There is plenty of trips that are memorable and we cherish those memories for a long time to come. A great way to preserve those memories is in the form of photographs, which goes a long way. With having the best travel lens, you may find it hard to get clear pictures.
While on a boat, a vehicle on a fast car, or any moving object or in splashing water, all you need is a camera lens that captures clear and accurate shots without blur.
Quality of the photographs taken is of the essence here and the main tool that drives the quality of pictures taken and need to be considered in terms of your travel and destination needs. If you are a hobbyist or a professional photographer, we are assuming that you are having an interchangeable lens with your DSLR or mirrorless camera.
Your camera, no matter how much feature-enriched it is, it will look or perform as good as the lens of your camera. The selection of a particular lens depends on your style of photography and what exactly you are looking to capture.
This also means that one lens suitable for one person might not be that much use for the other one. This you will get to know about in this guide.
Top 5 best travel lens
To make sure you find the best lens that will help you preserve the best crystal clear shots while on the go, here are our picks:
Here is a quick preview of our top 5:
#1, Panasonic LUMIX Professional Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Camera Lens
#2, Canon EF 24 – 10 mm Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras
#3, Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED Pro Lens for Travelers
#4, Panasonic LUMIX G Vario 12 – 600 mm Mirrorless Lens
#5, Tamron AF 18 – 200 mm F/3.5 – 6.3 Di – II All in One Super Zoom for Canon Digital SLR
Panasonic LUMIX Professional Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Camera Lens
When it comes to the camera, lens, and other related technologies, Panasonic is a brand that is trusted worldwide. This specific lens comes with a focal length equivalent to 16 – 36 mm.
The professionals here would easily figure out that such a lens is suitable when wide shots are to be captured. The less is super light and the image stabilization issue with this is not much of an issue for the wide angles as it is lesser critical in such scenarios.
The manufacturer has spruced up this lens model with Nano surface coating. This is critical in reducing any unwanted flaring and ghosting and to get crystal clear shots. The total weight of the lens is 31 grams, which for the feature it has makes quite a good and lightweight deal.
You will be particularly pleased with the high-speed autofocusing options that this sensational device has got to offer. You must consider this lens if wider angle shots are what you will be looking for in your travel photography.
- The lens is quite lightweight.
- It is typically well-structured with its high-speed effortless autofocusing.
- The lens is also compatible to provide 4K video support especially when precise focusing is pivotal.
- The lens doesn’t come with image stabilization abilities.
- It lacks flexibility and supposed to be a suitable option for wider shots only.
Canon EF 24 – 10 mm Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras
Canon cameras are quite common among hobbyists and as well as pro photographers. Of you have one of them then the compatible Canon EF lens can make a great deal on your trip. You can consider this option if you are not on a budget and willing to spend lavishly for your photography needs.
In the photographers’ fraternity, this lens is regarded as one of the finest when it comes to getting the best zoom lenses.
This ‘L’ series of lens denotes pro level or absolute ‘luxury’ for photographers. The focal length provided is quite wide and it is good enough to cover a range of photography needs and situations.
This f/4 is not to be considered as a superfast one. Still, it will serve you as a great option in a variety of lighting conditions, especially when you are shooting in daylight.
- The image stabilization is provided to handhold shots for 2x faster than standard.
- No camera shake issue in low light conditions is encountered when you slow down on the shutter speed.
- The f/4 variation across all focal lengths and make it faster than 18 – 55 mm lenses at full extensions.
- The lens can be a bit heavy in your bag to carry.
- The f/4 it has is quite OK but it isn’t among the good fastest options around.
Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED Pro Lens for Travelers
This is the wide-angle lens with exceptional focal length in the range of 12 – 28 mm. It comes with a fixed aperture of f/2.8, which is reasonably good and makes this product a fast lens in all applicable focal lengths. This is also something that makes the lens a bit bulkier and the travelers may have some second thoughts about it.
