs a zooming lens. What they lack, however, is the versatility that many people need when working.

You won’t be able to zoom in to your subject at all. You’ll have to physically move closer or further away if you want to tweak your shot.

A zoom lens is different in that it offers users a range within which a photo can be successfully focused. A 75mm-300mm lens, for example, can keep subjects in focus anywhere within this range.

What Does ‘35mm Lens’ Mean?

35mm is one of the most common focal lengths for camera lenses. The format is very well suited to street photography and can make for a great all-rounder travel lens. It’s worth keeping the following in mind about 35mm lenses:

  • They offer wide viewing angles (good for group photos)
  • They must be kept fairly close to their subject(s)
  • Can be great for macro/ close-up shots
  • Can’t zoom

What Does ‘50mm Lens’ Mean?

Another super common focal length you’ll see for modern lenses is 50mm. These products are often referred to affectionately as ‘nifty fifties’ thanks to their versatility. A 50mm lens is a little narrower than a 35mm option but offers significantly more wiggle room when setting up your shot.

If you’re set on buying a prime lens, we strongly recommend considering a 50mm product. They’re super versatile and tend to offer excellent levels of optical performance. The ubiquity of this focal length also means that there’s tons of choice out there when it comes to the specific lens you choose.

How to Read Camera Lens Specs

For better or worse, focal length isn’t the only thing you’ll have to think about when looking at lenses. This section is designed to introduce you to some other common terms, settings and confusing letters that could trip you up if you’re not familiar with them.

The main thing to keep in mind is that none of this is rocket science. Anyone can get into photography – don’t let the snobs online put you off. All you need to do is read up on some of the basics.

Aperture Ratios

When looking at different lenses online, you might have noticed terms like this: “1:2.8” or “f/2.8.” So what on earth is this referring to? The answer is aperture. The terms we just introduced are describing the maximum aperture of a lens.

In other words, it tells us how wide the opening of a lens is capable of going. When looking at zoom lenses, you’ll probably see an aperture range. In much the same way that the focal length of a zoom lens is represented by a range, the same is true of that lens’s aperture.

For example, the following – “f/2.8-5.6” or “1:2.8-5.6” tells us that a lens offers a max aperture range between f/2.8 and f/5.6. Your aperture setting determines how much light can enter your lens when shooting.

Understanding the aperture offered by a given lens will go a long way in helping you take better photos.

What Does ‘Ø’ Mean?

While this symbol can seem super intimidating to the uninitiated, it’s just referring to the diameter of a lens. A Ø77mm lens, for example, will have a front screw mount 77mm in diameter. This tells you which cameras and other accessories it’s likely to be compatible with.

What Does AF/MF Mean?

Have you been working with your lens and noticed a switch labelled “AF/MF”? Don’t worry – this one’s super simple. This switch allows users to toggle between the autofocus and manual focus modes on your camera.

It’s found most often on Nikon and Canon DSLRs but is fairly ubiquitous. Once you’re ready to take your photography to the next level, try switching to manual mode for your focus to get the sharpness just right.

What Do “IS” and “VR” Mean?

These stand for image stabilization and vibration reduction respectively. Most modern lenses come with technologies built in that are designed to reduce the results of camera shake and keep images free from noise.

Look for “IS,” “VR,” “Image Stabilization” or “Vibration Reduction” near the glass of your lens to make sure you’ll have this feature at your disposal.

What Does “Mark II/III” Mean?

You see this one a lot with lenses, especially with products from Canon’s EOS line. This is referring to the version of a specific lens. “Mark II” is more recent than the original, and so on.

Related

Conclusion

We hope this page has cleared up any confusion. The world of photography can be a confusing place for the uninitiated. The thing to keep in mind, however, is that you don’t have to be an expert to take gorgeous photos.

Check out the other guides and explanations on this site to continue growing as a photographer.

35mm vs 50mm Lens – Which Prime Focal Length Works Best?

