Wedding photography lenses. The choice of focal length can affect the way your wedding images look. Retouching cannot change the length of a lens and create the “look” of another.
Many wedding photographers carry a bunch of lenses, some carry just one lens that zooms. Depending on the photographer the kit will vary. Obviously, you’d want to cover as many shooting scenarios as possible and be well equipped for the day. You may be comfortable with the wide zoom, or a fancy compact and fixed aperture and wide angle.
I’ve been reading of a technique used by photographers to get a bit of extra zoom in their shots. It involves sticking to a smaller lens. They have a large sensor in the camera and can, therefore, afford some digital zoom, or cropping to get the effect of a zoom. This sacrifices a bit of resolution but with big sensors today this works out fine right? Wrong!
Trying to fake the zoom with digital doesn’t recreate that effect of a longer zoom length lens. Sure it is way more convenient but the results don’t stack up. If you want a movie style, glossy magazine professional look, the 85mm or larger length lens is your man. Good wedding portraits and flattering shots come from longer length lens, Fact! – Check all those photography books, yes remember those books!
Many modern weddings are held at locations where it is almost impossible to avoid signage, warnings, health and safety notices, wires and distractions. To help avoid the post-processing and removal of all this clutter, shooting with an 85mm prime (fast) lens or wide aperture with help. It will blur the background and reduce the clutter or eliminate it altogether. Of course the bigger the focal length lens the further back you have to stand. Planning the shots before the event will help here. Simply turning up and hoping, is the reason for so much retouching afterwards.
Photographers often take a spare lens in case their “super” main lens stops working. Everyone is so dependent on “autofocus” lenses! One article I read noted, that when a photography student was handed a manual focus lens and body, they had no idea what to do! Non-auto lenses don’t fail, getting back to basics will cut the amount of kit and improve your photography. Reliability won’t be an issue and it will bring confidence back to your shooting. Just focus, make sure the aperture is appropriate to get everything covered, plus a bit either side in the focus “zone” and wait for the action!
Maybe I’m missing an awful lot in my rant about wedding photography lenses, but there are some sound points I’m trying to make. Don’t expect pro portrait style results with wide angles and don’t get into the mindset that everything can be fixed in “post production”! Wedding retouching is only ever as good as the photo to start with. Making a professional look image from a wide angle, happy go lucky snap is not going to happen.
I’ll be happy to discuss what is possible with any shot but as with anything too bad, trying to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, fails every time.