What's in my travel camera bag?
Well that depends, it is different every time! I am on the path of using all primes, which means I don't carry/ use zoom lenses, unless it's a wedding ceremony and that is my only exception. Okay, first, what are primes and why are they good? Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, instead of a zoom. They are hard work, because you have to change your lenses if you want a different focal length and you have to move in or out to change your composition! Sounds like a pain in the booty, right? Well not necessarily. Prime lenses create beautiful bokeh in your background, see 50mm and 90mm images below. They also allow for more accurate focus, colors and control of distortion.
1. If I am travelling to see family, my number one lens to pack is my 50mm/ f1.4. This lens is perfect for portraiture and that is my priority when visiting home.
This portrait was taken with a Nikon 50mm/ f1.4 lens. (It was probably shot at f4)
This image was shot at the same distance from the subject as the below portrait, you can see the 50mm is wider than the 90mm.
2. The second lens in my bag is also for portraiture, it's my 90mm. I love to use it for tight images of faces, especially of children or people cuddling close. My 90mm is also a macro-lens! Yes, I use a macro lens for portraits all the time, it's my number two portrait lens. I use it at weddings for details too, which is one of the reasons I need it, but it is truly a fantastic portrait lens. That lens does double duty and is earning its keep.
The portrait above was taken with a Tamron 90mm/ f2.8 Macro (It was probably shot at f/3.5)
The higher the focal length(mm) the tighter the crop.
3. If I plan on using natural light, that means I won't pack a flash, which leaves room for one more lens. When I travel I like to bring a small camera bag, unless I am actually there as a hired photographer. One camera body and three lenses fit pretty well. If I pack a flash, I need to leave one lens at home and that is no good for me. So which lens do I pack as my last lens? I will bring my 14mm/ f2.8 or my 35mm/ f1.8. For a visit that will likely have more portraiture, like a large family portrait, I will bring my 35mm. Although, technically it's not the best lens for portraiture, it's wide enough to accommodate a large group. This will cause less distortion to each person than if I were to use the 35mm for tight portrait shots. Now, if I grab the 14mm, I am probably headed someplace with magical views. When I go to the mountains or the desert I love to bring this lens to showcase gorgeous skies and beautiful landscapes.
This image was shot with a Nikon 35mm/ f1.8mm. (It was probably shot at f/5.6)
Lastly, this is a much wider shot, I am a bit further from my subject than the previous two images, however only about another 10 feet or so, so you can see how much wider a 35mm focal length is compared to a 50mm.
This image was shot with my Nikon 14mm/ f2.8.
This is the widest focal lenth on the page. I am the same distance from my subjects as I was in the above image, so you can see how much wider the composition is here. This is a great lens for landscapes!
Lastly, please comment below with your favorite lenses for vacation or any questions that you have about the content of this blog! Thanks!
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