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Food Photography-XP 85mm F1.2

Nic Taylor

Photographer from UK

Food Photography-XP 85mm F1.2 

 

 

Samyang's stunning XP 85mm f1.2 lens is not just a great lens for portrait photography, it's also a lens that can be used to create beautiful food photography. Due to it's manual focusing system, still life photography seems like the perfect match. With food photography the photographer has time to compose each frame so a speedy auto-focusing system isn't a necessity. I use my XP 85mm via an adapter on my Sony A7RIII and the images that this combination produces are stunning with razor sharp details, vibrant colours and punchy contrast - just what you want when photographing food to make it look as appetising as possible.

 

When it comes to food photography, getting the right light is essential. As I shoot for a lot of different restaurants it's not always possible to have a location at the restaurant to setup near a window or space where there's a good source of natural light. For that reason I always take a studio strobe and a large softbox. This allows me the freedom to setup anywhere in the restaurant and gives me a powerful, controllable light source that is softened depending on the size of the light modifier - in most cases I use a 120cm x 80cm Phot-R softbox with double diffusion.

 

 


Here's my usual setup for food photography

 

 

In terms of getting the composition and point of focus perfect using the XP 85mm f1.2 lens I occasionally use a tripod but most of the images in this article were shot handheld so I heavily rely on the amazing focus peaking feature built-in to my Sony A7RIII. This feature shows exactly what's in focus in my EVF or on my screen by detecting edges of high contrast (and therefore most in focus) and displaying a red border around them. I then zoom in (using the camera's focus zoom feature) on the specific area that I want in focus and then rotate the focus ring until it has perfect focus - a very easy process for me with my mirrorless camera. Due to DSLRs having an optical viewfinder this whole process could be a lot more difficult and I'd imagine a tripod would be essential.

I love the bokeh (out of focus blur) that the XP 85mm f1.2 lens is capable of producing. It can help to isolate the subject from the background. Perfect for a side on shot like some of the cocktail images towards the bottom of this article. With a minimum focus distance of 80cm it allows me to get close enough to capture some of the finer details of a dish with precise sharpness. This lens really is a joy to use especially for this specific application. Check out some images below that have been taken with it.


Sony A7RIII - f4, 1/80th, ISO 160


Sony A7RIII - f4, 1/125th, ISO 160


Sony A7RIII - f4, 1/80th, ISO 160


Left : Sony A7RIII - f4.5, 1/200th, ISO 100    Right : Sony A7RIII - f4, 1/60th, ISO 100



Sony A7RIII - f4.5, 1/60th, ISO 64



Sony A7RIII - f7.1, 1/160th, ISO 160



Sony A7RIII - f6.3, 1/125th, ISO 160



Sony A7RIII - f5, 1/160th, ISO 100



Sony A7RIII - f8, 1/160th, ISO 125



Sony A7RIII - f9, 1/160th, ISO 200



Sony A7RIII - f5, 1/200th, ISO 800



Left : Sony A7RIII - f3.5, 1/200th, ISO 250    Right : Sony A7RIII - f2.8, 1/200th, ISO 250



Sony A7RIII - f2.8, 1/125th, ISO 160


Samyang’s Guide to Achieving the Optimal Angle of View

The perfect spacing and distance are always necessary when shooting all kinds of subjects, including people, to give them a proper relationship with the beautiful space around them. So, what’s the exact distance that helps you best appreciate a work of art, or a photo?

The correct answer is the diagonal length of the full frame of a subject.

표준화각 자료 이미지
표준화각 자료 이미지

The best standpoint from which to appreciate the full view of a subject is the distance of the diagonal length of the subject frame. This wider angle is superior to standing closer at a 50 degree angle to get a more detailed view. This notion of an ideal distance or view point is also applicable in the world of photography.

For still images, keeping a distance equal to the diagonal length of the full image surface is recommended. The full frame sensor of a digital camera is 36 x 24mm and the diagonal length is 43.26mm so any distance close to this number is nearer to the ideal than the currently accepted industry standard of 50mm.

Back when film cameras were common, 45mm was the industry standard and this continued as reflex cameras needed extra space to fit a mirror. However, as mirrorless cameras become more popular again, there has been a need to return to this industry standard…which is the impetus for the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE. With less distortion than a 35mm lens and wider angles than a 55mm lens, the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE is a perfect lens for portraits, landscapes, architecture photography, and pictures of pets.

DSLR / Full Frame
1D X Mark Ⅱ
1D X
1Ds Mark Ⅲ
1Ds
5DsR
5Ds
5D Mark Ⅳ
5D Mark Ⅲ
6D Mark Ⅱ
6D
DSLR / APS-H
1D Mark Ⅲ
1D
Mirrorless / APS-C
M6
M5
M10
M3
M2
DSLR / APS-S
7D Mark Ⅱ
7D
80D
70D
60D
30D
D60
D30
77D (9000D)
760D (8000D / Rebel T6s)
1300D (Kiss X80 / Rebel T6)
1200D (Kiss X70 / Rebel T5)
200D (Kiss X9 / Rebel SL2)
800D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
700D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
100D (Kiss X7 / Rebel SL1)
650D (Kiss X6i / Rebel T4i)
600D (Kiss X5 / Rebel T3i)
550D (Kiss X4 / Rebel T2i)
500D (Kiss X3 / Rebel T1i)
1000D (Kiss F / Rebel XS)
450D (Kiss X2 / Rebel X냐)
DSLR / Full Frame
D850
D5
D810A
D4S
D810
D750
Df
D610
D4
D800
D800E
D600
D3s
D3x
D700
D3
DSLR / APS-C
D7500
D3400
D500
D5600
D7200
D5500
D3300
D7100
D5300
D5200
D7000
D300s
D300
DSLR / Full Frame
Z6
Z7
D810A
D4S
D750
D810A
DSLR / APS-C
D7200
D500
D3300
D5500
D5600
D3400
D7500

* Cameras released within 5 years from 2019 are tested.

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