Unlike any other type of photography, wedding photography incorporates elements of fashion, product, portraiture, architecture, macro, travel, and even family photography. There are few types of photography that put as much strain on a photographer and his or her equipment.
Lenses that can artistically and creatively capture these elements are essential for delivering a full wedding photography output. Even though it would be ideal to bring every lens we own to the event, we can only afford to bring a small selection, so those we bring must be easily accessible, of great quality, and flexible.
Photographing a wedding is quite challenging. A wedding photographer's job is stressful since he or she is responsible for making the bride and groom look their best on their wedding day. There are a lot of unknowns in the wedding photography business, so you should expect to confront a lot of challenges. It's reasonable that many first-time wedding photographers feel anxious.
In the opinion of a few, wedding photography is an area that should be delegated to professionals.
Any professional wedding photographer will tell you that 2 professional bodies and 3 lenses are the bare minimum required to capture a wedding. There are also supplementary items like light stands, monopods, and spotlights. However, wedding photographers' lenses are the most crucial part of their equipment.
Although other lenses, such the 28mm, 28-70mm, 35mm, and 85mm, 70-200mm, also meet the criteria for a fantastic lens for wedding photography, the focus of this post will be on the 50mm prime.
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Table of Contents
FAQs About Wedding Photography
The most popular lenses for this niche are the 24-70mm and 70-200mm bright zooms. For primes, think of the 85mm, 50mm 35mm, and a macro. The best lenses for weddings are also bright, sharp and versatile.
The high speed and wide aperture of a 50mm lens can also provide shallow depth of field. This gives you huge creative scope to blur out backgrounds and focus attention on your main subject. 50mm lenses also give attractive out-of-focus highlights (also known as bokeh).
If you only have one lens you are not ready to shoot a wedding. As to which lens to use - so much depends on your style of shooting - some photogs shoot wide open all day and prefer primes but a 2.8 zoom will do, others shoot at 5.6 all day long so even a cheap mid grade zoom is fine.
Which prime lens is better 35mm or 50mm? The 35mm lens focal length is more versatile when shooting indoors for its wide field of view and capturing more scenery when traveling than the 50mm lens which is more zoomed-in making it difficult to use indoors but ideal for traditional, headshots and portraits.
Most professional portrait photographers swear by the fact that 85mm is the perfect lens size for portraits.
What Makes a 50mm Lens Ideal and Why You Should Always Have One
It Maintains a Natural Look On People’s Faces.
A distorted image is the result of camera calibration, which occurs when the lens' focal length is greater than the object's actual physical size. Though many directors use lens deformation to their favour, the 50mm lens remains the best option for capturing content naturally. The 50mm lens is ideal for photographing people's faces without distorting them out of proportion.
The Most Realistic to the Human Eye
To begin, we'd want to emphasise that, for a 35mm camera, the 50mm is that which comes closest to representing a human face accurately. It should be made clear that this in no way implies that a 50mm lens's field of vision is equivalent to that of a human eye. Instead, it captures images at nearly the same spatial resolution as the naked eye.
Value for Money
Because of its adaptability, the 50mm lens can cost much cheaper. Furthermore, even the cheapest 50mm lenses provide excellent image quality. The low cost and good visual quality are two major factors in this.
It’s Fast and Sharp
A really quick lens, indeed, is the 50. In case you were wondering, a quick lens is defined as a f/stop of 2.8 or less. A fast lens provides you with several options and flexibility. You can get razor-sharp photos by combining this quickness with a variable focus ring.
The Depth of Field Is Excellent.
The 50mm is a quick lens. The lens's capacity to record haze, or the blurring in the out-of-focus parts of the piece, is a strong selling point in addition to its rapid autofocus. While other zooms and primes can take usable shots, the 50mm prime has a unique appearance and feel all its own whenever it refers to adjusting the depth of field.
It's Effective Even When the Lights Are Out
The 50 has an edge in low-light filming not only because of its depth of field but also because of the rate of its lens. Among the finest lenses for low-light shooting is the 50mm, as it often ships with a maximum aperture of at least 1.8. The 50mm has a relatively fast aperture that lets in a lot of light, allowing you to take fantastic photos even in dim light.
Compact and Surprisingly Light
Internally, it's true that the 50mm lens has lesser moving parts than its standard-length counterpart. This makes the lens the smallest and lightest of its prime counterparts. This is a game-changer for mobile videographers or filmmakers, especially in situations requiring rapid shooting. If you're utilising a shoulder harness, you can reduce the total weight by switching to a 50mm lens.
