I get a lot of questions about what kind of photo equipment I use when photographing weddings. Here I have made an overview of which lenses or “lenses” I like best to use as a wedding photographer. Each photographer has their own style and ways of working, so this is by no means a facet – these are just my personal favorites.
But on a general basis, I recommend bright fixed optics for wedding photography, because it offers an absolutely great flexibility and opportunity to photograph in virtually every kind of imaginable environment and lighting conditions without relying on flash and other artificial light sources. Bright lenses have a large aperture that also allows you to shoot with low depth of field, which in turn causes the subjects to really focus and everything else becomes blurred.
But here are my 3 best “lenses” for wedding photos:
Canon EF 24mm f / 1.4 USM L mk II
The Canon 24mm 1.4 is great for the reporting part of the wedding – especially during pre-wedding preparations and mingling photos throughout the party. I also use it a little during dinner, on the dance floor during the party and for some general overview pictures. It is wonderful to have such a bright wide-angle lens.
The small depth of field means that the images are not perceived as cluttered even though there is a wide angle and there is a lot going on in the image. Together with 50mm it is a great combination and I often use to have 24mm on one camera and 50mm on the other.
Canon EF 50mm f / 1.2 USM L
The Canon 50mm 1.2 is nice to most, and is perhaps the lens I use most of all. It is well suited to everything from the wedding portraits to pictures during the wedding and party. The autofocus is fast and precise and the minimal depth of field at the largest apertures is absolutely beautiful.
Canon EF 85mm f / 1.2 USM L mk II
85mm 1.2 is great for the portraits of the bridal couple and for low light situations where you need to keep some distance (wedding, speech, etc.). Best suited for low speed subjects, as the autofocus is a bit slower than the other lenses. But this is nonetheless one of Canon’s very best lenses for weddings and the depth of field is so small that everything that is not in focus becomes unclear. Fantastic.
Here it is important to hit focus and I would argue that it is an objective that requires some practice before mastering it. But once you get there it is absolutely beautiful. Definitely one of my favorite lenses.