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Thread: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

  1. #1

    Default What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    I am heading to scandinavia and Iceland this year end.
    Currently, I have a 70mm-300mm lens and standard 55mm lens. I was wondering if I should get a ultra wide angle or fisheye lens.

    Any Filter recommendations? I have CPL, ND4, UV filter.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    Quote Originally Posted by leongmingjun View Post
    I am heading to scandinavia and Iceland this year end.
    Currently, I have a 70mm-300mm lens and standard 55mm lens. I was wondering if I should get a ultra wide angle or fisheye lens.

    Any Filter recommendations? I have CPL, ND4, UV filter.

    Thank you!
    What lenses are essential depends on you mostly since everyone shoots differently.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    Well, one of the factors that I hear many travelers complaining about after a trip is that once the sun went down their photo quality also went down. Depending upon your destination, low light situations are common when traveling. Galleries or ancient buildings where you can’t shoot with a flash, dinners at night etc all present photographers with real challenges which can be helped by investing in the ‘fastest’ lens you can afford.

  4. #4
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    I am heading iceland next month.
    If I were you I would pick the UWA lens over the fisheye..
    You need to figure out how the filters work and what they do for your pictures before getting them. Again, I will be bringing along a CPl and an ND filter, but thats me, YMMV

    Rgds
    Ryan

  5. #5

    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    When preparing to travel my standard equipment for landscapes are
    1. 14-24mm f2.8 or 16-35mm f4 VR
    2. 24-70mm f2.8 or 14-120mm f4 VR
    3. 70-200mm f2.8 VR ll
    4. Filter PL-C ND10 ND Graduated set
    5. Tripod

    If the trip have the opportunity to shoot wildlife, will need to add on
    1. 200-400mm f4 VR
    2 TC14E ll and TC20E lll

    Most of the times with lens cover from 16mm till 200mm
    are able to cope with most landscapes photo opportunity.
    Unless you are interested in shooting church or building
    then add on a PCE or TS lens will be useful.

    This is a very useful link for travel and landscapes photography:
    http://www.davidnoton.com/news.php

    This is my latest trip using my standard equipment
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/...7626816948511/

  6. #6
    Member VanGogh53's Avatar
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    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    Before I go on a trip, I like to ask myself questions that will help me prepare :

    1. What images will I focus on mostly? scenery? architecture? culture - meaning people and the way they live etc...
    2. What does my internet search given me as ideas to shoot?
    3. Will there be many low light situation?
    4. and so on....

    One can carry all the lenses, but that would be heavy, unless you have helper or staying long at a site to try out various lenses. Otherwise, to keep light, you will have to decide.

    I like a long lens personally, as I like to take close up of architecture and as they are high up, you need this kind of lens 300mm will be good; unfortunately will need to do so under good lighting, as any 300 f2.8 will be way too costly and heavy. I like a UWA (not fish-eye, as I don't like the distortion - personal preference), a 10-20mm will be great. For street photography, a zoom of 18-50mm is good. Sometimes I wish I have a zoom to cover 10-300. I have bought a LX5 to take care of street photography; keeping the DSLR with a long lens. I do carry a monopod from time to time, but I find it difficult to use, and I am a bit more lazy... So like others said, you ask yourself your photojourney objective and you will find your own answers, and whether your current arsenal will cater to them. Enjoy the trip
    __________________________________________________ _
    http://living-a-good-life.blogspot.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    I recommend the afs 16-35 vr f4. This complements your tele lens very well. I have the 70-300 vr as well as a 80-200 f2.8 that I consider too heavy for travels. My 55mm ais micro & other prime lens I leave at home as they are not needed with the 2 zoom combo.

    I have never used a uwa before. Last month I happened to drop by at NSC. I borrowed the 16-35 to "play play" & took some indoor pics there. I was instantly poisoned & ended up getting this lens. I brought it for my holiday trip to Philippines last month & its then I realised what have I missed all these while. This lens is comparatively light & the IQ was simply superb. For once I felt a sense of total freedom to take anything & everything I like. Its like the photographic horizon or borders have expanded with no limits, restrictions. This lens is sharpest with almost no distortion at my favourite focal length of 24mm & I also use it at at 35mm for portraits & everything else, like a standard prime lens.

