It goes without saying that you’re going to want the best lens possible for your wedding photography portfolio.

You’re in charge of capturing all those precious moments that the bride and groom will be looking back at for years to come, so you’re going to want every single image to look spectacular.

Not to mention, the better your portfolio looks, the more weddings you’ll book, and the wider your name will spread. 

Many wedding photographers have shared that this specific photography is a mixed bag, and doesn’t really fit into one specific area.

You’ll need to be ready to photograph the family outside, the speeches inside, close-ups of the newlyweds, and countless requests from the guests.

Due to this, choosing the best lens for weddings may be a harder task than you may think.

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Of course, there is no one lens that is going to fit all of the different scenarios that you’re going to have to be ready for when shooting a wedding.

You’re going to need a lot of experience, a professional DSLR camera, and a range of high-quality lenses. Luckily, we’re here to help you out in finding the best lenses for those special days. 

We’ve chosen five of the most popular lenses for wedding photography and chosen the best one for each category.

Below is the buyer’s guide you’ll find expanded explanations on each of these lens types.

We’d advise you to read this first and choose the one that sounds best for you before looking at the one we’ve chosen as the top lens for that category.

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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens

  • 24 70 millimeter focal length, 38.4 112 millimeter equivalent focal length on Canon APS C cameras
  • F2.8 constant maximum aperture; F22 minimum, Ring type ultrasonic type AF motor with full time manual focusing
  • 82 millimeter filters, Closest Focusing Distance: 0.38 meter/1.25 feet
  • Image Stabilization : No. Focus Adjustment Inner focusing with USM. Diagonal Angle of View 84° 34°. Weight 1.7 pound
  • Purchase this product between May 1, 2016 and July 30, 2016 and get 13 months of free damage protection from Canon. The product must be registered within 30 days of the purchase date to be eligible

There are many camera lenses to choose from when it comes to shooting weddings, but we think that a wide-angle model would prove to be the most sufficient lens to use if you were only going to carry one for the whole day. 

Within this lens type, we have found the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L Standard Zoom Lens to be a popular favorite and overall best.

If you’re looking for a lens that will offer amazing wide shots, candids, and portraits, this is the ideal lens to go for.

Other reasons why we like this one so much are: 

  • It works well in low light conditions to offer you bright images every time. 
  • You can achieve a wide range of image types. 
  • The focal range is large. 

Best Lens for Weddings – Comparison Table

Best Lens for Weddings – Reviews

Our Pick

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens

Our rating:

We’ve chosen the Canon 24-70mm as our favorite lens for weddings, as it can be used in a whole range of situations and still provide high-quality images.

It’s a lens that you can use while walking around the venue, taking candid images of the guests without them even noticing you. 

This is an excellent lens for both family pictures and portraits, making it a well-rounded camera that you can use for the whole wedding if you only took one lens.

You don’t need to stop and change lenses if you see a good photo opportunity, you can simply take it with the Canon 24-70mm. 

The 24mm wide-angle allows you to get bright images, along with the aperture of f/2.8, meaning low lit weddings won’t be a problem for this lens.

Granted, you won’t get as good portraits as a Prime lens would give you, but it’s an ideal choice if you need one lens to fit all scenarios. 

Pros

  • Large focal range.
  • Offers bright images, even in dark buildings such as churches.
  • It can be used for any type of photo, from long-range images to portraits. 

Cons

  • Not as durable as you’d like.
  • Large price point.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras International Version (No Warranty)

Our rating:

The Canon 70-200mm is another excellent well-rounded lens to take with you for weddings. This model is popular among many different photographers including those who capture sports, wildlife, portraits, and weddings.

This vast range of usability indicates that you’ll be able to achieve both wide shots and close-ups without any hassle with this lens. 

The minimal focus ability is 1.5 meters, meaning you won’t be able to achieve the detailed close shots that Prime and Macro lenses will achieve, however, you will still be able to get a range of respectable images with this Telephoto model.

With a maximum aperture of f/2.8, your image quality will be excellent and each image should capture the day as if the observer was back there.

There are four UD-glass elements within the lens which will prevent unwanted distortions to your images, ensuring every single image is of the highest quality. 

Pros

  • Canon offers a one year warranty.
  • You can shoot the whole wedding with this one lens, if you were on a budget.
  • Excellent image quality is guaranteed to every picture you take.

