Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

Started Feb 8, 2021 | Discussions
gordonpritchard Veteran Member • Posts: 4,957
Some samples
2

For me, the ability and convenience to go from very wide:

To very narrow (from same viewpoint)

To very close

in a single travel lens (Tamron 16-300 on a77ii) is well worth any pixel peeping loss of "quality." At home or studio I might use different lenses.

I did the above snaps very quickly so they may not be the best "quality" this lens can deliver. You can see more examples from this lens (as well as the Sony 18-250) in my gallery or blog.

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My photos: http://www.gordonpritchard.blogspot.com/

 gordonpritchard's gear list:gordonpritchard's gear list
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Sony SLT-A57 Sony a77 II Sony 500mm F8 Reflex Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro
tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 54,055
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

OpticsEngineer wrote:

Everytime I use an ILC camera, i feel a bit silly because like you I have realized the RX10IV is just so capable and convenient. If it weren't for wide angle lenses and fisheyes, i don't know if I could justify having any ILCs at all.

I have an A99ii and use it with a 15-30 f2.8 and a 45mm f1.8 for wide angle and low light. For everything else, 90% of my photography, it's the RX10iv.

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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
Lensmate
Lensmate Veteran Member • Posts: 7,258
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

tbcass wrote:

OpticsEngineer wrote:

Everytime I use an ILC camera, i feel a bit silly because like you I have realized the RX10IV is just so capable and convenient. If it weren't for wide angle lenses and fisheyes, i don't know if I could justify having any ILCs at all.

I have an A99ii and use it with a 15-30 f2.8 and a 45mm f1.8 for wide angle and low light. For everything else, 90% of my photography, it's the RX10iv.

You have good gear Tom, shame you only use it 10% of the time...

as one gets older, the convenience factor substitutes laziness...lol

-Martin P

Lensmate
Lensmate Veteran Member • Posts: 7,258
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

tbcass wrote:

Lensmate wrote:

Certainly its true for a good many peeps...your an older guy in late 70's and find it suits you for your age now. But there are many that are not of that age and tow along several lenses no problem. To each his own. The original poster failed to mention what he is shooting and how old he is...

-Martin P

Actually my age has nothing to do with it because I'm in excellent shape, walk several miles a day, do some weight training and not I'm arthritic. For me it's simply for convenience. I find that when I walkaround with my A99ii and several lenses it's just time consuming and a pain in the ass to keep changing lenses. It also can result in lost opportunities for fleeting moments because I'm a walk around looking for photographic opportunities photographer.

The Sony bridge camera is excellent, but it will never match the A99ii. Certainly it's easier and less a pain in the ass, but hey, if convenience is what you want [laziness] then you get what you put into it. Everyone feels differently to suit their needs at various stages. To each their own.

-Martin P

Ed at Ridersite Forum Pro • Posts: 20,074
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

Rambler358 wrote:

After careful consideration, and with all the options suggested - I think I’m going to go with the Sony DT 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 SAM lens. it seems to cover the bases for range while having very good IQ. Reviews are quite favorable, and excellent copies can be found at great prices.

I'm sure that is a good choice for your needs.  The only thing I would question is that there is quite a bit of difference between 18mm and 16mm at the short end.  When traveling, you might take the 18-135mm and the 16-50mm.  Then, if you are going to be indoors a lot on a certain day, take the 16-50mm.

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AEH
http://aehass.zenfolio.com/
http://aehass.zenfolio.com/blog
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
Rambler358
OP Rambler358 Senior Member • Posts: 1,551
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

Ed at Ridersite wrote:

Rambler358 wrote:

After careful consideration, and with all the options suggested - I think I’m going to go with the Sony DT 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 SAM lens. it seems to cover the bases for range while having very good IQ. Reviews are quite favorable, and excellent copies can be found at great prices.

I'm sure that is a good choice for your needs. The only thing I would question is that there is quite a bit of difference between 18mm and 16mm at the short end. When traveling, you might take the 18-135mm and the 16-50mm. Then, if you are going to be indoors a lot on a certain day, take the 16-50mm.

Hmmm... Maybe the Sony DT 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 might be the better single lens option, as indoor shooting would likely be about 30-40% for me I'm guessing, and the extra wide would also help with landscape.

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Ron
Torrance, CA

 Rambler358's gear list:Rambler358's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony a77 II Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM +2 more
kcdogger Veteran Member • Posts: 3,736
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

I seldom shoot Sony anymore, but when I do the Sigma 10-20, Sony 16-50, and the Sony 55-300 is pretty much my kit.  Sometimes use the Sigma 50-200.  It's better then the Sony version, 55-200.

Peace.

John

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John CCC Leixlip Regular Member • Posts: 109
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

kcdogger wrote:

I seldom shoot Sony anymore, but when I do the Sigma 10-20, Sony 16-50, and the Sony 55-300 is pretty much my kit. Sometimes use the Sigma 50-200. It's better then the Sony version, 55-200.

Peace.

John

How do you find the 55-300? I don’t find it very sharp at all, maybe I just have a bad copy.

 John CCC Leixlip's gear list:John CCC Leixlip's gear list
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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 22,687
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
1

John CCC Leixlip wrote:

How do you find the 55-300?

Mine is very good, but it has to be focused precisely to provide sharp results.

I don’t find it very sharp at all,

Are you talking about some particular focal lengths, or throughout its range?

maybe I just have a bad copy.

I would guess so. Look at all the occurrences of the word sharp in these user reviews:

https://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/Sony-DT-55-300mm-F4.5-5.6-SAM_review675.html

kcdogger Veteran Member • Posts: 3,736
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
1

I find it very good - stopped down a bit.  Wide open - not so much.

Peace.

John

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Mike Courtney
Mike Courtney Regular Member • Posts: 313
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
3

Rambler, I've found that the Tamron 16-300 works very well with the A-77 cameras.  It's versatile, it covers just about all of my requirements for shooting when travelling.  I don't believe that you would regret using this lens in your travels.  It's my walking around lens when I'm out with an APSC camera.

 Mike Courtney's gear list:Mike Courtney's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony a77 II Sony a99 II Sony 50mm F1.4 Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO +9 more
EvilOne
EvilOne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,627
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
2

I use an A77 among others.. having a one lens only choice will insure that with some opportunities, it won't be wide enough and in others it wont be long enough. No matter what, it has to be sharp enough and quick enough. For me, I found  the Tamron 16-300  f/3.5 6.3  DI II with a piezo drive super silent motor has served me well as a walk around.  Ive used it for many years without any regrets. In fact it is on my A77 right now. If I look over my collection of lenses.. and I'm only taking one for a non specific photographic day, Ill take this one.. I can take a tight shot inside a hotel room, and grab a long shot when needed. Plenty of used ones out there, and if buying new it will come with a 6 year warranty.

Bill

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EvilOne
EvilOne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,627
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

Here is this Tamron 16 -300 at the wide end, and the long end.. in limited light. no flash

CAMERA INFO

Camera Sony SLT-A77V

lens Tamron 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di II PZD

Macro Focal Length16.0 mm (24.0 mm in 35mm)

Aperture f/4

Exposure Time0.00625s (1/160)ISO400Date

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EvilOne
EvilOne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,627
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?

here it is on the long end 300 mm taken from the balcony of our hotel room

Camera Sony SLT-A77V

Lens Tamron 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di II PZD

Macro Focal Length300.0 mm (450.0 mm in 35mm)

Aperture f/6.3Exposure Time0.0025s (1/400)ISO1600

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BigGG Contributing Member • Posts: 933
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
1

Sony SAL16105 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 Wide-Range Zoom Lens

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EvilOne
EvilOne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,627
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
5

Some perspective. A walk around lens is not the same thing as an only one lens.

Many of us started out buying lenses we could afford and build a collection of lenses.( Most of these collect dust after a while ) Many of us bought prime lenses for a singular purpose in focal length. Some of us went from Primes to Zooms because of the versatility. My Minolta 80-200 2.8 APO Black version was my first Zoom lens that I considered professional quality. From the Minolta lens factory in Japan, hand made and polished to an incredible quality standard.

So to the question. Only have one lens. For many years many of us used 50mm and got by with it for years. In Collège we used 50mm in my elective Photography class. that was 50 years ago.

So Today, many New comers to photography have lost their ability to go and get the shot, and would rather have the shot come to them. With this in mind the need for a zoom lens with a wide enough reach as well as a long enough reach would cover ALL the bases, since its the only lens you can have ( in this scenario ). Since the criterial of only having one lens means you cant have your cake and eat it too. You can go for IQ and limit the focal range or expand the focal range and limit the IQ,

I chose the 16-300 Tamron for this purpose and found it to be a great walk around lens with enough speed to shoot indoors in well lit events where flash was prohibited.. So for me.. Ill take versatility over IQ. I can get inside any room with 16mm and reach out 300 mm for that long shot to capture a priceless memory.

Bill

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Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi Nikon Coolpix 990 Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony SLT-A77 +5 more
tcbarb Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: Travel Lens - If you could only have one?
2

Lots of times I've thought about this question, but I always end up taking just my 70-200 G and 24-70 CZ if I want to 'gear down' due to space or weight. I don't think there is a point to acquiring these great lenses if I don't take them with me to shoot.  This is reinforced every time I stand in front of something I am shooting, even if I hiked miles to get there; that I never remember thinking I wished I had a lessor lens to shoot with.

I only have 5 lenses now, but these two above cover 90-95% of my needs. (Also 85 F1.4 Minolta  when portraits and single subject still life's are subjects, the 100 2.8 Minolta macro when small is involved, as well as the 11-16 Minolta for wider view landscapes though I think of this as the lens I should have passed on; but I shoot the A77ii and the extra width does help sometimes.

So the two I take are heavier and a bit bigger than other lenses in the same ranges, but I can toss out that extra bottled water and sandwich, ask my wife to carry one if she is along,  put on a backpack, or waist pack .....or something.  Vacations, travel, and hiking almost always involves a back pack and that Peak strap mount that uses a plate to front backpack strap is often the answer. (The Capture 3.0) Always ready yet frees both hands.

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