Buying Guides

11 Best Sony Lenses for Wedding Photography in 2023

Rajib Mukherjee Avatar
Rajib Mukherjee
7 August, 2023 • Updated 14 days ago
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If you’re looking to shoot professional wedding photography and Sony is your brand of choice, this article is for you. Don’t worry Nikon and Canon users, I intend to cover those soon.

It’s an intensely high-pressure situation often spread across more than one day, requiring the photographer to be at the top of their game. This means you’ll need equipment that works just as hard as you to create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you’re in a hurry, here is our list of the top Sony lens picks for 2023:

Zoom

  • Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master II (Preferred choice)
  • Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 G Master OSS II
  • Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master
  • Sony FE 16-35mm PZ f/4 G

Prime

  • Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 G Master (Preferred choice)
  • Sony 85mm f/1.8
  • Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master
  • Sony FE 50mm F1.4 G Master
  • Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master
  • Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 G Master

Macro

  • Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G

Read More Sony Guides:

Best Sony Lens for Real Estate Photography
Best Sony Lens for Landscape Photography
Best Sony Lens for Sports Photography

QUICK OVERVIEW

Products Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.8
+130
+130
Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master II
Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master IISony FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master II
  • Fixed wide open aperture of f/2.8 across the focal length
  • Versatile focal length range for a wide range of shooting situations
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $2400
  • Fixed wide open aperture of f/2.8 across the focal length
  • Versatile focal length range for a wide range of shooting situations
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $2400
Check price
at Amazon
MOST REVIEWED
4.8
+1300
+1300
Sony FE 85mm f/1.8
Sony FE 85mm f/1.8Sony FE 85mm f/1.8
  • Fast f/1.8 aperture
  • Significantly less pricey than the 85mm f/1.4
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $500
  • Fast f/1.8 aperture
  • Significantly less pricey than the 85mm f/1.4
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $500
Check price
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TOP PICK
4.9
+120
+120
Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master
Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 G MasterSony FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master
  • Captures a standard angle of view
  • 11 rounded aperture diaphragm blades
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $2500
  • Captures a standard angle of view
  • 11 rounded aperture diaphragm blades
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $2500
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.7
+430
+430
Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G
Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro GSony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G
  • Shoots beautiful close-up photos of small objects
  • Excellent, sharp results
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $800
  • Shoots beautiful close-up photos of small objects
  • Excellent, sharp results
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $800
Check price
at Amazon

Zooms

1. Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master II (Preferred choice)

Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master II

This lens is by far my pick for the best Sony wedding photography lens. The lens offers a very versatile focal length that ranges from wide-angle to mid-telephoto.

This means you can shoot group shots by pulling the lens wide, and then when the bride and the groom cozy up for an intimate portrait, you can zoom in and capture that beautiful moment, all with the same lens.

This translates into you not having to change lenses frequently. Even if you do decide to work with two bodies, you can use a dedicated prime lens for portraits or complement this lens with the Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 G Master OSS II (also on this list) on the other body.

One suggestion I can make is if you plan on using a zoom lens on the second body, you can try the Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 G Master OSS II. That way, you have a large focal length of 24-200mm covered with a fixed aperture of f/2.8.

The lens’s exposure does not change across the focal length, and you can navigate most kinds of lighting with an f/2.8 lens.

One area where the G Master lens loses out to something like the 85mm f/1.4 is the maximum aperture. When shooting in really dark conditions, like the inside of a church or a dimly lit dance hall, you will wish the maximum aperture was f/1.8 or faster.

For all other situations, the f/2.8 is a great aperture to work with.

Another thing I like about this lens is that it’s reasonably lightweight. Most of the time, wedding photographers are hand-holding their cameras, so this is an important feature.

But what really stands out is the autofocusing and the image quality – two parameters that can make or break a lens. If you’re a professional wedding photographer and you need the best lens you can lay your hands on, I don’t think you need to look beyond the 24-70mm F2.8 G M.

The weather sealing is also a bonus to have, especially when you’re exposed to the elements of nature.

Pros
  • Fixed wide open aperture of f/2.8 across the focal length
  • G Master lens with superior build quality
  • Versatile focal length range for a wide range of shooting situations
  • Reasonably lightweight at 695 grams
  • Excellent autofocusing
  • Excellent image quality across the focal length
  • Weather sealed
Cons
  • Pricey

2. Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 G Master OSS II

Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 G Master OSS II

If I get to choose any two Sony zoom lenses for shooting a wedding, this would be my second pick.

