Check out our, Quick Answer - The Best Lenses for Travel Photography, Comparison Table - Best Lens for Travel Photography, Reviews - The Best Travel Photography Lenses, THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A LENS FOR TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY, Focal length is the first thing you look at when choosing a lens. Once in a while I even carry a third DSLR—the one I've had modified for infrared photography. I teplaced the two lenses with the convenience of one and got a better image quality as a bonus. At those moments the pictures I take with the 28-300mm are visual notes for what will come later. My current selection of lenses. By contrast, the Canon EF-S 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom is a relatively old design with noisy autofocus and sluggish overall performance. Each of these lenses are used for very specific reasons. I zoomed in to 230mm to capture the graceful way the leaves were displayed on this particular branch. It’s not a bad picture, although it’s a little overexposed. Picking a lens like an 18-200mm will serve well in 90% of the situations a casual to semi-serious photographer … It is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest lenses made in recent years and is, deservingly, the best professional travel lens for Nikon’s DX mount. It has a maximum angle of view of 180 degrees, letting you take panoramas of the sights. The Sigma is one of the best bang-for-your-buck lenses on this list and is our choice for best budget travel lens for Canon’s EF-S mount. ), the Nikon 50mm f1.8 is a tempting alternative to the more expensive f1.4 with hardly any reduction in quality. The ‘Nifty Fifty’ as it’s called, should be the first step on the lens ladder for any photographer looking to be more creative. I shot pretty much straight down, but composed on the diagonal to give the picture a sense of movement with lines for your eyes to follow. If you wish to travel with just one lens, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. Picking a lens like an 18-200mm will serve well in 90% of the situations a casual to semi-serious photographer will … Focal Length: … The photos in this story were taken with the 28-300mm a few years ago during a photo tour I was leading. Meanwhile, the linear motor is great for fast-moving subjects like wildlife, cars, and people. © Deborah Sandidge, A simple grab shot at the full 300mm of the zoom's reach. Canon Shooters (like me): Get the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Lens for Canon (it’s $599 at B&H Photo. The Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and the newer Nano USM edition are good travel lenses, especially if you’ve already bought one as part of an SLR kit. I had one camera, a Nikon F100, and a 24-120mm zoom. 0 shares. For documentary photography?" At the beginning I struggled with this dilemma as well. It’s wide enough for landscape, yet it has the range to get tight for portraits or close-up shots. It also offers a 4.5-stop image stabilization and a silent autofocus system. I got a 50mm f1.4 a few weeks back, since I miss this focal lens specially for people on the street, so this might add another lens when I travel. Aperture: f/2.8. An Added Attraction The 10-24mm isn't the lens you'd choose to be your walking around glass, but the story proves a point that most pro shooters know: photography is pretty much equal parts good ideas, imaging skill and problem-solving ability. The Sony prime lens FE 50mm F/1.8 is one of the best bargains in the market. The lenses I’m going to recommend (it’s really just one lens, but you need a variation of it depending on whether you’re using a Full Frame body or Crop Sensor body) I came to fall in love with the hard way — by traveling with WAY too much gear. Other notable features include a 5-axis image stabilization and lightning-fast auto-focus, which we find particularly useful for capturing moving subjects when exploring around. Panasonic Lumix LX100 Mark II Naturally, this lens also features extra-low dispersion and aspherical elements that produce true colors and a distortion-free perspective. The idea here was to fill the frame with his face, his expression, and just a few details around him, and 300mm did that. During travel, the risk of smudging the lens may increase. A Sub-Wavelength coating guards against flare and ghosting, so artificial lighting won’t disturb your photos. Yes, there’s a lot to be said for the convenience and versatility of zoom lenses, not forgetting the … A sympathetic employee unloaded my camera and looked inside. Life, and photography, is compromise but it need not be a hard decision. Ideal for low-lit scenes, street photography and portraits, the handy lens … A steal!). Life, and photography, is compromise but it need not be a hard decision. Thanks to its stellar image sharpness, blazing fast autofocus, and superb build quality, the Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G is our choice for the best travel lens for professional Nikon photographers. Plus, an optical stabilizer deals with any camera shake that seeps into your image. And special low dispersion elements suppress color fringing for improved quality of your shots. Best Point and Shoot Cameras for Travel of 2020, Best Travel Tripods for Mirrorless Cameras of 2020, Great For Both Landscapes And Street Photography, Wide Aperture For Exceptional Low Light Performance, Fast Aperture For Optimal Low Light Performance, Large Aperture Creates Beautiful Background Blur, Produces Realistic Colors With No Aberrations, Image Stabilization System For Blur Free Images, Protected Against Rain, Dust, And Moisture, Great Focal Range To Shoot Everything From Landscapes To Portraits, High-Speed Autofocus With Quiet Operation, Great For Close-Up Shots And Macro Photography. Most lens manufacturers have one. ; The Cause, And The Cure. It’s not a bad picture, although it’s a little overexposed. Want to learn more about a technical term? As much as the author’s biases lean toward prime lenses, there still