You don’t need fancy equipment to get started with product photography with your Fuji camera.
The best lenses for it are the ones that allow you to focus close and fill the frame with whatever you’re shooting.
But some things clearly set some lenses apart, and some excel at still life and product photography.
Join me as we take a look at the best product photo lenses offered for the Fujifilm X-mount cameras.
With an effective focal length of 90 mm and macro capabilities, the XF 60 mm f/2.4 R Macro is perfect for most product photography.
Its minimum working distance is 26.7 centimeters, meaning you can work very close to your subject and fill the frame even with the tiniest items.
Another great lens option in this focal range is the XF 56 mm f/1.2 R.
While this lens is much faster, it lacks the macro options that the lens above presents.
The 56 mm is commonly referred to as a portrait lens, but its effective 84 mm focal length makes it perfect for most product photography purposes.
Its minimum focus distance is 0.7 meters or about 2.3 feet means that you won’t get quite as close to your subjects, but you can still get some crystal-clear images.
With the APS-C sensor’s crop factor, a “nifty fifty” is actually a 35 mm lens.
The XF 35 mm f/1.4 R suits very nicely. This small and low-profile lens is a real sleeper in the Fuji lineup, with sharpness at f/1.4 that is hard to beat.
To make it even more appealing, the lens’s minimum focus distance is an impressive 28 centimeters!
With specifications like that, it seems like the lens was made for product photography.
Fuji also makes the XF 35 mm f/2 R WR lens, which is a stop slower but saves you about half the cost.
This lens’s minimum focus distance is 35 centimeters, so it would work well for product work as well.
The Fujinon 80 mm macro lens gives you an effective focal length of 120 mm, enabling you to fill the frame with the tiniest objects.
It’s probably a bit too much reach for anything but jewelry or other items with minute details.
But the lens produces a sharp and beautiful image and has a minimum focusing distance of just 25 centimeters, so this lens is well worth having in your kit.
A nice benefit of this lens that you won’t find on other primes is the optical image stabilization built in.
Fuji claims that this can recover up to five stops from hand shake, and while most studio product work is tripod-based, OIS is still a convenient tool to have on such a long lens.
Another fabulous long lens option for product photography lens is the XF 90 mm f/2.0 R LM WR. This lens is slightly faster and has even more reach for an equivalent focal length of 135 mm.
The close 60-centimeter minimum focus distance is not nearly as good as the other choices, but if you need a faster lens than the f/2.8, this could be an excellent product photography choice.
Fuji makes two different 50 mm lenses for the X-mount system, both with effective focal lengths of 75 mm.
The fastest of these two is actually the fastest lens that Fuji currently sells for the X-mount cameras.
At f/1.0, this lens is fast and still very sharp. The only downside of this bright lens is its close focusing abilities–the object must be at least 70 centimeters away for it to work.
For a shorter focal length lens, that makes this one a borderline choice.
Sometimes you need an even wider field of view for large objects, so a wide-angle lens comes in handy.
With a minimum focusing distance of 28 centimeters, you can’t go wrong with this premium prime lens.
This is one of Fuji’s shining stars from their X-mount offerings–it’s sharp and basically flawless.
Like the other focal lengths, there is also a f/2.0 version of the 23 mm available. It focuses down to an impressive 22 centimeters.
Fuji’s telephoto zoom is a bit of a mixed bag for the product photographer.
Still, it provides a great option if you need an all-around telephoto zoom that can capture pretty much any small product composition.
Its close focus distance is one meter, far more than the other primes and zooms on our list.
But with an effective focal length range of 75 to 210 mm, you can zoom in to fill your frame as much as you need to.
The OIS means you can hand hold the camera in a pinch, and this lens is well suited for nearly any sort of photography.
Most of us carry a long lens like this in our bags for those random occasions when we need the reach.
Fujinon’s 50-140 mm is an excellent example of a multi-purpose zoom that’s as good at product photography as wildlife or sports photography.
Fuji’s premium Red Badge 16- 55 mm zoom is a beautiful piece of equipment, and while I prefer product photography with a prime lens, this zoom is really about all you need to get the job done.
Its close focusing ability is spectacular for a zoom lens of this size at 30 to 40 centimeters.
And the focal length equivalent range for 24 to 82 is right in the sweet spot for the product photographer.
If you need to have a zoom lens in your kit for budget reasons or need a multi-purpose lens, this lens is a stellar option.
It’s probably not the last product photography lens you’ll ever buy, but if you’re dabbling in still life images and need a versatile lens that might never leave your camera, this one is for you.
Another great zoom option is the 16-80 mm f/4. It’s the slowest lens on our list, and honestly, it’s right on the line when it comes to product photography.
