These 9 Lenses Will Make Your Travel Photography Dreams Come True

If you’re planning on globe trotting and want a do-it-all lens for travel photography, check out this list.

When we hit the road, or fly around the globe, we don’t always want to be bogged down with a ton of gear. Traveling light can make our lives and our trips more enjoyable. Being able to call upon a lens that can be used to shoot a landscape one second and then a portrait moments later is crucial if you only want to travel with minimal gear. Here we’re going to take a look at nine lenses across various platforms that we would take with us on our travels.

The great thing about zoom lenses is that they can cover many genre’s, and you don’t have to carry around a ton of primes and spend time changing lenses. Stick the zoom lens on and forget about it. Want to shoot a landscape at 24mm? Go for it! Want to zoom in on that thing way over there? Go for it! Want to shoot a portrait of someone who’s traveling with you or a local? Well these lenses can do that too. Their versatility is their biggest strength and what makes them great for travel photography. These lenses are also super sharp, render colors superbly, focus fast, and some are even weather sealed. Travel light next time you head somewhere and spend less time faffing about with gear. You’ll be much happier. Check out our favorite lenses for travel photography below.

 

Sigma 24-105 F4 DG OS HSM

 

travel photography

Pros

  • You can shoot a landscape and then a portrait five seconds later
  • Ultra sharp
  • Extremely good for event photography
  • Practical in almost any situation

Cons

  • Not the lightest lens
  • You have to pay attention to how you put on the lens hood or it will pop off
  • Image Stabilization gets weird on a tripod
  • Does not shoot macro

Check out our full review

Buy now Canon ($899): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($789): Amazon

 

Tamron 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2

 

Pros

  • Fantastic sharpness
  • Great colors if you white balance and edit in just the right way
  • Reliable autofocus
  • Image stabilization
  • Weather sealing
  • Feels good in the hand
  • Very versatile
  • Not too heavy
  • Not badly priced

Cons

  • Tamron’s colors may not be to your liking right out of camera

Check out our full review

Buy now Canon ($999): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($999): Amazon

 

 

travel Photography

Pro Tip: Ensure your travel photography images are as good as can be by keeping a lens cleaning kit with you at all times. You really don’t want to be spending a lot of time in post removing dirt spots, smears, or water spots from your images. Take care of your glass and your life will become easier.

 

 

Sigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM Contemporary

 

Pros

  • Locking mechanism is standard but very handy
  • Pretty well built for a super zoom
  • Surprisingly sharp. We used it for some of our product photography on the site
  • Fast to focus
  • Nice range and option for the entry level DSLR user who is bound to use it in auto

Cons

  • The bokeh is mediocre

Check out our full review

Buy now Canon ($399.99): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($397.99): Amazon

 

Fujfilm 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

 

Pros

  • Good image quality
  • Seriously and surprisingly fast focus. This lens is officially Fujifilm’s fastest.
  • Fast focus on the X Pro 2, X-T2, and even the X Pro 1. The latter completely shocked me.
  • Nice colors
  • Compact size
  • Weather sealing
  • Turning the aperture ring feels nice and smooth until the clicks come in. It’s a lovely tactile experience.
  • Sharp images
  • Fairly nice bokeh
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Something about this lens doesn’t have the magic that the 23mm f1.4 R does

Check out our full review

Buy now ($899): Amazon

 

 

travel photography

Pro Tip: When you’re traveling it’s vital to have a bag that will be comfortable to wear for hours on end, and will keep the gear you do decide to take with you safe and secure. The Portage Supply Mariner would be the perfect bag to take along on your travels with you. It can hold all the essentials, is super comfortable to carry, weather proof, and ridiculously inexpensive.

 

Fujfiilm 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS

 

travel photography

Pros

  • Aperture ring
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Sharp images
  • Smooth bokeh

Cons

  • No depth of field scale
  • Aperture ring is unmarked

Check out our full review

Buy now ($366.18): Amazon

 

Pentax 28-105mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

 

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Smallish size
  • Really good image quality for what’s essentially a glorified kit lens in many aspects
  • Pentax’s rubber grips around the lenses are spectacular
  • Incredibly affordable!

Cons

  • For some photographers, a variable aperture may not be so appealing

Check out our full review

Buy now ($496.95): Amazon

 

Panasonic 12-60 F2.8-4 Power OIS

 

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Fast focusing
  • Image stabilization
  • Sharp image quality

Cons

  • I wish it were constant aperture. That would be some really true innovation

Check out our full review

Buy now ($797.99): Amazon

 

 

Pro Tip: Never travel without a backup SD card, and then make sure you have a backup for your backup. If you have never had an SD card fail on you, it will eventually; it’s just a matter of time. Do yourself a favor and make sure you have plenty with you. SD cards are super cheap right now so stock up while you can.

 

Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (Sony E Mount)

 

travel photography

Pros

  • Variety of focal lengths in a small body
  • Lightweight
  • Fun
  • Pretty darned good image quality

Cons

  • Price could be a bit lower

Check out our full review

Buy now ($498): Amazon

 

Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F4 FE OSS

 

travel photography

Pros

  • Very sharp
  • Fairly compact lens for what it is
  • Splash and dust proof
  • Will have lots of appeal to many photographers
  • Nice color rendition

Cons

  • The bokeh is “meh” at best
  • Should have a faster aperture
  • Expensive

Check out our full review

Buy now ($798): Amazon