is an incredibly valuable reason many zoom lenses exist, and it’s hard to argue that travel photography is not one of the best arenas for bringing your zoom lens along. Subscriber. Check out Deborah Sandidge's photography, cinemagraphs, and time-lapse videos at, where there are also photo tips and a schedule of upcoming workshops, photo tours, and seminars. Jay Maisel uses it and swears by it. Sony has also the Zeiss version, much more expensive, but honestly, for travel photography, it is difficult to justify. When you travel, being able to pack the least possible weight is a big advantage, so take this factor into account when buying. Travel Photography with a 35mm: How a Prime Lens Stole My Heart. An ultrasonic motor drives fast and accurate autofocus that you can always override with manual settings for full control. Prime lenses are usually lighter than zoom lenses, but one single fixed lens might not be enough to shoot every subject you encounter. With a zoom range of 18-35mm, the Sigma f/1.8 DG HSM ART seems like a standard lens. The one-camera, one-lens method keeps you from being gear bound—I've seen people miss shots while they were deciding what lens to use or were busy fitting the lens they chose onto the camera. When you’re travelling you’ll generally want to be keeping your bag as light as possible. Finally, – another plus for a traveler – the lens is fairly affordable. The images were examples for the tour participants, along the lines of "Here's an idea you can try.". Besides the zoom, the lens offers a linear motor that delivers fast and silent  autofocus, so you don’t disturb any bypassers or animals. If you specialize in ultra-wide-angle photography, the Canon EF 8-15mm F/4L Fisheye USM is sure to catch your attention. Should I go with the kit lens? / Have Camera, Have Lens, Will Travel: 21 Months of Adventure Photography Have Camera, Have Lens, Will Travel: 21 Months of Adventure Photography How professional photographer Don Mammoser spent 21 months straight traveling the world with just one lens This video answers a the big question. This lens is built for FX image sensors, but it is also compatible with DX sensors, turning into a 105-300mm lens. This is not only aesthetic, but compact as well, so you can easily pack your lens away and carry it effortlessly. Its ultra-low dispersion optical elements enhance the contrast and clarity of your images, making sure they stay true to real colors. I don’t even have to think, it’s one camera, one lens and make the best I can with it. All-around lenses are in the middle of the spectrum in terms of usability. Why? However, the range of focal lengths distinguishes the two. Best lenses for travel photography. Because of this reason, zoom lenses tend to be preferred by travel photographers, as they offer more versatility and can be used in different situations. One of the best prime lenses for travel photography (and it’s also super affordable! If you think having just one lens to cover a greater range is easier, just remember what you gain in convenience (by having one lens) you lose in quality, weight, and ability to “see” in the dark. If you want more versatility, a lens that covers ultra-wide to wide-angle focal lengths is more suitable. Thing is, it’s somebody else’s back yard, even if it’s a yak herder’s in Tibet. It covers key landscape photography focal lengths while its AF maintains a stunningly fast and accurate image. A lens built for photographing distant subjects, often used in portraiture or wildlife photography. I stood as close as I could get and still maintain focus and the angle I wanted. Traveling Companions: My Favorite Photo... How to Shoot the Best Blue-Hour Photos: Tips... How to Shoot Long Exposures: Tips for Revealing... What to Bring on the Road: Pro Shooter Deborah... Are Your Prints Too Dark? If you wish to travel with just one lens, you should know what you're getting yourself into. Best Micro Four Thirds Lenses for Travel Photography. Since I got my M9, I travel with it and a 35mm f1.4. The channel that lets the light reach the sensor through the lens. "What is the best lens for travel photography? Professional lenses are usually heavy pieces of gear composed by a multitude of elements that all play a part in producing the best possible shot. While the lens is specialized for distortion, it does not allow chromatic aberrations. Ideal for low-lit scenes, street photography and portraits, the handy lens … Apparently, when i reloaded the camera on the street, I inadvertently pressed on the very delicate shutter hard enough to dent it. The Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8 has it all – supreme image quality, a super fast aperture, robust construction, and lightning-quick autofocus. The Best Micro Four Thirds Lens for Travel Photography. The maximum aperture with such zoom ranges is quite remarkable, allowing for work in poorly lit and zoomed-in scenes, as well as selective focus techniques. ... and is also lightweight! It is designed to fit APS-C-format Canon EF-mount cameras, translating this range into 27.2-80mm. Having said that, I completely see the value in a high-quality lens that offers you the ability to shoot wide, and zoom into a scene. If you are trying to keep your kit size to an absolute minimum while still including more than one focal length, a zoom is likely your best option. Or should I get one or two older zeiss lenses? For those who enjoy portrait photography, this is the best travel lens for Canon hands down. Shallow depth of field can be experimented with while shooting portraits and motion, letting you explore urban scenes. For those looking for a superlative lens and are willing to fork out the necessary dough, the Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G is one of the best that money can buy.. A Super Spectra coating stabilizes colors in strong light, preventing ghosting and flare, so you can seamlessly work indoors. Whether your travel photography is predominantly in cities or in the wilderness there’s an option for you. We actually