Today I'm going to continue my series on lenses by talking about my Canon 24mm 1.4 lens. If you're just joining the series, click below to see the first two posts!

Canon 50mm 1.2
Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS

The Canon 24mm 1.4 lens is a kick-butt wide-angle lens. I use it for about 25% of my images at any given wedding.

The first wide-angle lens I ever owned was the Canon 16-35mm 2.8. It was a great lens in many ways, and I used it to shoot weddings for years, but I decided to sell it and buy the 24mm for two reasons: I wanted the low-light capability that the 1.4 aperture would provide and I found that 24mm was plenty wide when used on my Canon 5D Mark II which has a full-frame sensor. I like the fixed lens for my wide-angle because I use it to shoot all my open dancing images over my head during receptions. And being that the lens is fixed, I can better estimate what is in the frame.

The Canon 24mm 1.4 lens is useful throughout every part of the wedding day -- preparation, portraits, ceremony and reception. It really shines in small spaces and low-light situations.

During preparation, I often use this lens to shoot a gorgeous image of the dress hanging up (ISO 640, f1.4, 1/500):
Occasionally -- but not often -- I shoot other small details with it (ISO 640, f2.0, 1/320):
One thing to keep in mind about any wide-angle lens is that they do produce some distortion in your images. Anything closer to you will appear larger in comparison to elements further away than they do in real life. This attribute makes wide-angle lenses a poor choice for close-up portraits. If you used the 24mm to shoot a headshot, for instance, the subject's nose would look a lot larger than it is, because it is closer to the camera. Not the most flattering result. Also, there is some distortion around the edges of the image -- for instance, people placed on the edges of the image appear wider than they are.

The fact that this lens creates distortion can be used to your advantage as well, however. It is great for placing objects in the foreground that relate to something in the background. The distortion will emphasize the foreground object but the wide-angle still captures the background elements. (ISO 500, f1.4, 1/200)
Even though the subject's hands look disproportionately huge in this image, I still love the effect. And I love how the low aperture really isolates the camera from the background. (ISO 640, f1.4, 1/100)
Here's an example of a time when the 24mm came in handy in a small space. You can see how there is some distortion to the people along the edges of the image. But I'm literally holding my camera over the head of the girl you see at the bottom of the frame and I was able to capture the full circle of toasters in this small space. (ISO 640, f2.0, 1/80)
Even though the 24mm is not ideal for close-up portraits, it is great for environmental portraits -- portraits that depict a subject while also showing off the environment they are in. Here are some examples. (ISO 500, f1.6, 1/250)
Left (ISO 100, f2.0, 1/2000); Right (ISO 640, f1.4, 1/250):
(ISO 200, f1.6, 1/400)
Like I mentioned in my post about the 50mm 1.2, I prefer to shoot group portraits whenever possible with my 50mm. But sometimes, for reasons of space or positioning, I need to use my 24mm. And it does the job. (ISO 320, f4.0, 1/640)
During ceremonies, I usually switch between my 50mm and 70-200mm, but I nearly always take out my 24mm for one wide angle shot of the ceremony setting. (ISO 1000, f1.8, 1/50)
I love using the 24mm for reception room shots. Again, it produces gorgeous results in low-light situations. (ISO 800, f1.8, 1/80)
(ISO 640, f1.8, 1/60)
I always use this lens for cake-cutting shots (ISO 200, f4.5, 1/125, OCF used):
And the part of the day where I never take the 24mm off my camera is during open dancing at the reception. (ISO 320, f4.5, 1/125, OCF used)
Here's one more great example of shooting an object in the foreground with the 24mm:
One other instance I love to use my 24mm for is to capture a blue sky scene-setting shot during the reception. (ISO 1000, f3.2, .6sec)
And here's one more:
If you are in the market for a great wide-angle lens to really fill out your wedding day portfolio, I would highly recommend the Canon 24mm 1.4 lens! I love it!

Another option, if you are still unsure or can't afford the lens now, is to rent it from Check them out!

Let me know if you guys have any questions by leaving a comment! And if you found this post helpful, please spread the news by using the Facebook and Twitter buttons below! Thanks! And to find more info/reviews on my gear and other resources I offer photographers, click here!
+ Comment +