It complements the 24-70mm F2.8 GM II perfectly. However, do note that this lens is 350 grams heavier than the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM mentioned above.

Does it make a huge difference? It depends.

If you prefer a lightweight medium telephoto zoom lens, then I must add that this lens is on the lighter side. If you compare this lens with the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S, which is a professional quality S series lens and comparable to the performance of the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM II, the Nikkor is 315 grams heavier.

I love this focal length. It can be a bit tight when the venue is smaller, but with enough working space, I love the background compression this lens can achieve.

Not to mention the creative candid photography opportunities that this lens brings – you can catch a candid shot of a bride trying to hide a tear from several feet away, as well as capturing the emotion on a father’s face as he walks his daughter down the aisle.

The lens achieves smooth bokeh as a result of the 11 rounded aperture blades. You can blur out anything in the foreground and background while keeping the subject in sharp focus. For clients, these aspects are important – the bokeh as well as the subject detail. This lens is able to deliver on both those parameters.

Weather sealing isn’t a huge requirement if you’re shooting weddings unless it’s a destination wedding and you’re shooting in inclement weather. This lens is weather sealed, expanding its versatility.

The autofocusing is also great on this lens. With the advanced Eye-AF technology available on many Sony cameras, this lens is a great tool for shooting portraits and close-ups when the subject is in motion.

Pros
  • Versatile focal length
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture
  • Lighter than the comparable Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S
  • Weather sealed
  • Fast, consistent autofocusing
  • Excellent image quality
  • Built-in image stabilization
Cons
  • Slightly heavier than the 24-70mm GM lens mentioned above

3. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

There are two versions of the 16-35mm lens that I have included in this list. This is my favorite of the two. Please note that many of the lenses I am recommending are what we photographers call the best we can afford.

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford this particular lens. I certainly can’t. Many of the lenses I use are rented, and I am happy to test them out and then return them.

So, if you feel like checking a lens out, I recommend that you rent the lens (the same goes for cameras), test it out, and if you like it, go and buy it.

Getting back to the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM.

One reason to buy a wide zoom fixed aperture lens is to rock the angle of view backwards and forward when shooting wide angle compositions. Sure, you can do the same with a 24-70mm lens, but the 16-35mm is a better choice for photographing wedding venues, the inside of churches, to capture the atmosphere of the venue, and of course, to photograph groups.

For all the above compositions, you would need to stop down the aperture and capture a larger depth of field (DoF).

I generally don’t use a wide zoom lens at wide-open apertures. The DoF is too shallow to manage. Especially when the subjects are moving about, they can be out of the circle of confusion at the precise moment when the shot is captured.

Moreover, I use this focal length to capture wide-angle shots, which are best shot with a larger DoF.

That’s why I prefer to shoot with a smaller aperture so that I have a little bit of room to play with.

All lenses perform slightly better when they’re stopped down by at least one stop. So, at f/4, this lens is superb across the frame.

Having said that, you can use this lens to photograph wide-angle perspectives of things like the cutlery, the flower arrangement, the train of the wedding dress, and so on. With a minimum focusing distance of just 28cm, this lens is more than adept for that.

I wouldn’t use a wide-angle lens to photograph a human being, unless you want that to be your last wedding as a photographer.

Pros
  • Wide angle zoom lens with a versatile angle of view
  • Fixed aperture across the focal length
  • 11 rounded aperture blades
  • G Master lens with exceptional build quality
  • Good weather sealing
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
Cons
  • On the pricier side

4. Sony FE 16-35mm PZ f/4 G

Sony FE 16-35mm PZ f/4 G

If you need a 16-35mm lens and the 16-35mm f/2.8 is above your budget, then the next best option is the 16-35mm f/4.

But I wouldn’t necessarily label this a “budget option.” The 16-35mm f/4 is a decent performer, and although it’s not a G Master lens, it can hold itself in demanding situations.

I mentioned above that I don’t usually shoot wide open at all times.

It’s not always feasible because, at weddings, you’re working in a very dynamic environment. Lots of movement, lots of running around, and run-and-gun style shooting.

If you’re using a wide-open aperture, the DoF is very thin, and that translates into a very thin margin of error.

In other words, you have to open up the aperture to give yourself a little extra room to keep your subjects in focus.

This lens does not open wider than f/4.

 This means that, in low light situations, the 16-35mm will be in a disadvantageous position compared to the 16-35mm f/2.8. You’d have to balance between a large DoF and image blur.

