Canon Wedding Lens

Canon Wedding Lens

Choosing a Canon wedding lens pay attention primarily to the optics characteristics of the lens and the technical capabilities of your camera body.

canon wedding lens

Any DSLR camera with almost any lens gives a nice picture in good lighting. But the main problems are frequent changes of location.

The main challenge is the excessive sharpness of the background. To make the picture look beautiful and professional, you need to blur the background.

All Canon wedding photography lenses are professional L-series models (zoom lenses) with an aperture value of 2.8, and a fixed focal length, which provide greater brightness.

But this doesn’t mean that you have to use only these series of Canon wedding lenses. There are lots of models designed both by Canon and other companies that will give quality wedding images.

Best Canon Wedding Lenses Kits

I saw dozens of lists, but all of them had a common problem – you are advised five or more lenses and you have to decide yourself which of the lenses you really need. The choice of the lens is, of course, an individual and creative process. But in this review, I’ve decided to collect and describe several excellent sets of wedding photography Canon lenses, based on my shooting experience.

KIT 1 - Universal for Wedding Shooting

In this kit, I recommend using a 35mm lens as the main one and use it about 60% of your working time. Use 135mm as a portrait lens as it allows you to move far away from the couple so as to capture real emotions without interfering with them. 14mm is needed for separate scenes. This is a very creative and specific lens for wedding photography Canon. It should only be used from time to time and wherever it is suitable.

1. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

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  • Comfy focus ring
  • Contrast and rich picture
  • No stabilizer
  • Plastic case

This best Canon lens for wedding photography is familiar to almost all professionals and amateurs of 24-70 mm models. It has high-aperture performance, belongs to L series of the second version. I am sure that anyone, who has got Canon full-frame cameras, has been thinking about purchasing this model. This is a very versatile and high-quality lens in every sense. The first thing I am pleased with is the color rendition; the colors are smooth and deep.

wedding lens canon

2. Canon EF 35mm f2 IS USM

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  • Image stabilization in poor lighting conditions
  • Minimum focus distance is 0.24 m
  • Poor assembly, as for all non-L lenses
  • The bokeh isn’t very quality

This is a great sharp lens at all aperture values with optical stabilization. The focus is fast and accurate, even in low light.

There is a stabilizer that helps to get clear shots when the lighting is bad. For handheld shooting without a flash, a shutter speed of 1/30 second is the limit. With longer exposures, there will be a ‘blurred’ frame. This is the best Canon lens for low light wedding photography, as well as for reportage photography, as its plastic body makes it very light.

best lens for wedding photography canon

3. Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

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  • Wonderful bokeh
  • Sharpness
  • Smooth focusing
  • Requires a short shutter speed
  • Autofocus in poor lighting does not work well

Here it is - one of those L lenses. This is 135mm Canon as a wedding lens, which has entire fan clubs. That’s because there are no analogs to this lens among Canon models. This is definitely the best portrait lens, as it is impossible to find such sharpness, accuracy and the quality of the image anywhere else. This Canon lens is convenient only for portraits shooting outdoors because you need to move 3-4 meters away from the model if you’d like to show person full-length. Therefore it is difficult to use this lens indoors.

All three lenses occupy very little space in the bag, they are light and comfortable to use. Image quality is excellent. These three focal lengths allow you to shoot any eventю By the way, this kit is ideal for video shooting.

best wedding lens for canon

KIT 2 - Classical Lens Kit for Wedding Shooting

This is a great variant for those, who don’t want any focal length limitations. It is worth noting that the kit is heavy and bulky enough, so you’ll need a rather big bag. I have met a lot of photographers, who don’t like Canon EF 70 200mm lens wedding photography because the lens is very heavy. But if you need to shoot an event with a large number of guests and capture faces from the crowd, 70-200 is definitely indispensable. This kit is great for the reportage shooting. It is universal as you can take from 24 to 200mm with just two lenses.

4. Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS

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  • Perfect sharpness
  • Low price
  • No autofocus
  • Need a tripod
  • No software recognizes it for automatic correction

Manual-focus super-wide aperture lens with the fixed-focus for APS-C / DX and MFT-4/3 digital SLR and mirrorless cameras. The lens is quite large for its speed and optical characteristics but it is due to its optical scheme and high quality.

