7 Zoom Lenses That Are the Perfect Partner for Summer Day Trips

zoom lenses
These 24-105mm zoom lenses are perfect for day trippers thanks to their versatility and all around great performance.

Summer is right around the corner, which means day trips to local parks, lakes, beaches, hiking trails, and so much more are likely on the agenda. When we go on these trips we always want to capture memories and images of all we see, but we also like to travel light. Who really wants to be lugging around a huge camera bag full of lenses while day tripping? If you want to travel light, but still want to be able to cover a range of focal lengths, the trusty 24-105mm should be the lens you take with you. Join us after the break to see seven 24-105mm zoom lenses that we highly recommend.

The zoom lenses we have listed are some of the most versatile lenses you will lay your hands on, and they are widely considered to be some of the best walk-around lenses you can get. On the wide end, they are great for architectural work, landscapes, cityscapes, and environmental portraits, and on the long end, they are great for portraits, detail work, and getting just a little bit closer to objects in the distance. The zoom lenses listed below are all well built, offer excellent image quality, and great autofocus performance. To top it off, they are decently light and easy to manage too. Check out seven of our favorite 24-105mm (or very close to that range) zoom lenses below.

 

Sony 24-105mm F4 G OSS (Sony E, Full Frame)

 

zoom lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Sharp image quality
  • Nice bokeh in the right situations
  • A bit of weather sealing
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Versatile range

Cons

  • Nothing really, we accept this lens for what it is

Buy now ($1,198): Amazon

 

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • You can do a landscape image then do a portrait five seconds later
  • This lens is ultra sharp
  • The Sigma 24-105mm f4 is an extremely good lens for event photography
  • This lens is practical for use in almost any situation

Cons

  • The Sigma 24-105mm f4 is 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
  • The Sigma 24-105mm f4 does not shoot macro, but the Canon 24-105mm L does

Buy now Canon ($800): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($776.39): Amazon

 

Pro Tip: If you’re going to be spending the day out walking around you need to make sure you’re as comfortable as you can be. One of the best ways to increase your level of comfort is by using a camera sling. Regular camera straps that loop around your neck will cause quite a bit of pain across your shoulders and neck after a day of photo walking, but a camera sling helps disperse the weight across your entire upper body. This one is super affordable, and it has a padded strap for extra comfort.

 

Canon RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Nice image quality
  • Fast focusing abilities
  • Fantastic image stabilization
  • Weather sealing that’s very good
  • Fairly portable

Cons

  • We really think Canon would have hit this out of the park if they just made it a 24-120mm f4 lens, like Nikon has. That also would have made it even more appealing
  • We’d love to be able to lock the lens at various focal lengths

Buy now ($899): Amazon

 

Panasonic 12-60mm F2.8-4 Power OIS (Micro Four Thirds)

 

zoom lensesHere are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

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

Cons

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

Buy now ($797.99): Amazon

 

Pro Tip: If you’re going to be traveling minus a camera bag, you’re going to want to make sure you put some extra SD cards in your pocket before you leave your home. There is nothing worse than heading out for a day of shooting only to find you have filled up your SD cards. SD cards are super cheap right now, so be sure to take advantage of the low prices while you can.

 

Pentax 28-105mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR (Pentax K Mount)

 

zoom lensesHere are the pros and cons from our full review:

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

Buy now ($496.95): Amazon

 

Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS USM II (Canon EF Mount)

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Sharp image quality
  • Useful range
  • Image stabilization
  • Locking mechanism
  • Better feel than the original
  • Not too incredibly saturated images
  • Better image quality than the original

Cons

  • I wonder how long this lens will last in terms of a life time before Sigma renews theirs and Tamron and Tokina come out with their own options

Buy now ($1,099): Amazon

 

Pro Tip: Some of these zoom lenses offer weather sealing, but some are better at it than others. Fortunately, there are weather proof camera and lens covers that can be picked up cheaply which will enable you to be out shooting no matter what the weather is doing. Even if you don’t plant on shooting in the rain, but want a cheap way to protect your gear should inclement weather come your way, these covers will protect your camera and your lens nicely until you can get to a dry spot.

 

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens (X Mount)

 

zoom lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Absolutely no lens creep whatsoever
  • Solid build quality
  • Decent bokeh
  • Weather sealed
  • Great colors and relatively sharp
  • Optical image stabilization

Cons

  • As big as a DSLR lens
  • Fringes quite badly with hints of chromatic aberration

Buy now ($799): Amazon