Jump to content

Lens on cruise ship (Sony E-Mount)

Recommended Posts

I have a Sony a6400 with the 18-135mm kit lens. I am trying to see if there is another lens to get that will help with photos on a cruise ship. I am not one to use flash. To me it ruins pictures and I don't want to have to fumble around with it. I have been eyeing the Sigma 16mm f1.4, Sony's pancake lens, and just things in general with no clue what to do.


If you had about $500-$600 for a second lens, what would you recommend?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends on what types of things you think you'd want to photograph...your 18-135mm can do just about anything, so is a great one-lens travel solution...but if you might want more reach to photograph wildlife or animals, or distant shorelines and ships, then you might lean towards something that reaches out 200-400mm, if you want to photograph lots of ship interiors and building interiors, in narrow streets, etc, then you might look to an ultra-wide lens solution instead...if you will be doing lots of very low light handheld shooting, nighttime, dark interiors with no flash, etc - then a faster lens in the F1.8 to F1.4 aperture range would be the target.

For me personally, other than an all-in-one solution, probably my next favorite lens on cruises is an ultrawide.  Something like the 10-18mm lens is wonderful for photographing all the rooms and lounges of the ship, the exterior decks, and the ship plus scenery, and comes in very handy for narrow streets, church interiors, forts and old buildings inside and out, and playing with perspectives.  If you could swing the expense, or find one used, and if any of those types of photography were within your interest, I'd certainly recommend it.

Fast lenses can be useful in more limited ways...I also have the Sigma 16mm F1.4, but think of it more as a specialty lens for certain dark interior shooting, nighttime walkaround handheld, etc.  For me, it's my favorite lens for photographing dark rides at Disney World, where the wide perspective plus fast aperture allow me to shoot from moving boat rides and cars where flash is forbidden and light is extremely low.


Link to post
Share on other sites

@zackiedawg Thanks, saw your post on dpreview as well. I don't know if I need anything else for a cruise than the 18-135. I definitely do not want a giant telephoto. I don't want that bulk. I will consider one when we do Alaska in the distant future. I may look into some of the excellent, cheap MF UW lenses. With the zebra thing on the a6400, a MF lens becomes easy to use.


With Prime Day coming, there may be some good deals to be had. That was the other reason I was checking.

Edited by bigrednole
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, bigrednole said:

I may look into some of the excellent, cheap MF UW lenses. With the zebra thing on the a6400, a MF lens becomes easy to use.


With Prime Day coming, there may be some good deals to be had. That was the other reason I was checking.


Rokinon/Samyang 12mm f/2 is one of my favorite lenses on my A6300. I often carry the A6300 in a belt pouch with that lens as a wide alternative to the 24-105 on my A7III. Excellent sharpness even at F/2. That really helps the focus peaking which relies on contrast. 


10s - f/2 - ISO6400



That fuzzy spot in the upper left quadrant is M31 in Andromeda and the two streaks on the right are sneaky meteors.


Very little distortion as well. 



The Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye can be fun as well.




Both can be found on sale on Amazon for less than $300. No regrets on either so far.




Edited by pierces
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll second the Rokinon/Samyang 12mm f/2.  Fantastic lens for crop sensors for the ultra wide, it's one of the three lenses I take when I'm traveling (the others being either the fuji 23mm or 35mm and the 56mm.)


I think it really depends on what you're looking to take pictures of and what you find yourself frustrated with most currently.  Are you wanting something wider, longer, faster, etc?  What do you find yourself taking pictures of now and what do you wish you were able to do?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I am just being geeky at the moment to see what to get. I am considering other things as well including 360 cameras, drone camera, and even nothing at all. I think I thought about this post with Prime Day coming and if there are some good deals like last year it may be worth jumping on some.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've shot with A7iii's for 2 years and have several primes and the 24-105 f/4 zoom. On a cruise I'm usually either using the walk-around zoom or going with a fast prime for those early morning shots such as a Zeiss 20mm f/2 or my Sony 35mm f/1.4. But your using a crop sensor camera ....


What you need is a fast prime mad for a crop. I'd recommend the  ....


 Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E


Around $400


24mm equivalent 

Auto focus

Good reviews

Edited by Tahitianbigkahuna
Link to post
Share on other sites



Here is a good example of why you want a fast prime on a cruise ship. Taken last March as we entered the harbor in Papeete, Tahiti.


Sony A7iii with a 35mm Sony f/1.4 lens.


1/25, f/1.4, ISO-500


I was under exposed but as a side tip  ... the Sony algorithm allows good shadow recovery with little noise when you shoot 500 ISO or under. As I was @ f/1.4 and @ 1/25 I decided to shoot at 500 ISO and let the camera do it's magic. I know this is true of the A7 series algorithm ... might be true on the a6400 😉



Edited by Tahitianbigkahuna
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I know this thread is kind of old, but I recently got a Sony a7 iii and 24-105 mm f4.0 lens and had a chance to try it out in the Yucatan (including some fairly challenging shots, like handheld at night from moving vehicles). I know this is blasphemy to some, but I must say I'm finding it to be good enough that I don't feel the need for a fast prime - I'd rather have the zoom to be able to frame the shot how I want it without cropping.


For Alaska (tentatively next year but 2022 at the latest), I'm interested in the 100-400 mm telephoto to get some far away wildlife shots. Since that lens retails for $1300 and I don't expect to need it again for a while (if ever), I'm thinking just renting it for the trip would be the best option.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rental is probably a good idea for such a lens, where you're not likely to need it for general shooting, just for a one-time trip.


I'd even consider possibly even thinking about going a little bigger and renting the 200-600mm lens - it is bigger and heavier, but if you're just renting it can deliver significantly more reach and the IQ is darn close to the 100-400mm GM - with much of the wildlife you'll encounter in Alaska being either from the ship or on various land tours or even walking around the port stops - you will see some eagles right on the docks, and some seals or whales could get very close to the ship, most will be farther off and the 600mm lens could really come in handy as much of what you shoot may be 100-400 feet away or more at times.


Both are excellent lenses - I have both and use them regularly...but wildlife and birding are primary types of shooting for me, on a weekly basis.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, I was just thinking the 100-400 since my main lens ends at 105, so there wouldn't be a gap in between. I'm not sure if I'd bring the whole kit on shore excursions (especially if there's hiking involved) but I should be able to make good use of it on the ship.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: American Queen Steamboat Company - Celebrate Your Freedom
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com - June 2021
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...