As any photographer will tell you, camera bodies are all well and good but ultimately it’s the quality of lens that creates a quality image. Consequently, all photographers harbour this guilty secret associated with lenses – we can never have too many lenses. Having said that there are lenses that every wedding photographer should have in their bag.
A great starting point with Nikon is what they refer to as the Nikon Holy Trinity – three lenses that range from 14mm to 200mm – mind you won’t get much change from £5,000 for these 3 lenses but they will provide you with professional quality images and these lenses will cover 95% of any shooting situation you will come up against on the day of the wedding. If however, you can only afford one lens I would recommend the 24mm to 70mm – it is a beautiful lens and can deliver many of the images that you will need on the day.
You could also take a macro lens with you for those close up shots such as the rings and I always take a 50mm f1.4 prime lens for backup and for those very low lighting conditions.
So why pay so much for lenses? Without getting too technical basically quality lenses are normally referred to as ‘fast lenses’ in other words you can use these lenses in much lower lighting conditions than you could with a cheaper lens. This is important as much of the wedding day is spent indoors in low lighting conditions, such as the bridal and groom preparations, the service and the reception. Also, quality lenses will have vibration reduction features which reduce any movement that may occur when hand holding a tele-photo lens for those unobtrusive long range shots.
By far and away the most important element of a lens is of course the quality of the glass – ultimately it is the glass that provides you with a sharp image and as with everything in this life you get what you pay for.