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I'm a portrait photographer and recently I got 2 weddings to shoot, so I'm ready to purchase another lens wider than the ones I have. I'm thinking of buying a Canon 24mm f1.4LII. Do you think this lens will be really good for wedding photography? What shots would it be useful for?

  • I think in this case (and with the new title, especially) What about “review this item please” questions? is the most relevant meta discussion. Although it's a bit old and not necessarily conclusively resolved. – mattdm Oct 10 '14 at 16:31
  • I think that to avoid any issues with product recommendations, the question should be edited to "Would a 24mm lens be useful for shooting a wedding. If so, is f/2.8 fast enough, or do I need to spend more for a faster version?" – JenSCDC Oct 10 '14 at 16:38
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    @AndyBlankertz - that loses far to much of the intent of the question. The fact that it is a prime maters, the quality of the glass could matter. For example, a lens in the 70-300 range would be useful at a wedding, but if someone asked about using a 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS, I'd recommend against it as that particular lens isn't well suited do to lose focus issues and the lack of FTM. The focal length isn't everything that matters about a lens in a given situation. – AJ Henderson Oct 10 '14 at 16:53
  • On what body?? Crop or full-frame? – user4894 Oct 12 '14 at 0:56
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No, you don't want such a wide lens for a wedding, at least not for much. I shoot weddings using my 24-70 f/2.8 and my 70-200 f/2.8. During the ceremony, my 70-200 gets the most use with the 24-70 being used for a few shots to capture the entire room. You are constantly shooting from a distance both for the perspective it gives and also because you don't want to be in the way at a wedding. (Unlike in a studio session, you aren't there to get the absolute best pictures possible, but rather to capture a major life event without interfering with it, forgetting the second part is BAD!!!)

While my 24-70 is my group portrait lens of choice, I'm very rarely at the 24mm end of things and I almost never put my 17-40 f/4 on the camera anymore. That may change if you are on an APS-c body as 24mm would be like my 36mm which is a bit closer to what I do some large group portraits at, though it's probably often closer to 50mm.

The bigger issue is that it is a prime. Primes and weddings don't go together very well. Things happen fast and things happen once. You have to catch them when they happen and if you are in the wrong spot or have the wrong lens on, you can miss important shots. Primes can be useful for the portraits portion, but your life is far, far easier with fast zooms as your primary lenses for weddings (even if that means renting them for a few weddings.)

  • Well, I believe there are some "mandatory" photos which can't be missed (especially if you're the paid professional), even if you have to get in the way (just a bit), like the signatures, the exchange of rings, the kiss... And a big +1 for the zoom ! – FredP Oct 9 '14 at 19:46
  • @FredP - yes, there are shots that can't be missed, but there is no reason you should ever have to get in the way to get those shots. If you do, you screwed up somewhere along the way. – AJ Henderson Oct 9 '14 at 19:48
  • I guess my wording was not accurate enough, not litterally in the way, but I already saw a pro photographer almost elbow to elbow with the priest, or "on" his shoulder (kind of ruining others' photos), because of a small space. Anyway, I never had to be the official photographer for a wedding, so I had the liberty to do candids, which I prefer (and it was a good complement to the official photos). – FredP Oct 9 '14 at 20:04
  • Yeah, and just a bit is ok, like there may be times in close quarters you have to get down low to the ground in front of the family simply because there is no other spot, but you are still not obstructing their view and not obstructing the photos of others, even if you might be a minor distraction for one or two moments in some situations. But when I see someone elbow to elbow with the priest or going over the shoulder, I want to take their camera away. – AJ Henderson Oct 9 '14 at 20:33
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A polyvalent zoom(50~200mm), something with a pretty high zoom if you want to take some portraits because like dpollitt said :

an extremely wide angle lens for portraits, sure you can use it some for a wedding, but you would be silly to use it for most of the day - as you'll get tons of distortion.

But why a polyvalent zoom because at a low zoom (~50mm) you can more easily take group pictures.

P.S : Sorry for my english, it's not my first language.

  • I'm not sure i would recommend a 50-200 mm zoom lens for group shots as lenses with that focal length range are usually for either for APS-c or MFT cameras, making the angle of view too small even at 50 mm. Also we don't know what lenses Debora has got already. – Hugo Oct 9 '14 at 6:21
  • Yeah, that's why I said about 50MM because I have to admit it the focal lenght can be a problem at this range, but yeah like you said we don't know what she have like lens, but I'm still thinking a polyvalent zoom would be the best idea. – Wood Oct 9 '14 at 16:32
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It depends on your style of shooting weddings. If you tend to take a lot of candids or use a photojournalism style, I think a 24mm would be useful.

However, I wouldn't advise buying the Canon 24/1.4 straight off. Used Canon 24/2.8 are pretty cheap, and Sigma 24/1.8 won't hurt your pocketbook too hard. If you're in love with Canon's 24/1.4, try renting one before laying down all that cash.

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