When you go on an outdoor adventure, you’re going to want some good snaps to take home with you. But if you’re serious about your photography, this means taking more than just a smartphone or a point-and-shoot camera.
Instead, you will probably want to take a DSLR with you. But in this case, taking the right lenses will be essential to get the results you are after. So which lenses should you take?
Here’s some advice to ensure you get the photos you are hoping for when you go on your adventure.
Do You Need Pro Lenses?
Pro lenses are a very good idea if you want to take the very best photographs you can on your outdoor adventure. They not only produce higher-quality images, but they also provide better environmental sealing.
The rule is to always look at your specific needs before choosing a lens. Don’t just assume that because a lens is expensive, it will be right for your needs, and always evaluate exactly what you need for your type of outdoor adventure you are going on.
Lenses for General Travel Photography
If you are going traveling, you will encounter a wide range of situations, and you will therefore want a lens that is adaptable to your needs. You will also want something fairly portable that you can carry with you anywhere.
For this, a superzoom is the ideal option. Not only is it compact, but it will provide you with excellent focal lengths to take a wide variety of shots.
You will often be using high ISO settings when you are traveling, which can include photographs at dusk and of the interiors of buildings, so it is often a good idea to get as much aperture as you can.
However, if you don’t mind carrying more bulk, you may prefer to take a three-lens kit including a wide zoom, standard zoom, and tele-zoom. Three pro lenses will be more expensive, but you can always rent lenses instead to keep your costs lower.
Choosing Lenses for Landscape Photography
If you are shooting landscapes, you will want a particular style of lens. Wide-angle lenses are the most useful, but you can still use normal lenses if you prefer.
If you are on a budget, a superzoom like 28-300mm could be ideal. This is easy to carry with you because it is more compact, and it will provide everything from telephoto to wide-angle focal lengths without the need to switch lenses.
Alternatively, if you have a larger budget or you want to rent your lenses, you could take three pro lenses with you covering everything from 16 to 200mm. These will provide better image quality, so it depends how serious you are about the results.
Going on a Wildlife Adventure
Going on a safari? Then your animal photos are going to be the most important part of the trip. You are unsurprisingly going to want a zoom because you may not get up close to the animals you want to shoot, and a long focal length of at least 400mm is essential.
Autofocus performance is also a big consideration. The cheaper lenses won’t have the necessary performance for fast action, but they will be fine for still objects. If you are shooting birds and other fast-moving animals, you will need a good lens that can focus instantly.
You will also want a fast shutter speed, and you will want to use the maximum aperture to create an out-of-focus background. Anything from 300mm ƒ/2.8 up to 800mm ƒ/5.6 is ideal. These have much better lens speed and image quality, but they are also very expensive.
The Key Considerations for Your Lenses
Durability is one of the biggest concerns for your lenses. You will obviously want to take good care of them, but they should have a certain level of toughness for your adventure.
The size is also important. Do you want to carry large lenses around with you? While this may be an option on a safari where you can keep your lenses in the car, if you are hiking it may not be so suitable.
And price is also a big consideration. Lenses can be very expensive, so your budget will be a concern. Of course, you won’t have to worry about price too much if you are renting.
Find the Ideal Lenses for Your Needs
Make sure you spend some time going over your exact requirements for your trip. Firstly, this means thinking about the type of photographs you want to take, such as landscapes, wildlife, or general travel shots. Then consider how much you want to spend, the amount of baggage you want to be carrying, and the quality of the final images that you will want to enjoy.
There are many aspects of your trip to consider, but once you narrow down your needs you will be able to choose from a selection of top-quality lenses to ensure you get the photographs you want from the experience to provide you with memories long after the trip has come to an end.
Rachel Marie Smith is a graduate from the University of the Arts with a BFA in Film/Video. Some recent achievements include, magazine publications, and features in art galleries and film festivals. She is well versed in all areas of filmmaking, but has a particular joy for producing and camera operation. Rachel loves to look at the world through the viewpoint of the lens. It’s the things around her that are inspirations for her personal work, as well as the people in her life. Rachel is currently the Head of Film Marketing and Graphic Design at Resolution Rentals and is currently in post production for her first feature film, Normandy: A World Apart