Here’s the Fujifilm kit I’m using at weddings in 2024

I’ve been a UK & London wedding photographer for almost 15 years, starting on a Nikon D700 and switching the Fujifilm X-T series in 2014. Over time the camera kit I take to a wedding has grown and evolved but it’s still basically just two cameras and a bunch of prime lenses. So I thought fellow photographers might be interested in what I consider the best Fujifilm cameras and lenses for wedding photography, and I’ve expanded the kit list into bags, lighting, and other accessories too.

Some photographers may feel like Fujifilm wedding photography can’t be as good as full frame, but I absolutely disagree – almost everything on this website was shot with Fuji X-T cameras and while photography snobs may claim to tell the difference I’m pretty sure (i.e. 100% certain) that my clients don’t care. I switched to Fujifilm from Nikon for two main reasons:

  • firstly, the reduced size and weight (that’s one reason, okay?) means I’m less conspicuous than someone toting a full-frame body with their monster-sized lenses, and I can keep more lenses in my little bag all day;
  • and secondly, I just have much more fun using them than I ever did with my Nikon D700. It might sound shallow to put importance on aesthetics and ‘fun’, but if you’re not having fun being a wedding photographer then why are you even doing it?

By the way, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made after clicking links below. But I’m only listing what I actually use – nobody has paid me or otherwise influenced me to promote something I don’t use and recommend myself. 

 

Fujifilm cameras for wedding photography

The Fujifilm X-T5

Check the latest X-T5 price on Amazon

I’ve photographed weddings all over the UK and the world with every Fujifilm X-T camera except the X-T4, which I skipped mainly because I dread using the fully articulating screen they gave it – the three-way tilt is so much better for stills work.

As I update this post in January 2024 I’ve had over a year of experience with the Fujifilm X-T5. I shoot corporate events during the week, and in the last year I’ve produced over 31,000 edited images with the X-T5 so I know it extremely well by now and it’s an absolute beast, I’m so happy with it.

The 40MP sensor is a huge upgrade over the X-T3 I was using before, and the increase in sharpness and general detail has been quite staggering. It’s also better than ever at high ISO. I typically leave my cameras in Auto ISO mode set to run from the lowest ISO up to 12800, prioritising around 1/200th to 1/250th shutter speeds. This pretty much covers everything, only rarely dipping down to slow shutters like 1/60th if it needs to. The noise produced by higher ISOs on the Fujifilm X-T5 looks more like fine-grained film noise than ever before so it’s almost entirely usable without any work. But for weddings I typically run anything over ISO4000 through Lightroom’s AI Denoise tool at level 28 (out of 100), which cleans everything up very nicely without looking too smooth.

Here’s what else I love about the X-T5, especially upgrading from the X-T3:

  • the slightly chunkier handgrip
  • much quieter shutter sound (this one really took me by surprise, it’s almost silent)
  • vastly improved battery life (I may need a second battery by the evening, I never need a third)
  • in-body stabilisation for better handheld wide shots
  • faster autofocus and better face recognition (improved further by firmware updates since launch)
  • and as mentioned the three-way tilt screen, one of my favourite design choices about the entire X-T series

 

Fujifilm X-T3 (backup only)

Check the latest X-T3 price on Amazon

Normally when I buy a new body I trade-in my old ones. This time I’ve hung onto them. Mine are very well used now and only worth about £400 each to trade in, which obviously isn’t to be sniffed at. But, I’ve had a few close calls when I’ve needed to send one in for repair and it’s been tight getting it back before the next shoot.

Thankfully the team at Fujifilm UK provide an exceptional service and it’s usually been back in four or five days! But I can do without the stress so for now I’m hanging onto them as a ‘repair backup’. I did take them both along for the first few shoots with my X-T5s just in case the new cameras let me down somehow, but no need any more. If you’re interested, here’s the last wedding I shot with my X-T3 cameras, back in October 2022…

Fujifilm XPro 3 (backup only)

Check the lastest XPro 3 price on Amazon

I’m very close to selling this camera. I can see now that I bought it purely to satisfy my Gear Acquisition Syndrome triggered by the disappointment of the X-T4 announcement and its horrible articulating screen.

I thought I’d get used to the strange choice to make the rear LCD unusable unless you fold it out, but I never did, really. I don’t like the EVF design (it’s too small, and too flush with the camera back) and the lack of a D-pad to access shortcuts was much more annoying than I’d expected.

So I used it for a few jobs as a third camera clipped to my lens bag with a Peak Design quick release plate, but I don’t think I’ve used it properly for two years now. It doesn’t even get taken as a backup any more.