I think this lens has minimal distortion, which is typical for the wide-angle lenses.

canon wedding lens

5. Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L is II USM

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  • Extreme sharpness with an open aperture
  • Very low level of chromatic aberration
  • Good work in the backlight
  • Effective stabilizer with 3 working modes
  • Chromatic aberrations may appear on extremely contrasting subjects
  • Visible distortion
  • There is vignetting on the open diaphragm

In the middle of 2018 Canon decided to upgrade simultaneously two of its telephoto lenses with a focal length of 70-200 mm. One of the most prominent lens improvements compared to its predecessor is the optical image stabilizer. Its efficiency has increased from three to five exposure levels. In other words, handheld shooting has been enhanced. This lens shows an excellent image quality, weighs little and doesn’t cost much. If you need high-quality light reportage zoom, I would definitely recommend it.

best wedding lens canon

I could describe some more prime lenses here, of course, but note that the more lenses you take with you, the less time you use each one. Personally, I have seen the photographers, who take a bag with a bunch of lenses, and use only two or three of them. You must understand that a wedding is a dynamic event. You just won’t have time and there is no point in changing lenses every 10 minutes.

KIT 3 - Convenient Lens Kit for Wedding Photography

This is a convenient set of Canon wedding lenses. You can carry only 2 lenses of a compact size. The approximate plan of the wedding photoshoot looks like this: most of the day you take photos with 24-70 mm and use 85 mm for portrait photography, main shooting of a couple or lifestyle pictures. Inside you use again 24-70mm. With this set of the best wedding lenses Canon, everything will be simple and convenient. I have decided not to add a wide angle lens to the set, as 24-70 mm already gives a wide angle. But this model is noticeably heavier than the first “perfect” set.

6. Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD

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  • Wonderful color of the picture
  • Stub
  • Movement of the zoom ring is a little tight
  • Autofocus isn’t always “caught”

This is a peculiar lens appropriate for every occasion. Its 24-70mm size is suitable for everyday photography. This wedding Canon lens has created a lot of hype because of its low price compared to the lenses with the same focal length and aperture. The built-in optical stabilizer was also a pleasant thing. This candid photo lens was produced without any compromises, with an emphasis on the quality of materials and optics used. It is an excellent lens for full-frame SLR cameras owners. The corners of the photo will be darkened when shooting with wide angles, but if you specify the name of the lens in Lightroom, the darkened corners will automatically disappear.

lens for wedding photography canon

7. Canon EF 85mm F/1.8 USM

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  • No movable parts
  • Focus speed – finds the target quickly and accurately
  • Perfectly blurs the background
  • The front lens is close - you need to get the filter immediately, at least UV
  • There are chromatic aberrations
  • Dust sensitivity – due to the absence of movable parts, dust on the rear lens is harmful

Canon EF 85mm f / 1.8 USM is one of the most popular lenses in the Canon EOS system and it is one of the best Canon lenses for wedding photography. It is designed specifically to photograph people. It especially stands out for its high aperture and, at the same time, affordable price. For me, 85mm f/1.8 is a lens that I don't want to take off the camera. The lens is light enough, compact, rapid, very fast and even full-framed. I really like the 85 mm high-aperture lenses, with the help of which you can capture a lot of creative ideas. Such lenses wonderfully blur the far distance and front shot.

This set can be simplified to the most convenient one and shoot everything only with 24-70, which will be enough for some photographers. It gives a high-quality picture, but the main drawback is the absence of the delightful bokeh, which appears if you shoot with the prime lenses.

canon best lens for wedding

KIT 4 - Popular Lens Set for a Wedding Photoshoot

This set consists of Canon wedding lenses, which both aspiring and professional photographers use very often. Wedding photographers often replace Canon EF-S 17–55mm lens with 18-55mm, but it depends on the personal preferences. This set is as convenient as the previous one, especially because of the compactness of the lenses. Also, it will give you an opportunity to shoot for a very long time, without any problems and frequent changes of the lenses.

8. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8

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  • The high and constant speed of the lens
  • Very fast USM motor
  • The low level of geometric and chromatic aberrations
  • Quite heavy
  • High price
  • No dust and moisture protection

This Canon wedding photography lens is a premium model designed exclusively for the crop sensor. Its price is the same as L-series, but you won't find any special marking or red border on its body. Despite this, the optics is assembled very qualitatively – the plastic is durable and strong and it causes the pleasant tactile sensation. The aperture consists of 7 blades, which results in accurate bokeh. The background is blurred in a soft and nice manner. Also, I can’t but mention the excellent sharpness at all focal lengths. With 17mm you may notice vignetting in the photographs, but it can be improved in Lightroom within one click. Sometimes it adds some artistic value so that you don't even want to fix it.

canon wedding photography lens

9. Canon EF-S 100mm f/2

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  • Quiet and fast autofocus
  • Lens isn’t increased when focusing
  • Small and lightweight
  • Pleasant bokeh
  • Plastic case
  • Uncomfortable mounting of the hood
  • There are chromatic aberrations

Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM is a logical continuation of its forerunner Canon New FD 100mm f/2 (1980). The main features of this wedding photography Canon lens are a compact size, comfortable ergonomics and also it is perfectly suitable for portrait photography. At the moment, it is the one and only brand 100 mm autofocus lens with such a large (F/2.0) aperture. I like its focus ring, which can be rotated to 90 degrees. Moreover, the lens has no Hard stop – when it reaches the extreme positions, the movement becomes a bit tight for a second. It signalizes that we are at the end point, after that it just spins further. I like the picture I get with this lens, it can be compared to the one gotten with 135mm from L-series.

wedding photography canon lens

KIT 5 - Creative Set for Wedding Photoshoot

This is the most lightweight set of the best Canon lenses for portraits and wedding photography, which won't be difficult to carry for a long period of time. After all, 50mm is the most commonly used lens during wedding photoshoots and many professional photographers spend 70% of their wedding photography time using it. For more creativity, we have also added one of the best Canon wide angle lenses for wedding photography, because sometimes you just need to capture more space. I would call it an ideal set for a pre-wedding photoshoot as the most common photography genres are portraits and pictures of the couple on a wonderful background.

10. Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM

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  • Very sharp at low aperture values
  • Very low price
  • Compactness
  • Not the best assembly quality
  • Poor autofocus in case of poor lighting

This is a very popular lens and it is very often used in portrait photography. Although, to be honest, it is quite a controversial point, as in certain conditions 85mm wins, but it depends on how and where the shooting will take place. It is recommended to use such a lens for portraits on a camera with Crop-matrix. The advantages of this lens are compactness, lightness and excellent image quality. Even with a fully open aperture, the image impresses us with its sharpness and the absence of flares.

best wedding photography lens canon

11. Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM AF

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  • 90% of the shot has great resolution
  • Minor distortion – 1.2%
  • Excellent assembly quality
  • Unpopular 72-size for filters
  • Frequent sunlight spot

This is one of the best Canon lenses for low light wedding photography. With 2.8 aperture, the lens makes it better and easier to take photos in poor lighting conditions without using a tripod or a flash. With 2.8 aperture, the lens is quite sharp. When the aperture value is 4, it is very sharp. The built-in ultrasonic motor makes focusing fast and soundless. The lens focusing is internal. Turn the focus ring to switch to the manual focusing. The front part of the frame of the Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM lens doesn't rotate when it is focusing. So you can easily use special nozzles, as well as gradient and polarization filters. The images you get have great color and contrast. The lens is resistant to back and side light. Loss of resolution at the edges of the shot is minor.

wide angle lens for wedding photography canon

Actually, the portraits have to be taken at longer focal lengths. In this set, we combine 35 mm and 85 mm in one lens – 50mm. This adds compactness, nevertheless, the artistic factor suffers. It is important to know where the photo session will take place and what shooting conditions will be. For example, for a photoshoot on a yacht, where you can’t work comfortably with 85 mm, this set will be perfect.

KIT 6 - Lens Set for The Fans of Red Rings

This set of Canon wedding photography lenses is rather expensive. It is suitable only for professional photographers, who really want to get nothing but the best quality starting with the assembly of the lens and ending with the quality of the image. With 50mm we are shooting the preparations for the ceremony, and use 35mm to take pictures of a large number of guests and group photos. 85mm or 135mm (optional) are appropriate on a walk. 14mm is used for the wide shots when it is really necessary.

12. Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM

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  • Built-in lens hood
  • “Holds” the backlight perfectly
  • The flawless geometry of the picture
  • It is impossible to protect the lens from light rain
  • High price

This Canon wedding lens is worth its price, as among wide angle lenses it is the best one for indoor shooting. It is suitable to take photos of people both indoors and outdoors. You can take interior shots without a tripod, just using your hands. With flash and aperture of 4.0, you can get perfect sharpness. Its autofocus is instantly accurate. The lens is very lightweight, which is unusual for L-series lenses. Usually, a wide angle is associated with a rather big distortion, but this is not the case with Canon 14mm f/2.8 L II. I didn't fix distortion in any photo, that's why you can forget about the DxO. The lens behaves remarkably in the depths of sunlight. Sometimes flares might appear, but they are minor, which is very rare for such an angle. You can easily take photos with good aperture using your hands if the lighting is bad.

best canon wedding lens

13. Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

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  • Excellent sharpness even with an open aperture
  • Low level of chromatic aberration
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • Moisture protection
  • Autofocus support in any Canon EOS cameras
  • Large size and weight
  • Vignetting with open aperture
  • Plastic body construction, including the thread for the lens filter

Progress does not stand still and it also relates to the optics. Thus, BR-optics used in Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM allows achieving a very high image quality.

This Canon lens for wedding shows excellent performance in all aspects. It has a great autofocus, moisture protection and, judging by the weight, a very reliable internal structure. Nevertheless, the lens has some drawbacks:

Firstly, unlike the previous version, the lens has a plastic external "shell", which does not create the appropriate impression corresponding to its price.

Secondly, there is a noticeable vignetting with the open aperture, which, however, can be removed in special programs.

In our opinion, this is the best lens for practical image quality in its class. Of course, it has the competitors, worthy ones, but if you need to be one hundred percent confident of the autofocus work, this particular Canon lens will be the best option.

best wedding canon lens

14. Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

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  • Excellent assembly
  • Color and contrast are one of the best in Canon line
  • Autofocus isn’t very fast
  • Poor focusing in poor lighting

When we were testing Canon EF 50 f1,2 L USM lens, we understood that it is a very specific lens. We are used to 50 mm focal length, which is very universal and suitable for a very wide range of tasks. Canon has a model with the aperture of 1.4. Also, good lenses, with an aperture of 1.4, are produced, for example, by Sigma. However, taking into account all of its controversial points, there exists no alternative to Canon EF 50 f1, 2 L USM.

As it turned out, resolution in the center is very good, even with an aperture of 1.2. The edge resolution is really low, but only at open aperture values. Already at a value of 2.0, the situation is much better, and with 2.8 aperture, we get high resolution throughout the image frame. But the main feature of Canon EF 50 f1,2 L USM lens is definitely its unique pattern, the capability to beautifully and artistically blur the background and the image, which is out of focus. Of course, the result depends on the specific situation, but with the proper construction of the shot, its volume, plasticity, soft and pleasant color rendering will be satisfying.

best canon lens for wedding

15. Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

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  • Easy to use autofocus
  • Focus motor – fast and silent focusing
  • High aperture – for photo sessions in poor light conditions
  • No image stabilization
  • No dust and moisture protection
  • Chromatic aberration at the aperture of 1.2

You will love this lens from the first photo. This is the legendary Canon lens that received such nicknames as Cannonball, Eye of Sauron and others.

When it first appeared on the market, it became a dream of many fans of the system, because it has a unique pattern and the magnificent background blur picture. Actually, it is an extremely important feature, especially in portrait photography and reportage. When you take this heavy lens in your hands, you immediately feel that almost all of this mass consists of glass. In fact, it is one of the best Canon lenses for wedding and portrait photography and one of the most powerful lenses found with this focal length. For example, in f/1.2 portrait, the lashes may be out of focus when you are focusing on the pupil. On the other hand, with this aperture, photos can be easily taken at dusk, at night in the city lights or just in the moonlight without a tripod.

lens for wedding canon

All the lenses in this set are expensive, but they are also heavy and bulky. When I choose optics, I rely on the correspondence of image quality to usability and price. For example, my favorite lens is 85mm with 1.8 which gives a wonderful quality and, at the same time, is very compact. Canon 85mm f1.2L gives a better picture, but weighs 1 kg, occupies a lot of space in the bag and costs a lot of money.

