Photography Gear & Advices

The Best Lenses for Travel Photography – Which Lens to Use for What

The Best Lenses for Travel Photography – Which Lens to Use for What

Hey guys, in a previous post I wrote about photography gear I use on my travels. Now it’s time to talk about LENSES. One of the most important things when it comes to photography is picking the right lens for your camera. There are a lot of options – some lenses are super zoomed in, others have a wide angle, some can do both at the same time. So which lens to choose? Which lens to use for what?

Here are the four different lenses I use with my Canon camera and what I use it for, why and when.

WALK AROUND LENS – Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8

G E N E R A L   P U R P O S E   L E N S

Good for: everyday objects and scenes

I looove this one! It’s a great lens for travel photography and I use it most frequently. As its name says ‘walk around lens’ is kind of lens you can use in most situations. It’s good all purpose lens that will cover the focal lengths required to capture images of the everyday objects and scenes that we see all around us, like in the photos above.

I use a Sigma 17-50mm lens. At 17mm is wide enough to capture great landscapes and at 50mm works as a great portrait focal length. So when I’m exploring some destination I use this lens in most situations.

If you are looking for just one general purpose lens – then this is definitely the lens I would recommend you to buy!

Other good walk around lenses:

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM Lens

The Best Lenses for Travel Photography – Which Lens to Use for What

The Best Lenses for Travel Photography – Which Lens to Use for What

WIDE ANGLE LENS – Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6

G E T   T H E   B I G G E R   P I C T U R E

Good for: buildings, interiors, architecture, landscapes

There are some situations when walk around lens is just not good enough. For example, when you just have to get everything in the shot – like in the photos above. I couldn’t capture entire pagoda in frame if I didn’t have a wide angle lens. This lens is excellent when shooting buildings, interiors and landscapes.

A few months ago I was in Kuala Lumpur where I wanted, as most of the tourists there to shoot Petronas Twin Towers. Having a wide angle lens in this situation is must as you don’t have to stand 200 or more meters away from towers to capture them all in frame. It was funny to see people lying on the street and breaking their bones trying to capture the towers completely in the photo.

Other good wide angle lenses:

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens

Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens for Canon

The Best Lenses for Travel Photography – Which Lens to Use for What

TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS – Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8

 Z O O M   I N   O N   T H E   A C T I O N

Good for: wildlife (safari), nature, portraits, sports

I have Sigma 70-200mm lens and I highly recommended this one is you are into shooting people, especially portraits. Why? They isolate a distant subject in a crowd making your subject really stand out from the background of the photo (dramatically put a background out-of-focus).

Also telephoto lenses have a focal length of over 70mm, and are designed to get you as close to a far-away subject as possible. For example, if you want to shoot lions on a safari and you can’t get close to them, then use this lens and get close to a distant subject, in this case lions, without being eaten.

Other telephoto zoom lenses:

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

The Best Lenses for Travel Photography – Which Lens to Use for What

PRIME LENS – Canon EF 50mm f/1.4

F I X E D   F O C A L   L E N G T H   L E N S E S,   N O   Z O O M

Good for: portraits, night photos & sharp, high-quality picture

First of all, you can find a prime lens for any type of photography that you’re interested in because a range of focal lengths is from ultra-wide angle to telephoto. This lens can not zoom, it has a single focal length (50mm, 85mm, 300mm…)!

I have a 50mm Canon prime lens which is great all around lens! It is sharp, small, light, inexpensive and fast. With the wide aperture of f/1.4 it is great for low light photography. It’s great for traveling because it weighs practically nothing so you don’t even know it’s in your bag.

Other prime lenses:

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM (for portraits)

I hope this was helpful for some of you! Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about the lenses!

Happy snapping!

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