Of course, ISO changes everything. So, if your camera can shoot clean images at ISO 800 and above, you have the option to close the aperture and still get noise-free images.

This is assuming that you are only shooting with natural light.. With artificial lights, you have a lot more room to experiment.

There is one major difference between the 16-35mm f/2.8 I mentioned above and this lens – the build quality. The 16-35mm f/2.8 is a G Master lens, and this one is a G lens.

Having said that, the 16-35mm f/4 PZ comes with weather sealing. Weather sealing is only important when you’re shooting outdoors, which may be the case with some wedding venues.

Pros
  • Constant f/4 aperture across the focal length
  • Offers a decent focal length of 16-35mm
  • Power zoom feature that’s suitable for filmmaking
  • Weather sealed
  • Excellent handling
  • Reliable autofocusing
  • Excellent image quality
  • Value for money
Cons
  • Lower maximum aperture than the 16-35mm f/2.8

Primes

5. Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 G Master

Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 G Master

Ah, my favorite wedding photography prime lens. If you don’t own an 85mm prime and you’re a wedding photographer, you’re losing out!

Rent, beg, borrow, or steal one (don’t do it!) if you have to, use it to shoot a couple of weddings, and you will never go back.

What I like about this lens is that it’s very easy to use. The buttons and dials feel just right, allowing me to use this lens from muscle memory.

The lens weighs 820 grams. It’s slightly on the heavier side. However, it should balance nicely if you’re using a full-frame professional Sony mirrorless camera like the Sony Alpha A7R V, the Sony a7S III, or even the a9.

The fast wide aperture of f/1.4 produces stunning bokeh, which is one of the big bonuses of using this lens.

The lens comes into its own in low-light situations. Because it opens up all the way to f/1.4, it’s able to capture much more light than competitors.

The biggest drawback of this lens is that it’s pricey. I can understand that not many photographers would be willing or able to make that kind of investment right at the start of their careers.

But if you’ve already shot a few weddings and tested the waters and know that your prospects are good, this is definitely worth adding to your kit bag.

The lens is a client-pleaser. The results speak for themselves and the bokeh will be the envy of most competing photographers – especially if they don’t have this lens.

Pros
  • Fast wide aperture of f/1.4
  • Superb bokeh
  • Perfect focal length for shooting portraits
  • Doubles as a fashion lens
  • Superb build quality
  • Excellent autofocusing performance
  • Excellent image quality
Cons
  • One of the priciest prime lenses in the business
  • AF motor is noisy

6. Sony 85mm f/1.8

Sony 85mm f/1.8

If the 85mm f/1.4 is above your budget, I would recommend that you pick the Sony 85mm f/1.8. This is a more pocket-friendly option for beginner photographers. It offers the same field of view as the 85mm f/1.4 GM.

However, the maximum aperture of the lens is f/1.8. That means this lens captures 2/3rd stop less light than what the f/1.4 lens does.

Does it matter? It does when you’re shooting in low-light situations. However, as most wedding photographers use flashes on their cameras, the loss of 2/3rd of stops of light won’t matter.

What matters, however, is the quality of the out-of-focus background effect. The 85mm f/1.8 has nine rounded aperture blades. On the other hand, the 85mm f/1.4 has 11 rounded aperture blades.

Ok, so the 85mm f/1.8 has less rounded aperture blades. So what?

Well, the more the number of aperture blades, the rounder the out-of-focus items in the background. If there are tiny LED lights, for example, they will appear round rather oblong.

The lens does not have image stabilization built-in. That does not matter to me. First, Sony’s mirrorless systems come with body-based sensor-shift image stabilization, and that makes this lens image stabilized by default.

Second, at f/1.8 aperture, the chances that you will need image stabilization are low, unless you are photographing something indoors by candlelight.

At the end of the day, image sharpness is everything and this lens is reasonably sharp.

The corners are a bit softer than the middle of the frame. Wide open, it’s definitely not as sharp as the 85mm f/1.4. But stopped down to f/2.8, the lens gains sharpness.

However, where the 85mm f/1.8 wins over the 85mm f/1.4 is in the area of autofocusing. The 85mm f/1.8 is faster than the 85mm f/1.4. Also, the 85mm f/1.4 makes a louder sound when AF is engaged.

