It’s all subjective of course, the question of which are the “best” lenses for wedding photography. Aside from different camera systems and different glass, everyone has a different shooting style. But like with their children, everyone secretly has a favorite (just kidding), and we’ve polled SLR Lounge’s Best 100 Wedding Photographers to see which are the absolute best lenses for wedding photography. There was one lens (and focal length) that came up more than once; can you guess which?
Here’s what a few of them had to say.
1. KENNY KIM OF KENNY KIM PHOTOGRAPHY
See more of Kenny’s work on his website.
Kenny’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens – This is an essential lens for all wedding photographers. I see so many wedding photographers trying to get away without one, and you can see the quality difference. It probably gets used only about 20 mins during the wedding day, but it will separate the quality of your work from others.
It’s perfect for capturing studio-like quality detailed photos for your clients. The body is extremely light for an L-series lens, and it can also be used for shooting portraits. This is a very affordable L lens offered by Canon. My second shooters have seen the difference that it makes, and I know some of them went out and bought one for themselves the very next day.
[LEARN: How to Shoot Killer Wedding Details]
2. Dave Paek of Dave Paek Photography
Check out more of Dave’s work on his website.
Dave’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: My single favorite lens for wedding photography is the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G for its size, weight, and cost. However, I found myself using the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 more and more because of its versatility, fast AF, and sharpness – especially in tandem with my Nikon D810, which resolves beautifully. Firstly, the 35mm is my favorite focal length not just because it’s a “storytelling” focal length but because I think photographically in terms of 35mm as my base focal length.
For the above scene, I used the Sigma 24-35mm. I wanted to have the ability to go wider as it was shot in a small and shallow lap pool. Since space was a bit constricted, as this pool was only about four feet deep on the shallow end (which is where we were standing), I decided to go in closer at 24mm to create the illusion of a deep and dark abyss with some help from an off-camera strobe. Lastly, I love the way this lens’ contrasts and the way it renders color – although those are highly subjective points.
3. Sean LeBlanc of Sean LeBlanc Photography
Check out more of Sean’s work on his website.
Sean’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: One of my favorite lenses for wedding portraits is the Nikon 200mm F2. The lens offers incredible compression, razor sharp images even at F2, lightening fast autofocus, smooth bokeh, three-dimensional look to my images.
4. Ashley Fisher of Ashley Fisher Photography.
Check out more of Ashley’s work on her website.
Ashley’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: My favorite lens is the Nikon 85mm f1.8. It’s inexpensive, lightweight, fast focusing, and creates beautiful portraits. If I could only have one lens without a huge budget, it’d be this guy.
5. Christina Blanarovich of Christina Zen Studio
See more of Christina’s work on her website.
Christina’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: I love my 80mm Zeiss lens for my Contax. I shoot with it for 80% of the day. I love the intimacy I can achieve with it and the bokeh; the way this lens creates such depth is to die for. My images are very much about the emotions of the couple on a wedding day, so this lens allows me to get close enough and still maintain a softness that draws the viewer in.
6. JD Land of Twisted Oaks Studio
See more of JD’s work on his website.
JD’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: I absolutely love my Sigma 35mm Art. It is super versatile for me on a wedding day. It allows me to be in close with my couples and not have to worry too much about distortion on the edges of my frame. It is also wide enough to allow me to step back and tell a more complete story with my composition. In a bind, I could shoot an entire wedding with this lens.
7. Mantas Kubilinskas of Mantas Kubilinskas Photography
Check out more of Mantas’ work on his website.
Manta’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: My favorite lens at the wedding is Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art. I love this lens, because it makes me and my clients feel that you are there at that moment, in that image. Working with this lens is so fun and it pushes you to be as close as possible to your clients. The closer you are with your subject, the better the image you will get. Do not be afraid to step in and you will be rewarded.
[Free Tutorial: Learn to Pose Couples, Brides and More]
8. Scott & Melissa Hopkins of Hopkins Studios
Check out more of Scott and Melissa’s work on their website.
Scott & Melissa’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: I love my Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II. The focal range has always been my favorite; it allows me to remove myself from the scene so I don’t interfere.
9. Jay & Sandi Cassario of Twisted Oaks Studios
Check out more of Jay & Sandi’s work work on their website.
Sandi’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: I like to stick to just 3 prime lenses on the wedding day, the Sigma 35mm, Nikon 85, and my favorite lens that I tend to shoot throughout most of the day is the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G. I love the 58mm focal length; it’s perfect for how I see things, and the bokeh from this lens is just ridiculous. Jay likes to shoot a little wider, so the 58 is also a nice compliment to how he shoots.
10. Easton Reynolds of LuRey Photography
Check out more of Easton’s work on his website.
Easton’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: The Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 is one of my favorites. It’s so versatile and I love not having to move to get the perfect crop. It allows me to capture the exact comp I have in my head without having to reposition myself. This is key for me to make sure I am not missing moments.
11. Crystal Stokes of Crystal Stokes Photography
Check out more of Crystal’s work on her website.
Crystal’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: My fave is the Sigma 35 Art. I believe it’s the lens that is the closest to how we see the world with our eyes. However, it is when we step in close to our subject that it truly shines. It allows us to share a very unique version of an otherwise ordinary perspective, and invites the viewer into the moment.
12. Trevor Dayley of Trevor Dayley Photography
Check out more of Trevor’s work on his website.
Trevor’s Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: I love the Canon 90mm Tilt-Shift because I can create some interesting effects, drawing the viewer’s eye to certain areas of the image.
13. Chris Lin of Lin & Jirsa Photography
Check out more of Chris’ work on their website.
Chris’ Pick for Best Lens for Wedding Photography: This is a tough question because I love different lenses for different scenarios. I love wide lenses for stunning beach scenes and sunsets; 50mm and 85mm primes for intimate portraits, and 100mm Macro lenses for jewelry and rings. But If I had to choose one, I would go with the Canon 70-200mm f2/8 II.
This lens allows me to stay unobtrusive throughout the day for great candid moments. It’s also consistently my reliable lens when it comes to sharpness and focus performance. The compression and bokeh when you’re fully zoomed in at 200mm is difficult to duplicate with any other lens.
What are the 6 MUST-HAVE lenses for wedding photography? Check out this article to find out.