8 Must-Have Canon Lenses for Wedding Photography (Updated for 2021)

Michael Sand
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In the past, I’ve written detailed reviews the best lenses for weddings, however, the best lenses for wedding photography are an ever changing subject.

There’s a constant influx of new lenses coming onto the market with a range of new features to help you take better wedding photos.

So, since I originally wrote this article, I’ve taken the time to update it to the latest version of the best wedding lenses you can buy:

Below are 8 of my personal favourite lenses for wedding photography.

NameCategoryProduct
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom LensBest OverallCanon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM LensBudget PickCanon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom LensUpgrade PickCanon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

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

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens

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This lens comes with a robust metal build that is designed to be resistant to damage and corrosion. It is a standard zoom lens, so you will not have to worry about anything tilting or moving during shooting. You can use this lens for indoor events and outdoor photography.

It is a standard vignetting lens, so you should not have to worry about having to adjust the focus in post-production. You can use this lens for professional photography, as well as amateur shooters. The images you capture will always be consistent.

This lens is also capable of creating sharp images. While the sharpness may not be the same at all focal points on the same object, they will still be sharp when compared to other lenses. You can use this lens on a full frame camera, but it will not have the best results.

2. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • Top Lens
  • IF (Image Stabilizer) Feature
  • Zoom Range from 70mm to 200mm

This lens is packed with features like Image Stabilization (IS), which dramatically reduces the effects of camera shake, while providing the versatility of wide angle to telephoto coverage. It’s capable of shooting handheld in low light, although the optical image stabilization does not eliminate the need to use a tripod in low light.

The purpose of the Image Stabilizer is to reduce blur caused by camera shake, particularly when using slow shutter speeds. When shooting at full aperture, the effectiveness of the image stabilization is akin to a shutter speed approximately 4 stops faster.

This lens also serves as a high-performance telephoto zoom for both still photography and movie shooting. Using a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM telephoto zoom lens you will be able to take pictures of sports and news events, as well as portraits.

3. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens

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Pros:

  • An excellent, affordable portrait lens
  • One of the sharpest lenses you can buy for your Canon T3i or T4i
  • Image stabilization means you can take great pictures even if you have shaky hands
  • An excellent solution for video
  • Solid build quality
  • Sharp & Bright Image
  • Use For More Than Just Portrait Shots!
  • Good Image Quality
  • Great Value For The Price

Cons:

  • 85mm is a bit long for a fill-in lens for non-wedding use
  • Some photographers wish it were faster and wider
  • Not for use with wide-angle or zoom lens

4. Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM Lens

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Pros:

  • Significantly lighter than the original version
  • Comes with a lens hood
  • 9 blade diaphragm
  • Since the lens is designed for APS-C sensors, you get a decent 35mm field of view, ideal for shooting natural details
  • The large f/1.8 aperture is good for low light settings
  • For a fast lens, it offers really good image quality
  • You can use the lens with all Canon cameras with EF-S mount
  • Provides 4.7 stops of optical image stabilization to really make sure every image is tack sharp
  • Comes with a product warranty of 1 year

One of the most impressive features of this lens is its hyper-fast autofocus which can really be a game-changer on the field. You can shoot as soon as you press the shutter button and the camera will focus in a fraction of a second. That really can make all the difference in the world. Another important feature is its large f/1.8 aperture, which means that it offers super-fast shutter speeds.

5. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens

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Pros:

  • Great wide angle lens
  • Lens will act as a “normal” lens on full frame camera
  • Minimal distortion
  • Minimal chromatic aberration
  • Relatively sharp corner to corner

Cons:

  • May flare in some circumstances
  • Corners may be softer at f/2.8 on an APS-C
  • Corners may need to be cropped significantly on APS-C
  • Minimal zoom range
  • Closest focusing distance of 3.1 feet

One of the most important lenses for wedding photographers is the wide angle lens. Wedding pictures can easily include a wide range of people, places, and pieces of the background. A 28mm lens or 35mm lens may be too wide at times, which can cause your subject to be lost in the background. For weddings that take place inside, a 24-50mm lens may work. I would not consider a longer focal length a good fit for weddings.

While any lens may be used for weddings, a wider angle lens is always a better option for many situations. Weddings and portraits are two situations where I would consider only wide angle lenses.

6. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

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Pros:

  • One of the cheapest lens on the market with great image quality
  • Fully compatible with both full-frame and crop sensor cameras
  • Good for portraits with blurred background
  • Great image quality
  • Good for professional and personal use

Cons:

  • May experience some trouble regarding Auto Focus
  • You might need some time to get used to the aperture, focusing, and manual settings
  • Image quality decreases as you increase the f-stop (aperture)

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens is one of the best lenses when it comes to Canon cameras and is a great choice for beginners and as well as professional photographers.