Fujifilm lenses for wedding photography

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R

Check the latest XF 16mm f/1.4 price on Amazon

Superb wide prime lens, roughly equivalent to 24mm on a full frame sensor. Not a fan of the focus ring that moves back and forth between manual and auto, I’ve never seen the point of that. Maybe it’s an old-school street photographer thing? It’s great in busy rooms where the 23mm is a bit too tight, and for wide shots in dark venues, especially during dancing.

I did used to have the Fuji 14mm but it was too wide for most ‘people’ shots, but also not as wide as I wanted for really spectacular venue shots (which is why I got the 8-16mm). It’s also only f/2.8, so not as useful as the f/1.4 on the 16mm so I traded it in eventually.

Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 Mk2

Check the latest XF 23mm f/1.4 price on Amazon

Along with the 56mm this has long been one of my most used lenses and you’ll find it in most if not all Fujifilm wedding photography bags. Recently I’ve started trying to avoid falling back on the 23/56 combination too often (or 35/85 on full frame) simply because I think my work can stagnate if I stick to the same lenses all the time. But it’s a popular combo because it works so well!

This version is vast improvement over the original, which I relied on heavily but was feeling slow to focus and showed up far too much chromatic aberration wide open. The new version fixes both those things and adds weather resistance too. The design is bit more ‘boring’ than the old Fuji lenses, but at least it loses the manual/auto shift on the focus ring, I never liked that. Currently (Jan 2023) it’s very hard to get hold of, but it’s worth it if you can.

Fujifilm XF 33mm f/1.4

Check the latest XF 33mm f/1.4 price on Amazon

This replaced the near-legendary Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 in my bag. I did love that wee 35mm lens, especially the square metal hood I used on it, but like the original 23mm it was feeling slower to focus than I’d like at a wedding, with lots of CA wide open.

The 33mm is faster to focus, sharper across the image, and no serious CA to speak of. It’s fast becoming my favourite all-rounder, even supplanting the 56mm as my lens of choice due to how useful it is for medium-close-ups during the reception, for example. The 56mm can be too tight and my wedding photos benefit from capturing more of the story happening around people, than just close-ups of people themselves.

Physically it’s bigger than the 35mm, mostly in the length, but it feels like a better balance on the camera to me. My only real annoyance is that it’s virtually indistinguishable from the new 23mm when you’re trying to grab it from a lens bag on the day. I’m seriously considering coloured or raised stickers of some kind, anything to help identify them by touch or in poor light.

Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 Mk2

Check the latest XF 56mm f/1.2 Mk2 price on Amazon

Ahhh, the mighty Fuji 56mm. Along with the XF 23mm above the XF 56mm completes the classic 35/85 (or 23/56) lens pairing so many wedding photographers favour. This new version of one of Fuji’s most famous lenses has weather resistance, slightly faster focussing, and a much closer focus distance. It’s a tiny bit heavier and bigger but feels even better than the original on an X-T5.

It’s stunning for portaits, if you’re far enough away to get more than just head and shoulders into the frame, but where it’s really useful on a wedding day is for the speeches, for candids of guests chatting during the wedding breakfast, and especially for ceremonies in dark, vast churches.

But, the 56mm is no longer my most used lens. I learned that the field of view I get from the XF 33mm (previously the XF 35mm) usually tells better wedding day stories than the 56mm as it can include more of what’s going on around a person. I still use the 56mm a lot, but looking at my stats it’s down to about 16% of my delivered photos whereas the 33mm now takes about 25%.

Fujifilm XF 90mm f/2

Check the latest XF 90mm f/2 on Amazon

I love the solid feel of this lens, the reach it gives me, and the fantastic bokeh at f/2. But although it’s the classic portrait lens at 135mm-equivalent on full frame, I tend to only use it at weddings when I’m too far away from the action. It’ll typically come out if I’m restricted to the back of the church (only happened once, some officious twerp of a vicar in Twickenham) and sometimes during speeches if it’s all packed so tightly I can’t physically move closer. It tends to stay in my larger kit bag all day and I swap it into my lens bag just before speeches if I think I’ll need it.

So for me it’s one of those ‘better to have and not need, than need and not have’ lenses!

 

Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8

Check the latest XF 8-16mm f/2.8 price on Amazon

Generally I don’t enjoy using zoom lenses at weddings but this doesn’t count as I pretty much only use it at 8mm wide (12mm-equivalent on a full frame – and f/2,8 all the way). It comes out for a few specific shots: venue shots before the guests arrive, scene-setting throughout the day as we move to a new space, and a few first-dance/dance-floor shots. And those wide shots really do look incredible – sharp pretty much corner-to-corner, and no noticeable distortion. Rectilinear wide shots for the win!

