Primes vs Zoom for Travel?

Started Jan 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
What's Travel?

We all travel. I travel on a weekend for photographic opportunities. I also might go for a week of longer. Maybe I'll walk out my door to travel out to my lake. Regardless of where or how long I travel, what is the most inportant consideration? Is it IQ or Convenience. That's the trade-off every time. That's why people buy crappy long ratio zooms like the 18-200. They are trading IQ for convenience and they know it regardless of the rationalization they might go through. Moreover, travel is just one of those rationalizations.

Many of the same people who buy the 18-270 for travel end up using it around the house and eventually most everything if the truth be told. Or, they get tired of the mediocre IQ and it sits on the shelf, even during vacation.

So, I think you need to look at your lenses and decide what, if any, you'd like to take on your trip. If you don't have anything much except that long zoom, consider what you want to buy based on using it home and travel. Consider what level of IQ you're looking for within your budget and buy that. Don't worry about having to change lenses. That's another rationalization for considering a compromise between IQ and convenience. Most people don't miss shots changing lenses. That's mostly nonsense. They might miss a crappy snapshot, but not a good compellng image. Those are visualized and decided on. They are created. Besides snapshots can be taken at any focal length and crop later. Great shots generally take time and effort.

On a full frame camera, and on vacation wandering the streets in a new town while my Jan shops, I might carry my 28 f/1.8 and my 85 f/1.4, one in my pocket and the other on the camera or two bodies with one on each. I think this is a great walkaround looking for that good image. Swapping glass is usually fairly quick and easy. Carrying two bodies isn't much problem either with belt holsters and the grips removed.

For me, vacation, a weekend, a one hour walk are all very similar except in duration. You bring what helps you create the best image possible depending on your budget. If not, carry a compact point and shoot, the ultimate in convenience.

I go by the old saying, "The best camera is the one you have with you." That's why I try to make sure my D700 or D800 is with me.

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Cheers, Craig
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