What Lenses Every Wedding Photographer Needs and Why
Although it is large, cumbersome, and heavy, this is the go-to lens for weddings. It's a highly adaptable lens that delivers stunning sharpness across the board. At 200 millimetres with a narrow aperture, the bokeh is stunning (it's because of the tightening effect of the extended focal length).
Any wedding photographer worth their salt has a 70-200mm on their camera. Capturing spontaneous reactions and happy accidents doesn't need getting up and personal with your subjects. This lens is perfect for you if you'd like not to be the centre of attention during the wedding ceremony. You may photograph intimate moments like the ring exchange, vows, and kiss without drawing attention to yourself.
Crop mode allows you to get a longer zoom without changing your shooting distance (If your full-frame camera supports it, you can shoot in RAW.). That's a crop factor of 1.5x in most cases (It takes a small section of the photograph and scales it up by about 1.5 times.) If you decide to do this, be prepared to crop the image later if you decide you want to adjust the orientation or the composition.
For instance, switching to Crop mode reduces the resolution of a 12-megapixel camera from full-frame to 5-megapixels. That's significantly lower than the minimum of megapixels required (often in the 6-megapixel range) to produce satisfactory prints.
In addition, 5 megapixels won't provide enough resolution to trim in post-processing without reducing the final print size.
In Crop mode, however, a 36-megapixel camera's resolution is reduced to 15 megapixels. Despite the drastic drop in quality, you'll still have room for some reasonable cropping if it becomes required.
For much of the day, a wedding photographer will be on the go, and the 24-70mm f/2.8 will provide the range of focal lengths necessary for this situation. Utilise this lens to snap pictures of the entire venue, guests as they arrive, visitors milling around before the ceremony begins or at the reception, a few adornments, the main event (the first dance), and then the departure.
This lens can be used for near portrait photography. Using a lens in the 50–70mm range will provide images similar to the one seen below. When doing portraits, though, you might like to work with prime lenses.
The 24-70mm lens could be a secondary workhorse for the wedding day and is used extensively for taking portraits, environmental portraits, and candid photographs.
As an example, a 14-24mm is a popular choice for photographers who want to capture sweeping landscapes on location. Even while this lens would be a welcome addition to my collection of tools, it is not required. You can get sufficiently wide-angle shots of scenes on site with a 24-70mm lens. If you want to acquire a wider view of the area, you can take multiple photos and then create a panorama in Photoshop.
Keeping the exposure constant over the sequence of frames while maintaining a stationary vantage point and clicking away at a series of images with slightly altered compositions is a breeze.
The same holds true for a group shot of everyone that attended. Those are the only two instances where you can see yourself using a super wide lens at a wedding.
Check out here the best wedding videographers to ensure that your big day is recorded in all its glory.
This is a go-to lens for taking pictures of the happy couple, the bridal party, the groomsmen, and single and groups of guests (the instances are simply endless!).
Since an 85mm prime is a fixed lens, you'll need to zoom in and zoom out physically with your feet. It's not easy, but the payoff is well worth the trouble. This lens is fantastic in low light, producing cleaner faces and smoother backgrounds.
Best of all, this lens is razor sharp right in the centre. This lens is my workhorse; it's versatile, sensitive to light, and produces excellent pictures. The 85mm prime lens is quick, compact, and incredibly dependable in all situations.
The fantastic 35mm is the lens you can always count on working properly. When the pressure is on for a wedding photographer to get everything, this lens can be used to picture the bride's preparations.
The setting, the accessories, the embellishments, the candids, the gown, the group photographs and how the bride and her family and friends organically interact with one another are all essential elements. Plus, you have limited time to complete your task, and you'll likely be working in confined quarters like a hotel room.
Wide scenes can also be captured well with a 35mm lens, as the resulting photographs are not overly distorted like they would be with a longer focal length.
Sharpness and speed are both exceptional in this lens. As of this writing, it has never let me down. This lens's close focusing ability comes in handy in congested public areas.
My 35mm lens has an aperture of f/1.4, so I can take photos with almost no light at all—useful if you lack the luxury of setting up off-camera lighting.
While the 24-70mm f/2.8 already covers the 35mm range, the difference between f/2.8 and f/1.4 (for every two steps, four times as much light is emitted.) cannot be understated.
If you're strapped on cash but already own a 50mm lens, you can swap out the 35mm prime for that. And it makes an excellent lens.
One of the best features of prime lenses is their beautiful bokeh, but a 50mm lens isn't as flexible in tight places as a 35mm. The 50mm has the same range of maximum aperture options as the 35mm: f/1.8, f/1.4, and (on Canon cameras) f/1.2. The cost difference between the f/1.8 and f/1.4 lenses is negligible, but the f/1.2 lens is significantly more expensive.
