Suggestion for travel lens

bfluegiebfluegie Big grinsIndianaPosts: 468Registered Users Major grins
edited May 24, 2019 in Cameras

I’m going to be going to Norway for a couple of weeks this summer. Given that I will be using public transportation (train, ferry, commuter flights, maybe a bus or two) to visit different locations I’m thinking that I need to take less camera gear than usual. I have already cut down what I take when I am flying to a location, but I’ve still been feeling overburdened by the time my flight is over. I’m wondering if I should get one of the so-called “walking around” lenses and maybe just take one other lens.

I have a Nikon D7200 and lately I have just been taking the following with me when I travel:

  • Sigma 17-50 2.8 EX DC OS HSM
  • Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm F4 (IF) DX
  • Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED

I also have these lenses which I lately have only been taking with me if I am driving, and a couple that I don’t use any more:

  • Nikon AF-S DX 35mm 1.8G
  • Nikon AI AF 50mm 1.4D
  • Tamron SP AF Di 90mm 2.8
  • Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 (retired)
  • Nikon 18-105 3.5-5.6G ED VR (D90 kit lens, retired)

I have been watching this thread in the Landscapes forum with interest because for the future I may consider a different camera for hiking. In addition to the mentioned cameras I’m also considering Fujifilm and micro four thirds for travel/hiking, but for the near term I am going to stick with the D7200.

So, finally getting to the point, can anyone recommend a decent lens for travel that works well with the D7200? I considered the kit lens I got with the D90, but I have read that with the higher resolution D7200 it isn’t as sharp. Maybe I will try it out and see what it can do. I really find the Sigma 17-50 and Tokina 12-24 to be really sharp with the D7200 and I hate to give that up, but I also need to travel with less.

Part of the problem for my previous trips may be the bag I am using. I have the Tamrac Adventure 9. I got it because it has room for a jacket, lunch, and other non-photo gear that I might need while hiking. But I have never found it to be very comfortable. It does have a “waist belt” but all I think it does is hold the pack against my back. It doesn’t work like a true hip belt that helps support the weight of the pack. In any case, for the Norway trip I may also be looking for a smaller bag that could then also hold my travel tripod, wallet, passport, water bottle. Suggestions for a bag are also welcome. Since I will be carrying less gear I’m not limiting my consideration to backpacks.

So, thanks in advance for any suggestions.

~~Barbara

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,255Super Moderators moderator

    @bfluegie said:
    ...
    I have a Nikon D7200 and lately I have just been taking the following with me when I travel:

    • Sigma 17-50 2.8 EX DC OS HSM
    • Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm F4 (IF) DXad
    • Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED
      ...
      So, finally getting to the point, can anyone recommend a decent lens for travel that works well with the D7200? I considered the kit lens I got with the D90, but I have read that with the higher resolution D7200 it isn’t as sharp. Maybe I will try it out and see what it can do. I really find the Sigma 17-50 and Tokina 12-24 to be really sharp with the D7200 and I hate to give that up, but I also need to travel with less.

    Your basic travel kit is similar to my own, but if forced to reduce for size and weight the first consideration is the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II instead of your current AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED. Your current long zoom is 26.3 oz. (745 g) and the 55-200mm "kit" zoom is 10.6 oz. (300 g), so less than half the weight. I don't think that the tele-kit zoom lens is as durable, nor is it as long, but in a DX format the 200mm is often enough and it's usable sharpness at both ends.

    I would add a close-up lens to fit and the Opteka Achromatic 10x Diopter lens is surprisingly good for $25USD.(The following link should fit both your existing 70-300mm and the 55-200mm I suggest [using the enclosed adapter ring], but the 70-300mm would probably vignette like crazy.) These little jewels are cheap and good enough that I have two different sets for two different travel configurations.
    https://amazon.com/Opteka-Achromatic-Diopter-Digital-Threaded/dp/B001A5K3BK

    Samples of the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR

    FOCAL LENGTH 120.0 mm (180.0 mm in 35mm), APERTURE f/4.8

    FOCAL LENGTH 200.0 mm (300.0 mm in 35mm), APERTURE f/5.6

    FOCAL LENGTH 55.0 mm (82.0 mm in 35mm), APERTURE f/4

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • bfluegiebfluegie Big grins IndianaPosts: 468Registered Users Major grins

    Thanks for the suggestion Ziggy. I appreciate the quick response. I had considered the 55-200 a few years ago but since I use the telephoto for fewer than 10% of my shots I decided that I would just keep what I have. However those years have made a big difference in what I can tolerate carrying. So, I will probably give this lens a try. I see a few used listed at KEH for a significant discount over the retail price (EX+ for $109). I know this lens has a plastic mounting ring, but KEH does stand behind what they sell so the risk should be pretty low.

    I was considering taking my wide angle zoom and my 35mm prime instead of the Sigma, but most of my photos are taken in the focal length range of the Sigma (~75% of my Lightroom catalog although a lot of my photos are not in Lightroom) so I'm not sure I want to limit myself that way. I haven't really used the 35mm on the D7200 much so maybe I need to try it out first.

    I hadn't considered a diopter lens for the end of the lens before. When I was in Yosemite there were a few times I might have used my macro lens but I didn't have it with me. With the diopter lens I will be prepared next time without the added weight of the macro lens.

    BTW, cute kid. Thanks for posting the photos taken with the 55-200. It definitely seems to be sharp, and I like the quality of the out of focus background in the second shot.

    ~~Barbara
  • bfluegiebfluegie Big grins IndianaPosts: 468Registered Users Major grins

    Update:
    Good thing I'm not superstitious or I would start to think I am jinxed, at least when it comes to recent orders for photo gear. First I dragged my feet a bit too long and missed the KEH lens. But B&H had a 9+ listed for 46% off the new price which still seemed like a pretty good deal so I ordered it. It arrived today. I thought the box felt pretty light--less than my 70-300 even with all the packing material. My back was feeling better already. Then I opened it up and saw that what had been shipped was the first generation DX 55-200 lens. Not the third generation 55-200 VRII lens I ordered, not even the VR lens (2nd generation) but the original non-VR version. I chatted with B&H and they had me send an email to customer service with photos to start the exchange process. Having bought several lenses and a camera body from B&H in the past with excellent experiences I am sure they will do all that is needed to make things right.

    Yesterday I received the Opteka Achromatic 10x Diopter lens @ziggy53 mentioned in his response to my original post. The package was left at my door. When I picked it up that package rattled. A lot. I was hoping it was the adapter ring to take it from 67mm to 52mm but that was in a cellophane package. The rattle was definitely coming from the Opteka box. I opened that up and took the front lens cover off and I could tell that the large lens inside was moving around. Then I took off the back cover to expose the threads that mount the diopter lens to the filter ring of the camera lens and I saw that the lens retainer ring was just sitting there. It wasn't installed at all, not loosely installed, not with one thread engaged, completely loose. Because the vendor hadn't updated Amazon with shipping information I couldn't start a return through Amazon. I contacted Amazon who sent an email to 47th Street photo. They emailed me very quickly. They asked for photos which I sent and they are asking if I want to return for refund or get a replacement. I'm on the fence but I'm leaning toward a refund. I did find a used item on eBay for less with free shipping and returns so I may go that route.

    It's a good thing I ordered this stuff well in advance of my need date :smiley:

    ~~Barbara
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,255Super Moderators moderator

    Wishing you the best with your trials and troubles. Hopefully this means the actual trip brings you nothing but good luck!

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
Sign In or Register to comment.