Call us biased, but we think photography is one of the best hobbies around. It can help you embrace the world around us with newfound levels of wonder and curiosity. One thing we don’t love about this hobby, however, is how intimidating it can be to newcomers. For example – what on earth is the difference between a 35mm and a 50mm prime lens?

While getting into photography can feel daunting to the uninitiated, hopefully this page can reassure you. This stuff isn’t actually that complicated, it’s just about getting familiar with a few common terms and pieces of equipment.

In this article, we’ll run through the 35mm vs 50mm question. We’ll touch on where each focal length shines and make a couple of product suggestions for those looking to buy. Don’t let the snobs put you off – anyone can get into photography if they want to.

What Does ‘35mm’ or ‘50mm’ Even Mean?

If you’re brand new to photography, it’s possible that you’re unaware what these measurements are actually referring to. While there’s a whole lot of optical science involved with this stuff, all you really need to know is that the mm measurement associated with a lens refers to its focal length.

Ok – So What’s Focal Length?

In short the focal length of a lens tells you the kind of work it’s best suited to. It tells you the following:

  • How far away you’ll need to be from your subject
  • How wide your viewing angle will be
  • How large items in your frame will appear (magnification)
  • How sharp subjects will appear within a certain distance

The higher the focal length of a lens, the narrower your field of view will be and the higher your magnification. The same works in reverse – smaller focal lengths offer a wider FOV and a lower magnification.

So In a Nutshell – What’s the Difference Between a 35mm VS 50mm?

We jump into things in more detail below. If you’re looking for a ‘cheat’s version,’ this section is all you need.

35 mm lenses – Have a wider viewing angle, have to be held a bit closer to their subjects, and have lower magnification overall.

50mm lenses – Still have reasonable viewing angles but they’re narrower than 35mm. They allow a bit more wiggle room in terms of how far you stand away from your subject and deliver higher levels of magnification.

What is a Prime Lens?

It’s also worth exploring the format you’ll be using when shooting with either 35mm or 50mm lenses. These accessories are known as prime lenses, or primes. So what does that actually mean?

When most people, especially non-photographers, think of a camera, they imagine a device that can zoom in and out when capturing photos. While most cameras can indeed do this, they use lenses with both a minimum and maximum focal length/ focusing distance to do so.

For example, a lens that’s described as ‘75-300mm’ can only focus effectively within this range.

Prime lenses, like the 35 and 50mm options we’re discussing on this page, offer what’s known as a fixed focal length. The number you see on the box is what you’ll have to work with – you’ll have to physically move closer to your subject if you want to ‘zoom in’.

Advantages of Prime Lenses

So what’s the point in using a prime lens at all if it comes with less functionality than a zoom lens? The main advantage with primes is that they can offer superior levels of both sharpness and overall image quality vs a zoom.

This all comes down to the science of optical technology – in order to make lenses that can zoom, at least a little optical performance has to be sacrificed. Remember that there are plenty of phenomenal zoom and prime lenses out there. The ability to zoom doesn’t immediately render a lens useless.

It’s just that one bonus of using a prime is that it usually comes with a higher level of performance when compared to equivalent zoom lenses in the same price range.

Some Drawbacks to Keep in Mind

If your photography constantly moves between different distances with multiple subject types of varying sizes, a fixed lens might not cut it. You could have all the optical performance in the world behind you and it will fall short if you can’t actually focus up properly.

There are plenty of cases where a zoom lens will prove most suitable.

When Zoom Lenses are Worth Considering

While there’s a slight trade-off in image quality with zoom lenses, they’re considerably more versatile than many primes. The ability to zoom in and out on the fly can prove invaluable. If you work with dynamic subjects like sporting events and moving wildlife, a zoom lens is an absolute must-buy.

If you’re brand new to all this and are unsure of the kind of photography you’re going to be doing, it might be worth picking up a decent kit lens that can zoom first. Otherwise, a 50mm prime can prove plenty versatile depending on the type of photographer you become.

We explore the key differences between 35mm and 50mm lenses below. Read on to up your photography game.