Cons

  • Cannot be used for close-up images of details like Prime or Macro lenses can be.
  • Quite a few customers did not find the customer service satisfactory
Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22 Medium-Telephoto Fixed Prime Camera Lens, Black

Our rating:

Sony’s 85mm lens is perfect for beautiful portraits thanks to the defocusing effects it uses to really make what you’re focusing on stand out. This is ideal for weddings in which you want to focus on the bride’s beauty or the guest’s faces. 

The double linear motor system allows for fast and silent focusing, enabling you to get a range of shots without making a sound. This is particularly helpful during the ceremony where you want to make no noise. 

There are a number of features that come with this lens to create smooth and sharp images, such as the ED glass. The generous aperture of F/1.8 allows each of your photos to be of excellent quality, which will flesh out your portfolio and leave you with very happy customers. 

Pros

  • Customizable autofocus, perfect for quick photos and portraits.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • 9 blade aperture focuses on one thing and blurs the background.

Cons

  • Doesn’t work as well for wide shots.
  • May not work for cropped cameras such as the a6500.
YONGNUO YN35mm F2 Lens 1:2 AF/MF Wide-Angle Fixed/Prime Auto Focus Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS Camera

Our rating:

A Wide Prime 35mm lens is excellent for close-up images of the details of a wedding, as well as crisp-edged wide shots. This lens by YONGNUO will be able to work even in low light conditions, which makes it perfect for weddings that are later in the day or due to continue into the nighttime.

This is also ideal for taking images in poorly lit ballrooms, halls, churches, and hotel rooms. 

It is worth carrying a lens that is going to work in poor lighting, as you may find that your other lenses leave you with dark images that are not fit for the wedding album. To avoid an angry bride and groom, a low light lens is a must-have. 

This lens can be auto and manually focussed so that you have all the control over your images.

The lens is incredibly durable and will last you a long time, making for a sound investment. The impressive aperture offers high-quality pictures throughout the day. 

Pros

  • Durable lens.
  • Best lens for low light conditions.
  • Excellent image quality.

Cons

  • Not the easiest to use and therefore better for professionals only.
  • This is a budget-friendly option so the quality may not be the absolute best.
Nikon AF-S FX Micro-NIKKOR 2177 60mm f/2.8G ED Standard Macro Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras

Our rating:

This macro lens from Nikon offers excellent image quality for close-up images of the details of the wedding. For example, images of jewelry, flowers, and decorations will turn out really great with this 60mm macro lens thanks to the minimum focus distance of only 8 inches. 

The background of these images will be perfectly blurred and each photo will be nicely lit thanks to the aperture.

But this lens is not just limited to close-ups, although this is what it excels at, as you can also use it for other further away images. 

This lens adopts Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor, a technology that allows your lens to focus incredibly fast and quietly automatically, meaning you can spend less time focusing your camera and more time looking out for those magical moments to capture. 

Pros

  • You can shoot incredibly sharp close-up images.
  • It can also be used for further away images thanks to the versatile focal length.
  • Uses Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor for high-quality autofocusing capabilities.

Cons

  • One customer complained about the lens flare that they experienced.
  • Autofocus may not always produce the image you wanted.

Best Lens for Weddings – Buyers Guide

Now we’ve looked at five of the best lenses for wedding photography, let’s have a look at a few factors that you should consider before committing to one lens. Below are the most important considerations that you need to remember to be able to choose the best lens for your shoots. 

Type of Lens

As it is advised that you take a range of lenses with you to each wedding shoot, it is difficult to determine which one lens is the best. This is simply because there are lots of different lenses that work best for different situations.

As wedding days are usually held in different environments, you’re going to want different lenses to suit each area. 

Below we’ll outline five of the most popular lenses to be used at weddings. We have included one of each lens in our top five list, so you’ll be able to find the best model for each lens category within this article. 

Wide Angle: 24-70mm f/2.8

The focal length on these lenses can be adjusted thanks to the versatile range, meaning that you have a lot of options to switch between quickly and effortlessly. This means that you won’t have to waste time switching lenses and potentially missing the shot.

A 24-70mm is best used for capturing candids of guests chatting or arriving, location pictures, and detailed images of the decorations. 

This is a well-rounded lens that is best used for distance shots that capture the action and excitement of the day. There are definitely better lenses for portraits and close-ups, but the 24-70mm can still deliver beautiful portraits if you’re at a push.