But with an impressive close-focusing ability at as little as 35 centimeters, the lens still impresses.
For most photographers, this one lens can do everything they’ll ever need the camera to do.
It’s not the fastest lens in the world, but it might just be the most versatile.
If you’ve got the tiniest details you need to capture with astounding detail, then this Laowa lens will let you do it at a head-turning price.
For under $400, this manual focus lens gives you one of the most powerful macro systems you can imagine, with 2x magnification and a close focusing distance of only 6.7 inches (17 centimeters).
While the optics on the Laowa are not as good as Fuji’s, the magnification you get from this lens is out of this world.
Most product photography is done on a tripod in a studio, so working with a fully-manual lens is usually not much extra work.
Rokinon makes manual lenses with very good optics at a great price point.
The 50 mm f/1.2 is fast with a brilliant depth of field, but its close focusing distance is 1.6 feet or 0.5 meters, a lot more than the Fuji options.
Still, the lens does a nice job, and good examples are very sharp.
The best Rokinon for product work is the 100 mm f/2.8 ED UMC Macro, which has a close focusing distance of only one foot (30 centimeters).
The effective focal length of 150 mm is pretty long, though, so it gives you many creative options with objects both near and far.
One note, this lens is a modified version designed for full-frame cameras, so this lens is much larger and bulkier than you might expect for your APS-C Fuji camera.
Fuji Product Photography Guide
What Type of Lens is Best for Product Photography?
Product photography is a fairly broad activity that depends on the actual subject you’re taking photos of.
The classic examples that jump to my mind are small things, like jewelry or electronics.
But you could also include larger items like appliances, furniture, tools, or toys. In some ways, the biggest products you can imagine, like cars, trucks, boats, and homes, are also products that need to be photographed.
Like shooting a still life for art school, product photography requires a lot of work in front of the camera.
The photographer gets to set up their scene and all of its variables precisely the way they want.
And the objects are usually inanimate, so they can be tinkered with and fine-tuned until you get just the look you’re going for.
There are no rules, but most product photography is shot on a plain background or sometimes even extracted in post-production.
The goal is to make the product shine as the star of the photo. There should be no distracting elements in the composition, and everything about the product, from the lighting to the reflections, should be positioned to show it in its best light.
A great example of how this works is when you think about watch photography.
Analog watches and clocks are nearly always set to 10:10 for photos, simply because this looks best.
It’s symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing, and creates a positive emotional reaction in the viewer.
It’s the little things that set product photography apart from other still lifes.
Product photography is the glamor photography of inanimate objects.
What is the Difference Between Product Photography and Still Lifes?
There’s very little difference between product photography and a still life. Indeed, product photos are a form of still life photography.
Both art forms involve setting up a scene in front of your camera and getting every aspect of the composition just perfect. While taking the photo takes a fraction of a second, making a still life photo is actually a lengthy endeavor.
If there’s a difference between the two things, it’s that product photography is generally done for commercial purposes while still lifes are done as artworks.
Both require exercising your creative grey cells, and both require technical expertise with your camera equipment.
Understanding Fujifilm Sensor Size and Crop Factor
The Fujifilm X-mount cameras have APS-C-sized image sensors. These sensors are smaller than the old 35 mm film negatives.
But all lenses are still rated in 35 mm terms, which has become an industry standard. Digital sensors come in various sizes, so sticking with the film negative standard gives a little bit of consistency.
But it requires photographers to know how to convert things from the 35 mm standard to the effective focal length they get when they put that lens on their cameras.
The critical number to know is the crop factor. The crop factor for the Fuji APS-C sensor cameras is 1.5x.
That means that when you attach a 50 mm lens to the Fuji camera, the effective focal length is 75 mm.
When shopping for product photography lenses for a Fuji X-mount camera, you need to consider what the effective focal length will be.
If you need a 100 mm lens, you’ve got to divide by 1.5 and purchase a lens around 67 mm.
Recommended Focal Lengths for Product Photography
So what are the best lens focal lengths for product photos with the fuji xe4’s aps-c sized sensor?
It’s a hard question to answer because so much depends on what sort of product you’re staging in front of the camera.
If you specialized in a particular type of product, your choices are easier.
For example, if you photograph jewelry or watches, you will need a macro lens between 85 and 100 mm. T
hese items require super close-up images to bring out all of the details in the product.
If you’re photographing something slightly larger, like toys or tools, you might want something with a slightly wider field of view.
A 50 mm lens provides the most flexibility. If you had to choose one lens to use for product photography, the 50 mm would likely be the one.
By changing your position relative to the subject, you can get various-sized objects in the frame.
