Jasmine Star on the Best Lenses & Cameras to use for Wedding Photography

best lens and camera for wedding photography
Photo via Jasmine Star

As one of the top wedding photographers in the world, Jasmine Star knows the importance of using prime lenses and cameras for her work. While some lenses can handle every aspect of a shoot, a wedding photographer can really capture the special day with the best camera and lens choice for wedding photography, specific to each type of shot.

While Jasmine primarily shoots on Canon, we have highlighted the Nikon equivalent for each selection (for us Nikon folks out there).

Here are a few lenses Jasmine Star carries with her when shooting weddings that she considers a must-have to capture great image quality on the couple’s wedding day.

Ready for more? Join Jasmine Star in Complete Wedding Photographer Experience to learn everything there is to know about wedding photography lenses and wedding photography.

Wedding Photography with Jasmine Star

The Best Lenses for Wedding Photography

50mm f/1.2 – 1.4
Jasmine’s go-to lens, the Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens gives her the versatility she needs to shoot in a wide variety of conditions. She takes this lens with her everywhere, whether shooting weddings or personal purposes. The f/1.2 and Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lenses are designed to capture crystal-clear pictures regardless of the lighting, allowing for high-quality shots in low-lighting conditions without a flash.

35mm f/1.4
Second on Jasmine’s list of favorite lenses is the Canon 35mm f/1.4, an L-series professional lens with an aspherical element. Jasmine was late to discover this lens, only adding it to her collection a few years ago. As a lifestyle and wedding photographer, Jasmine has found that she tends to shoot depth so doesn’t need a wide angle lens as frequently. While other L-series lenses excel at capturing width, the 35 lens measures closely to what the eye naturally sees, from periphery to periphery. The Nikon equivalent 35mm f/1.4 is a comparably exceptional low-light lens that is perfect for capturing the subtleties in portrait photography. She finds this is an ideal portrait lens and great for shooting couples’ portraits and landscape pictures.

85mm f/1.2 – 1.8
Both the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 and the Canon 85mm f/1.2 are weighty, but Jasmine has found it is ideal for capturing the buttery tone in a bride’s skin. Many photographers resist using the 85mm because of the extended time it takes to focus (which can be difficult for dance floor pictures), but Jasmine has found it can create stunning bridal portraits and group shots. Comparably, the newer Nikon 85mm f/1.8 is lighter, cheaper, and is one of the sharpest mid-range primes that Nikon has released in a long time.

70-200 f/2.8
Every wedding photographer needs either the Canon 70-200 f/2.8, or the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 lens on hand, Jasmine believes. The price can be daunting, especially since Jasmine finds that she only uses it during the ceremony, so she recommends new photographers rent the lens. This lens is essential because wedding photographers often find themselves shooting a ceremony in a poorly-lit church. To get the desired results from a respectable distance, a wedding photographer needs a lens that has high-quality zoom lenses.

100mm Macro f/2.8
For capturing a stunning close up of the couple’s rings or jewels on the bodice of a bride’s dress, Jasmine prefers the Canon 100mm Macro IS. This lens is unmatched in its ability to capture jewelry in stunning detail. The Nikon 105mm Macro f/2.8 delivers similarly stunning quality of close up objects.

best lenses for wedding photography
Photo via wedding photographer Jasmine Star

24-70mm f/2.8
Jasmine calls this her “lazy girl lens,” since it allows her to shoot multiple pictures without changing lenses. The Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 was her first lens and she found it was a great lens for learning. It allows the photographer to see both width and depth (even a shallow depth of field), providing diversity and eliminating the need to use different lenses for different photos. However, Jasmine quickly learned that she couldn’t get the results she wanted without shooting prime. Stylistically, she needed a wider aperture to capture the photos the way she wanted them to look. The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, on the other hand, is part of the Nikon ‘Holy Trinity’ of lenses and is found in most Nikon wedding photographer’s bags.

50mm f/1.4

Jasmine started with the Canon 50mm f/1.4 ten years ago and it’s still going strong to this day. Jasmine’s husband, wedding photographer JD DelaTorre, uses these canon lenses, finding that they suit his own stylistic needs perfectly. Jasmine, however, finds that interchanging it with other lenses is perfect for her. DelaTorre prefers to capture moments as they happen during a wedding, while Jasmine interchanges captured moments with poses. Both the Canon version and the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 are great lenses for a new photographer to use while building a portfolio, since they are both affordable and capture great wedding day photos.

For more information on capturing great wedding photos from one of the best wedding photographers in the business, watch the video below.

The Best Cameras for Wedding Photography

Any serious photographer will tell you that the camera body that you use matters significantly less than the lens. However, it is still helpful to note which are the best cameras for wedding photography specifically, as shutter speed and ISO requirements are pretty important when shooting in potentially low-light and fast-moving environments.

While this list is not all-encompassing, it is a good starting point for anyone wanting to know what are some of the best full frame cameras to use for their next wedding photography shoot. Hesitant to fork over the heavy price tag on a camera or lens that you’re not familiar with? Try renting it first from our friends at BorrowLenses to see if it’s right for you.

Canon 6D – An affordable option that is capable of producing quality images in low light. While it is able to keep up with the 5D Mark III in this regard, it can’t hold up to the AF of the 5D Mark III which can be a pain point for wedding photographers.

Nikon D7200 – A high performing and low-cost option for the Nikon crowd. Although it is a DX (crop) sensor, the good frame rate and decent ISO range make this a strong option for a beginner or intermediate wedding photographer.

Canon 5D Mark III – Great in low light, strong AutoFocus, coupled with the ability to be weather sealed make this camera a wedding photographers dream. While it’s price point is above that of the 6D, the bang is worth the buck.

Nikon D750 – This incredibly versatile and powerful camera body is a step up from the D7200, both in terms of megapixels, frame rate, and ISO. Its price point is still reasonable, while enabling the photographer pro-level functionality.

Nikon D810 – The best professional-level Nikon camera for wedding photography. With the hefty price tag you get 36 megapixels, insane ISO range, and just all-around solid performance. The only thing you lose out on in frame rate in comparison with the D750.

Canon 5DSR – This Canon broke new ground with its insanely high 50 megapixel CMOS sensor. Let’s be clear, the vast majority of wedding photographers have no need for this kind of resolution. Having said that, with the proper lens attached, this camera is capable of some pretty stunning results.

wedding photography lenses with Jasmine Star

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, your equipment doesn’t matter nearly as much as knowing what to do with it. So now that you are armed with all the best gear, learn how to master all the necessary wedding photography skills with Jasmine Star’s amazing course.

Editor’s note: While we decided to focus entirely on Nikon and Canon for this review, many other manufacturers produce quality cameras and lenses that work very well for wedding photography such as Sony or Panasonic. As long as you know how to use the camera (and a little bit of post-processing in Photoshop), any camera lens — be it a 40mm, 80mm, macro lens or ultra-wide lens — will help you capture the wedding day of your client’s dreams.

Ready for more? Join Jasmine Star in Complete Wedding Photographer Experience to learn everything there is to know about wedding photography lenses and wedding photography.

Wedding Photography with Jasmine Star

Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip, 25 Roses, and the upcoming Piper Morgan series.