Top 3 Lenses for Weddings
So I spent a lot of time experimenting with different lenses. Prime lens, telephoto lenses, macro lenses. All to find out the best lens that suit my shooting style. I use the the Fuji X Series and currently use the Fujifilm X-H1 and have a spare Fujifilm X-T20 as a back up for light quick shots and a range of lenses. Its so easy to go on youtube, take someones word for it and go and buy it. But does that photographer like to shoot the way you do?
Lets break it down, and give it context, some photographers like the up close and personal. Reminding
everyone that "hey im here". So you go fixed length prime lens maybe a 35mm or 50mm and use your feet as a zoom. Some argue that is more of in your face style of photography when in around the subject, but no doubt absolutely sublime when shooting portraits with that smooth bokeh. Its certainly excellent to have due to the size of the lens, meaning you can walk around without feeling like you are doing weight lifts every 5 mins. It just makes things all that little bit easier to carry.
What I see so many times is threads of why Primes should be part of your lens kit everytime. Its true, I love primes but they are also limited, especially if you want the ninja mode of shooting a wedding without being distracting. At 6'1 I am not hard to miss, so its good to opt for the telephoto lens. The compact size of the 50mm for example is perfect for those party shots where you don't want to go heavy and can zip in and out of people with flash at hand, without knocking peoples drinks with a big lens.
This is where I love the telephoto lens, you can stand back away from the pack and hit those close ups perfectly. I own a 55-200mm & a the Red Label 50-140mm. Both have similar focal lengths but its like buying a nice Porsche then upgrading for a lamborghini. Both have a premium look, but one just does it so much better. The shot below was taken with a 55-200 to capture the emotion of the groom, listening to his daughters poem. I love that you can capture the shot from a distance, remaining unobtrusive and letting the ceremony flow.
But that's why its important to understand how you like to shoot, far away or up close. Not everyone shoots the same way and thats the beauty of photography.
So that leads me onto what in my opinion are the key lenses required for a wedding.
1. A telephoto lens. 50-140mm F2.8. The reason I choose this lens is that, the F2.8 disregards any worry I have of low light in churches and my go to lens. I love standing away from the party and group in the day and shoot from a distance. You capture the emotion and happiness naturally without that forced feel you sometimes get when people see you and feel like they have to perhaps put on a show. Its a £1200 pound lens, so if you are on a budget, for half the price you can pick up the 55-200mm which is no slouch, but in a lower lit church, the focus can be on the slow side. However the picture above was taken in a church with the 55-200mm and you can see the quality images it produces. Also if you can stretch for a 1.4 TeleConverter, the images up close are astonishing.
2. Prime Lens - 35mm or 50mm depending on whether you prefer a tighter shot or a bit more foreground. I prefer to use the 35mm, as it has a wider shot, and captures more of the background, and can crop post edit if I want to tighten. Id rather have more than less. I use this lens for portraits and group
shots. Its capture beautiful bokeh and you really can't go wrong, with having just one of these lenses in your bag. Its my go to lens for party shots armed with my cheap Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlight . ( Don't be fooled with all these expensive speed lights).
3. 18-55mm Kit Lens - Yes I hear you saying, "really"? The kit lens is incredibly underrated. The 18mm focal length is ideal for those wide shots of the venue. I just don't see the value in a single wide lens. I rarely would use it and can't see the value in that. Yes its not perfect in low light, but I have yet to have the worry for that. The 18-55mm is perfect for what I need, and if there is a few flowers to zoom in while im there, I have the extra mm of focal length. You will not regret having this at your side.
And there we have a quick synopsis of what I like to use on a wedding day. In addition I carry a load of memory cards and batteries. Any aerial shots I use my trusty Mavic Air.