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Lenses for extended travel

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For travellers with SLR cameras. What lenses to take on an extended trip? Compromise between weight and quality?
4 years ago, April 12th 2010 No: 1 Msg: #108487  
What lenses do you take with you on extended backpacking trips?

My wife and I currently have the following gear:

D5000
D90
Sigma 10-20
Sigma 18-50 F2.8
Nikon 50 F1.8
Nikon 16-85VR
Nikon 70-300VR

I would love to have the luxury of taking faster and sharper F2.8 lenses, but the weight seems prohibitive for a long trip. What would you do? Would you go even lighter and ditch a couple of lenses in favour of the 18-200 for ultimate flexibility in one lens? Would you upgrade to better F2.8 glass and suck it up (weight and cost)? Or would you stick with the above and just go out and take photos?

I notice that some very famous professional travel photographers (shooting Canon...) carry a 70-200 F4 (much lighter than the F2.8 but equally as sharp). It would be nice if Nikon had something like this; it would be very tempting.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Jordan
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4 years ago, April 12th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #108522  
I wish that I had bought the 18 200 VR for my nikon D90 instead I stuck with the kit lens the 18 105 VR and then my Tamron 10 24. I just picked up a nikor 50 mm fixed having fun with it weighs nothing.

considering trading in 18 105 VR and up for the 18 200VR Reply to this

4 years ago, May 4th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #110194  
I traveled with the following through Africa:

Nikon D80
18-200mm VR1
80-400mm VR1
12-24mm

O would highly recommend (and I'm assuming here) that if you're going to africa to bring a longer than 200mm lens. Pics like this don't happen with shorter lenses:


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4 years ago, May 6th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #110303  
Great shots, Don't forget the tripod! Reply to this

4 years ago, May 16th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #111044  
B Posts: 46
I prefer quality. In to one KATA bag, i have:
10-17mm fisheye TOKINA
17-85mm IS USM CANON
50 mm f1.8 CANON
70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM CANON and Canon EF 2x Extender
and of course, other accesories - filters, tripod, batery, etc. Reply to this

4 years ago, May 19th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #111297  
B Posts: 72
For size (small) and quality (high) I carry three primes: 35/2, 50/1.4, and 85/1.8 (Canon), and a tripod. I miss the wider end, and I admit it gets inconvenient at times switching, but with the fast lenses I can do without a flash. I've never really wanted anything longer, but I spend most of my time in cities or docile countrysides. My camera and those three lenses fit in a Tamrac Velocity 6, which I can carry by itself or in my daypack.
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4 years ago, May 24th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #111638  
B Posts: 45
when I bought my Canon 400D about 4 yrs ago (just upgraded to 550D) I bought a bunch of Sigmas - 17-70, 10-20 and 70-300 as i was going to Libya and Tunisia on a university-led roman ruins tour - as did not want to miss the unmissable. The sad truth is the 17-70 was used 98% of the time and the others bolted on rarely. The range of 28-105mm covers virtually all things - and at the long end is great for street portraits as I later found in India. I also carry a Ricoh R7 (28-200mm range) on my belt so that can cover long stuff with reasonable results. You only think you will miss it having a "full set" and there are the carrying problems (and security) of more gear. I bought a Lowepro bag for the lot + laptop and its a 7.5kg lump to carry around all day I can tell ya! Depends where you are going - the 17-70 does virtually everything for me so I would rarely miss the others, especially the 70-300. Reply to this

4 years ago, May 25th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #111756  
My only comment on the super-zooms (e.g. anything with the equivalent of over 200mm) is that its highly necessary on a safari. Given the distances you will be from animals (and I assume since the original poster's name is "AfricaBound") that a safari is in your future. With that said, I constantly use two focal lengths, those between 12-24mm and those between 70-200mm. The 24-70mm range is a VERY boring photography range as it is close to what the human eye sees (50mm on a full sensor size camera and 35mm on a crop camera (Anything below a 5D in Canon and everything below a D700 in Nikon is cropped). If I had to travel with only two lenses I would travel with my 14-24mm f/2.8 and my 70-200mm f/2.8 (or once the new one comes out and I buy it, the 85mm f1.4).

Best of luck,

Mike T.
Photography Forum Moderator Reply to this

4 years ago, June 9th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #112822  
Right now I'm carrying a Sigma 10-20, Nikon 55-200mm and Nikon 35mm fixed. I wouldn't want to carry any more for an extended time - often if we're just out for the day in a city, I'll just take the 35mm and nothing else. I trekked in Nepal carrying everything and even though these are relatively small/lightweight lenses, it's still extra weight that I didn't need at 4000m! Reply to this

4 years ago, June 11th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #113001  
Yikes, at 4000m I might consider carrying nothing1 :-) Reply to this

4 years ago, June 18th 2010 No: 11 Msg: #113523  
I am selling my Nikon D90 and buying a G11 with underwater housing for $500 basically the price of one Nikor lens. unbelievable the pictures those things get! My friend came out to Asia from Aspen Co with one and he was getting much better pictures it seemed than I was and the camera was a lot smaller and way lighter. Reply to this

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