Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
Rambler358
Rambler358 Senior Member • Posts: 1,551
Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

Looking for a good travel lens for my A77, something that won't break the bank.  First priority is IQ, second is range.  I already have the 16-50 SSM "kit lens" that I find pretty good, but is there something better - what would you choose?

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Ron
Torrance, CA

 Rambler358's gear list:Rambler358's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony a77 II Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro +2 more
Sony SLT-A77
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DrFzs Regular Member • Posts: 230
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

Hi!

Wide or tele?

Cheers:

Dr. FZs

 DrFzs's gear list:DrFzs's gear list
Sony DSC-RX0 II Sony a7C Sony a7 IV Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II +8 more
Rambler358
OP Rambler358 Senior Member • Posts: 1,551
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

DrFzs wrote:

Hi!

Wide or tele?

Cheers:

Dr. FZs

Whatever you think is the perfect lens for travel.

-- hide signature --

Ron
Torrance, CA

 Rambler358's gear list:Rambler358's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony a77 II Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro +2 more
DrFzs Regular Member • Posts: 230
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

Hi!

Your 16-50 SSM lens is best "normal range" lens.

IF  I wish wider: Minolta or Sony 11-18,

Tele:Sony 70300G

Not heavy and good quality and you have from 11mm-300mm range.

Only one best lens is impossibile.

I try some Minolta lens in APSC body /see my gear list/, but the Sony 1650 SSM was the best.

Cheers:

Dr. FZs

 DrFzs's gear list:DrFzs's gear list
Sony DSC-RX0 II Sony a7C Sony a7 IV Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II +8 more
AkashRana
AkashRana Regular Member • Posts: 356
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

16-50 is an ideal lens in my book for APS-C, as its got a decent coverage, fast aperture and silent AF. If range is  something you are after my next bet would be 16-80 Zeiss; though a sharp lens, it losses on fast aperture and silent AF.

16-105 is a decent performer and so is 18-135, but personally won't recommend someone going that way unless the only thing they are after is a versatile focal length.

 AkashRana's gear list:AkashRana's gear list
Sony a99 II Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 Sony 24-70mm F2.8 II +6 more
Lensmate
Lensmate Veteran Member • Posts: 6,774
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
1

Rambler358 wrote:

Looking for a good travel lens for my A77, something that won't break the bank. First priority is IQ, second is range. I already have the 16-50 SSM "kit lens" that I find pretty good, but is there something better - what would you choose?

Sony 16-80 Zeiss- light, longer length and great Zeiss-ness!

If you buy used, get a later version without the plastic gearing.

-Martin P

Rambler358
OP Rambler358 Senior Member • Posts: 1,551
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

DrFzs wrote:

Hi!

Your 16-50 SSM lens is best "normal range" lens.

IF I wish wider: Minolta or Sony 11-18,

Tele:Sony 70300G

Not heavy and good quality and you have from 11mm-300mm range.

Only one best lens is impossibile.

I try some Minolta lens in APSC body /see my gear list/, but the Sony 1650 SSM was the best.

Cheers:

Dr. FZs

I actually have the 16-50 and 70-300, but I find myself switching between the 2 frequently which is what I'd like to avoid.  A bit more reach on the long end would suffice I think, something like a 24-105 or such.  But I don't know how much IQ I'd be losing.

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Ron
Torrance, CA

 Rambler358's gear list:Rambler358's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony a77 II Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro +2 more
Ed at Ridersite Forum Pro • Posts: 20,008
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
3

You're not going to find any single lens that comes anywhere close to the IQ of the 16-50mm f2.8 and 70-300mm G and covers even 1/2 of the range. There are compromises. The Tamron 16-300mm:

https://www.amazon.com/Tamron-16-300mm-3-5-6-3-Digital-Warranty/dp/B00JQ7TD6A

exactly covers the range and provides decent IQ.  Of course it's slower than the f2.8 but it is a one lens solution and weighs only a little over a pound.  It might suffice for travel is your expectations aren't too high.

You could order it from B&H, try it and if it doesn't fit the bill, return it.  Or try to find it locally to try out.

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AEH
http://aehass.zenfolio.com/
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Question: What do you do all week?
Answer: Mon to Fri. Nothing, Sat & Sun I rest!

 Ed at Ridersite's gear list:Ed at Ridersite's gear list
Sony RX100 II Sony SLT-A68 Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II
DrFzs Regular Member • Posts: 230
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

It is very enjoyable taking photos under 16 mm focal length. With APSC 11 mm is also very interesting, it provides a really wide field of view.

 DrFzs's gear list:DrFzs's gear list
Sony DSC-RX0 II Sony a7C Sony a7 IV Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II +8 more
Rambler358
OP Rambler358 Senior Member • Posts: 1,551
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

Ed at Ridersite wrote:

You're not going to find any single lens that comes anywhere close to the IQ of the 16-50mm f2.8 and 70-300mm G and covers even 1/2 of the range. There are compromises. The Tamron 16-300mm:

https://www.amazon.com/Tamron-16-300mm-3-5-6-3-Digital-Warranty/dp/B00JQ7TD6A

exactly covers the range and provides decent IQ. Of course it's slower than the f2.8 but it is a one lens solution and weighs only a little over a pound. It might suffice for travel is your expectations aren't too high.

You could order it from B&H, try it and if it doesn't fit the bill, return it. Or try to find it locally to try out.

The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG HSM ART has gotten some very good reviews over at Dyxum.  Not cheap, but it could be what I'm looking for if I can find a decent used version.

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Ron
Torrance, CA

 Rambler358's gear list:Rambler358's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony a77 II Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro +2 more
tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 52,754
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
1

Rambler358 wrote:

Looking for a good travel lens for my A77, something that won't break the bank. First priority is IQ, second is range. I already have the 16-50 SSM "kit lens" that I find pretty good, but is there something better - what would you choose?

