12 best Canon lenses for wedding photography

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by David Em
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Whether you’ve booked your first wedding photography gig or are a long-time pro, find out what the best Canon wedding lenses are.

Bridge and groom holding flowers outdoors.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Wedding photography is a unique blend of portrait, fashion, documentary, landscape, product, and food photography.

With the proper lenses, you can be ready to capture anything a wedding throws at you. The right lenses allow you to capture groups and detail shots.

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The images you take at a wedding will be one of the most cherished memories a couple will have. So, you must deliver the best photos with the highest quality and composition.

Not every wedding photography uses the same gear, but there are a lot of similarities.

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Canon cameras are one of the most popular for wedding photography, especially the Canon EOS 80D, 5D Mark IV, 5DS, R5, and R. Canon also makes industry-leading camera lenses.

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Whether you have a DSLR or mirrorless Canon camera, the following are the best Canon lenses for wedding photography.

The best Canon DSLR wedding lenses

Canon DSLR cameras are excellent for wedding photography. Some of the best include the EOS 80D, 5D Mark IV, 5DS, and 1D X Mark III.

The resolution, quality, and fantastic colors have built Canon’s reputation.

When you’re looking for a lens for a Canon DSLR camera, make sure you get one indicated as EF because that’s the type of mount it has.

The following are the best Canon EF lenses for wedding photography.

1. Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/1.4 to f/22.
  • Two aspherical and two UD elements.
  • Rounded eight-blade diaphragm.
  • Sealed against dust and moisture.

A wide-angle lens is essential for capturing the entire scene of a wedding.

The 24mm f/1.4L II lens is from Canon’s professional line, and it performs exceptionally well. With a wide maximum aperture, it’s fast and shoots sharp images in low light.

Typically, wedding photographers will choose a 24mm or a 35mm. The 24mm is generally better because it offers a wider perspective.

It’s perfect for capturing group photos, showing the environment, venue, and you get a wider view in tight spaces, like on the dance floor.

The main drawback with a 24mm lens is the fish-eye effect. However, you can correct it to an extent in Lightroom by selecting Profile Correction.

As long as you’re aware of the effects, you can capture images accordingly. Overall, the EF 24mm f/1.4L II is a must-have Canon wedding lens.

Compare prices
$1,549 at B&H
$1,549 at Canon
$1,299.99 at Amazon (used)
$1,549 at Adorama
$1,549.99 at Best Buy

2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/1.2 to f/16.
  • One aspherical element.
  • Super Spectra coating to minimize ghosting and flare.
  • Rounded eight-blade diaphragm.
  • Sealed against dust and moisture.

A 50mm lens is a must-have for wedding photography because you can capture all types of photos.

Canon’s EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens is the top-of-the-line 50mm.

With a maximum aperture of f/1.2, it’s exceptional in low light, provides a shallow depth of field, and takes sharp images.

Canon also offers other 50mm lenses with maximum apertures of f/1.4 and f/1.8. However, the f/1.2L is Canon’s professional line and has the fastest and quietest autofocus out of the three.

It’s also hard to beat the blur that the 50mm f/1.2L offers. Even when stopped down, the bokeh is beautiful.

The wedding photos you take with this lens will be incredible.

Also, some wedding photographers keep the Canon 50mm f/1.2L on another camera body throughout the entire shoot because it’s so versatile. Anytime you need it, you’ll have it ready.

Compare prices
$1,399 at B&H
$1,399 at Canon
$1,399 at Amazon
$1,399 at Adorama
$1,399.99 at Best Buy

3. Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4 camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/1.4 to f/22.
  • Image stabilization.
  • One aspherical element.
  • Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to reduce flares and ghosting.
  • Rounded nine-blade diaphragm.
  • Sealed against dust and moisture.

85mm is the ideal focal length for portraits. In wedding photography, 85mm allows you to capture portraits and detail shots.

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens is an excellent option because it has a wide maximum aperture, takes sharp photos, and features image stabilization.

With image stabilization, you can capture sharper photos in low light while shooting handheld.

Most photographers use the 85mm for wedding day portraits because the quality and bokeh are unbeatable. The results are flattering, and the prime lens is ideal for photographing people.

Compare prices
$1,599 at B&H
$1,599 at Adorama
$1,599 at Canon
$1,599 at Focus Camera
$1,599.99 at Best Buy

4. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens

Canon EF 16-35mm camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/2.8 to f/22.
  • Three aspherical and two UD elements.
  • The Subwavelength Coating (SWC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) reduce ghosting and flare.
  • Rounded nine-blade diaphragm.
  • Sealed against dust and moisture.

Zoom lenses are incredibly beneficial for wedding photography because you’re constantly moving around, and a lot’s going on.

A wide-angle zoom lens is ideal for capturing the environment around a wedding scene.

The Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens is the perfect solution because it covers the best wide-angle focal lengths you need.

