Best lenses for wedding photography

 

As a professional wedding photographer, I am often asked what the best camera lenses are for photographing a couple’s wedding day. In providing an answer, I am guided by two priorities: picture quality and speed. Some wedding photographers use zoom lenses, like a 24-70mm zoom. It allows them to stick to one camera and quickly change between wide and closer focal lengths. The downside is that the picture quality of a zoom lens is never as good as that of a fixed focal lens, a so-called prime.

When I shoot weddings, I therefore shoot with primes, to get the best quality images. To maintain speed, I carry two full frame cameras. One has a 35mm prime for the wider shots, the other has an 85mm prime for close ups and portraits. I simply alternate between the two cameras without changing lenses. It makes for excellent results. By using prime lenses with a fixed focal length, you really have to think about how you want to frame your images. And the image quality is breath taking. I wrote an article, which explains the advantages and disadvantages of prime and zoom lenses. Read it here. Certainly by using the 35mm and 85mm on two different cameras I’m able to provide an excellent range of highest quality images from wide to tight during a busy wedding shoot that doesn’t miss out on interesting picture opportunities.

35mm lens

85mm lens

When shooting weddings, it is most important to capture stunning images of the bride and groom and their families as they shine on their big day. So when I take wider group shots, a 35mm prime is an excellent lens. But the 35mm also allows you to swiftly move across the wedding venue and capture the action that’s going on around the happy couple, reacting to all kinds of photo opportunities. Wedding venues can be quite small and tight places.

The 35mm lens is perfect for situations when you are very close to your subject as you can still get your pictures in focus. I also turn to this lens when the bride has completed her walk down the wedding aisle so I can capture the atmosphere in the room around her. In addition, the 35mm lens is perfect for getting shots of the wedding dance.

The 85mm lens is my favourite fixed focal lens for wedding photography. It allows me to capture the action close-up. The 85mm is well known as an excellent portrait lens. It is very flattering and doesn’t distort the image. By using the 85mm lens, I am also able to photograph my subjects without being too intrusive.

When the bride starts her walk down the wedding aisle, the 85mm prime is my go-to lens, because it allows me to fully capture the expression on her face. The lens is also perfect for taking pictures of the couple together, as it makes them look best.

However, as a backup, I also carry a 135mm telephoto lens. It allows me to take candid shots of the guests without them noticing.

16mm lens

However, if you need to get an extreme wide shot of the entire venue, I also carry a 16mm lens as an additional tool, for that super wide shot.

When it comes to photography, there is never a right and wrong. But if you are looking to get the best quality wedding photography, a two-camera shoot with 35 mm and 85 mm primes is an excellent setup.

35mm lens

When shooting weddings, it is most important to capture stunning images of the bride and groom and their families as they shine on their big day. So when I take wider group shots, a 35mm prime is an excellent lens. But the 35mm also allows you to swiftly move across the wedding venue and capture the action that’s going on around the happy couple, reacting to all kinds of photo opportunities. Wedding venues can be quite small and tight places.

The 35mm lens is perfect for situations when you are very close to your subject as you can still get your pictures in focus. I also turn to this lens when the bride has completed her walk down the wedding aisle so I can capture the atmosphere in the room around her. In addition, the 35mm lens is perfect for getting shots of the wedding dance. 

 85mm Lens

The 85mm lens is my favourite fixed focal lens for wedding photography. It allows me to capture the action close-up. The 85mm is well known as an excellent portrait lens. It is very flattering and doesn’t distort the image. By using the 85mm lens, I am also able to photograph my subjects without being too intrusive. When the bride starts her walk down the wedding aisle, the 85mm prime is my go-to lens, because it allows me to fully capture the expression on her face.

The lens is also perfect for taking pictures of the couple together, as it makes them look best. However, as a backup, I also carry a 135mm telephoto lens. It allows me to take candid shots of the guests without them noticing.

16mm lens

However, if you need to get an extreme wide shot of the entire venue, I also carry a 16mm lens as an additional tool, for that super wide shot.

When it comes to photography, there is never a right and wrong. But if you are looking to get the best quality wedding photography, a two-camera shoot with 35 mm and 85 mm primes is an excellent setup.

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