35mm Prime Lenses

We’re huge fans of good 35mm primes – they offer a decent level of versatility for travel shots and street photography and can also produce some truly stunning photos. One thing that you read a lot about with 35mm lenses is that they feature an FOV and focal length that’s roughly equivalent to the human eye.

While in reality this kind of measurement is very tricky to pin down, these lenses will serve you well if you’re the right photographer. The wide angle of a 35mm gives users plenty of room to fit more into their frame. If you love taking group selfies, for example, you’ll be able to squeeze more people into each photo.

Just keep in mind that you’ll have to keep your camera relatively close to your subject(s) to keep them in focus. For more cramped indoor shoots, this will actually come in handy. In more spacious environments, however, you might notice the smaller distance.

This kind of lens probably isn’t ideal for portraiture. Even top-notch 35mm lenses can distort the face in ways that aren’t conducive to a great photo. If you’re just starting out, you might want to pick up an extra ‘all-rounder’ lens if you’re set on getting a 35mm product.

The Best 35mm Prime Lens (In Our Opinion)

Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM Lens, Black - 2973C002

So what’s the best 35mm prime lens out there? Well, this will depend largely on what you need your camera to achieve for you. Everyone has different budgets and goals when it comes to photography. That said, we think this f/1.8 Canon lens is pretty amazing.

It’s relatively expensive for a macro lens but it packs a whole lot of punch to justify the price tag.

This thing comes with 5 stops worth of image stabilization. Without getting too technical, this basically means it does a fantastic job of keeping your images steady and free from noise. Even if you’re shooting handheld without a tripod, this lens will still produce the stunning shots you need.

If you’re interested in getting into macro photography, this option will definitely serve you well. Not only can it deliver excellent macro results on its own but it’s also compatible with Canon’s broad range of macro rings and flashes. These can really elevate your macro results when used correctly.

Pros:

  • A brilliant 35mm lens
  • Makes for killer macro shots
  • Top-notch image stabilization
  • Compatible with Canon accessories

Cons:

  • A touch expensive for a macro lens

50mm Prime Lenses

While 15mm of difference might not seem like a lot, it can have a significant impact on the type of work you do with a lens. 50mm options are sometimes affectionately referred to as ‘nifty fifties’ for their all-round versatility and flexible performance.

If you’re new to photography and are set on buying just one 35mm or 50mm lens, we say choose the 50mm. They offer a slightly narrower viewing angle for your shoots but provide more room to move away from your subjects. If you’re going to be working in multiple environments with varying amounts of space, this will come in handy.

Portraiture is another area where 50mm lenses can really shine. It’s relatively easy to capture faces flatteringly using this type of shooter. The comfortable balance of their viewing angle and max focusing distance make 50mm options a flexible powerhouse in the right pair of hands.

Like 35mm lenses, the 50mm format is ubiquitous in the world of camera equipment. For this reason, there’s tons of choice out there when it comes to which lens you choose. There are plenty of lens options out there for those looking to save some money, for example.

They’ll still usually offer great levels of performance and reliability as the market for this type of lens is quite competitive. We make a specific 50mm lens recommendation below.

The Best 50mm Prime Lens (If You Ask Us)

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Nikon

We think this option from Sigma represents phenomenal value for money. While it’s not what you’d call ‘cheap,’ it crams a whole lot of performance into a relatively compact package. The ultrasonic autofocus motor on this lens caught our attention almost immediately.

Your subject(s) will come sharply into focus in record time. The motor is whisper-quiet and delivers an impressive level of performance considering the price point of this lens. This option is especially well-suited to street photography, portraits, landscape shots, and studio work.

The ‘nifty fifty’ format offers a degree of versatility that many photographers need when moving between multiple shooting environments. If you can afford to invest in an option like this, we strongly recommend it. It should serve you very well for many years to come.

Pros:

  • The nifty fifty format
  • Excellent autofocus motor
  • Great for street photography

Cons:

  • Could be lighter

In a Nutshell – When to Use a 35mm Lens

So, to sum up – when should you use a 35mm lens? Check out our recommendations below:

  • As a general-carry lens for street photography
  • When you need a wider angle
  • When you don’t mind getting close to your subject(s)
  • For certain macro and similar shots
  • When you don’t need zoom functionality
  • Tighter indoor shoots

When Should You NOT Use a 35mm Lens?