Telephoto: 70-200mm f/2.8

This is an excellent lens that many photographers enjoy using at weddings, as you don’t need to be close to your focus at all. In fact, you can remain at the sidelines of the wedding and still capture amazing moments, both close-up shots and wider ones, thanks to the quality at each focal length.

This is particularly helpful during the ceremony when you don’t want to be seen. 

The 70-200mm can also be used for stunning portraits, making this lens excellent for the whole day. If you were on a budget and wanted to only use one lens for the whole wedding, we would suggest a 70-200mm thanks to its versatility.

Other lenses would excel in different areas, however, you’ll still be able to use this lens for respectable images. 

Prime: 85mm 

This is definitely one of the best lenses for portrait photography. You can use this for the newlywed photos, as well as the family pictures. The backgrounds blend away and the faces are clear and defined – offering you perfect portraits every time.

It also works well in low light levels, making it great if the wedding continues into the evening. 

While you can use this lens to cover a whole wedding if you are on a budget, it is going to require more effort on your part to get the best shots.

That is why we’d suggest using one of the above lenses for wider shots, however, the 85mm prime is definitely the best for portraits. 

Wide Prime: 35mm

The 35mm is an excellent lens to use when you’re capturing the details of the wedding, especially when the bride is getting ready. This is one of the most important parts of the day for a wedding photographer, as you’re expected to get a lot of images with little time and little space to work with.

You’ll also be able to use the 35mm to get wide shots without the edges becoming distorted. 

This lens allows you to get extremely close to the jewelry, shoes, or flowers that you’re capturing without the focus failing you. It’s also very good at low light levels, which hotel rooms are notorious for.

The 35mm gives you results that make the viewer think that they’re actually there, which allows the bride and groom to relive their special day over and over again. 

Macro: 60mm 

Macro lenses are excellent for capturing details such as ring exchanges and flowers. Moreover, they also excel at portrait photography and shoots that feature bright sunlight. If you want to be able to capture all of the small details of the wedding, a macro lens needs to be in your camera bag at every wedding you photograph. 

What Camera Do You Have? 

Lenses are not one size fits all. Different models are only compatible with select cameras, so make sure that you choose a lens that will fit with your camera.

The last thing you want is to turn up to a wedding without a compatible lens, so make sure you choose a lens made especially for your camera and then test it before the actual wedding day. 

Environment

You’ll need to consider the setting of the weddings before choosing the best lens to shoot them. As we’ve shown above, all lenses can really be used to solely shoot a wedding, however, they will each excel at different aspects.

Again, you’re not going to be buying lenses for only one wedding, and all weddings are different. This makes choosing one lens difficult, so we cannot really suggest one that fits all situations.

Having said that, we’d advise that you choose a lens that suits the type of weddings that you’re going to be shooting most commonly. We’ve included some examples below. 

Summer weddings

Weddings during the hottest months of the year are likely going to feature a bright sun beating down on everyone all day. This calls for a lens that works well in bright light, as opposed to low light conditions.

Most lenses can be used in bright light, however, it is still worth checking that your chosen model works well with strong sunlight. 

Nighttime weddings

While less common than daytime weddings, some couples choose to get married later in the day. These may begin in the late afternoon or early evening, and depending on the time of year, you may need a low light lens to be able to get good shots.

Moreover, these can also be helpful in poorly lit halls, churches, or hotel rooms. Low light lenses often come in handy, so it’s worth considering whether you might need one. 

Portrait or Wide Shots? 

Like we talked about earlier, some lenses are better for close-up shots whereas others are better for further away images. Most photographers choose one type of photograph that they excel at and use this as their main selling point when pitching themselves to the engaged couples.

For example, if you say that you’re best at portrait photography, you should choose a lens for portraits so that you can live up to your name. 

Different lenses can be used for all sorts of photographs, however, they all work best for one or two picture types. You’re going to want to choose the lens that best suits your preferred shot, but that can still work well at other images. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many lenses should you use while shooting a wedding?

This all depends on you and your budget. Some wedding photographers like to carry up to ten lenses, whereas others only carry one or two. It’s worth mentioning that the more lenses you use, the better your portfolio is likely to look.

This will allow you to book more weddings and charge more per hour, so it may be worth investing in more than one in the long run. 

 

Last Updated on 2020-07-24 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates





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