Andrew Hunt's picture

Prime Lenses for Travel Photography

I typically carry my 24-70 and 70-200mm 2.8 Canon lenses with me when I travel. But I am slowly migrating to the Sony system (love the A7RII). I have the gmaster 85mm and was wondering what other prime lenses are must haves for travel photography?

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2 Comments

Mike Gillin's picture

Personally, I love a 35mm.

Max Leitner's picture

I always think that the question regarding "what lens" is a silly one. You should ask yourself instead: "how do I shoot". Just because you go "travel" doesn't mean that you change your style of shooting. Generally you want something wide for architecture and something narrow for portraits/details. I personally would say a 24/28 or 35 and a 65/85 or 105 would do plenty well.

Not sure what options there are for Sony, but if I had to choose a 3 piece set of gear I'd go with a 24mm f1.4 and a 105mm. (Shoot on the Nikon D810)

Now: I often travel far and want to make sure I am set for anything. My style of shooting is very wide, so I almost never leave the house without my 14-24mm and my 70-200mm, to cover all needs I toss a 50 1.4 and a 24-70 in the bag as well.

Another factor is street photography. It is a genre that we all generally enjoy practicing in our personal time, but it often is not what we engage with on a day to day. Then you should ask yourself what is my goal?! Personally I slap on that 24 1.4 and roll with it all day. I am quite aggressive when it comes to shooting and know how to defend myself, if shit turns bad. So getting into peoples business is no issue for me. Others might prefer a 50mm because it gives them an additional 5-10ft (2-3 meters) of distance and thus comfort and safety.

Gear recommendations can only go so far. Start by judging yourself and your level of expertise and comfort. Do you have your settings dialed 100% and are able to get in, get the shot, and move on, or are you a person that needs to fiddle with setting for a few minutes?

Important factors that should be in your kit: Wide / Narrow / Wide aperture.