Can You Shoot a Wedding with a 50mm Lens?

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Weddings may involve changing lights, several guests, and massive locations. In such cases, can you shoot a wedding with a 50mm lens? Let’s discover how you can use a 50mm lens to take memorable wedding photos.

Can You Shoot a Wedding with a 50mm Lens?

Yes, you can shoot a wedding using a 50mm lens, as its focal perspective and light-gathering capacity are perfect for candid images, portraits, night scenes, and close-up shots. The nifty-fifty’s small size and weight also make it efficient to move around with minimum gear.

While a 50mm lens appears to be a simple lens, it still has its limitations. With that said, let’s look into the advantages of using a 50mm for taking wedding photos.

Benefits of Using a 50mm for Wedding Photography

The 50mm lens is one of the most versatile lenses you can use for wedding photography because of its adaptability in various lighting conditions and high-contrast image value. Aside from that, these are the advantages of using a 50mm lens on weddings. 

A wedding photographer carrying two cameras
  • Size: With fewer mechanical and aspherical elements, a 50mm manages to have a small and lightweight body. Its compact size makes it easy to carry around wedding venues.
  • Fast Aperture: 50mm lenses are fast because they generally have wide maximum apertures, like f/1.2 or f/1.8. A fast aperture helps the sensor collect more light, whether you’re shooting in an indoor or outdoor wedding.
  • Image Sharpness: Prime lenses are sharp, especially when stopping down the aperture to the lowest levels. Even when you want to create bokeh, you can still keep the subjects in sharp focus and the background out of focus.
  • Budget-friendly price: Having fewer components in the shell also makes the 50mm more affordable than other lenses with longer focal lengths. You can easily buy cheap lenses for cameras like the Sony A7III, which works quite well for shooting weddings.

Tips on Shooting Wedding Photos Using a 50mm Lens

While the 50mm’s fixed focal length can challenge your creativity, taking advantage of its strengths would help you take beautiful and unique wedding images. These are some tips for you to master the nifty-fifty.

Position Yourself Correctly

The general rule of thumb is that you should be at least 10 to 15 feet away from the subject to achieve a clear portrait shot with bokeh. This is ideal for photographing the parents walking the bride down the aisle or the couple approaching tables to mingle with guests.

If the couple made their own backdrop to take photos in front of during the reception, this is also a scenario where you would want to be about 10 feet away from the couple and their guests as they stand in front of the backdrop. This way, you can get multiple people in the frame.

However, you may need a shorter distance if the moment calls for close-up photos. A great example would be getting closer to the buffet table to take Instagram-worthy food photos.

Frame Your Compositions

The human brain processes visuals faster, allowing people to remember 80% of what they see. Part of what you will remember depends on how you perceive the scene in front of you and capturing it through the lens.

This is why framing is an essential aspect of photography as it directs the viewer’s focus on the framed subject. For example, tell the story of how the couple exchanged vows or when the groom saw his bride for the first time that day.

There are many ways of framing wedding photos.

  • Angle the frame to make the light bounce and reflect off a subject you need to get close details.
  • Move as close as you can while still getting lots of light and background depth.
  • Squat, sit, extend your arms, or get yourself in a safe position that would give the subjects a flattering field of view.
  • You would only get distortion when you are very close to the subject. However, you can use this as an effect for unnatural proportions.
Selective focus if Canon 50mm lens

Set the Correct Camera Settings

A 50mm lens works well with wide apertures and fast shutter speeds. Using such settings allow the lens to gather more light, improving the textures, colors, details, and clarity in your wedding photos.

Moreover, a fast shutter speed and wide aperture enable you to freeze movements, letting you capture the moment the bride tosses the bouquet or when the couple does their first dance.

Related Questions

Are you still wondering about how lenses affect wedding pictures? Let’s go over a few topics before wrapping up.

What Are the Difficulties of Using a 50mm Lens?

A 50mm lens has a fixed focal length. So, if your position is far away from the subject, and it’s not ideal for you to move, you won’t be able to zoom in on the subject.

What Other Lenses Can I Use for Shooting a Wedding?

You can also use wide-angle and zoom lenses for wedding photography. A wide-angle lens enables you to form better compositions for interiors and group shots. Meanwhile, a zoom lens lets you zoom in on faraway subjects.


The versatility of the 50mm lens allows you to take different kinds of wedding photos, including portraits, detailed shots of the setup or simple backdrops you made, and even the movement of the people partying. As long as you use its strengths, you can rely on the 50mm lens to capture a wedding’s magical moments.