If I could travel with just one prime for my A7...an easy choice!

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Mel Snyder
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If I could travel with just one prime for my A7...an easy choice!
4 months ago

Let's face it - legacy SLR lenses made in the pre-computer era are HEAVY. What works for a trip to the back yard can nullify the weight/size benefit of the A7 if you have to carry several all day long, climbing hills and walking long distances.

After owning my A7 since mid-February, my one indispensable travel lens is my Canon FDn 24mm f2. While significantly larger on an adapter than my tiny 35mm f1.4 Summilux-M, it is wider and usable at f2, the same aperture when the Summilux loses its characteristic "dreamy" haze.

For scenics, the Canon FDn 24mm f2 is not a super-wide, but surely wider than the typical 35-55 primes so often recommended here for travel. When I travel into new environments, I find I want to take in a wider field of view than when in more familiar circumstances.

For travel portraits, I find I want to take in more than just the face - the setting is important to me, too. Again, the Canon FDn 24mm f2 does the trick. And because it's very, very sharp, I can crop later - the A7's high-ISO capabilities are fabulous.

I love cathedral, mosque and synagogue interiors - which can be dark. Again, the Canon FDn 24mm f2 does brilliantly at hand-holdable, midrange ISOs.

Here are a few shots with my A7-Canon FDn 24mm f2 from a recent trip to northern Israel that show the breadth of capabilities of this one lens:

Panorama from Golan Heights, watching Syrian army attack Kunetra - panorama, Canon FDn 24mm f2 held in portrait mode

Natural arch of Keshet Cave - Canon FDn 24mm f2

Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth, Israel - panorama mode - this lens with the A7 really shines for panoramas with the camera held in portrait mode. Yes, there is some distortion even Lightroom doesn't easily correct with all the sliders set at "max" - but hey, this is close to a 180-degree view.

Pilgrim-worn hand of the Virgin Mary, Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth

Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth, Israel

Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth

Akko ("Acre") Harbor, Israel

Akko mosque guide

Tunisian Synagogue, Akko

Islamic cemetery, Akko (OOC jpeg)

As I hope you can see, this is a very flexible-use lens, excellent for all kinds of travel shooting. I highly recommend it.

 Mel Snyder's gear list:Mel Snyder's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha 7 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS +12 more
Sony Alpha 7
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