I would recommend that if you don’t need the extra 2/3rd stop of aperture, go for the 85mm f/1.8. But if money is no bar and you need the absolute best, go for the 85mm f/1.4.

Pros
  • Excellent focal length for portraits and fashion photos
  • Fast f/1.8 aperture
  • Nine rounded aperture blades
  • Great quality bokeh
  • Significantly less pricey than the 85mm f/1.4
  • Autofocusing is faster than the 85mm f/1.4
Cons
  • Does not match up to the 85mm f/1.4 in terms of bokeh

7. Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master

Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master

I have seen photographers shoot an entire wedding with nothing more than a 50mm prime attached to their full-frame camera.

The 50mm f/1.2 is one of those lenses that allows you to achieve smooth background blur while keeping the subject in sharp focus.

The 50mm is a standard focal length. It matches the angle of view that humans see. Technically, anything that’s 35mm and wider is considered a wide angle, and anything longer than 50mm enters the realm of short telephoto.

Therefore, the 50mm is a go-between, a focal length that captures what we see and how we see it. That’s a strong reason to invest in a 50mm lens if you haven’t already.

The FE 50mm f/1.2 has a very wide aperture. It’s even faster than the 85mm f/1.4 by one-third of a stop. It’s a full one-stop faster than a f/1.8 lens!

Imagine the advantage that comes with such a wide-aperture lens. You can literally shoot in any kind of lighting!

But, and that’s a big but, the DoF is paper thin. If your camera misfocuses or the subject moves, or even your hands move, you have a blurry composition and a ruined opportunity. The thinner the DoF is, the more difficult it becomes to manage a shot and keep the subject within that zone of acceptable focus.

I trust Sony’s Eye-AF and the general autofocusing accuracy, so I have no issues recommending this lens to anyone looking for a 50mm prime for wedding photography.

That said, there are two issues that I want to highlight about my experience using this lens.

The lens weighs 778 grams. That’s definitely on the heavier side for a 50mm prime and can become weighty after a day of candid shooting.

The lens is also definitely pricey. Unless you absolutely need that extra one-third stop of light, I feel you’re better off choosing the 50mm f/1.4 (also a G Master lens) that I have mentioned below.

Pros
  • Superb f/1.2 maximum aperture
  • Captures a standard angle of view
  • Excellent image sharpness
  • 11 rounded aperture diaphragm blades
Cons
  • 778 grams
  • Expensive

8. Sony FE 50mm F1.4 G Master

Sony FE 50mm F1.4 G Master

If you don’t need the mind-bending f/1.2 aperture that the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master (above) offers, then this is one alternative to consider.

This one, too, is a Sony G Master lens and comes with the promise of superior build and excellent image quality.

Just to throw in some perspective, as I am discussing the Sony 50mm prime here, there is a third 50mm prime that Sony makes for its E mount camera systems. That lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.8 and is priced very reasonably.

Just in case you don’t need an f/1.4 aperture or you’re on a tight budget and both the f/1.4 and the f/1.2 are beyond your priorities, I would recommend that you pick the 50mm f/1.8.

The Sony FE 50mm F1.4’s image quality is stunning, and the 11-rounded aperture diaphragm produces excellent bokeh. Wide open, the center of the frame is crisp.

Low light is definitely one area where the 50mm f/1.4 comes into its own. It’s such a delight to work inside a dimly-lit church or a room that doesn’t have much natural illumination to see what this lens can do.

Of course, the lens’s superb autofocusing and the ability to tag along with the Eye-AF function on modern Sony E Mount cameras means that it can identify and lock focus on the eye of the subject more often than not.

Incidentally, I have found that the 50mm f/1.4 focuses faster than the 50mm f/1.2 GM. This could be because the 50mm f/1.2 has heavier glass to move. But that lens also has four XD Linear AF motors.

Another thing I like about this lens is that it’s lighter than the 50m f/1.2 by roughly 250 grams. I agree it’s not much, and I will not even notice it unless I am shooting with the heavier lens and then switch to the lighter one in the middle of the shoot.

Having said that, if you love a lighter kit to work with, the 50mm f/1.4 should suit your needs.

Pros
  • Cheaper option than the 50mm f/1.2
  • Excellent image quality
  • Excellent sharpness wide open at the center
  • Beautiful bokeh thanks to the 11-rounded aperture blades
  • Lighter than the 50mm f/1.2
  • Faster than the 50mm f/1.2 in terms of autofocusing
Cons
  • Still pricey

9. Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master

Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master

This is an excellent wide-angle prime lens for capturing group shots, decorations, interiors, venues, and anything else that you fancy capturing with a wide-angle lens.