Additionally, it has a wide maximum aperture of f/2.8, fast autofocus, and produces beautiful images with great image quality.

The 16-35mm is ideal for images of groups, the venue, and tight spaces.

Like other wide-angle lenses, the main drawback is the distortion and vignetting that can appear.

Also, Canon didn’t add image stabilization to the Mark III, which would’ve made it a no-brainer. Still, it’s an excellent wide-angle zoom lens.

Compare prices
$2,199 at B&H
$2,199 at Canon
$2,199 at Adorama
$2,199 at Amazon
$2,199 at Focus Camera
$2,199.99 at Best Buy

5. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

Canon 24 to 70mm f/2.8L camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/2.8 to f/22.
  • One super UD element and two UD elements.
  • Rounded nine-blade diaphragm.
  • Super Spectra coating to minimize ghosting and flare.
  • Sealed against dust and moisture.

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II is a standard zoom lens that’s so versatile that you can shoot an entire wedding with it as your only lens.

It offers a wide range of focal lengths, which allows you to shoot group photos then zoom in for portraits. You can do it all without swapping your lens.

Canon’s 24-70mm also features a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8.

Its wide maximum aperture provides great low-light performance and beautiful background blur. Of course, the blur isn’t as good as a prime lens.

The autofocus is another feature to point out, as it works very quickly and accurately.

However, it doesn’t have image stabilization, which can be a deciding factor.

Overall, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II is incredible. It’s a high-quality and versatile lens that captures rich colors.

Compare prices
$1,899 at B&H
$1,899 at Canon
$1,899 at Amazon
$1,899 at Adorama
$1,899 at Focus Camera
$1,899.99 at Best Buy

6. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens

Canon EF 70 to 200mm camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/2.8 to f/32.
  • Image stabilization.
  • One fluorite element and five UD elements.
  • Rounded eight-blade diaphragm.
  • Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to reduce flare and ghosting.
  • Weather-resistant.

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III is the ultimate telephoto zoom lens.

It’s an ideal wedding photography lens because it allows you to capture close-ups without being right within several feet of the bride and groom.

Throughout the entire wedding day, Canon’s EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III lens allows you to capture beautiful images without blocking anyone’s view.

From a technical standpoint, the lens is superior because it has image stabilization, a wide constant maximum aperture of f/2.8, fast and accurate autofocus, is well-constructed and weather-sealed.

The telephoto zoom lens can pair perfectly with a wide-angle prime lens.

Compare prices
$2,099 at B&H
$2,099 at Canon
$1,699 at Amazon (used)
$2,099 at Adorama
$2,099 at Focus Camera
$2,099.99 at Best Buy

The best Canon mirrorless wedding lenses

The EOS R system is Canon’s line of mirrorless cameras. While Canon wasn’t the first to enter the mirrorless camera market, the brand has done an excellent job.

Canon’s R-series cameras are high-performing, feel better in your hands, and capture high-quality images.

Unless you have an adapter, you can’t use EF lenses with Canon’s mirrorless cameras because they have a different lens mount.

Canon’s mirrorless cameras have an RF mount, so you need to make sure that’s indicated on the lens you buy.

The RF lenses are incredible because they’re smaller, have more features, and perform very well.

The following are Canon’s best wedding photography lenses for the EOS R system.

1. Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM Lens

Canon RF 35mm macro camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/1.8 to f/22.
  • Image stabilization up to five stops.
  • Super Spectra coating to minimize ghosting and flare.
  • Rounded nine-blade diaphragm.

35mm is a good focal length for wider perspectives. It’s a flexible lens that allows you to incorporate the entire wedding scene to tell a story.

For a mirrorless Canon camera, the RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM Lens is a great one to have.

It has a wide maximum aperture of f/1.8, which ensures you capture beautiful images in low light and offers great bokeh.

Additionally, the lens has image stabilization, which protects your images from getting blurry due to camera shake.

The Canon EOS R3, R5, and R6 cameras have in-body image stabilization, so pairing the 35mm lens would make low-light shooting easier.

It’s also one of the cheapest lenses compatible with the EOS R system.

It provides a ton of value for the price, but it’s not like the L-series lenses. There’s no weather sealing or fluorine coating.

Compare prices
$399 at B&H
$399.99 at Canon
$399 at Amazon
$399 at Adorama

2. Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens

Canon RF 50mm camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/1.2 to f/16.
  • One UD element and one aspherical element.
  • Ring-type ultrasonic motor AF system.
  • Rounded 10-blade diaphragm.
  • Weather-sealed design.

50mm is a versatile focal length for wedding photography. With it, you can take portraits, detail shots, and images of the venue.

With a Canon mirrorless camera, the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens produces beautiful images.

It has a fast and accurate Ring USM motor autofocus system, top-tier clarity, and a very wide maximum aperture.