The following scenarios will call for a different format:

  • When your subject is very far away
  • When you need more ‘wiggle room’ to adjust your shot
  • When you’re shooting a dynamic subject like sporting events or wildlife
  • When taking portraits

In a Nutshell – When to Use a 50mm Lens

So what about a 50mm lens? See our thoughts below:

  • When doing portrait work
  • When you need more space between you and your subject
  • If you need a strong ‘all-rounder’ lens

When Should You NOT Use a 50mm Lens?

Use something else if the following applies to you:

  • You want to do super close-up shots
  • Your subject is dynamic (like wildlife or sports)
  • You don’t have much room to work with
  • You need a wide viewing angle

Related: best macro lenses for Nikon cameras

35mm vs 50mm – Conclusion

We hope this page has helped to clear up any confusion. We think photography is one of the best hobbies around, but the terminology and equipment can be super daunting to newcomers. It’s worth keeping in mind that none of this stuff is rocket science.

Anyone can get into photography and you don’t need to be an expert to take killer photos – that’s part of why we started this site in the first place! When it comes to 35mm vs 50mm lenses, the main things to remember are:

  • 35mm lenses have wider viewing angles but must be held closer to their subjects
  • 50mm lenses tend to be more versatile thanks to their ‘nifty fifty’ status
  • Both can make great travel lenses
  • Neither lens can zoom in or out – they’re fixed prime lenses

Best Lens for Food Photography

Food photography has grown into a complex artform in the 21st-century. A successful image of your company’s food can boost sales like nothing else. While there’s a lot to consider when taking this kind of photo, the equipment you’re using should be where you start.

Even with an incredible lighting setup and decades of knowhow, your images could fall short if you don’t have the right lens and camera to work with. If you’re a professional, you’ll need a lens with the right depth of field and a camera with enough power to support your shooting.

Wondering what the best lens for food photography is? You’ve come to the right place. At Chasing Heartbeats, we’re obsessed with finding the best products for the job. We’ve scoured the internet, comparing reviews, comparisons, and feature sets to find the top food photography lenses in 2021.

Read on to learn more.

Best Food Photography Lenses

This section runs through our favorite lenses for food photography in 2021. Our suggestions cover a broad range of requirements and budgets. If you’re new to this kind of photography, be sure to check out our guide and shooting tips toward the end of this page.

What We’ve Checked When Making Suggestions

We know there’s a ton of information out there regarding lenses and which ones to buy. We want to provide information that’s informative, engaging, and actually helpful. When we recommend a product on this site, we genuinely believe it’s worth your money.

We consider the following when making recommendations:

  • Price
  • Online reviews
  • Comparison pages
  • Features
  • Performance
  • Reliability
  • Speed
  • Durability
  • Compatibility

Read on to find your new favorite food lens!

Best Canon Lens for Food Photography – Canon EF-M 22mm f2 STM

Canon EF-M 22mm f2 STM Compact System Lens

This is probably our favorite overall Canon lens for food photography. We think the 22mm focal length is perfect for getting close up to your food. If you prefer something a little larger, be sure to check out the 35mm and 50mm variants we review further down this page.

The combination of a close minimum focus distance with a relatively wide angle makes this thing nice and versatile for your food photography shoots. The shooting angle is equivalent to a 35mm full-frame lens.

This means you’ll have plenty of room to fit your subject into frame while maintaining the ability to focus up nice and close. We’re also big fans of the circular, 7-blade aperture on this offering from Canon. It makes it a breeze to create attractive, blurred backgrounds for your images.

