what are your go to lenses for traveling?

misterjones

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So far this year my travel camera has largely been my bridge camera, mainly because it fits into a backpack along with my MPC500 and QY100 without much fuss. However, when I went to MI at the end of May I took my DSLR, but also all of my lenses because I didn't know what I would need. Turns out, my 50mm Yongnuo prime, Canon 18-55mm, and Tamron 28-80mm got the most use by far. I did pull out the Canon 75-300mm while taking pics from a riverbank a time or two, but the others suited my needs best. If I travel with that camera again, I'm going to scale down and just bring those four lenses.
 

adamhiram

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I recommend a normal zoom lens. For full frame, this is typically 24-70mm, and for a crop sensor, around 18-55. A wider aperture like f/2.8 is nice to have, but for travel photography, especially in good light, you often want to keep the background somewhat in focus, so even a basic kit lens is pretty well suited.

Allow me to share some of my experiences and why this option works best for me.
  • My first trip traveling with a DSLR, I had an 18-55 kit lens on a crop sensor body, and also brought a 70-300 telephoto. I captured some amazing memories with the 18-55, used a small travel tripod in low-light when I wanted to capture something without people in it, and never once took out the telephoto.
  • On a subsequent trip, I brought the same 18-55, added a 35mm f/1.8 prime lens, and left the telephoto at home. Once again, the 18-55 stayed on almost the entire trip. It was nice to have the fast prime when it got dark out, but most of the time when there wasn't enough light, I found myself hitting the limit of usable ISO value even at f/1.8.
  • Eventually I upgraded to a much better crop sensor body, and replaced the kit lens with a 17-55 f/2.8, the same normal zoom range. Traveling with this combination proved to be the the ideal setup for me, although it was a bit heavy and bulky. At no point did I find myself wishing I had brought a different lens.
  • Most recently, I traveled with a full frame mirrorless body, a 24-70 f/2.8 lens, and a 40mm f/2 prime. For the first day and a half I struggled to make do with the compact and lightweight 40mm lens, and it just didn't work for me. Sometimes the subject would be too far away and I couldn't physically get closer. Other times I was in a tight space and did not have room to backup, and 40mm just wasn't wide enough. I switched to the 24-70 for the rest of the trip and didn't look back.
 

snowbear

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The 24-70 f/2.8 is my current work horse. I tend to take the 105 f/4 macro, as well. If I want to travel lighter, I still have the 28-85 f/3.5-4.5. and add a 24 f/2.8 prime.
 

mjcmt

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The lens I take out for the day when traveling is a 35mm f1.8 on full frame DSLR camera. Smaller than a zoom, wide enough to include landscape/cityscape, long enough for people shots and environments, fast enough for indoor.
 

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