The total weight of this lens is 543 grams, which is heavier for travelers, especially considering that you will be having other camera equipment packed with you as well, including a tripod, batteries, flashlight, and camera itself.
However, the positives provide a good balance and make this a great possibility to capture amazing shots on your trips. The product comes with weather and dust sealing as well as protective measures. There is no lens-based stabilization of image at all.
However, most of the Olympus MFT cameras, including this one comes with an in-body image stabilization, which beautifully makeup for IS needs.
- An extremely fast lens for all types of focal lengths.
- In-body image stabilization is ensured.
- The manufacturer has offered this with added protection through weather and dust dealing capability.
- The lens is quite bulkier to be at 543 grams.
Panasonic LUMIX G Vario 12 – 600 mm Mirrorless Lens
If you are a budget traveler with limited needs then this could be a great option and that too from a renowned brand such as Panasonic. The lens is a slower variation of the lens in the range of 12 – 60 mm and above.
Considering its limited features, the lens is a bit heavier but that you can still consider carrying with yourself on your photography filled trip as it fulfills quite a bit of traveler’s needs. It is exceptionally amazing to see that this lens at such a smashing price comes with an incredible image stabilization feature as well.
On top of that, it is dust and splash-proof as well, which is another good feature that the travelers look for in their lens. The camera at a glance offers you a lot of gains when the focal length is concerned, but you get to lose out on the weather resistance feature and this is entirely up to you to choose, considering your needs.
- One of the finest budget lens with an average weight for travelers.
- The focal length is the unique selling point of this lens.
- For a budget lens, it is quite impressive to see it coming with excellent image stabilization capability as well.
- The manufacturer offers it with unique construction and ensuring dust and splash-proof features as well.
- For a camera with limited features, it could have been a lot lighter when compared with its competitors.
Tamron AF 18 – 200 mm F/3.5 – 6.3 Di – II All in One Super Zoom for Canon Digital SLR
The Canon camera lovers on the move would be blessed to have the services of such an amazing lens. Just be sure that the lens is fully compatible with your version of the Canon camera.
This could be simply done by entering your camera model number in the online resource provided by the manufacturer. The maximum magnification factor and the minimum focus distance of this super zoom lens are phenomenal for all photography enthusiasts.
The filter thread of 62 mm helps in getting the most desirable results in different photography scenarios. It also features an autofocus mechanism along with image stabilization which is motor-based. Overall, you will find the subject Tamron lens as a lightweight and compact option with exceptionally powerful zoom functionality. The manufacturer has done well with its aesthetics as well particularly with silver or black finishing.
The sharpness drops considerably at the very long end when deeply zoomed. The image quality is top class and makes it a super product for traveling photographers.
The lens with all these quality features from a renowned brand is quite economical when compared with other similar options in the market.
- Autofocus and image stabilization are provided with the best performance
- The lens provides an exceptional zoom range
- The product is quite lightweight and compact for travelers
- The sharpness of the lens reportedly drops when an extended zoom range is employed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How differently one needs to pack with a photography lens when going for a recreational or a wedding trip?
A: For any occasion, one needs to carry with more than two lenses to accommodate all types of wedding photography coverage. For leisure and sightseeing trips, a couple of lenses can be more than enough.
Q: What is the focal length of a lens?
A: The focal length refers to the distance between the lens and the object it forms on the sensor when it is set at infinity focus setting. This focal length is measured in millimeters.
Q: What is the aperture of a lens and how it is measured?
A: Aperture refers to the hole size in the lens, which allows the light to penetrate through it. Bigger, the hole, more the light would penetrate through it. Aperture is also referred to as ‘f-stop’ and it is denoted by a numeric value.
Q: What is the shutter speed of the lens?
A: The shutter in a lens acts as a barrier that restricts light when no photo is taken. It acts like a blind and the shutter speed is the amount of time when it stays open for the light to get in for capturing an image.
How can I protect my camera lens?