Wide-angle lenses are likely the least used in product photography. For one thing, low focal lengths distort objects which is undesirable in product photography. If you’re dealing with massive objects, it’s likely preferable to take a 50 mm lens and get farther away from the object.
Of course, this gets you into trouble with background setups and studio lighting–which is where you have to start exercising those creative muscles.
Prime or Zoom Lens for Product Photos
Most professional product photographers shoot with prime lenses.
Almost without exception, prime lenses provide superior image quality and sharpness.
They also tend to offer options that are two or three stops faster than the best zoom lenses.
Zoom lenses often suffer from diffraction. This is an extra bending of the light at the lens’s movable zoom element, which would not be present in a prime lens.
This isn’t to say that modern, high-quality zooms, like the Fujinon Red Badge collection, aren’t excellent.
Honestly, you can use these lenses to produce some incredible product photography.
But they still have a maximum aperture of f/2.8, whereas the Fujinon premium prime lenses get as fast as f/1.2.
Aperture for Product Photos?
If you study product photography, you will notice that photographers closely control the depth of field to make sure things on a subject pop out to the viewer.
Maybe it’s the diamonds on a watch face or the command dial on a power tool. Depth of field is an important area of control that product photographers need to master.
They need to understand it well enough that what needs to be in focus is always in focus and control it creatively to make the product pop.
To get enough control over your images, don’t try shooting with any slower lenses than f/4.
The best Fuji zoom lenses at f/2.8, while some primes are as fast as f/1.2.
These fast lenses are expensive, but they give you the absolute maximum control over how your final image looks.
Fuji Macro lenses
The utility of a macro lens in product photography depends on what you’re shooting. If it’s something very tiny, like rings, earrings, or coins, then a macro lens is invaluable.
You can use a fuji macro lens to show fine details that communicate craftsmanship or fit-and-finish even on larger objects.
Unless shooting the tiniest of items, most photographers can survive without a macro lens.
But once you’ve got one in your arsenal, the utility of it becomes apparent. Since a macro lens can do everything that a non-macro lens can, why would you not get a macro?
In the end, it gives the product photographer one more creative option to sell their goods, and that’s worth having.
Minimum Focus Distance
All lenses are designed with a minimum focusing distance.
This is the closest a lens can be to an object and still keep it sharply in focus. It’s a significant limitation of a lens for a product photographer because it’s one of those hard lines you cannot cross.
If you have a 35 mm lens and need to fill the frame with your object, you can’t do it if you can’t get close enough.
Macro lenses, by design, have an extremely small minimum focusing distance. It’s often measured in terms of inches or millimeters.
Compare that to most standard lenses, which often focus at around 3 feet/0.5 meters, and you can see the utility.
Many lens specification sheets also list the minimum working distance of the lens. This number is the distance from the camera sensor to the object.
Tilt-shift Lenses for Fuji X-Mount
Tilt-shift lenses provide maximum creative control and are wonderful tools for product photographers.
Unfortunately, there are no Fuji X-mount tilt-shift lenses made at present.
To use a tilt-shit lens, you’ll have to work out a way to convert a Canon or Nikon example onto the Fuji body or use a tilt-shift adapter.
The tilt function of the lens allows you to control the plane of focus.
On regular lenses, this plane is always parallel to the camera’s sensor. But on a TS lens, you can adjust it to better match your product’s orientation.
The shift function allows you to move the subject’s position without moving the camera. This can help you frame objects, which is especially helpful in getting better angles for your compositions.
The biggest caveat of going this route is that you will have to shoot in fully-manual mode all the time. Most adapter tubes built for this purpose do not have electronic lens controls.
This type of photography is heavily reliant on careful manual setup anyway, so the lack of electronics shouldn’t pose that big a problem.
What a lens like the Canon TS-E 50 mm f/2.8L Macro and an electronic adapter tube, you can have a fully functional modern tilt-shift lens on any Fuji X-mount. Be sure to double-check the lens compatibility with each different adapter you find. Some support all features while others do not.
Adapter tubes come in a variety of shapes and sizes for all sorts of purposes.
Speed booster tubes include a lens element in them that can reduce or remove the crop factor on your lenses.
That’s a handy tool, especially when dealing with the limited options of tilt-shift focal lengths available.
Adapter tubes add tilt, shift, or tilt and shift functionality to a lens. Look for examples made by Kipon or Fotodiox, which can turn a standard lens from one mount into a working manual tilt-shift option for your Fuji X.
The Fujinon X-mount lens lineup includes some of the nicest glass available on today’s camera market.
The optics are superb, and the cameras and systems are designed with the photographer in mind.
What’s your favorite fuji lens for product photography, and what type of products do you shoot? Let me know in the comments below.