60MM or 100/105MM Macro Lens
Last but not least, a macro lens is an absolute necessity for any wedding photographer's kit. You absolutely need it if you like sharp pictures of rings.
Make use of your macro lens by photographing the bride's accessories, primarily jewellery, as she gets ready for the big day. A macro lens is especially useful for capturing the intricate beadwork on the bride's gown.
And if you don't need an aperture bigger than f/2.8, macro lenses are also fantastic for portraits. Because of this, macro lenses, especially the smaller 60mm variety compared to the larger 105mm ones, are convenient options to bring along on a variety of different types of photography adventures.
These given macro lenses typically have a maximum aperture of f/32, making them useful for shooting landscapes outdoors in bright light.
In situations where the 70-200mm lens is too far away, some photographers will switch to the 105mm macro lens instead. Using the 105mm in Crop mode will give you 157.5mm, lengthy enough to capture all of the ceremonies while remaining largely unnoticed by guests. The 105mm lens is compact, light, and has a maximum aperture of f/2.8. It's a macro lens as well as a regular lens!
Check out our post on Which camera is best for wedding videography?
50 MM PRIME
Most wedding photographers don't automatically reach for a 50mm prime lens. It's not the best choice for portrait shots, especially up-close shots.
Some photographers choose to permanently attach a 50mm lens to one of their camera bodies. This is undoubtedly one of the finest lenses for documentary and reportage photography. It has excellent speed, precision, and clarity and works wonderfully in low-light settings.
One of the most compelling arguments for using a 50mm lens to capture wedding moments is the reliability with which it performs under varying lighting conditions.
A 50mm lens will perform as well whether you're shooting a wedding indoors with natural light or outside after dark.
It is great for taking pictures of large groups, knee-up shots of couples, or those unexpectedly moving unplanned moments since it provides a standard viewpoint.
To get more of the bride's dress in the getting-ready images, consider utilising a 50mm lens instead of a more conventional focal length, such as an 85mm. The 50mm lens will also challenge your imagination, allowing you to capture photographs from completely off-kilter perspectives.
When it comes to lenses with a 50mm focal length, you have various options. You can't go wrong with either of Nikon's or Canon's offerings. It may be any of them. The true challenge is mastering the lens. If you only had a 50mm lens, you'd have to do twice as much running around as you would if you had a zoom lens.
This piece will centre on the 50mm prime lens. The 50mm lens is great for portraits because it doesn't distort people's features. There are many different focal lengths, and focal length ranges available, including 28mm, 28-70mm, 35mm, 85mm, 70-200mm, and 200mm. There's no denying that the 50mm is a fast lens. Combining this speed with a focus ring allows for pin-sharp images.
The 50 mm large aperture allows you to shoot great pictures even in low light. When photographing a wedding, the 24-70mm f/2.8 is the lens of choice. This lens can be used in a wide variety of situations, and it always produces stunningly crisp results. In crop mode, a 12-megapixel camera's resolution drops to 5 megapixels, significantly lower than the full-frame resolution. Photographers who want to capture expansive landscapes on location often use a 14-24mm lens.
A 24-70mm lens is suitable for capturing adequately wide-angle images of scenes in the field. This lens performs exceptionally well in low light, resulting in fewer blurred faces and backgrounds. This lens has an unparalleled level of sharpness and is also incredibly quick. In very crowded places, the close focusing distance of this lens comes in handy. The beautiful embroidery on the bride's gown is best captured with a macro lens.
A 105mm macro lens is an alternative for some photographers. Some photographers have one of their camera bodies always set up with a 50mm lens. Without a question, this is the best lens available for shooting newsworthy or investigative pieces. Extremely effective even in dim conditions, it possesses lightning-fast processing times without sacrificing accuracy or clarity. Whether you choose a Nikon or Canon, you won't be disappointed.
- Wedding photography is unique in that it blends many different genres of photography, including fashion, product, portrait, architecture, macro, travel, and family photography.
- In extreme conditions, photography is one of the most demanding on both the photographer and the camera.
- Having lenses that can capture these details in an artistic and creative manner is crucial for providing a complete wedding photography output.
- Wedding photography is difficult for a number of reasons.
- Because of all the unpredictability in the wedding photography industry, you can anticipate facing numerous obstacles.
- It takes at least two professional cameras and three lenses to adequately capture a wedding, according to any experienced photographer.
- The lenses of a wedding photographer are, nevertheless, the most important piece of gear.
- This tutorial will concentrate on the 50mm prime lens, however other lenses that satisfy the criteria for a wonderful lens for wedding photography are the 28mm, 28-70mm, 35mm, 85mm, and 70-200mm.
- Despite the fact that many directors employ lens distortion to their advantage, the 50mm lens is still the gold standard for capturing content in its "natural" form.