When you’re shooting at f/1.2, the sharpness and background blur is surreal.

While the lens is excellent, it’s large, especially compared to the DSLR version. If you don’t mind the bigger size and high price tag, the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L is a strong lens for wedding photography.

Compare prices
$2,299 at B&H
$2,299 at Canon
$2,299 at Amazon
$2,299 at Adorama
$2,299 at Focus Camera

3. Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM Lens

Canon RF 85mm camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/1.2 to f/16.
  • Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics element to eliminate color fringing and chromatic aberrations.
  • Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to reduce ghosting and flare.
  • One UD element and one aspherical element.
  • Rounded 9-blade diaphragm.
  • Weather-sealed.

While you don’t necessarily need an 85mm, it’s worth having.

The Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM Lens shoots stunning wedding day portraits. You can also use an 85mm for products, food, and detail photos.

When you shoot wide open at f/1.2, it provides edge-to-edge clarity and sharpness.

Plus, it has Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics, which eliminates virtually all color fringing and chromatic aberration.

On a wedding day, you need speed and accuracy. That’s exactly what the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM Lens has to offer. However, the motor isn’t the quietest so keep that in mind.

Compare prices
$2,799 at B&H
$2,799 at Canon
$2,799 at Amazon
$2,799 at Adorama
$3,099 at Focus Camera

4. Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens

Canon RF 15 to 35mm camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/2.8 to f/22.
  • Image stabilization.
  • Air-Sphere Coating (ASC) to reduce flare and ghosting.
  • Three aspherical elements and two ultra-low dispersion elements.
  • Protective fluorine coating.
  • Rounded nine-blade diaphragm.
  • Weather-sealed.

The Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens is the perfect wide-angle zoom lens for wedding photography. It’s incredibly sharp and has world-class image stabilization.

Whether you’re taking photos of the wedding ceremony, reception, groups, or venue, the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens will capture high-quality results.

The only downside to this lens is that it’s big, heavy, and pricey. Otherwise, it’s an outstanding wide-angle zoom lens for wedding photography.

Compare prices
$2,399 at B&H
$2,399 at Canon
$2,399 at Amazon
$2,399 at Adorama
$2,399 at Focus Camera
$2,399 at Best Buy

5. Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens

Canon RF 24 to 70mm camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/2.8 to f/22.
  • Image stabilization.
  • Three aspherical elements and three ultra-low dispersion elements.
  • Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to reduce flare and ghosting.
  • Protective fluorine coating.
  • Weather-sealed.

If you’re photographing a wedding and can only bring one lens for your Canon mirrorless camera, choose the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens. It offers a wide range of focal lengths.

Whether you want to take photos of a wide wedding scene or a portrait, you can do it with the 24-70mm lens.

The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens is an absolute workhorse because of its wide maximum aperture, excellent image stabilization, professional build, weather-sealing, value, and versatility.

Like other Canon RF lenses, the 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens is superb, but it’s big, heavy, and pricey.

Compare prices
$2,399 at B&H
$2,399 at Canon
$2,399 at Amazon
$2,399 at Adorama
$2,399 at Best Buy

6. Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens

Canon RF 70 to 200mm camera lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Key features:

  • Aperture range: f/2.8 to f/32.
  • Image stabilization.
  • Two aspherical elements, one super UD element, and one UD element.
  • Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to reduce ghosting and flare.
  • Dual Nano USM system.
  • Protective fluorine coating.
  • Rounded nine-blade diaphragm.
  • Weather-sealed.

The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens is ideal for covering further distances. It’s a telephoto zoom lens, so you’ll have versatility and capture images without blocking the guests’ views.

What makes the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens excellent is the precise and quiet autofocus, sharp images, wide maximum apertures, and offers up to five stops of image stabilization.

Uniquely, the lens is the smallest of all 70-200mm lenses, making it easier to hold and transport.

Plus, you don’t need to use the tripod collar that comes with it. It’s shorter and lighter than the DSLR version.

Due to its price tag, it’s an investment lens, but it’s phenomenal and should be strongly considered for wedding photography.

Compare prices
$2,799 at B&H
$2,799 at Canon
$2,799 at Amazon
$2,799 at Adorama
$2,799 at Best Buy

Conclusion

Whether you have a Canon DSLR or mirrorless camera, Canon also has several excellent lenses to go along with it for wedding photography.

Overall, every wedding photographer needs a 50mm lens because it’s versatile, allowing you to take beautiful portraits, candids, and detail shots.

Featured image courtesy of B&H and Canva.

About David Em

David Em.

David Em is the founder of Portraits Refined. He’s a published portrait photographer dedicated to helping photographers develop skills, capture incredible photos, and build successful businesses.

About Portraits Refined

Portraits Refined (PR) is a media company that publishes the latest expert-backed portrait photography tips, in-depth camera gear reviews, and helpful advice to grow your photography business.

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