Food Photography Kit for Under $1,250

Photography gear is expensive. However, thanks to the used market and how good cameras have been for the past decade, for under $1,250, you can buy a really solid food photography camera setup.

£1,000 or about $1,250 doesn't get you many cameras in 2020. However, if you are willing to buy used, you could buy two great lenses and a full-frame professional camera body. Although in this video I talk about Canon equipment, the same products could be purchased from Nikon at a similar price from the 2008 era of photography. I am sure other brands will offer similar specs in the used market; I am just not familiar with them (I have only ever used Canon for 35mm cameras).

For me, a solid food photography setup must include at least a full-frame 35mm camera, a 100mm macro lens, and a 50mm prime lens. If you went for Canon's top lineup of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM LensCanon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens, and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera, you would be spending $47,00 all in. Granted, the setup in this video is not as good as this, but unless you are shooting worldwide campaigns, it will certainly see you through. I have also shot several big campaigns in recent years with the kit listed in my video.

What would you go to budget food photography setup be?

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Jeff McCollough's picture

"spending $47,00 all in"

Is Fstoppers interested in hiring an editor?

Thomas McTear's picture

Had to read that

Scott Choucino's picture

darn my fat fingers. I will try and fix that.

Jeff McCollough's picture

No worries. Love your content bro!

serious question, why is full-frame important to food photographers? you're shooting at low ISOs with light you have selected, placed, and bounced (or artificially created). Most brands have similar lens choices with 30mm 1.4 offerings and 60m F2.8 macros. also food is rarely shoot at anything less than F2.8 on full frame -- and 90% of the time, you'll be hanging out at F4 (fullframe). Therefore depth of field is not an issue.

Scott Choucino's picture

Hard to give a short answer tho hopefully this points in the direction, it comes down to rendering, how the lens draws and the way the image circle works on a uncropped 35mm sensor.

Depth wise, my work is mostly at f10 and I shoot predominantly flat lays so to get the compression that’s desirable for food you want a 35mm at least if not a 645 sensor.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Dynamic range is another factor. But if you are making money shooting crop then more power to you.