- The 50mm lens is great for portraits because it doesn't distort people's features.
- Let it be known that this in no way suggests that the field of view of a 50mm lens is similar to that of a human eye.
- Instead, it records imagery with a spatial resolution comparable to the human eye's.
- The 50mm lens can be purchased for much less because of its versatility.
- The image quality of even the cheapest 50mm lenses is very high.
- In addition to its quick autofocus, the lens's ability to record haze—the blurring in the out-of-focus sections of the piece—is a major selling point.
- Both the 50's shallow depth of field and fast lens give it an advantage while shooting in dim conditions.
- The 50mm is commonly available with a maximum aperture of at least 1.8, making it one of the best lenses for low-light shooting.
- The 50 mm large aperture allows you to shoot great pictures even in low light.
- The 50mm lens does, indeed, have fewer internal moving components than its standard-length version.
- The result is a lens that is both the tiniest and lightest of its prime varieties.
- This is a game-changer for mobile filmmakers or videographers, especially in scenarios that call for quick filming.
- This is the standard lens for wedding photography, despite its big size, awkward design, and hefty weight.
- This lens can be used in a wide variety of situations, and it always produces stunningly crisp results.
- The bokeh is beautiful at 200 millimetres with a small aperture (this is due to the tightening effect of the longer focal length).
- Almost every professional wedding photographer will have a 70-200mm lens on their camera.
- If you'd like not to be the focus of everyone's attention during the wedding ceremony, this lens is for you.
- The cropping function of a camera allows for greater magnification without having to move closer to the subject (If your full-frame camera supports it, you can shoot in RAW.).
- For instance, when switched to Crop mode, a 12-megapixel camera's resolution drops from full-frame to 5-megapixels.
- The crop option reduces the resolution of a 36-megapixel camera to 15-megapixels.
- Use this camera to capture the entire event, from the arrival of guests to the exit of guests, as well as the ceremony, reception, decorations, first dance, and any other special moments in between.
- A 24-70mm lens is suitable for capturing adequately wide-angle images of scenes in the field.
- There are only two situations where you might want to use a wide-angle lens at a wedding.
- If you want to make sure that your wedding is recorded in all its splendour, this is the place to look.
- It's the one you want to have on hand for snapping photos of the newlyweds, the wedding party, the groomsmen, and individual and small groups of guests (the possibilities are unlimited!).
- Because of the fixed nature of an 85mm prime, you'll have to use your feet to achieve the effects of zooming in and out.
- The 85mm prime lens is swift, compact, and very dependable in any circumstance.
- Great 35mm is the most reliable lens.
- Photographing the bride and getting ready can be done with this lens when time is of the essence for the wedding photographer.
- Photographs taken with a 35mm lens do not suffer from the excessive distortion that would be the case with a larger focal length, making this lens ideal for capturing wide scenes.
- This lens has an unparalleled level of sharpness and is also incredibly quick.
- In very crowded places, the close focusing distance of this lens comes in handy.
- If you don't have the time or resources to set up off-camera lighting, you can still get decent shots with my 35mm lens thanks to its f/1.4 aperture.
- If you're short on funds, you can ditch the 35mm prime in favour of your 50mm lens.
- Plus, it can be used as a superior lens.
- The shallow depth of field created by prime lenses is stunning, but a 50mm lens isn't as adaptable as a 35mm one.
- The 50mm is available at the same three maximum apertures as the 35mm: f/1.8, f/1.4, and (for Canon cameras) f/1.2.
- If you want crisp images of rings, you can't do without it.
- Use your macro lens to capture the bride's jewellery and other accessories as she puts the finishing touches on her wedding day look.
- The beautiful embroidery on the bride's gown is best captured with a macro lens.
- Macro lenses are great for portraits if you don't need an aperture larger than f/2.8.
- The majority of wedding photographers do not always use a 50mm prime lens.
- It's not ideal for taking close-up portraits of people.
- Some photographers have one of their camera bodies always set up with a 50mm lens.
- Extremely effective even in dim conditions, it possesses lightning-fast processing times without sacrificing accuracy or clarity.
- The 50mm lens's consistency in performance over a wide range of lighting conditions is a strong argument in favour of utilising it to record wedding moments.
- A 50mm lens is suitable for shooting a wedding in the daylight or dark.
- Consider using a 50mm lens instead of a more common 85mm lens to get more of the bride's dress during the preparation shots.
- The 50mm lens will also test your creative limits by letting you take pictures from unusual angles.
- One can choose from a number of different lenses with a 50mm focal length.
- The real difficulty is in learning to use the lens effectively.
- You'd have to cover twice the ground to get the same shot with a 50mm lens as you would with a zoom lens.