In my bag: wedding photography lenses


Every photographer has their own ideas and tastes about what lenses to use for a wedding. These are mine. I always have two camera bodies on me for any live event, so I’ll have two different lenses in use at all times.

Sigma 30mm f/1.4

30mm sigma

This has become my favourite lens over the last year. On my Pentax K-3 DSLR cameras, it has a very natural perspective – similar to what the eye notices. It’s easy to imagine yourself in the scene viewing pictures from this lens.

As a prime lens with a wide maximum aperture, it’s capable of creating a very shallow depth of field. It’s easy with this lens to show a couple sharply in focus while blurring away everyone else into the background.

It’s also perfect in dark venues or when the light fades in the evening. It can let in four times as much light as most top-level zoom lenses are capable of.

(Shop for the latest Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for Pentax on amazon.co.uk)

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.0

17 70mm sigmaThe focal length range of this lens is perfect for wedding ceremonies. At its widest I can fit in a large part of the room, and then with a quick twist shoot an intimate portrait of a couple. It’s reassuring to know that, with this lens on one of my camera bodies, I can always capture whatever is in front of me.

Another reason to use it is the short minimum focus distance; I can focus on subjects almost touching the end of the lens hood. This makes it my first choice for pictures of rings, flowers and other details.

(Shop for the latest Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.0 for Pentax on amazon.co.uk)

Pentax 10-17mm Fisheye

10 17mm fisheyeOffering a unique perspective, a diagonal fisheye lens can fit in a view of the entire room and produce some truly breathtaking pictures.

While I don’t use it for a huge number of shots, it’s my top choice for pictures of the recessional. No other lens can show the newlyweds coming down the aisle with all of their guests and the venue, all in the same shot.

 

(Shop for the Pentax 10-17mm Fisheye lens on amazon.co.uk)

Samsung 100mm f/2.8 Macro

100mm macroOn the very first wedding I shot, I used a mighty 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom lens. While all lenses of that type are great quality, they’re also heavy and unwieldy.

This much lighter lens is quicker and easier to work with for long shots, and is my first choice for candid shots and head-and-shoulder portraits. The image quality is exceptional.

Because it’s also a macro lens, it’s perfect for fine detail shots.

Incidentally, this Samsung lens is a rebadged version of the Pentax lens of the same designation.

Pentax 50mm f/1.4

50mm pentaxWith the same advantages in low-light as my Sigma 30mm, the tighter view of the 50mm lens on my Pentax K-3 cameras makes it a great choice for portrait shots of a couple.

The rest

In the unlikely event that a lens fails, or I run into something not covered by my main five lenses, I have a few extras in my bag. These include a 70-300mm zoom lens, an 85mm portrait lens, and a weather-resistant zoom lens suitable for shooting in heavy rain.

So, that’s my choice of wedding photography lenses. Any questions?

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