    For me. this is the ideal lens for my travel, landscape & general photography. For mountains & forests, sun sky & sea, beach & babes this was great. The 70-300 is reserved for those occassions where I need to close in & particularly for portraitures-only situations but I found that I use it for less than 10% of all my travel shots. I was desirous of the 24-70 f2.8 but I am glad I got to the 16-35 first. It was love at first sight & a joy to have on my travels.
    Last edited by s1221ljc; 25th July 2011 at 01:39 AM.

  8. #8
    Member skarekrow24's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by s1221ljc
    I recommend the afs 16-35 vr f4. This complements your tele lens very well. I have the 70-300 vr as well as a 80-200 f2.8 that I consider too heavy for travels. My 55mm ais micro & other prime lens I leave at home as they are not needed with the 2 zoom combo.

    I have never used a uwa before. Last month I happened to drop by at NSC. I borrowed the 16-35 to "play play" & took some indoor pics there. I was instantly poisoned & ended up getting this lens. I brought it for my holiday trip to Philippines last month & its then I realised what have I missed all these while. This lens is comparatively light & the IQ was simply superb. For once I felt a sense of total freedom to take anything & everything I like. Its like the photographic horizon or borders have expanded with no limits, restrictions. This lens is sharpest with almost no distortion at my favourite focal length of 24mm & I also use it at at 35mm for portraits & everything else, like a standard prime lens.

    For me. this is the ideal lens for my travel, landscape & general photography. For mountains & forests, sun sky & sea, beach & babes this was great. The 70-300 is reserved for those occassions where I need to close in & particularly for portraitures-only situations but I found that I use it for less than 10% of all my travel shots. I was desirous of the 24-70 f2.8 but I am glad I got to the 16-35 first. It was love at first sight & a joy to have on my travels.
    Totally agree with u. It's a great travel lens

  9. #9

    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    i will bring my 18-55mm and 35mm 1.8 coz these are the only lenses i have.

    =) enjoy ur trip!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    Quote Originally Posted by leongmingjun View Post
    I am heading to scandinavia and Iceland this year end.
    Currently, I have a 70mm-300mm lens and standard 55mm lens. I was wondering if I should get a ultra wide angle or fisheye lens.

    Any Filter recommendations? I have CPL, ND4, UV filter.

    Thank you!
    I was there from March to May this year and from my experiences, my suggestion would be to just bring 1 lens that is most suited to whatever you interested to shoot(70-300 for wildlife, 55 for street, wa for landscape.. for example), because at year end, those places will be very very cold, windy, snowy and to change lens under such circumstances would be a hell of a challenge with what you'll be wearing. Make the best use of what you got.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    It absolutely depends on how and what you intend to shoot.

    But generally, its a 2-3 lens combo if you want to cover as much as possible. If indoors and general outdoors scenery then its usually wide, say a 24mm f/1.4 and a 24-70 f/2.8, 16-35 f/2.8 or 17-40 f/4 or 24-105 ( 24-120 for Nikon)f/4, 15-85 . Depending on what equipment you have. And if you perceive shooting something from a distance then perhaps a 70-300. Usually, most people don't get to shoot that much stuff from afar save perhaps for a Safari outing. Or when you want to shoot some intricate detail of some building or structure.

    I usually carry a 35 f/1.4, 24-70 f/2.8 and a 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 and a 1.4x convertor which can be pretty useful for impromptu macro too with my 5DmkII. A small flash such as a 270Ex is important too.

  12. #12

    Default

    To answer TS q, i would definitely go for UWA in the 11-24mm range.

    Softedge GND wud be a good inclusion for your filter collection.
    Last edited by nikonology; 7th August 2011 at 03:38 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    Quote Originally Posted by leongmingjun View Post
    I am heading to scandinavia and Iceland this year end.
    Currently, I have a 70mm-300mm lens and standard 55mm lens. I was wondering if I should get a ultra wide angle or fisheye lens.

