Lens Series // Canon 50mm 1.2 Review

Over the next few weeks I am going to do a short series on my blog on the lenses I use during a wedding day. For each post in this series, I will talk about one lens -- what it's strengths are and when I pull it out of my bag during the wedding day. Throughout each post I will also share images taken with each specific lens.

Keep in mind throughout this series that I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III that has a full-frame sensor. So the images I shoot with my lenses are true to their focal lengths. If you shoot with a Canon 7D, 50D, Rebel or any other camera that has a crop sensor, what you see when you look through your viewfinder with these lenses will appear more zoomed in than what I get using a 5D Mark III. Just something to keep in mind. If this makes no sense to you, check out this video on You Tube that gives you a great visual comparison.

Today I'm going to start with the Canon 50mm 1.2 lens. This is my most versatile lens. If I had to pick only one lens to shoot an entire wedding with (which I'm glad I don't have to!), this would be it. I use it during every part of the wedding day -- preparation, portraits, ceremony and reception. I averaged out the images shot at my last two weddings, and 60% of them were taken with this lens.

This lens is super-high-quality. It's solid. It's ability to open up to an aperture of 1.2 makes it amazing in low-light situations and great for achieving a super-shallow depth of field.

Have you ever shot a in a super-dark indoor venue? Or a ceremony outdoors at sunset? This lens is a must-have for these situations. There is one venue in Atlanta where I've shot a number of times -- and while it's beautiful, it's dark.  So dark, that even when maxing out my camera settings, I am unable to use my Canon 70-200 2.8 lens (a go-to lens for indoor ceremonies) at f2.8. I still don't have enough light. I photographed Amber & Chris' wedding in Castle-berry Hill and shot the entire ceremony with my 50mm at f1.2. There was only one image during the ceremony, shot from the balcony, that I took using a different lens -- the Canon 24mm 1.4 lens at f1.4. Other than that, the entire ceremony was shot with my 50mm at 1.2. The images turned out beautifully and I use the photos from this wedding in one of two sample albums that I show prospective clients.

As I mentioned, I use this lens for everything. I shoot details with it throughout the entire day. (f2.0):