All in all, you can find various recommendations about the best Canon wedding photography lenses online. You shouldn't follow all of them. They usually recommend bringing about 7 lenses and 2-3 optionally, as if you need to take all possible focal lengths and go shoot weddings changing the lens every minute. You simply won't have any time to use such a number of optics. Even if you bring two cameras, it won't make any s ense. Not to mention its cost and the weight, which you will have to carry around all day long. As a result, in about 3-4 hours most of your thoughts will be focused on the pain in your legs, back and shoulders.

The choice is individual –some photographers really need to carry all of the equipment for each photo session. In my opinion, measure is a treasure.

For high-quality, interesting and diverse photo session you will need 2-3 lenses. Which ones to choose and which Canon lens is the best for wedding photography – it's up to you to decide.

Top 5 Canon Wedding Lenses

Image Camera Features  
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • 24-70mm
  • f/2.8L
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
  • 85mm
  • f/1.2L
Canon EF 85mm F/1.8 USM
Canon EF 85mm F/1.8 USM
  • 85mm
  • f/1.8
Rokinon 16mm f/2
  • 16mm
  • f/2
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L is II USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L is II USM
  • 70-200mm
  • f/4L

Canon Wedding Lenses Types

It is possible to have only one Canon wedding lens but you shouldn’t do it unless you want to mess up the whole photo session. In case you also want a good lens for your Canon camera for video, you need to spend money on a completely different piece of optics.

Portrait Prime Lenses

canon wedding lens

Wedding photography prime lenses are mostly used for portraits. They are considered to be the main lenses for any shooting of people. The focal length of such lenses is fixed and you wouldn’t be able to stand still, you’ll have to walk around the subject to get the best shot.

This Canon lenses are must-have. If you need a charming bokeh giving your photos a magical look, you need a portrait Canon lens. Low aperture makes the shallow depth of field. It means you soften your bride and groom’s skin and make the couple pop off the page.

Wide-Angle Lenses

canon wedding lens

These lenses have been rarely used in wedding photography before, but now each couple wants delightful photos against a magnificent background where they will be in the center of a picture. To show all the prominence of the frame you need to have a wide-angle Canon wedding lens in your bag. So you may use it for indoors shooting, as well as for large group shots. But make sure that you do not have distortions that are very typical for this type of lenses.

Telephoto Lenses

canon wedding lens

Few photographers have got this type of lens for portraits (because they are expensive and heavy), but I believe that the true mission is to use them in lifestyle photography. This best Сanon lens for portraits and wedding photography can “move” you closer to the object in case you are far away and blur the background perfectly. I use this lens during important ceremonies when it is necessary to stay away or when there is no opportunity to get closer. Telephoto lenses really help to take natural emotions of people staying invisible and far away from them. Be careful, as you need to use a fast shutter speed or a tripod for these shots.

Ultra Wide Angle Lens

canon wedding lens

The drawback of this lens is the possible unpleasant distortions, especially along the edges of the image. But if you are serious about purchasing this kind of lens, you are sure to find some excellent models with minimal distortion. Such wedding lens Canon is great for indoor shooting since you do not need to snuggle to walls to make a good shot. In the skillful hands, it is a great lens to take really wide shots on a fine background.

Classic Zoom Lens

canon wedding lens

These are beginners’ favorite lenses. I wouldn’t say that they are bad. You’d rather need to examine each lens separately. But Classic Zoom lenses usually become the first purchase of each amateur wedding photographer. The main advantage of the lenses is that you don’t need to constantly move while shooting in order to get closer to the subject. Another significant advantage is the increased speed while shooting, thus you can just use Canon EF-S 17–55mm lens wedding photographer and move your hand to switch from 17mm to 50mm without changing the lens.

Macro Lenses

canon wedding lens

It’s going to be the most controversial lens that you will need in very very very rare cases. Usually, you can do without it, but I know still several wedding photographers, who use such lenses at weddings. Macro lenses allow you to find the beauty of an event in the little things as décor, flowers, cakes, etc. Sometimes couples are working so carefully on every detail of the ceremony, that they would undoubtedly appreciate a special emphasis on these details. However, such models are especially popular as lenses for newborn photography, so it won't hurt to have them in your arsenal.

Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more