Event photographers have to be prepared to cover any type of event – from weddings to concerts. The level of diversity in terms of events to cover is massive. While this can be stressful, it also means that if you get lucky, you can easily find a lot of work. Event photography may seem daunting, but it’s very rewarding!
Of course, there are a few things every photographer needs to be successful at event photography. Firstly, you’re going to need a decent camera body, and you need the artistic skill to work the camera.
Once you buy yourself a good camera, the next important thing you need is a proper lens. Due to the diverse nature of events, the lenses for event photography are incredibly important. Different events will require different lenses.
If you’re not sure about what lens should be a part of your kit, then there’s no need to worry. This article will go on to explain what lenses will be the best for your event photography career.
What Do You Need to Look for in Lenses for Event Photography?
Events are incredibly diverse and have a wide range of different requirements. Depending on the type of event you’re covering, there may be several different things you need. However, one general rule that you should follow is investing in a lens that has a low aperture. The aperture value that you should opt for is at least f/2.8.
At this level of aperture, you won’t have to worry about lighting. Additionally, the low opening will also allow you to set a very high shutter speed. Capturing images quickly is crucial when it comes to covering an event adequately.
Another fascinating dilemma that photographers face is choosing between a prime and a zoom lens. Each different category of lenses provides its benefits and disadvantages.
The one clear benefit of buying a prime lens is the image quality it offers. However, while the advantage is superior image quality, a disadvantage is the lack of flexibility. Prime lenses only capture images at one particular focal length. At an event, if you don’t have enough space to move around, this can become an issue.
If you’re looking to buy a zoom lens for an event, there are several benefits. One of the most significant advantages is the versatility you get with a zoom lens. You’ll get the ability to choose between different angles and focal lengths. However, the quality of your images won’t be on the same level as a prime lens. There are specific modern zoom lenses that offer brilliant image quality, but they cost a lot.
Depending on your skillset and the event you’re covering, you can choose between whether you want to go with a prime or a zoom lens. The best option would be to keep both in your kit because you never know what might happen at an event.
If you want to know what lenses in the market today are ideal for event photography, then keep reading!
1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM (Budget Winner)
If you’re a Canon camera owner, chances are you already own a prime lens by the leading camera equipment company, but you still need to get your hands on this Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM.
When you’re starting with event coverage, your predominant focus is going to be capturing pictures of people. Generally, as a rule of thumb, most budding photographers are aware that prime lenses make for really great portraits. This 50mm lens has a shallow aperture, which helps blur the background exceptionally. Bokeh results from this camera are exceptional.
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 is arguably one of the best lenses for event photography on the market, but it can do so much more than events. However, this lens excels especially in event photography because of how fast it takes pictures. Its lightweight design makes it very unobtrusive. The lens is perfect for all kinds of events that have you interacting with crowds and taking photos.
Furthermore, because of the presence of such a low aperture setting, the Canon 50mm f/1.4 is perfect for indoor events. Flash photography is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and you don’t always have the opportunity for external lighting.
Such low aperture settings allow you to take pictures indoors in the natural light of the venue. In smaller indoor venues, this is probably the only lens you’re going to need.
If you believe that getting a prime lens will limit the potential you have, a great lens to get you started is the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L. You typically find the Canon EF lens with a constant aperture of f/2.8.
This focal range is genuinely diverse because, at the constant level of aperture, you get the opportunity to take great portraits. The background blur is exceptional and helps you create some beautiful bokeh shots. Furthermore, the zoom also gives you a compression advantage that you don’t get with other lenses.
The adjustable focal length is a very significant advantage at events. With the zoom, you get the opportunity just to blend in and take pictures unobtrusively from a distance. Additionally, you also gain access to angles that just wouldn’t be possible with a prime lens. It’s much easier to take candid shots with this lens, as well.
When it comes to lenses, the Canon 70-200mm should be a part of your kit. It’ll significantly increase your photographic capabilities.
You don’t always get the option to shoot in an open space. Sometimes you’ll come across small event venues, and this can pose a real challenge for photographers. However, with the right equipment, you can tackle any event – this is where the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2 Di VC USD comes in.
This Tamron lens gives you incredible versatility in small spaces. It comes with an E-band coating that reduces flare and ghosting in pictures. Its image stabilization technology also ensures that your images have no blur. The autofocus technology in this lens improves both the accuracy and speed of the autofocus. This lens is surely one of the great lenses for event photography.
If you want to capture some unique images, no lens can match up to the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM. This lens has the benefit of having two ultra-wide-angle lenses. The ability to get several wide-angle pictures can help take your event coverage to the next level.
Its light weight of just 2.5 pounds means that it’s easy to carry around during events, as well. The lens has its own AF motor and works well with Nikon cameras. Investing in this lens will significantly improve your photography profile.
The Nikon NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G prime is incredibly useful and takes really high-quality images. Furthermore, the depth of field you get at the minimum level of the aperture is much grander than any 50mm lens can provide.
This lens is optimized to excel on both FX and DX-format cameras. It also has a simple M/A focus mode switch, allowing you to quickly change modes according to what the situation requires. The internal focus motor allows you to focus on your subject quickly and quietly.
The Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G is another perfect example of prime lenses for event photography. The Nano AR coating of the lens suppresses any unnecessary reflections in your photos. This lens is dust and moisture resistant so you can take it along with you to outdoor events too.
The Sony 90mm f/2.8 comes with Optical Steady Shot image stabilization technology, so you don’t have to worry about any handheld blur. The sliding focus ring makes it easy to focus on your subject, as well.
If you’re covering an event with a lot of people, like a wedding, you’re going to have to take a lot of group shots. For a situation like that, the Nikon NIKKOR 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED is perfect. This wide-angle zoom lens has two aspherical lenses and two ED glass elements.
It’s Silent Wave Motor ensures that you can focus on your subject, quietly and accurately – much-needed feature during events. The rounded diaphragm of the lens also ensures that you achieve a nice background blur.
8. Nikon NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED (Overall Winner)
The last lens on our list of lenses for event photography is this prime lens by Nikon. Specifically designed for close-up photography, the Nikon NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED will help you take stunning portraits at any event. With VR (vibration reduction) II technology, you can take sharp pictures without any blur.
The ED glass elements of this lens ensure high-quality images and get rid of any flare or chronic aberrations in your photos. The fast and quiet autofocus also means you won’t waste any time at events.
There are several different kinds of lenses for event photography to choose from. The possibilities are endless, and the most important thing is finding a lens that suits your needs and skills. With our list, you can find the right equipment, and watch your career soar!