At first sight, the lens can be a bit overwhelming and in my opinion, this is meant for a professional taking their photography seriously.

Wanting to get the most out of your investment in camera gear means getting the most out of your photography. The amazing reviews on this lens tell the story of just how great this lens can be.

7. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

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Pros:

  • A great macro lens
  • Easy to use
  • Provides quality stills
  • Great for portraits and videos

This macro lens from Canon provides very crisp, detailed photos while still delivering fast auto-focus and surprisingly good auto white-balance. It also does well in low-light conditions because of its 4-stop image stabilization and fast shutter speed.

That said, one of the drawbacks of using a macro lens for a wedding is that it creates a great deal of noise. So while this is great for still photos, you might want to consider switching to a better wideangle lens for your wedding videos.

8. Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens

Our rating: 7 / 10

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens

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Pros:

  • Fast f/1.4 aperture – ideal for low-light shooting
  • Sharp images
  • Image stabilization
  • Built-in petal-type lens hood
  • Can work in manual focus mode
  • Great value for the money

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM is a professional grade prime (fixed focal length) lens introduced by Canon in 2009. A fast f/1.4 aperture makes it ideal for low-light shooting with shallow depth of field and less concerns about focusing whether in very bright or low-light conditions, or even in mixed lighting.

The build quality is top notch with great optics that ensure sharp images that are as-close-to-perfect as much as possible. One more great feature this lens offers is image stabilization that goes a long way in reducing blurring in low-light shots and also, the tendency of some people to shake when holding the camera.

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens is compatible with Canon EOS film and digital camera bodies. The drop-in petal-type lens hood, which you can see in the above image, should be kept on at all times to shield the lens from unwanted extraneous light.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Canon lens is best for wedding photography?

Over the last 20 years, Canon has developed an outstanding reputation for wedding photography lenses. Their telephoto zooms are both affordable and have a great reputation. Both the 70-300 IS II and 85 IS II are capable of zooming from wide angle to long telephoto; they are some of the best telephoto zoom lenses available.

Zooms allow you to get creative and compose shots in unique ways without having to walk around. For the occasional blogger, it might justify the additional cost. For the enthusiastic professional, these lenses may be just what you need.

What lens do most wedding photographers use?

Canon’s 35mm f/1.4L and Canon’s 50 mm f/1.2L are the lenses that most wedding photographers rely on. The lenses are sharp, fast, and produce excellent bokeh.

If you are new to wedding photography, these lenses are what you want to start with because of their versatility. The 50mm is probably the most versatile lens in the world of photography, making it a good choice for weddings and other events. The 35mm is also popular, especially with photographers that prefer to shoot wider.

What 3 lenses should every photographer have?

One of the most common needs for wedding photographers is to capture large groups of people.

Some of the most difficult scenarios to shoot are large church weddings where you're shooting from the pulpit with groups of people in front of you. There are a few ways to tackle a shot like this. First, you could shoot one side of the group, then have the bride and groom turn around and have the other half face you. Alternately, you could shoot with a wide angle lens and capture the entire bridal party in one shot.

Regardless of your preferred method, most experienced wedding shooters will tell you that you cannot do a professional job shooting wide open and then cropping the photo. To really nail this type of shot, you will definitely need a 70-200mm lens on a full-frame body. If you're using a crop sensor camera, you'll basically want to double this focal length.

What lens do professional photographers use?

Many (but certainly not all) professional photographers use, L or EF lenses. RX lenses are lighter and significantly smaller, but have fixed focal lengths. For most photographers, these lenses are all they ever need. Our 8 best lens recommendations for Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera include the standard 18-55 kit lens, a wide-angle lens, portrait lens, and the powerful, image stabilization-equipped telephoto lens. Together these would provide a versatile and functional image capture system for photographing your soon-to-be spouse on their big day.

Conclusion

Canon is one of the best lens makers out there, and their wedding lenses are some of the best on the market, especially when used for the traditional wide-angle, or short telephoto shots. In this article, we will be going through 8 Canon lenses that fell in love with after testing them for ourselves, and we recommend them to anyone who’s looking to buy equipment for shooting weddings. We tried to cover the best set of lenses that we could find, and include some great lenses for different budgets.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom LensBest OverallCanon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM LensBudget PickCanon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom LensUpgrade PickCanon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens