We have all been to weddings, at least as guests, and since we love photography (no matter our level of expertise) we can’t help but wonder what lenses are inside the bags of the hired professionals. Well, it is pretty likely that at least one of the following kinds of lenses would be in that bag. The best lenses for wedding photography, in our opinion, are as below.
The zoom lenses:
- 70-200mm f/2.8
Even though these kind of lenses are heavy and big, they are the workhorse for many photographers in the wedding business. The reason being their reliability and versatility. These lenses are able to give amazingly crisp sharpness at every focal length from 70mm to 200mm. The bokeh they create is stunningly beautiful, which is pretty important for many wedding photographers, and newlyweds too.
The 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is an excellent choice if you want to create beautiful portraits of the couple at different kinds of lengths (full, medium, close-ups) without distorting them, and without invading too much of their personal space either. Almost every 70-200mm f/2.8 lens comes with a built-in collar that you can use for increasing the steadiness of your shots when handheld shooting, and also is advisable to use when mounting your camera on a tripod.
- 24-70mm f/2.8
A 24-70mm f/2.8 lens will give you all the versatility you’ll need for every single wedding, from the ceremony to the reception. This lens is used a lot for capturing the ambient context surrounding the couple, and its zooming feature will allow you to capture portraits as well when needed. Perhaps if you are kick starting a career in Wedding Photography in a more professional way, but are still running under a pretty restricted budget, consider investing in just this lens for now.
The prime lenses:
Among all the lenses for wedding photography, this is an amazing one because when used in a full frame camera, it renders images pretty much as you see them with your own eyes. Also, when used in a full frame camera, it feels neither too wide nor too tight. It is perfect for many wedding situations.
These lenses are extremely versatile because they are lightweight and small, and allow the photographer to be become a part of the action. These lenses are also used when the photographers have a storytelling mindset, and want to show the big picture of what is going when used on long shoots.
If you are into wedding portraiture, this lens definitely needs to be in your bag. Used a lot for capturing individual guests or small groups, this lens has a very precise purpose, medium shots. With almost zero distortion, it is perfect for making the bride look ravishing and beautiful.
All prime lenses need you to forget about being lazy. If you need to zoom in or out, you’ll have to use your feet! But their quality makes every step worthwhile. Aperture capabilities will highly depend on your budget.
[Bonus] The Macro Lenses:
Also important, but less frequent depending on the style of the photographer, you will find a Macro lens. These lenses usually oscillate between 60mm to even 135mm, depending on the brand. Their most noticeable feature is that they allow you to get extremely close to details, like wedding rings and decoration details. Oh, and they are mind-blowing sharp too, and give extremely rich levels of bokeh.
The lenses for wedding photography discussed above are so crucial for professionals that we decided to mention them without stating any particular brand, because many brands have lenses with the aforementioned focal lengths.