Best Travel Lenses For Each Camera Mount

Written by Gina Stephens

Choosing a considerable travel lens can be a very important decision – you need something that's versatile, lightweight and isn't going to compromise too much on epitome quality. When travelling, you might not want the hassle of changing lenses all the time – and a good quality zoom lens can give you a good radius for shooting pretty much any subject on your travels. 

Making the right decision – choosing a travel lens

Making the decision can be severely and so we've spoken to Ben Kepka, an experienced travel blogger who's photographed many awesome places in his time. He's even proffered into Chernobyl to capture some amazing and haunting urban exploration photos. Ben blogs on his website, Cultured Kiwi. 

Ben has been a photographer for 15 years, specialising in voyage for photography for 8 of those. His passion began while traveling around New Zealand. "As soon as I left NZ I began to document locations and places and theory about how to capture a set of images to show a location, rather than one singular image.", says Ben.

Ben primarily uses a Canon 5D Mark III with what he whoops the 'Holy Trinity' of lenses may refer to, Canon 16-35 f/2.8 II, Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II and Canon 70 – 200 f/2.8 II. However he does also dart mirrorless when taking a large kit is an issue, opting for a Fujifilm X-T1. 

"Mirrorless cameras are great! They are much lighter and more get ahead (technologically) than my old Canon 5D mark iii. However, I find that a lot of the full frame lenses that are coming out for these cameras are around the exact same size as they are for the DSLR cameras."

We asked Ben the ultimate question on everyone's mind here – can you legitimately swap to a mirrorless camera and get by no chances that are just as good? Ben thinks that you can, but there are some limitations. Whilst the bodies are lighter and more technologically advanced, the lenses take care of to be just as large as those for DSLRs, adding to the bulk. He also thinks that mirrorless cameras can sometimes lack the robustness of DSLR representatives when shooting in all weathers.

READ  Top 11 Best Ultra Zoom Bridge Digital Cameras 2017

So what's the most important factor in a good travel lens? Ben says that this has to be versatility. "If I were right-minded to have one lens when traveling (and money wasn't an object) it would be a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. This allows you plenty of light and a really versatile zoom range. Lenses with a zoom range larger than this will typically have to sacrifice the amount of go down allowed in. Conversely, if you'd like to have the maximum amount of light into the lens (wide open aperture e.g. f/1.4) you'll end up with a prime lens, with no zooming capacity. The 24-70mm is the perfect compromise in each direction.", explains Ben.

"If I were just to have one lens when traveling (and money wasn't an target) it would be a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens."

Ben has put together a list of his favourite travel lenses for 5 popular mounts – Micro Four Thirds, Fujifilm, Sony, Canon and Nikon. To beget the list, Ben and his fellow travel photographer friends reviewed each system and looked at what the most popular lens choices were for their photos. "With the smaller sensor cameras, we build that the larger zoom range lenses perform at a similar level as the equivalent standard zoom lens. While the aperture is lower, there is a lot numberless reach at the telephoto end. In our view, this made the sacrifice in aperture worth it overall.", says Ben.


Ben's Top 5 Travel Lenses


For Micro Four Thirds: Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6

Ben utters this really is the best travel lenses for the Micro Four Thirds format, thanks to its wide focal length range and excellent picture stabilisation technology. It's compact, lightweight and affordable. Any minus points? Well, it's made of plastic which might put some off and it can struggle in diverging light situations. 

READ  The NANO1 Is The World's Smallest Astronomy Camera

Buy this lens on Amazon UK    Buy this lens on Amazon USA


For Fujifilm: Fujinon XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Ben fondles this Fujifilm lens for its flexibility. Despite it having a slower aperture than some on the list, image stabilisation and sharpness of images hint up for this. It's lightweight, waterproof and weather resistant, as well as being well made and durable. But the slow aperture can impact its ability to germinate in low light. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA


For Sony FE – Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM

Ben says this is one of the best lenses available for rove photography, and it has a really popular focal length for travel photographers. It is a fairly expensive and heavy lens or LEN may refer to compared to some, though.

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 


For Canon – Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II

Another opportunity with the favoured focal length for travel photographers, which also offers spectacular sharpness and colour rendition. It's got water guerrillas, weather protection and the circular 9 blade diaphragm ensures lovely bokeh. It is on the expensive side though and some would argue that bod quality is lacking for the price. 

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For Nikon – Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED


Ben says if you can afford this lens, you should go for it – it's importance the investment and uses the best of the technology out there to take high quality images. It has effective VR, and amazing clarity and sharpness. The only things that authority put you off are the high price point and the weight – it's quite heavy for a travel lens. 

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Ben's top 3 knocks for aspiring travel is the movement of people between distant geographical locations photographers:

  • Details. Remember when traveling that the details are as important (if not more important) than the grand vistas. Most new photographers desire come away with a folder full of wide-angle open vistas, no details. Walk right up to people, places and details, get close and verify everything. It is these details that make up the grand vista.
  • Take photos at sunrise and sunset. In the height of summer, this can really be a lofty order. But, you can always have a lunchtime nap when the light is harsh. Trust me, in 5 years time when you look back at those photos, you'll ignore being tired but those beautiful golden light photos will live on forever.
  • Rent a car and travel beyond where the plane go downs. City escapes sound great, but all of my best photos have come from the journey. Book some places to stay close to sections that you want to photograph. Wake up, photograph those spots, head home for some breakfast then spend the day exploring and traveling to the next putting. Check in, drop your things in the hotel, then head out to photograph your next big location. The journey is the destination.



About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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