One of the most common questions that we receive is about gear… what cameras we use, what our favorite lenses are, what flashes we prefer, etc. That can be a lot of information to share at one time, so we thought we’d share a little more in-depth about our favorite lenses with you today!
While we shoot with both Nikon (Kelsie) and Canon (Michelle), we both love the same lens focal lengths. Before I jump in too far, we love to photograph with prime lenses. If you aren’t familiar with prime lenses, they are lenses with a fixed focal length. They do not zoom – your feet are the zoom!
We love these lenses because the aperture is much wider than what you can get on zoom lens. (For more information about aperture, check out our manual mode guide!) Apertures on our zoom lenses can go all the way down to 1.2, depending on the brand you purchase! This feature is one of the defining elements of the bokeh in our style.
If you’re looking for the most versatile lens, we definitely recommend the 50mm. We like to call it the nifty fifty because you can use it during every part of the wedding day! 50mms are very sharp and the focal length that is closest to that of your natural eye.
Because the 50mm is a prime lens, it provides beautiful bokeh that allows for your clients to “pop” off the background of the image. It’s wide enough to use indoors in tight spaces but long enough to not invade your client’s personal space when you’re going in for a headshot!
Our favorite portrait lens is by far the 85mm lens. We absolutely love the creamy & buttery bokeh that this lens provides. The longer focal length creates beautiful compression in the image that allows you to blur out backgrounds.
We use this lens most often when we have the space to move around to accommodate the longer focal length. We also love to use this lens when we’re trying to disguise something in the background.
If you’re in a place where you’re deciding to purchase a new lens and deciding between the 50mm and 85mm, we recommend the 50mm. You’ll be able to use this lens much more often that you would the 85mm as the 85mm is more of a “luxury” lens rather than a “must-have” lens.
If you’re curious about what other gear we use on wedding days, check out our Ultimate Gear Guide! This comprehensive guide explains all of our gear, and how + when we use it on wedding days.