One thing to keep in mind is that this lens doesn’t come with any zoom functionality – if you want to get closer to your subject, you’ll have to physically move there yourself. In our opinion, this is one of the best food lenses available in 2021. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Pros:

  • Wide angle view with a narrow depth of field
  • Does well in low-light conditions
  • Great optical performance
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Focusing can be quite loud for video work

Best Nikon Lens for Food Photography – Nikkor 50mm f1.4F Lens

Coming in at number two is this Nikkor lens from Nikon. For our money, it’s the best lens for food photography that the manufacturer currently makes. It combines an exceptionally bright design and optimal field of view with a price point that’s friendly on the wallet.

The f/1.4 aperture system on this lens is remarkably fast – you won’t be waiting around for long when making adjustments on the fly. This system will also serve you very well in a broad variety of lighting conditions.

Whether you have time to set up your studio lights or are taking an impromptu photograph, this thing won’t let you down. 50mm prime lenses are often referred to as ‘nifty fifties’ by those ‘in the know.’ The main reason for this is that their form factor makes them incredibly versatile.

While this lens will do an excellent job of taking food photos, it’s also capable of handling much more. If you’re looking to kill two birds with one stone, it might be worth taking a look at this Nikkor lens. At less than $400, it costs significantly less than other options on the market.

Pros:

  • ‘Nifty fifty’ 50mm form factor
  • Speedy aperture
  • Performs well in multiple lighting conditions

Cons:

  • Focusing could be faster

Get from B&H

Canon EF-S 35mm f2.8 Macro

Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM

Macro images lend themselves very well to food photography. The ability to maintain razor-sharp focus when very close to your food can produce images that far surpass your average smartphone or point-and-shoot.

This 35mm lens from Canon comes with a number of features that help it take excellent macro images. The independent macro lamps on either side of this lens can be adjusted to your heart’s content. They give you increased control over the lighting conditions of your macro subjects.

When used correctly, they can significantly improve your resulting images. Having this lens with you when shooting food could give you the boost you’re looking for. Another factor that’s critically important for macro photos is camera shake and resulting image noise.

Even a little wobble can ruin a photo if you’re using the wrong setup. The hybrid image stabilization system on this lens does a great job of keeping your photos nice and stable. Canon has decades of photography innovation under its belt.

This stabilization system is just one of the things that make this lens an excellent photo shooter.

Pros:

  • Great for macro photos
  • Independent macro lamps
  • Razor-sharp focus
  • Stable shooting

Cons:

  • Durability is decent but could be better

Tamron AFF017C700

Tamron AFF017C700 SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro for Canon Cameras (Black) - International Version

If you’re constantly switching from subject to subject and tweaking your setup as you go, the ultra-fast autofocus system of this lens will come in handy. It’s remarkably speedy when locking into your subject and is nice and quiet when it does so.

This will come in handy if you shoot food videos for a production company or similar environments – a noisy motor can ruin a video if you’re not careful. The 90mm focusing distance of this Tamron shooter should give you a fair bit of versatility when working.

Just like the Canon lens mentioned above, this option comes with a killer image stabilization system. A three-coil electromagnetic system provides a 3.5-stop advantage when working. The result is images that are significantly sharper with practically no noise.

Your food shots will look fantastic every time. When taking images of dryer foods like bread, particulates from your subject could damage your lens over time. The dust and waterproof design of this Tamron option should give you some welcome peace of mind.

Pros:

  • Silent, speedy autofocus
  • Great image stabilization
  • Versatile 90mm form factor
  • Super sharp images

Cons:

  • A touch pricey

Canon 50mm f1.8 STM Lens

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Remember that 22mm Canon lens we raved about at the top of this review? This is its cheaper, 50mm brother. It packs much the same punch as its smaller sibling, just with a roomier 50mm focusing distance and a lower asking price. In our opinion it’s a fantastic lens for food photography.

Depending on the camera you use, it might even be a better fit than #1 on this page. On APS-C cameras, you’ll be working with an effective focal length of 80mm. Switch to a full-frame setup and you’ll have 50mm at your disposal.

6 elements work together in five groups within this lens. Canon has built itself a legendary reputation in the world of camera lenses and this 50mm shooter is no exception. Expect super sharp images with gorgeous colors and minimal noise.

