Having the best lenses for wedding photography will help you capture those special moments, no matter where they occur.
Lenses come in all shapes and sizes. They also vary in cost. In this article, we have collected some of the most recommended lenses for wedding photography.
The best lens differs from photographer to photographer. It’s based on shooting style and the brand of the camera body. Some wedding photographers favour bright primes with two bodies for fast access. Others prefer the ease and range of a zoom lens .
Owning more wedding lenses allows you to capture the moment in a cramped, dim reception venue, as well as in a wide-open, brightly lit park. But there are a few features and focal lengths that are standard for the pro wedding photographer.
This wide to medium zoom lens covers a solid range of focal lengths and still packs in a bright aperture.
The lens is wide enough to capture the entire ceremony in one shot. You can adjust the telephoto end for closer shots and even portraits, so it also comes in handy for those family formals.
As a popular wedding photography lens, some manufacturers have multiple versions of it. The difference is often optical image stabilisation.
That stabilisation helps shoot those dimly lit spaces. Especially at slower shutter speeds, allowing you to drop the ISO down. But stabilisation isn’t as essential in a wide-angle lens as it is for telephoto and macro.
Due to its popularity, third-party manufacturers get in on the action too. This could help you save some cash when choosing gear for wedding photography.
2. Bright, Versatile Telephoto: The 70-200mm f/2.8
The 70-200mm offers a versatile zoom range and enough focal length to help the subject pop from the background.
The 70-200mm is great for capturing details and close-ups. The long zoom range also makes the lens an option for the portrait section of the day. Its length will help create softer backgrounds. All this while having the aperture a bit wider to keep both the bride and groom in focus.
There’s a downside though. The long focal length and bright aperture mix make this lens a heavy piece of glass. It’s also an expensive addition to your wedding photography kit.
The general rule is to keep your shutter speed above the focal length. While it’s easy to shoot a 50mm at 1/50 in limited light, the 1/200 suggested for a 200mm is harder to do. This is where that lens stabilisation comes in.
The longer the lens, the more important image stabilisation is. If you can only afford to get stabilisation on one lens, get it on the longest one in your bag.
Many wedding photographers use both a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm to capture the wedding day. These work particularly well during parts of the day where the pace of events isn’t ideal for lens swaps.
3. Portrait Prime: The 85mm and 50mm f/1.8
Prime lenses offer a brighter aperture than the 70-200mm ones. In some brands, they even offer more efficient auto focus and higher quality shots. Without all those zoom components, most prime lenses are also lighter and cheaper.
The 85mm is an excellent focal length for portraits, particularly on full-frame cameras. The focal length is more flattering than a wider angle. But it still allows you to take portraits in venues with limited space.
Although the background separation isn’t quite as nice as that 85mm, the 50mm is also a popular choice for portraits. For wedding photographers who need to make the budget, a 50mm lens is an excellent option. It offers that bright aperture without the big price tag.