When storing your camera, make certain you have a high-quality camera and lens bag that will protect your equipment. An extra UV filter will also help your camera be protected.
Which lens is best for travel photography?
Travel photography requires using wide-angle lenses. This lens is perfect for traveling because you can take pictures anywhere. You can use this lens for any type of subject matter.
The nitty-gritty of the photography lens for traveling involves quite several things to be considered. The prime factors capable of influencing your decision are mentioned below
Type of Lens:
First thing first, the car seat bag for travel that you are considering ha to be compatible or of the size of the car seat that you will be carrying.
- Kit Lens – the kit lens refers to those types that come with your camera typically. It could be a good lens for starters with basic features.
This is exactly that most of the photographers start
with for the first time when they enter the world of some serious photography.
The subject lens is typically known for its lightweight and allows shotting in a variety of situations.
This is the most basic type of lens you can consider
for your traveling needs. They are typically low-cost lens and the build
quality is also somehow on the lower side. On top of that, the image quality is
not much sharp.
- Prime Lens – It is also known as a pancake lens and it comes with fixed focal length. Such lenses are the least complicated types of internal. It means that they are smaller in size, lightweight, and quite economical as well. These lenses are not meant for zoom and they have other means to accommodate that. Upon traveling, you will find them useful in lower light conditions especially when you are not facilitated with a tripod. This it does by having a lens with a larger aperture. You will find this lesser suitable for landscape photography.
- Super Zoom Lens: This lens offers quite a larger zoom as compared to average types. The zoom feature is typically in the range of 8 to 10 x. This provides a good way to capture landscapes considering the wider end. You may even zoom in on a tree far placed to capture a bird sitting on top with no need for swapping lenses. If you are considering traveling then be rest assured that such lenses could be heavy and damn expensive as well. The max aperture also means that you have to vary about camera shake, especially when shooting in low light and having longer zoom requirements.
Camera lenses can be massive and heavier as well, depending on the brand and what features you are carrying within the lens. This is one thing that restricts you to carry no more than 2 lenses n your trip, which would cover some good range of photography scenarios.
You must also consider here the fact that apart from the lenses, you will also be carrying the camera, tripod, external flash, charger, and spare batteries as well.
If you go on to read some photography blogs of a traveler then one significant pain point that you will see is a complaint about photo quality in low light conditions.
You must know that the low light conditions while traveling are quite often and also brings exciting opportunities for photographers. The typical situations could be of sunrise, sunset, or those ancient indoor buildings and galleries where you are not allowed to shoot with a flash.
The speed of a lens is what that matters here and it is denoted by a number that appears after ‘f’ on the aperture of a lens. The lower that number is, the more it will allow the light to penetrate through the lens and strike the image sensor.
This will also ensure you have a much faster shutter speed for shooting. Therefore, a good fast lens is a real advantage in low light conditions and should be considered accordingly.
For example. For macro shots, you might look to invest in a lens supporting macro photography needs. For covering a sporting event, you might need to have a lens with extra length.
There are some more factors to consider here as well. If you couldn’t afford a professional lens then this doesn’t mean that you couldn’t take pro photographs. The other supplementary factors include the type of shots that you are looking to take.
Choosing the best travel lens depends on your typical photography needs and you may carry one or more lens on your trip. The lens can be heavier based on their type and features they have. Therefore, you need to be very peculiar about packing only those that matter the most.
The superzoom or the prime lens is most favored by travelers where the latter one makes a good deal in terms of economics and productivity as well. You must also be considerate about the versatility of the lens, especially for its focal length and ability to capture flawless shots in low light conditions, which the travelers usually encounter on trips. The lens speed is what you need to determine in the lens for capturing shots in low light scenarios.
Typically, travelers carry one or a maximum of two lenses on their trip. A maximum of two lenses is good enough if the travelers shop and carry smartly for their lens as they tend to cover almost all possible situations that one could face while on the go.