prefer the Sigma 18-200mm Contemporary lens to all three Canon zooms. When it comes to landscapes, the focal length the 24-70 f/2.8 provides is extremely important—and versatile. It has to be as close to all-inclusive as I can get, and impressive in what it can do. As soon as I returned home, the first thing I did was purchase another F100. You will find everything from wide-angle lenses designed to shoot vast nature scenes to telephoto zoom lenses built for capturing distant wildlife. Image Credit: pixdeluxe via iStock. As for focusing, this lens features a Hyper-Sonic motor with an internal design, making autofocus fast and silent. Here’s the list of the best micro four thirds lenses for travel photography : 1. After living and traveling across three continents for the past decade, he has developed a focus on long-distance overland journeys, straight pictures, Central Asian countries, and pizza. Thing is, it’s somebody else’s back yard, even if it’s a yak herder’s in Tibet. This lens uses a combination of large and small aspherical elements that minimize perspective distortions and correct illumination edge to edge. This will probably surprise you, but for someone writing about the advantages of heading out with one camera and one lens, I mostly don't do that. I am an amateur on a limited budhet but we were going on a cruise and I was unhappy with the two kit lenses from Canon te 18- 55 and the 55 – 250 mm. As it is part of Canon’s EF range, the build-quality is incredibly good; it’s sturdy and durable so you can take it with you anywhere. It can also make you a more observant, creative and resourceful photographer. The Fujinon XF18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a lens with a versatile zoom range, starting from wide-angle for landscapes and portraits, and ending with telephoto for macro and long-distance shots. (Editor's Note: You can read "On the Road" columnist Deborah Sandidge's other columns here.) Wide angle and standard lenses do not normally take up too much space, but telephoto lenses can be bulky and require a tripod to be used, especially in low light. It’s one of Canon’s flagship lenses and by far one of the best Canon lenses for landscape photography. Sony Zeiss FE 35mm F1.4 Distagon T* , a superfast lens with excellent Zeiss built (weather sealed), also its aperture at 1.4 also help you shooting indoors handheld for low light/night scenes. A 24-70mm lens is the jack of all trades or the Swiss Army knife of lenses. Lenses can have a fixed or adjustable focal length. Familiarity breeds quickness—and confidence. But no way, not this guy. Olympus M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO If you plan on indoor photography, the lens further offers Super Multi-Layer coating that reduces flare and ghosting. That's an extreme example, of course. Compression is when a photographer uses a zoom lens to trick the eye into thinking objects are closer than they really are. High-end option; Great for street photography; One of the best prime lenses for travel photography; The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM is a monster of a lens. Most lens manufacturers have one. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Well, prime 50mm lenses have very large maximum apertures, with the more affordable versions offering f/2.8 to more expensive models opening up to f/1.2. For more of our top travel photography gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Fuji Lenses for Travel | Nikon Travel Lens. And a good idea for the family reunion, the one-day trip to the zoo, the park, or the 4th of July parade—or maybe leading your own photo tour —is one camera, one lens, and a keen eye for the possibilities. It was called "the street sweeper"—it could do everything. If you wish to travel with just one lens, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. The “every-day” lens will capture most shots on your travels, from lounging at the beach to wandering rice fields—it is my standard, go-to lens! Rik. The EF-S 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS for APS-C offers an equivalent range of 29-320mm and image stabilization for up to four stops of correction. So, there he was, with three of the world's most photogenic cities on his itinerary and only a 10-24mm zoom at hand. Just a terrible lens for travel photography /sarcasm (Moraine Lake, Canada) The lens is small and compact, to the point where you can practically fit your camera in your pocket when it’s attached. I personally started with the classic 18-200mm zoom lens, sometimes referred to as “the travel zoom.” But after some time, I moved to a heavier solution, the … He could have called home and had a well-padded FedEx box in his hands the next day. Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM is another lens that seems ordinary with its focal length range and the maximum aperture. Sony has also the Zeiss version, much more expensive, but honestly, for travel photography, it is difficult to justify. Just how easy and creative has a lot to do with the lens. The Notebook Lens Since I got my M9, I travel with it and a 35mm f1.4. I'm sure every photographer has a designated "walking around" lens, and my 28-300mm is for those days when all I want to do is walk around, observe, explore, and of course take some pictures. The aperture has a 7-blade diaphragm useful for background blurring and selective focus techniques. Posted on Sep 20, 2012. The 15-45mm kit lens supplied with the camera is a decent walk around and travel lens, but if you crave something a little sharper, go for the 32mm f/1.4 lens. Next, I’ll go over the best lenses you might want in your kit, and then you probably should pick a one or two lens solution for your style of photography. And, of course, the lens is protected with 20 different weather seals, so you can record your travels in any weather. Because it is cumbersome to shoot with such focal lengths without stability, this lens offers a vibration reduction technology that lets you leave your tripod at home and travel lightly.