Can You Shoot a Wedding With a 50mm Lens?

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A 50mm lens is one of the most versatile lenses available. It is also affordable and quite easy to use in different settings. We ask, can you shoot a wedding with a 50mm lens?

If you are a budding photographer, you may be wondering whether you can use a 50mm lens to capture wedding photos without compromising the quality. Let’s find out!

Can You Shoot a Wedding With a 50mm Lens?

You can shoot a wedding with a 50mm lens, and it’s one of the most popular prime lens to use during the wedding day. The 50mm lens is great for capturing fast and sharp images, and it’s the ideal lens for getting portraits of the bride and groom.

With its wide aperture (getting as wide as f/1.2), it can stay on your camera body all day, including during low light situations.

A photographer shooting the couple in a wedding

Why Should You Use a 50mm Lens at a Wedding Shoot?

You should use a 50mm lens during a wedding because of the following:

  • Versatile enough to use throughout the day
  • Ability to shoot in low light situations
  • Great for detail shots
  • Can capture fast and sharp images
  • Easy to carry because it’s lightweight and compact
  • Wide range of pricing options to fit several budgets
  • Eliminates distractions

Versatility Throughout the Day

There are numerous moments that happen throughout a wedding day where the 50mm lens becomes ideal. For example, family formals and wedding party photos look great with this prime lens because it’s a portrait lens and can take extremely sharp images. Worst case scenario, if there’s a photo with small issues and details like a bra strap showing, you can always fix them during post-processing.

If things are moving quickly during the wedding day, you can keep the 50mm lens on your camera body without needing to switch to another lens.

Can Photograph in Low Light Situations

Lighting during the wedding may differ depending on whether it is indoors, outdoors or even due to the weather. Thus, you need a lens that works well in low lighting like a 50mm lens.

Most 50mm lenses come with a maximum aperture f/1.8, f/1.4, or even f/1.2. This allows a lot of light into the camera, producing defined images even in the dark.

While it’s still recommended to use a flash in dark scenarios, the 50mm lens is great for situations where you can’t use a camera flash, such as a dark church.

Able to Get Detail Shots

A lot of detail photography takes place during a wedding. A 50mm is ideal for capturing the bridal party’s outfits, the bride’s accessories, and even shoes.

It may not have a distinct zooming feature but, it will give you clean, isolated images, full of colour and detail that can be seen with the naked eye as well. 

Capture Fast and Sharp Images

Another key reason why a 50mm lens will come in handy at a wedding shoot is the fact that it can capture fast, sharp images. This is made possible by the fact that the lens has a wide aperture, allowing you to open it up and keep your shutter speed faster.

This is very helpful when you want to capture candid moments that happen naturally throughout the day.

Easy to Carry

Overall, a 50mm lens is quite light and small since it has less mechanical components within compared to other camera lenses. This makes it perfect for wedding photography as shooting a wedding is quite an intensive process and it may take the whole day.

This lens can comfortably be used on your camera body and does not add too much weight overall to your gear bag, that already is filled with your camera flash and gimbal accessories.

Wide Range of Pricing Options

Cost is an important consideration when choosing the lens to buy. The 50mm comes in a wide array of prices depending on the brand and how wide of an aperture you want to have. Even with a low-price lens, such as the Canon 50mm f/1.8, you can still capture great wedding photos.

For photographers who want to invest more into their business and really utilize everything this prime lens can do, getting the 50mm f/1.2 is recommended.

A photographer shooting a couple in wedding dresses outdoors

Eliminates Distractions

One of the best reasons to use a 50mm lens is because of its wide aperture and the ability to reduce distractions in the background of wedding photos.

While it’s your job to try to place the subject in front of a flattering background, there are certain moments and events that happen during a wedding where you can’t change the background.

This is when it’s helpful to open up your aperture to its widest setting and shoot using that. This will help to blur out the background and place the main focus on your subject. It boils down to how far you can shoot with it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a 50mm Lens Best For?

A 50mm lens provides almost if not exactly the same field of view as the naked eye. Thus, it is ideal for photography such as weddings, portraits, product photography, and candid pictures.  


Doing a wedding shoot with a 50mm lens is possible, compared to other lenses, as the lens offers a lot of benefits. You shouldn’t shy away from using it since it will get the job done and the results can turn out great.

Kaitlin Cooper is an active professional wedding and portrait photographer in San Diego, California at Kaitlin Cooper Photography. She is also a contributor to many large publications, including Bridal GuideBustlePixpaWith Joy, and Hello Giggles.