Since IQ is your priority forget the super zooms like 16-300 or 18-400. The Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 is a good choice. Sony has an 18 - 135 something like that that people say is good.

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Tom

 tbcass's gear list:tbcass's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX10 IV Sony a99 II Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +7 more
tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 52,754
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

AkashRana wrote:

16-50 is an ideal lens in my book for APS-C, as its got a decent coverage, fast aperture and silent AF. If range is something you are after my next bet would be 16-80 Zeiss; though a sharp lens, it losses on fast aperture and silent AF.

16-105 is a decent performer and so is 18-135, but personally won't recommend someone going that way unless the only thing they are after is a versatile focal length.

What he wants is one lens to cover a wide range so the 18-135 is a good choice.

-- hide signature --

Tom

 tbcass's gear list:tbcass's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX10 IV Sony a99 II Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +7 more
tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 52,754
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
1

I used to own the 16-300. The IQ sucked.

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Tom

 tbcass's gear list:tbcass's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX10 IV Sony a99 II Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +7 more
OpticsEngineer Veteran Member • Posts: 7,258
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

On a typical vacation which might last 10 days, on eight days I typically use an 18-135, and on the other two days I use a superzoom like the Tamron 16-300.

The reason not to use the 16-300 everyday of course is the IQ is noticeably poorer, especially at focal lengths over about 50 mm. But somedays a superzoom just fits in better with the day's activities and I'm not after great shots as much a memories with the family. But the other eight days, the lesser IQ would bother me the extent I would not feel like taking some of the pictures.

 OpticsEngineer's gear list:OpticsEngineer's gear list
Olympus XZ-2 iHS Fujifilm XF1 Canon PowerShot G7 X Olympus Tough TG-4 Sony SLT-A65 +27 more
Lensmate
Lensmate Veteran Member • Posts: 6,774
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

OpticsEngineer wrote:

On a typical vacation which might last 10 days, on eight days I typically use an 18-135, and on the other two days I use a superzoom like the Tamron 16-300.

The reason not to use the 16-300 everyday of course is the IQ is noticeably poorer, especially at focal lengths over about 50 mm. But somedays a superzoom just fits in better with the day's activities and I'm not after great shots as much a memories with the family. But the other eight days, the lesser IQ would bother me the extent I would not feel like taking some of the pictures.

Depends what he enjoys shooting on a typical vacation. Everyone is different, and restricting shooting during a vacation with one lens is something I would never do, or have ever done! Two to three lenses is not an issue for most, unless this chap is severely disabled.

-Martin P

Rambler358
OP Rambler358 Senior Member • Posts: 1,551
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
1

Lensmate wrote:

OpticsEngineer wrote:

On a typical vacation which might last 10 days, on eight days I typically use an 18-135, and on the other two days I use a superzoom like the Tamron 16-300.

The reason not to use the 16-300 everyday of course is the IQ is noticeably poorer, especially at focal lengths over about 50 mm. But somedays a superzoom just fits in better with the day's activities and I'm not after great shots as much a memories with the family. But the other eight days, the lesser IQ would bother me the extent I would not feel like taking some of the pictures.

Depends what he enjoys shooting on a typical vacation. Everyone is different, and restricting shooting during a vacation with one lens is something I would never do, or have ever done! Two to three lenses is not an issue for most, unless this chap is severely disabled.

-Martin P

My reasoning for a one lens solution is to avoid the issue of having to frequently change lenses, and carry a bag around with me to hold everything.

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Ron
Torrance, CA

 Rambler358's gear list:Rambler358's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony a77 II Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro +2 more
Lensmate
Lensmate Veteran Member • Posts: 6,774
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

Rambler358 wrote:

Lensmate wrote:

OpticsEngineer wrote:

On a typical vacation which might last 10 days, on eight days I typically use an 18-135, and on the other two days I use a superzoom like the Tamron 16-300.

The reason not to use the 16-300 everyday of course is the IQ is noticeably poorer, especially at focal lengths over about 50 mm. But somedays a superzoom just fits in better with the day's activities and I'm not after great shots as much a memories with the family. But the other eight days, the lesser IQ would bother me the extent I would not feel like taking some of the pictures.

Depends what he enjoys shooting on a typical vacation. Everyone is different, and restricting shooting during a vacation with one lens is something I would never do, or have ever done! Two to three lenses is not an issue for most, unless this chap is severely disabled.

-Martin P

My reasoning for a one lens solution is to avoid the issue of having to frequently change lenses, and carry a bag around with me to hold everything.

What are you going to shoot? Narrow it down....are you shooting animals in Africa, or are you just shooting buildings/sites/peeps?

Taking the wife/boyfriend, then let them carry that one extra lens in their handbag/manbag....

-Martin P

samfieldhouse New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

I'm using a Sigma 24-105 Art on my A77 as my everyday lens, it's superb; a bit wide, a bit tele and super crisp, with lovely punchy colours. Constant F4 too which is nice.

Looking at all the photos I took on a big road trip in 2019, most of them were in that range.

Lensmate
Lensmate Veteran Member • Posts: 6,774
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

samfieldhouse wrote:

I'm using a Sigma 24-105 Art on my A77 as my everyday lens, it's superb; a bit wide, a bit tele and super crisp, with lovely punchy colours. Constant F4 too which is nice.

Looking at all the photos I took on a big road trip in 2019, most of them were in that range.

24mm is too restrictive...and I would never ever use Smegma lenses ...

-Martin P

SDHood New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
2

Sony 18-250

It's small and I'm ready for anything.

It's maybe not good quality wise - I don't know.

But . . I'm a casual photog and picture quality isn't as important as the convenience.

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