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Best Lens for DSLR for Alaska


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Adapting another thread, if you have a DSLR and wanted a new lens to make your Alaska shots the best you can make them, what lens would you get.  I already have a zoom and the 18/135 kit lens. How much wider would you go?

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Previous discussions for Alaska have neglected wide angle lenses in favor of some more extreme telephoto options.

A wide angle lens [24 to 35 mm 'full frame' equivalent] might be useful for interior [on ship and on land] pictures and for stitching panorama shots. Many photographers will use a modest wide angle lens for their 'walking around' lens.

 

Your 18mm kit lens likely is similar to the angle of view of a full frame 28mm [or my MFT kit zoom14-42mm] lens. A prime [fixed focal length] lens might be much more compact, and be brighter [f/1.8] instead of a kit zoom at f/3.5 or so.

 

For SLR mounts, you may find that the size/weight/price increases radically for prime lenses wider than 24mm - very few of them will be optimized for smaller than full frame coverage. 

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On ‎10‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 7:00 PM, mskaufman said:

I bought a Tamron 18 - 400.  Not that heavy, fairly compact and I rarely change lenses.

Good idea not having to carry a bag full of lens - and - at the moment of that photo opt you have

the wrong lens and struggle to change missing the target.

The 18-400 certainly will cover all the bases - beware of the Pinocchio principle when the 400 is extended

banging into things - LOL !

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6 hours ago, don't-use-real-name said:

Good idea not having to carry a bag full of lens - and - at the moment of that photo opt you have

the wrong lens and struggle to change missing the target.

The 18-400 certainly will cover all the bases - beware of the Pinocchio principle when the 400 is extended

banging into things - LOL !

Although the wide focal length coverage is a good thing, these super zooms obviously have to make some compromises to archive the wide zoom range. The main caveat is obviously apertures: with this Tamron the max apertures are f/3.5-f/6.3, which are especially in the tele end on the slow side and thus the useability of the lens in low light conditions suffers. Complex optical formulas needed for this sort of lens might be also more prone to give distortions, but of course image editing can fix some of these. It also varies how easily you actually spot such imperfections and how much these bother you, for many people the memories recorded in the photos are more important than the high technical quality of the photos.

Personally, I would probably take multiple shorter zooms or primes instead of a superzoom lens, but then there are obvious downsides: more weight and if carrying just one camera body, lens changes could mean that you have wrong lens at wrong time and thus miss some photo opportunities.

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I recently acquired an Olympus OMD M1 mark 2 and its companion superzoom travel lens - 12-200 f/3.5 to f/6.3.

 

Like the Tamron, it is relatively slow at the long end, and Pinnochio zooms to twice its length when zoomed to the long end. [makes me miss the internal zoom of my old FZ-50]

On the other hand, it is weather sealed, so rain and mild splashes should not bother the combo.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think it does depend on what photos you are hoping to catch.....

 

Telephoto for wildlife  200-300 range   

 

pana landscapes if stitching 35-50 & tripod I find idea

but hand held 9-18  is good

 

I find a tend to use my 9-18 a lot on landscapes..... but that is me 

 

Don 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/22/2020 at 3:08 PM, TheOldBear said:

Previous discussions for Alaska have neglected wide angle lenses in favor of some more extreme telephoto options.

A wide angle lens [24 to 35 mm 'full frame' equivalent] might be useful for interior [on ship and on land] pictures and for stitching panorama shots. Many photographers will use a modest wide angle lens for their 'walking around' lens.

 

Your 18mm kit lens likely is similar to the angle of view of a full frame 28mm [or my MFT kit zoom14-42mm] lens. A prime [fixed focal length] lens might be much more compact, and be brighter [f/1.8] instead of a kit zoom at f/3.5 or so.

 

For SLR mounts, you may find that the size/weight/price increases radically for prime lenses wider than 24mm - very few of them will be optimized for smaller than full frame coverage. 

 

A 14-24mm lives on my FF body when used on ship.  24mm seems about perfect.  A 24-70 could also be a great choice. 

 

I'm planning to be back in AK 2021, fingers crossed.

 

framer

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