Being a G Master lens means this is a well-built optic that promises a hassle-free user experience for years to come.

G Master lenses are not of the same build quality as the Nikkor D lens above, but they’re good enough considering the abundant use of plastics in modern lens design.

I have seen some reviewers complain about the aperture rings on the lens. They say that it moves inadvertently, and that often changes their exposure.

I have long used a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D, and I know this is an extremely valuable addition to any lens. I don’t mind the aperture ring or the position of it.

Now for the million-dollar question – how’s the image quality? It’s excellent. Across the frame, even wide open, the lens leaves very little room for improvement. Corners do improve when the lens is stopped down. And I think you will hardly ever use this lens to shoot wide open at f/1.4, so stopping down is inevitable.

Pros
  • Decent build quality
  • Lightweight
  • A fast aperture of f/1.4
  • Excellent for group shots
  • Excellent sharpness
  • Very minimal distortion
Cons
  • A little bit of vignetting

10. Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 G Master

Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 G Master

35mm lenses are technically moderately wide-angle lenses. 35mm isn’t the widest angle for capturing weddings, though. I would prefer the 24mm over the 35mm for group shots, capturing the atmosphere of a wedding venue, the interiors, and anything else that’s best captured with a wide-angle lens.

Having said that, if you don’t have a 24mm, the 35mm is the next best option. Usually, every photographer has a 50mm and a 35mm prime in their kit bag. It’s one of those all-purpose focal lengths that can be useful in a lot of photography situations.

Although I rarely shoot with this lens at the widest aperture, when I have done so, the background blur was excellent. I have seen LED lights appear perfectly round when they’re out of focus, a sign that the 11-rounded aperture diaphragm blades do their job.

The build quality of this lens is superb. It lives up to its label as a G Master lens. Plus, the lens comes with weather sealing,

Autofocusing is always an overrated feature when it comes to wedding photography. You won’t be locking focus on a soccer player making a run through the opposition’s defense. Mind you, if you are doubling up as an X-sports photographer or planning to shoot pictures of your kid trampolining in the backyard, this lens would still perform well.

The image quality, in a word, is excellent.

Pros
  • Fast wide aperture of f/1.4
  • Excellent image quality
  • Balances very well with a full-frame Sony E mount camera
  • Beautiful background blur
  • Weather-sealed design
  • Decent autofocusing speed
Cons
  • Focus breathing issues are prominent

Macro

11. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G

Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G

A macro lens may sound like a weird choice for wedding photography at first. However, having shot a few weddings, I know for a fact that macro lenses have a place in wedding photography.

Not convinced? Try photographing the wedding rings, the finer details on the bride’s dress, the mehndi on the bride’s hands, or the earrings she is wearing. I can go on and on till you’re convinced that this lens makes as much sense as a 70-200mm f/2.8.

I am not saying that a macro lens would be your go-to lens for wedding photography, but this is definitely a great lens to boot for all those special-purpose needs.

Having said that, a macro lens can also work as a standard shooter. In this sense, you can use the 90mm to take a portrait image if you’re presented with a candid opportunity.

Macro lenses are extremely sharp by nature, and that makes them suitable for applications beyond just macro photography, such as portraits and commercial product photography, as well as food photography. Though in this discussion, I am not going to delve too much into those non-wedding applications.

The Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G is very sharp across the frame. Wide open at f/2.8, the lens produces excellent sharpness, capturing a lot of detail of the subject in focus, whether that be the cufflinks on the groom’s sleeves or the tassels on the wedding gown.

Yet at the same time, the lens offers great background bokeh that accentuates the subject and isolates it from anything distracting in the background.

Pros
  • A wide-open aperture of f/2.8
  • Excellent bokeh
  • Shoots beautiful close-up photos of small objects
  • Doubles up as a portrait lens
  • Excellent, sharp results
Cons
  • Not the fastest of lenses
  • Autofocusing motor makes a noise
Rajib Mukherjee Avatar
Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. The first time he ever clicked an image was with an Agfa Click IV back in 1984. A medium format film camera. From that auspicious introduction to photography, he has remained hooked to this art form. He loves to test and review new photography gear. Rajib travels quite a lot, loves driving on Indian roads, playing fetch with his Labrador retriever, and loves photography. And yes, he still proudly owns that Agfa Click IV!