My Favorite Lenses And How I Use Them
Lens choice is such an important part to documenting the wedding day. It's important to know HOW the lens and focal length will affect the look and feel of the image you create and you need to know just what type of lens to use in what type of scenario you are in. For example, if you use a 16-35mm lens during the Bride and Groom portrait time you'd have an entirely different feel than if you used a 50 or 85mm lens. Each lens performs differently and depending on how it's used can create variety and a certain FEEL to a client's image portfolio.
For me there are four go to lenses that I use for almost every engagement session and wedding. They are my work horses. As a one body shooter who uses all prime lenses (fixed focal length), I need an array of lenses to achieve the look I want, which are intimate, romantic and timeless images.
Every photographer has an approach and perspective for a wedding day, we all photograph the day differently. Study your lenses and how you want to capture the wedding day, then find the lenses that will help YOU photograph the day exactly how you want. Below I've outlined my favorite go to lenses, how I use that lens to capture different images, and have included the meta data.50mm 1.2
I use the 50mm throughout the wedding day for a variety of scenarios. From Getting Ready to the Portraits to Details and to the Reception I will always have the 50mm with me. 50mm is a focal length that is extremely versatile and allows me to capture various events through the wedding day while still giving me a little bit of compression and intimacy within the image. My favorite use for this lens is during the portrait session using an aperture f2. I just adore the feeling and type of portrait I can create!
50mm, f/4,1/200, ISO 125050mm, f/2, 1/1600, ISO 250050mm, f/2, 1/8000, ISO 80050mm, f/3.5, 1/640, ISO 20035mm 1.4
The 35mm is a newer lens to my arsenal and I have found that I use it most for Details, Large Group Portraits, and for the First Dance. This lens is a that I can always count on to give me consistent color and sharpness. This certainly has a different feel than the 50mm and does not give me the same intimate and tight feeling that I love. I use it more sparingly than the 50mm, but it is still a necessary lens that helps me to capture the day incorporating a sense of place, people and feel. This lens is also very useful for tight spaces and crowded dance floors.
35mm, f/2.8, 1/320, ISO 100035mm, f/4.5, 1/320, ISO 320035mm, f/2, 1/1250, ISO 400035mm, f/2, 1/1250, ISO 1600100mm 2.8
I use the 100mm primarily for Details and images of the Rings on the wedding day. I've experimented a little using this lens for portraits, but I love it best for it's ability to capture the details of the wedding day. From the rings, to the jewelry, to the little mementos that make up the story of the day, the 100mm is the perfect lens.
100mm, f/2.8, 1/4000, ISO 250100mm, f/3.5, 1/250, ISO 3200100mm, f/4.5, 1/40, ISO2500100mm, f8, 1/30, ISO 250085mm 1.2
The 85mm is a beautiful lens, one that I use primarily for portraits. It can be slow to focus and so I find that it performs best when I use it with somewhat stationary subjects. I absolutely love the compression this lens can create, with the focal length being just wide enough to incorporate scenery and background but tight enough that the viewer is focused primarily on the subject.
85mm, f/2, 1/8000, ISO 80085mm, f/3.5, 1/200, ISO 200085mm, f/2, 1/8000, ISO 125You can read more about what's in my camera bag here. If you have any questions about my lenses, how to pick the right lens, or creating the image you want, leave a message below!
If you have questions that you'd like to see answered in a future post, let me know!