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Our Most-Used Lenses

There are a lot of different lens options out there ... and we have tried them ALL. The lenses shown below are our favorites. They deliver superb images while still keeping us packing light, so we can move from moment to moment without missing a shot. We do shoot with more lenses than just these, but a good 90% of the shots we take come from these three lenses alone.

Tamron 17-50mm

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8

The workhorse. This lens has several great things going for it. First, it has a great range. It zooms out to a nice wide angle to capture really wide scenes, like a church sanctuary, or a wide reception hall. It zooms in to 50mm, which is useful for group portraits (like posed formals of the whole family right after the wedding ceremony). It's also a great close-up lens, and gets right in there for shots of the rings, and small details like guest cards, etc. It's useful in a really wide variety of circumstances. And like all our lenses, it's nice and fast. The maximum aperture of f/2.8 ensures that we can capture all the action in any lighting environment.

Tokina 50-135mm

Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8

Probably the best portrait lens ever made. This thing is just phenomenal. The focal length range replicates the popular film length of 70-200mm. That range is essential for event and portrait shooters, but the standard 70-200mm lenses are heavy and bulky. Because we shoot on DX cameras, we can take advantage of this smaller, lighter version.

Because the lens is so light (compared to the bigger monsters), we're much more mobile, and can go from shot to shot much quicker than if we were using the heavy version. Some photographers just use the old 70-200 on their DX camera bodies, which means they have to sacrifice the wide end of the focal range. With this lens, we can shoot all the way back at 50mm when necessary.

Sigma 30mm

Sigma 30mm f/1.4

This is quickly becoming our favorite lens. It's what you'd call an "intimate" lens, perfect for getting close-in shots of one or two subjects. At least, that's how we like to use it. And it's a very, very fast lens. At f/1.4, we can grab shots in the lowest-light situations. Plus, that wide aperture makes the out-of-focus areas very soft and dreamy.

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