When used in tandem with a Digic X processor on one of Canon’s EOS cameras, this thing can deliver very respectable results. Use Amazon’s compatibility checker to make sure your camera will play nicely with this option. If it does, we say go for it!

Pros:

  • Can be picked up for under $100!
  • Works with APS-C and Full-frames
  • Excellent performance
  • Great sharpness

Cons:

  • The autofocus can be a little sleepy

Sigma 24-105mm F4.0 DG HSM

Sigma 24-105mm F4.0 Art DG HSM Lens for Sony A- Mount

This versatile Sigma lens comes in flavors to fit most camera setups. It’s available for Sony A-mount, Canon EF-mount, Nikon, and Sigma SA cameras and is the only option on this page that offers zoom functionality. We’ve included it as an option for those who need a slightly more flexible setup.

While zoom lenses aren’t always necessary for food photography, we think this 24-105mm shooter is a great option. It delivers consistently good image quality throughout the entirety of its zoom range.

This is an especially good choice for those who need a lens that can handle a multitude of different tasks. If you’re taking photos of food one day and taking wildlife shots the next, lenses like this are worth considering.

Sigma is something of a powerhouse when it comes to interchangeable lenses. While this product is a touch more expensive than some of the macro shooters on this page, it’s a damn sight more versatile too.

Pros:

  • Flexible lens
  • Maintains high image quality through entire zoom
  • Compatible with many mounting systems

Cons:

  • Autofocus is fine but a little slow

Fujinon XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS

Fujinon XF80mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens

This premium option from Fujifilm delivers exceptional levels of performance with high predictability and reliability. 16 elements in 12 groups work hard to achieve brilliant optical results every time. This thing is far from cheap, but it’s a phenomenal all-rounder.

Whether you’re taking ultra-crisp food shots or capturing nature subjects, this Fujinon is unlikely to let you down. In the food photography department, it does a phenomenal job of macro shots thanks to its innovative, light-efficient autofocus system.

For wider portrait shots, this thing is also a great candidate. Fujifilm’s fantastic stabilization design does a remarkable job of keeping your shoots steady and clear. We’re big fans of this one.

Pros:

  • Great all-rounder
  • Strong macro performance
  • Excellent stabilization system

Cons:

  • Not a budget option

Nikkor 60mm f2.8G AF ED Lens

Last, but certainly not least, is this 60mm lens from Nikon. For portrait and close-up shots, this thing is an absolute dream. This makes it a brilliant candidate for food photography shoots. The silent, continuous autofocus system will keep your subject firmly in focus no matter what you throw at it.

Even when making adjustments on the fly, your food pics will stay super crisp with vivid detail. This sharpness is further supported by Nikon’s extra-low-dispersion glass design. It effectively eliminates issues like chromatic aberration and results in a staggeringly sharp image almost every time.

Add Nikon’s anti-reflection coating to this design and you’re dealing with a lens that’s determined to stay sharply in focus when you work. For tricky food photography subjects with hard-to-focus on edges, this lens could be a Godsend.

Pros:

  • Excellent sharpness
  • Brilliant portrait and macro performance
  • Silent autofocus

Cons:

  • More versatile but more expensive

Get from Adorama

How to Take Good Photos of Food

The lens and camera system you use will do a huge amount of heavy lifting for you when you take photos of your food. That said, there are several things that are worth keeping in mind when doing this type of photography.

An inexperienced photographer can definitely miss a trick or too if they haven’t read up on the basics. Read through our tips below and try implementing them next time you practice.

Multiple Angles

Don’t be afraid to approach your subject from different angles. Sometimes all it takes is a small adjustment up or to the side to get things looking perfect. Moving the food into a different environment can also prove beneficial.

Finding the right backdrop, surroundings, and lighting environment is crucial.

Lighting

Lighting is perhaps the most important aspect of all photography. Nail your lighting and you’ll stand a very good chance of success. For this kind of work, it’s best to take advantage of as much soft, diffused light as possible. Hard overhead or direct lighting will usually ruin a shoot like this.

If possible, take advantage of natural light from a window or other outdoor source. Alternatively, consider soft boxes and reflectors to drench your scene with as much diffused light as possible.

