There are a plethora of camera lenses out there for the budding wedding photographer, as you’ll no doubt discover. What you choose depends on your style of shooting. If possible, use professional grade lenses that have a maximum aperture of F2.8 or greater. This can be a great plus especially when shooting with just the available light or with an indoor bounce-flash.
When it comes to specifics, here a few pointers on what lens is best for what scenario.
On full-frame DSLRs, standard lenses fall between 40mm and 55mm, though 50mm is the accepted norm. Closest to the field of view of the human eye, standard lenses offer an undistorted perspective and are often used for flattering portraits. The 24-70mm F2.8 is the bread-and-butter lens which you cannot live without when capturing the bride’s preparation until you arrived at the reception venue.
Any length that weighs in with a focal length in excess of 50mm is said to be a telephoto lens. Short telephotos between 70mm and 120mm are ideal for wedding portrait photography. The distance that the 70mm-200mm gives me, makes me more of an observer from a distance during the wedding. This is also great for blurring the background and bokeh. I use the 70mm-200mm lens when shooting close-up portraits, candid moments, and the formal dances at the reception.
With shorter focal lengths and wider angles of view than standard lenses, wideangle lenses are used for setting the scene with striking perspectives for a more appealing romantic portrait. Do remember that you’ll need a shorter focal length on many DSLRs to get the equivalent field of view if you don’t have a full-frame sensor camera body. As a Canon user, I prefer the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens for its versatility but do love the prime lens as well for that unmatched sharpness of image.
If you’ve ever wondered how photographers fill the frame with small subjects, the answer is the humble macro lens. True macro lenses are specifically constructed for close-up photography. They are commonly available in focal lengths between 50mm and 180mm. Having a Canon camera body, I prefer the Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro Lens for shooting close-up details of the wedding ring and the bride’s accessories. Great for close-up portraits of the bride and groom as well.
Final Thoughts and Further Readings
The camera lens model featured on these post are just recommendations. But that’s basically what you need to have to start offering wedding photography service. You can build your lens collection covering the focal range from ultra-wide angle to long-range telephotos. For a more creative wedding photography shots, you can get yourself specialized lens like Fish-Eye lens, Tilt-Shift lens and IR Filters to name a few. For more resources on this topic, you can run through these informative and helpful articles below.