Zoom lenses in the wedding photography

The title of this article will sound quite provocative to the old photographers. I know that some people will say that there is no such thing as the best lens for wedding photography. Well, in a way it is true because everything depends on your preferences and style of work. Let’s not forget about your wallet as wedding photography is not a cheap sport unfortunately ;-D…

So, at this point I could easily recommend a dozen or so amazing focal lengths (I work mainly with focal lengths myself), however I am talking about one universal lens for special tasks. Not a big set of jars :-D.  There can be only one answer for such a question. It has to be a standard zoom in the focal length range 24-70mm. Assuming, of course, that you are working with a full frame camera and not a cropped one.

Let me say right away that I am not a gear pedant. I test my equipment in field conditions, not in some sterile laboratory. It is all about taking pictures and capturing the moment, not running around the lab in an apron.

So here I will quickly and succinctly compare three standard zooms. I had the opportunity to work with each of them. In the pursuit of perfection I like to change jars frequently. I will also tell you why the Canon EF 24-70 MM F/2.8L II USM has become a permanent part of my stable. Oops… I spoke too soon. That’s me ;-D but here goes… Here we go.


Canon EF 24-70 MM F/2.8L USM combat test and my evaluation

This lens had its premiere in 2002. So it is quite old and maybe that is why the construction is really very solid and perfectly fitted. Armoured. It is resistant to all kinds of bruises and in the heat of battle a few of them happened


No. I don’t throw my equipment around but I assume that a good wedding reportage requires great shots and not hogging the equipment.

I think the glass was made more for analogue than for digital cameras. Does it interfere with anything? Absolutely not. The picture it produces is very pleasant and the colours are slightly pastel. I personally like this kind of plasticity very much. Autofocus. Works reliably. It is an L camera after all.  Of course there are mistakes, but they are not particularly troublesome. Standard. As far as the AF speed is concerned, despite its age the Canon is in my opinion a bit faster than the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 Di VC. The old Canon, however, definitely copes worse with working under the light. The Tamron glass is definitely better in this area, not to mention the new Canon EF 24-70 MM F/2.8L II USM. Sigma can be said to be on Tamron’s level here.

I used the lens quite occasionally but it did not get dusty too much. It is still a good result, because in my glasshouse I have some glass which I turn on a few times and then I say pass. I may be old-fashioned but I definitely prefer much less versatile and handy fixed focal length lenses.


Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 Di VC combat test and my opinion

A relatively young construction.  I had the Tamron for about two months. I was very curious about this glass. I got it for some time from a friend. Anyway allora…

A really respectable glass in terms of weight. It’s heavy and looks like a large caliber cannon. The filter diameter is … 82mm. It is really striking. It also hurts your wrist after prolonged use.

The quality of workmanship is on a quite good level. The jar I tested had slight play on the zoom ring. However, it was a bit catatonic by a colleague so it doesn’t surprise me too much ;-D

AF is a bit slower than Canon EF 24-70 MM F/2.8L USM. For that the jar has image stabilisation. (…By the way, I don’t know if you know, but the inventor of the first in the world image stabilization system was a Pole, our compatriot Kazimierz Pruszyński in 1908…). The stabilisation works really well and it is possible to maintain hand held times of 0.20 seconds. It comes in handy in a dark church. Especially that it is a standard zoom and only f2.8 is available.

The lens copes very well with working against the light. The front lens has been equipped with a number of nano coatings, which reduce flare quite nicely. When it comes to image plasticity and colour reproduction… The image is quite different from the company with the red logo. More “dry”.  Perhaps it has its charm, but the Tamron did not impress me. I am probably too used to using the original system lenses. A matter of taste.


Sigma 24-70 mm f/2.8 EX DG HMS combat test and my evaluation

Standard with the Sigma one of the first questions that pops into my mouth is: does the lens hit? :-D. I will answer briefly. AF is very accurate and quiet. I also didn’t have to use the micro adjustments in the body. As for the speed itself, in my opinion the AF is faster than in the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 Di VC and almost as fast as in the Canon EF 24-70 MM F/2.8L USM.

The jar is very solid and the material from which it is made is pleasant to the touch and really armoured. I have bumped it a few times during my wedding reports, but surprisingly there were no visible marks ;-D

The image it generates is very nice. The colours seem to be more delicate than in the Canon. More pastel. It has its charm. If someone, like me, prefers more distinct colours he can easily enhance them later at the post-production stage.

While working on the Sigma I noticed that it has a slight tendency to vignetting when using extreme focal length ranges (I use full frame bodies only). Vignetting for some may be a disadvantage for others it will be an advantage. It is a matter of taste and expectations as to the final effect.


Canon EF 24-70 MM F/2.8L II USM combat test and my evaluation

The Canon, just like the above mentioned Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 Di VC premiered in 2012. It is in a straight line the younger brother of Canon EF 24-70 MM F/2.8L USM. There was really a lot of pressure on the designers of Canon to make the new lens even better than its almost perfect predecessor.

Did they succeed? I think so…

This jar is permanently installed in my glasshouse. Why? This lens is characterised by incredible sharpness even at the maximum open aperture. In fact, you could say that it could successfully replace many fixed focal length lenses from outside the “L” line. That’s why it’s good to have it in your bag. It is definitely sharper than the Tamron. In this respect it is also better than the Sigma and its predecessor. AF works extremely fast and mistakes are not known to him very much. It is also incredibly quiet.

The image plasticity is delicate but at the same time contrasting. This is probably the common feature of all new L-marks II lenses. Simply put, these lenses were created from scratch to meet the requirements of digital photography and analogue photography is an abstract notion for them. The construction is very solid, but this time I didn’t have the opportunity to check it in practice. The lens really cost a lot and I try to handle it quite delicately.

The weakest side of the Canon EF 24-70 MM F/2.8L II USM is the work under light. In my opinion the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 Di VC looks better in this respect. The price of the Canon 24-70 MM F/2L II USM is also not encouraging as it is simply exorbitant. So it is best to look for a used one. If you are interested in my article please write a comment ;-D Wedding photography in Rzeszów is a very competitive market and that is why I encourage mainly my professional colleagues to speak up.


who is who

Maciej Marszałek

Photographer & Filmmaker

I operate under the flag of Sunny Frame, my small-big company

Once upon a time I left a boring career in law to become what I am today. A happy never surrending free man