In very specific circumstances, taking advantage of more direct lighting can have interesting results. This is only worth considering if you know what you’re doing, however.

Read our lighting guide here.

Rule of Thirds

Composing your shot effectively is a huge part of good food photography. A favorite tool of photographers around the world is the trusty rule of thirds. This 3×3 grid of rectangles provides a helpful guide within which to frame your shot.

A good rule of thumb is to position your subject(s) within one or more areas where the lines of the grid intersect. Check your camera for a rule of thirds overlay when shooting – most have them these days.

Experiment with positioning your food in different areas of the grid and see what works best. Think about what actually needs to be in your shot and what you can afford to remove. The less clutter, the better in our opinion.

Consider a Tripod

A common complaint from newbies is that their images come out too blurry and without the sharpness you see in professional food photos. One cause of this problem is camera shake from users moving around too much when holding their cameras.

One great solution to this issue is a handy tripod. Setting up your camera on a tripod pointing where you need it to be can free up your hands and keep your shot nice and steady. Taking advantage of remote shutters like this one can further increase your level of control.

Looking for tripods? Check out our mega review here.

Narrow Depth of Field

Another reason behind disappointingly blurry food photos is the depth of field you’re using. When you see an incredibly sharp, delicious-looking image of food in an advertisement, you can bet that the photographer was using a lens with a depth of field that was nice and narrow.

If you want similar results, you’ll have to pick up a lens with the depth you need. Our recommendations above are full of excellent examples, so be sure to check them out if you haven’t already.

Color

Another aspect of great food composition is color. Think how you can compliment the color palette that’s present in the food you’re capturing. Can you put the meal in a bowl that brings out its deliciously rich color, for example?

Would a certain color work well for your backdrop? Asking questions like these can make it much easier to get the results you’re looking for.

Food Photo Equipment List

You don’t need a full studio setup to take great food photos. That said, it always helps to have the right equipment for the job. This section will run through some key pieces of equipment that can really elevate your food photography game.

Read on to learn more.

Reflectors

Reflectors like these give you the control you need over your available light. As the name might suggest, they allow users to reflect the light available to them and direct it where they’d like it to go.

When used correctly, these accessories can dramatically improve the contrast and overall result of your images. They fold away to practically nothing and are very easy to take with you. Check them out if you haven’t already.

Soft Boxes

To be clear, soft boxes aren’t strictly necessary here, especially if you’re not working professionally. However, they can be a phenomenal source of diffused light when you don’t have enough natural sources available.

As mentioned earlier, a good lighting environment for food pictures will use lots of soft, indirect light. For this reason, soft boxes are worth considering if you have the budget for them.

Tripods

We touched on this earlier but it bears repeating. Keeping your setup steady will significantly improve issues like camera shake and resulting image noise. If you want to take your food photos to the next level, consider picking up a decent tripod.

They’re useful for a huge number of photography scenarios so they’re pretty much a must-have if you want to improve as a photographer.

Camera

While great lighting and composition will do a lot of heavy lifting for you, your images will fall short if you don’t have the camera to back you up. Look for cameras with powerful sensors and good onboard image processing.

There’s no point sinking hundreds of dollars into lenses that your camera can’t power effectively. Also be sure that your specific camera is compatible with any of the recommendations outlined on this page.

Amazon offers a very useful compatibility checker on most of its lens listings. Simply fill out your camera’s model number for some much-needed peace of mind.

Best Lenses for Food Photography – The Takeaway

Remember that the best food photography lens will look different for everyone. Your specific requirements and use case will determine the lens that’s right for you. It’s also worth keeping in mind that a great food-ready lens might fall short in other areas.

If your photography work covers more than just food, you might benefit from a more versatile lens than some of the macro shooters listed above. If you’re new to taking this kind of photo, be sure to take advantage of the tips outlined in our guide above.

Practice makes perfect – the more you dive into this kind of work, the easier it will become. Whichever lens you choose, we hope it serves you well. Happy shooting!