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Cheap wedding photography lenses - The Canon 50mm f1 8

Updated on July 6, 2013

The perfect lens for cheap wedding photography

When it comes to wedding photography the 50mm focal length is one of the most useful you can have at your disposal. The 50mmm focal length is wide enough for the small family group shots but not so wide that is wreaks havoc with perspective, leading to unflattering photographs. Yep, the 50mm focal length is the closest thing to perfection.

The cheapest way of achieving the 50mm focal length is to purchase a 50mm prime lens. Despite their relatively low price 50mm prime lenses are tack sharp, and sharper than zoom lenses that are several times their cost, and offer excellent image quality. Third party manufacturers, including Sigma and Tamron produce 50mm prime lenses, however for Canon shooters there is only one lens to buy and that is the canon 50mm lens.

The Canon 50mm family of lenses

The Canon 50mm lens is available in three guises, being the Canon 50mm f1 8, the canon 50mm f1 4 and the Canon 50mm f1 2. The only real difference between these lenses, other than the cost of course, is the maximum aperture. The cost differential between the lenses is vast and when you compare photographs taken by each one you really do have to ask yourself if the additional cost of having a wider maximum aperture is worth it. For example, the Canon 50mm f1 8 can be bought for around $100, whereas the canon 50mm f1 4 can be bought for around $360 and the Canon 50mm f1 2 can be bought for around $1,600.The Canon 50mm f1 8 is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best Canon 50mm lens for wedding photography.

The image quality of the Canon 50mm f1 8 lens is simply awesome. Even wide open the subject remains tack sharp and the colours are bright, vibrant and punchy without being over the top. One of the best features of the Canon 50mm f1 8 is the bokeh, i.e. the out of focus background which can only be described as smooth and creamy, which really makes the subject stand out.

The Canon 50mm f1 8 lens is a very popular lens, and not just for wedding photography. This lens has many uses and can be used for a whole variety of uses, including landscape, architecture and as a general walkabout lens to name but a few. The Canon 50mm f1 8 lens is a highly rated lens and I have yet to read a poor review about it, despite spending a lot of time scouring the internet for one.

After being a long term user of the canon 50mm f1 8 and currently on my second example (I ended up breaking the first one by dropping it on to a church floor) I can honestly say I have never had any quality issues and would highly recommend this lens. The Canon 50mm f1 2 is a slightly better lens, but considering it is sixteen times the price it definitely is not sixteen times better! The Canon 50mm f1 8 is awesome value for money and offers the biggest bang for the buck, so if you are looking for a lens for wedding photography that is low on cost but high on image quality the Canon 50mm f1 8 is one you should definitely consider.

Canon 50mm f1.8 lens

The first thing you will notice about the Canon 50mm f1 8 lens is that it is very small and very light. It looks 'normal' on the smaller entry level digital SLR cameras but once you stick it on a medium sized digital SLR camera or even a professional spec camera the Canon 50mm f1 8 looks absolutely tiny. The other thing that is instantly apparent with the Canon 50mm f 1 8 lens is that it is made out of plastic and it looks more like a child's toy than a quality lens. All I can say about this is don't let the appearance fool you because this lens is great and, providing you look after it, it will provide many years of service. The seemingly inferior build quality helps to keep the cost down, which is only a good thing. Another plus point is that if you accidentally break the Canon 50mm f1 8 lens you can simply go and buy another one without having to spend a small fortune and take out another mortgage, as is the case with other lenses.

Feeling Flush?

Feeling Flush?
Feeling Flush?

If you would like a Canon 50mm lens but don't think the 1.8 maximum aperture is going to be wide enough for your needs then why not have a look at the Canon 50mm f1 4. This lens is as good as the Canon 50mm f1 8 but has a wider maximum aperture, and a higher price tag to match.

Don't get me wrong, this lens is a good buy but it doesn't give the same value for money as the Canon 50mm f1 8.

Money to Burn?

Money to Burn?
Money to Burn?

If you want a Canon 50mm lens and have deep pockets the Canon 50mm f1 2 is the lens for you. This is a professional grade lens, which means it is weather sealed and carries the distinctive 'red ring'. The image quality of this lens is superb but then given its cost this is to be expected. Is this lens 16 times better than the Canon 50mm f1 8? Definitely not, but if you want Canon's Widest and fastest 50mm lens and have the funds to pay for it, then knock yourself out.

So you want to be a wedding photographer?

Wedding photography can be a profitable business where you can charge a premium for the images taken. In order to be a successful wedding photographer you need to learn the tricks of the trade and acquire relevant skills and knowledge.

If you are a complete novice and have never photographed a wedding before check out some wedding photography books for excellent tips to get you started. Wedding photography is a challenge and composing a good image is not as easy as simply sticking someone in front of the camera. If you want to capture the best portraits possible you need to know how to direct people and get them standing in the right place, check out the following for some advice;

Fine Art Wedding Photography: How to Capture Images With Style For The Modern Bride

Captured by the Light: The Essential Guide to Creating Extraordinary Wedding Photography

500 Poses for Photographing Brides: A visual Sourcebook for Professional Digital Wedding Photographers

Digital Wedding Photography: Capturing Beautiful Memories

On-Camera Flash Techniques for Digital Wedding and Portrait Photography

How wide an aperture do you really need for wedding photography?

When choosing which Canon 50mm lens to buy for wedding photography you need to ask yourself a question. Is wider really better?

How wide an aperture do you need for wedding photography?

See results

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If you have any thoughts, comments, ideas or suggestions please feel free to note them down here. Thanks.

Your comments are appreciated

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      nice information about the canon lens

    • weddingphotogra1 profile image


      6 years ago from Melbourne

      I have the 1.2, and as much as I love it, you're right about the price. It's not 16 times better! Buy the 1.8!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am a photographer and that lens is one of my favorites

    • PhotographicStu profile image


      6 years ago

      great lens

    • whodiesinthenew profile image


      6 years ago

      This is 2 great lenses! I mean Squidoo lens and the Canon 50mm 1.8. It looks (and sounds) cheep but does excellent job.


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