I intend to

  • shoot Stock photos in a properly lit shotbox.
  • At the same time need a "general purpose" lens to shoot objects and landscape (no need for macro neither portraits in close distance).

If these two can be combined, what lens would you recommend for me? If not, my priority is shooting small objects at close distance in the shotbox (at ca 38cm)

  • My budget is 700-900$
  • My camera is a Nikon D3300

I've come down to

  • Sigma 30mm Art 1.4 (30mm on aps-c)
  • Sigma 35mm 1.4 (35mm on full frame)

So the sigma 35mm (which seems to be of better quality and with a higher dxomark) would crop to 52,5mm.

I have the sense that a prime lens is what I need because I read all about their higher construction quality and less and uncomplicated optics. Also I believe I have no need to zoom. Am I missing something here maybe? :) Also what about that FOV at around 50mm? Better go for 30mm with half the money? (I see in review videos that the Sigma Art 30mm presents higher abberation and artefacts, in large and small apperture respectively)

  • \$\begingroup\$ "Stock Photography" usually refers to images taken with the intent of placing them with an agency which can license their usage to other interested parties. Is that what you mean by "stock photos", or do you mean taking photos of your business' inventory (stock)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 22:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes Michael, I mean stock photography for placing them with an agency \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 9:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Presumably, if it fits in a shotbox, let's call it 'product photography' - as 'stock' could be photos of anything... people, the sky, an office... \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 11:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, product photography. I tested as follows: with a 55-200mm Nikon DX and with a 18-55mm Nikon DX at 38cm distance with good lighting (didn't get the shotbox yet). I see good results and believe that in appertures between f5.6-f8 I will have appropriately sharp results. So besides the good optics and the generally superior sharpness to according zoom lenses, is there any other point to buy a prime lens for shooting in the shotbox? What is your opinion? (having read a lot in here about the ~50mm prime I see that it will be a good general purpose lens anyway) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 9:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then you already have pretty much everything I suggested you try a super-zoom for, you have 18 - 200mm, which is more than enough to decide how to shoot. I still think you are shooting from way too close & you ought to look at something around 100mm. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 18:12

2 Answers 2


I don't do a lot of product shots, so it's not my particular area of familiarity.
Actual product recommendations are off-topic, however, I'm not sure a short lens is going to be the best for product photography.

The perspective is going to be quite distorted from that distance, the equivalent of taking a selfie at arm's length. You end up with "big nose, little ears" syndrome.

I did some experiments a while ago - ref: Photographing glass - light 'quality'? though the subject matter is slightly different - in which I very quickly determined that the objects looked far better-proportioned using a 100mm lens & much longer camera to subject distance.

As you have a lot of control over your lighting, you don't need a particularly fast lens.

Regarding landscapes, a lot of people tend to use short lenses - but not everybody, so that is wide open to interpretation.

I'd borrow or rent a super-zoom [Nikon do an 18-300mm, Tamron an 18-400mm] to see which lengths you actually need & use, then choose a shorter zoom or primes covering those lengths.


I think your budget is too high. The simple and cheap Nikon 35 mm 1.8 g can or Nikon 50 mm 1.8 has excellent optics and can be used for this purpose. Any lens wider than this might distort your product's appearance. Personally I would prefer my Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro lens for such work. I am not sure why you are preferring 30 mm lens for shooting small objects at closed distances as there is a chance of distortion.


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