    Any Filter recommendations? I have CPL, ND4, UV filter.

    Thank you!
    totally depends on your shooting habits and your targetted subjects.

    someone did a scandinavian trip using only 50mm f/1.8 but his shots are mainly urban and cafe-stuff.

    not everyone are good in ultrawide becos that the perspective varies widely from variation of distances, and if you are that type who dare not go near subjects and positioned yourself in poses that will attract attention, you may not do ultrawide in urban settings. despite so, wide to ultrawide are widely used in landscapes, and may be of interest if your itinerary covers so. u dun necessarily have to do ultrawide, a normal wide angle of 18-50mm at crop factor of 1.5 (most nikon and canon bodies) will just do the job, but to exaggerate scale, you often need something below 15mm (at CF 1.5). no comments on fish eye since i dun have one either.

    your 70-300mm seems rather long, and probably very heavy. do u usually used it in singapore? would u consider the weight worthwhile for shooting perhaps a faraway tower from a tall building? just note that this tele can also be used if you are shooting wildlife, for really, you need a lot of skills as well as fast lens at very tele length. u will have good chance at static subjects, but not a whale that bops in and out of water at unpredictable position at unpredictable timing. so think twice over your 70-300mm. you might want something much shorter and lighter for normal street focal length, ie way below 200mm.

    just to share my opinions. not an expert on focal lengths and i guess others who are more versed with street shooting may guide u better.

    filters wise
    - uv filter usually used to protect lens from dirt and impact (it save my 18-200mm once)
    - ND filter but light suppressing and exposure prolongation such as waterfall
    - GND filter, you can use it anything that have a brightly exposing sky, but note that GND filter are large filters that require an external holder, which means you cannot cap on the cap when u use it, ie u got to change the cap for the filter holder, and some people dun like that. so all depends on how u shoot.
    Last edited by zoossh; 10th August 2011 at 09:26 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    Quote Originally Posted by KangS View Post
    It absolutely depends on how and what you intend to shoot.

    I usually carry a 35 f/1.4, 24-70 f/2.8 and a 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 and a 1.4x convertor which can be pretty useful for impromptu macro too with my 5DmkII. A small flash such as a 270Ex is important too.

    How does a 1.4x help in macro? With which lens?

  15. #15
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default

    In the midst of Iceland trip at west fjords now. A heck lot of birds and seals along the coastal drive. If you are into birding you will need a much longer focal length in excess of 400mm. Personally I find a wide lens pretty useful.

    Bird lovers probably should spend at least a month here

    Enjoy your upcoming trip
    Ryan

  16. #16

    Wink Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    Good morning, guys

    I will be heading to Europe in Nov 2011.

    Can help advise what should my gear be ? I will be using 7D with my Manfrotto tripod.
    1) Canon 10-22mm + Tamron 17-50mm f2.8
    2) Canon 10-22mm + Tamron 18-270mm VC

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
    Jason

  17. #17

    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    im just coming back from Spain and Italy...i mostly use canon 10 22....
    i think 15 85 is suitable as well..it can be more variety...

    just my 2 cents

  18. #18
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What lenses are essential for travel photography???

    Quote Originally Posted by huhsimi View Post
    Good morning, guys

    I will be heading to Europe in Nov 2011.

    Can help advise what should my gear be ? I will be using 7D with my Manfrotto tripod.
    1) Canon 10-22mm + Tamron 17-50mm f2.8
    2) Canon 10-22mm + Tamron 18-270mm VC

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
    Jason
    Depends on shooting habits. Some can be perfectly happy with bringing along say just one lens.

    But for better flexibility the 18-270 definitely. It will be a little irritating to know that you have flown so far to Europe to procrastinate that you could have nabbed that *^&^#% shot if u brought the 18-270 instead of the 17-50. I suspect you might not lose too much from the slightly larger aperture. But life is all about compromises, and expectations. YMMV

    Ryan

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