Every camera has its own personality, so it would be wrong for me to assert there is one and only one best way to set up for a bottle photo. However, when it comes to the right lens, there are three things I look for:
- Sharpness - Everyone loves a sharp image.
- Fringing - This is the color halo that appears at the edges of high contrast areas. Less expensive lenses are more apt to yield fringing. Zoom in on the image to check edges mainly around the labels and capsules.
- Lens Distortion - using too wide of and angle lens will cause the bottle to buldge towards the camera. This can be corrected in post, but it will save you time if you can keep it from happening in the first place.
I will address all three of the above in future posts. But I have found that shooting at 70 to 80 mm at about 4 to 5 feet away works well. I shoot Sony and normally use a 70-200 mm F2.8 Tamron lens. This lens is only about $1500 and does a great job for me.
I am not a 'tech-snob' so I believe in getting the job done with the most cost effective equipment possible while still ensuring the highest quality image. But lower cost lenses (normally 'kit' lenses) will increase the risk that you will have to spend more time in post. Also, do explore 'prime lenses' as the optical quality is normally better than zoom lenses and the cost can be lower.
So when selecting your next lens, keep sharpness, fringing and lens distortion in mind. And if you are an existing bottle photographer, please share your thoughts on focal length and distance. Sharing your thoughts by leaving a comment below not only helps the community, it helps my SEO!! LOL!