Taking awesome photos while traveling on vacation not only gives you vivid, beautiful memories, but it can be a pain in the butt if you have to lug around a whole bunch of camera equipment. In that spirit we wanted to make a list of options for the most versatile lenses to travel with in each major camera format. With a little research you can pick up a great lens that will be the only one you need for most of your travels.
***ATTENTION – DIFFERENT CAMERAS FROM THE SAME MANUFACTURER MIGHT USE DIFFERENT LENS SYSTEMS, MAKE SURE BEFORE YOU BUY A LENS THAT IT WORKS WITH YOUR SPECIFIC CAMERA***
This little beauty has an incredible range from 18mm all the way to 200mm which means you can get those tight, close-ups and those wide landscapes without ever changing your lens! The best part is that you can get sharper images thanks to the built-in image stabilization. You can typically pick this up for around $700 which might seem like a lot until you consider that it can do the job of two or three other lenses. Not to mention that you can leave your other, more expensive lenses at home while you travel.
For a lot of photography enthusiasts it’s important to stick to the same brand of lens and camera. If you can get past the brand-matching idea you will find that there are some great options for all around lenses that are perfect to travel with. This lens from Tamron is not only one of the best bang-for-your-buck pieces of equipment on the market, but it’s also one of the most popular. It has all of the bells and whistles of the main brands like image stabilization and a dedicated auto focus motor, but boasts one of the lowest weights in it’s range. Here’s the best part: this lens can be purchased for multiple camera systems including Nikon, Canon, Sony and Pentax! At a price tag of around $400 you will be hard pressed to find a lens more versatile that you don’t have to mortgage your house for.
If you are a Nikon user and looking for the best lens value for your money, look no further. With an impressive range and a small price tag you can capture almost any image that comes your way while on the road. Not only does it have Nikon’s quality build and glass, but you get the best optical image stabilization in the industry in the VR II model. Slightly more than it’s off-brand counterparts, the Nikon version in this range of lenses does come with the quality of image that photography enthusiasts have come to expect from Nikon. You can find this little marvel online at Adorama for about $600 or so. For a little more reach you can get the 18-300mm version for about $1k.
As another of one of the bigger “alternative brands” of lenses for your Canon or Nikon camera, this offering from Sigma packs quite a punch. It has all the advantages of the other brands in this range of lenses, but it has a slightly longer zoom than most and also offers the ability to focus at a near macro photography distance. In addition to an image stabilizer that boasts a 4-stop range of stability it has the high-tech coating to reduce and manage glare in to the lens. At a price tag of $350 that is hard to top.
Remember that when you are picking out new equipment that it’s important to pay attention to consumer reviews. Adorama and most of the other sites that specialize in photographic equipment feature great feedback from it’s customers. Make sure that it will work with your specific camera and most of the big sites offer online chat. It’s a great way to talk to a representative that can make sure you get exactly what you need.