The relative slowness of f/2.8 isn’t as much of an issue on really wide shots as you can get away with hand-holding slower shutter speeds – but of course on the X-T5 (and X-T4) the in-body stabilisation takes care of that almost completely unless you need longer than a second.

All that said, it’s big and heavy. Although still probably not as big and heavy as a full frame 85mm!

The rest of my wedding photography kit…

So that’s all of my Fujifilm wedding photography kit covered. What about the rest? Here’s a list of the bags, flashes, and other accessories I use, and as I find the time I’ll add a few more paragraphs about why I use them over the alternatives…

Thinktank StreetWalker HardDrive

Check the latest Thinktank StreetWalker HardDrive price on Amazon – this backpack is on version 2 now with some nice quality-of-life improvements, but my V1 is still going strong after about a decade of constant, vigorous use. The perfect size for both my cameras, all the lenses listed above, a couple of flashes with triggers, plenty of spare batteries and cards, a fistful of packets of ear-plugs (for the dancefloor), Spider holsters, cables, my handheld LED, a couple of bow-ties, a water bottle, and even a large laptop (useful for overnights, but I wouldn’t take a laptop to the actual wedding).

I could even fit in the XF 16-55mm and the XF 50-140mm lenses if I absolutely needed to, but bear in mind that if you do pack it to the gills it’s incredibly heavy.

Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L

Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L – the perfect size to carry spare Fuji lenses, which are small enough to be able to fit up to six in here depending which ones! Typically if I have the 23 and 56 on my cameras I’ll have the 16, 33, maybe the 8-16, and maybe the 90 in here. Plus batteries, lens cloth, snack, and maybe a metal tube and a prism for some creative portraits. I can also attach a Peak Design Capture Clip to the side and hang another camera off it, such as the X-Pro3, although I tend not to bother these days. When I’m packing my Thinktank backpack I load this up with most of my lenses and pack it inside the backpack in the central space. Very handy bag, I love it.

Two SpiderPro mirrorless holsters

Check the latest SpiderPro prices on Amazon – I hate having cameras swinging around off my shoulders and the Spider holsters are the answer, they are AWESOME. Cameras can go anywhere you can reach, hang almost weightlessly on your belt when you’re not using them, and if you have a flash or trigger attached it hangs down rather than sticking out like it does with the Peak Design Capture Clip. I feel completely free to move around, I can easily get cameras where I want them to be (over my head, down on the ground, etc), and there’s no camera weight whatsoever on my shoulders.

The only thing to be aware of is missing the holster when you replace the cameras carelessly in a hurry. I’ve done that once, and broke a lens casing open. I never did that again! That might be enough to make someone go for the Holdfast Moneymaker – that leather harness that crosses your back with each camera dangling by your side, making them undroppable. I got one and stopped using it after two weddings. The biggest problem with the Moneymaker, that seemingly nobody talks about, is that cameras swing around, bash into things, and get tangled, and still put weight on my shoulders. Also, the cameras can only go as far away from you as the tether allows, and it’s not long enough to get the cameras over my head, or right down on the ground.

No such problems with the Spider Pro system. I’ve got the mirrorless Spider kit which is a little more lightweight than the full frame kit (but still high quality metal) and comprises a plate and a belt clip for each camera. You could also get the Spider belt system, but I find it’s too much bulk and blocks access to trouser pockets.

Boling P1 LED light

Check the lastest Boling P1 LED price on Amazon – my secret weapon for quick and easy informal posed shots in a dark room, such as the dancefloor. I try to avoid using on-camera flash at all, but sometimes you need a bit more light for a posed shot, so it’s quicker for me to hold this in one hand and shoot with the other, than faff about with flash. Also super handy for adding directional light on detail shots in a badly lit room. Watch out for people looking at the light and not the lens, I’m not sure why but LOADS of people do that!

Various accessories…

I have a bunch of other bits and pieces I pack in my bag that get used to varying degrees depending on the wedding:

  • Glass prism and a piece of metal piping – for creative in-camera effects, not to be overused!
  • Spare batteries – I have four spare X-T5 batteries in my Everyday Sling, I’ve not needed more than two though
  • Godox speedlights & triggers – typically used during the first dance, maybe for guest dancing too if it’s super dark
  • Manfrotto lighting stands – I’ll set one either side of the dance floor for the first dance, to create dramatic side lighting
  • Magshoes & Magmod grids – Magshoes go on the stands for easy flash mounting, and the grids control the light spill for those first dance shots

 

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