To be frank the best lens for miniature photography can be any lens that allows you to shoot at a wider aperture to produce a very shallow depth of field (blurred background) because that is very important to add realism to miniature shots.
But if you really want a camera lens that makes everything look miniature, then your number one option has to be a – MACRO LENS.
Before we see the reason behind this, let’s first of all understand what a macro lens is and why it is the best option for creative miniature photography.
A good macro lens reproduces objects at 1:1 ratio, which means it reproduces even the smallest of objects at LIFESIZE.
This basically means if you are shooting a miniature figure, it will look like a real full-size person or object.
And that’s exactly what you want in a miniature shot.
The reason behind this is that a macro lens allows you get really close to the subject and still be able to focus.
Secondly a macro lens also produces a very shallow depth of field, which in turn adds a lot of realism to the miniature shots.
Let’s see some miniature shots which have been shot using a macro lens:
Which is the best macro lens for miniature photography?
Now that you know a Macro lens is the best option for miniature photography, the natural question is which macro lens is the best.
To be frank any macro lens is fine but in a lot of miniature shots you not only want to get close to the subject but you also want a larger field of view (more scene to come into the shot). This allows you to show what is happening in the scene around the figure too to give it more context.
Therefore the number one choice is usually a WIDE Macro lens like the Laowa 15mm f4.
But having a longer macro lens can also do the job. You may have to sacrifice a bit of the scene.
But what if you don’t have a Macro lens? Can you still do miniature photography?
Yes, to be frank you can do miniature photography using any lens because even other things like the set-up, perspective, lighting, etc play an important part.
The very popular 50mm f1.8 prime lens can also be a good lens for miniature photography since it allows for a very shallow depth of field.
And like mentioned before, the wider the lens is the better if you really want to get more of the scene in the background.
To be very honest, you can even use your kit lens to do miniature photography.
But there is no doubt that all things being equal, a macro lens will be your best option for creative miniature photography.
If you want to learn how to create and edit miniature photography shots and a host of other trick shots, then do check out my Trick Photography Course (available via Udemy).
About the Author
Hi there, I'm Kush Sharma, the founder of Creative Pad Media, an organization dedicated to simplifying photography and videography education.
We have over 40 online courses that cover various genres in photography & videography, catering to both beginners as well as professionals. These courses are available via Udemy.com. Our courses have been downloaded in over 170 countries.
I hope to see you inside a course very soon!