For any professional wedding photographer or an avid amateur with a DSLR camera considering shooting weddings, choosing the best lens for wedding photography becomes a major decision. Personally speaking the answer is not simple one lens, it’s what are the best lenses for wedding photography that suits my style of shooting and what can I afford.
I want to take first class wedding pictures and capture all the great moments that are likely happy in a wedding scenario – natural moments that cannot be re-staged.
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Canon Best Lenses For Wedding Photography
OK, lets start with if I had to shoot a wedding with just one top quality Canon lens – it would be the 24-70mm f2.8 mark II lens. Sharp from edge to edge across the whole focal length, a relative fast aperture which will be do the job when shooting with a full frame camera like Canon 5D. You can also get a wide-angle shots at 24mm as well as use it as a short portrait lens at the 70mm end.
Below is list of best Canon lenses for wedding photographers, they are all excellent lenses. Which one you opt for will depend of your personal style of photographing weddings
Top Prime Wedding wide angle lenses:
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 L USM prime lens
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L USM
General purpose lenses and short telephoto :
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM or cheaper and lighter 50mm f1.4
Canon EF 85mm for 1.2L II USM Lens or cheaper and much lighter 85mm f1.8
The above prime lenses all have fast apertures which are perfect for shallow depth of field, throwing the background out of focus and achieving great bekoh in the pictures. These lenses are also perfect for low light conditions encountered for indoor venues, church weddings and natural light photography without flash.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens
EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
EF 100mm Macro f/2.8 – can double up as a portrait lens but it’s primary function is for the close up pictures of rings
Top Nikon Lens for Wedding Photography
If you have a Nikon digital camera like the D5, D800 or D750 then the choice for you are:
Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.4 G ED Lens
Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.4G Lens
Good prime wedding portrait lenses:
Nikon 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8
Nikon 85mm f/1.4
Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8E ED VR Lens – like Canon’s lens mentioned above this Nikon’s equilvant
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 – for portraits and when you can’t get up close or want to shoot form a distance – the 200mm focal length is crucial.
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 – provides a great portrait focal length and has the added ability of taking stunning macro / close-up photos such as wedding rings, cakes and bouquets.
Top Tier Lenses Manufactured by Tamron and Sigma
When looking for a nice piece of glass, you don’t have to stick with the camera manufacturer’s brand to get a great lens. Third party brands especially top tier lenses manufactured by Tamron and Sigma offer great options and can cost a lot less. They also feature wide open apertures, smooth focusing and beautiful bokeh effects and produce superior image quality in low light or challenging photographic conditions.
Favorite Sigma Wedding Lenses
Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG HSM A Lens
Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Newly designed Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM – Top-level lens optimised for the era of ultra high megapixel cameras
Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM – with F1.8 brightness, this telephoto lens for full-frame cameras strengthens the Art line’s prime options and should be a gem of a lens.
Sigma APO 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Lens
Tamron Wedding Lenses Options to Consider
Tamron 35mm f1.8 SP Di VC USD (Canon Fit) Lens
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC
Tamron SP 70-200MM F/2.8 Di VC USD
Tamron 85mm f1.8 SP Di VC USD (Canon Fit) Lens
So What’s The Best Lens For Wedding Photography
Suggesting the right lenses for wedding photography to purchase to other photographers isn’t easy. The reason is very simple. Each photographers has his or her own style, some prefer only to shoot with only prime lenses, whilst others will use the top zoom lenses on offer in the market today. Some like to photograph from close up whilst other like to shoot from a distance. Every photographer will go through a variation of lenses before they come to decide the perfect wedding camera kit – best lenses and best camera body – they are happy and comfortable with to photograph weddings.