Ultrawide angle lens for travel?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by photo_galleries, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. What's the widest lens that you've brought along on a trip? I don't usually go wider than 20mm (full frame) but I got an Irix 11mm a few weeks ago and have been playing with it. It's difficult to compose with a lens this wide but I think I'll bring it on an upcoming trip for some dramatic wide angle shots.

    miasky and Hector Javkin like this.
  2. So far, a Voigtlander 15mm on a Sony A7. Now I have the Sony 12-24/4 on an A7II (and maybe someday on a A7RII or A7RIII).
  3. Decades ago I bought a 20 mm Nikkor just for a vacation to Hawaii. I would have been lost without it, but you have to be careful not to over-use the wide angles because people get tired of that look quite quickly.
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I use Canon 5D Series DSLRs and I have a 14mm/2.8. I take it with me occasionally when travelling, mostly predicated on whether or not I will be carrying a Tripod and Head.

    I feel more comfortable composing using a Tripod: additionally on this topic of composition and how people get bored of the UWA 'look', I think that including a minor, but related feature in the foreground and taking advantage of the leverage of extremely deep DoF is one method of maintaining Viewer interest.


  5. Since I "invested" in a Canon TS-E 17mm lens, that is now my widest travel lens.
  6. I have traveled with my Nikon 14-24 2.8, but recently bought an 18-35. The 18-35 is inferior in ALMOST every respect, but it is a lot lighter than the 14-24.

    I feel cramped with 24mm as my widest, although I find 20mm useful. I really like having an 18mm, though(I just recently sold an 18mm AI-s prime) and prefer to have something at least that wide.

    For crop sensors, I have a Nikkor 12-24.

    To me, anything on the shorter side of 28mm(or equivalent) requires discretion in is use, but can make for compelling photos if used correctly. I am an unapologetic wide angle addict.
  7. The widest I had/have is a 24mm for 35mm film.
    The logic at the time was that the 24 was the widest Nikon lens that still used a 52mm filter. This was back when filters were expensive, and we were not rolling in money, so having to have multiple sets of filters of differrnt sizes was a concern.
    There were several times when I wanted even more coverage than my 24 could give me. But I could count that on 2 hands. So I could not justify spending the $$$$ on an ultra-wide that I would use so infrequently.
    But when your back is literally up against the wall, when you NEED the wider coverage, nothing else will do but a WIDER lens.

    Today, I am thinking about the Nikon 10-24mm DX zoom.
    But I am holding off, until I make my decision to go to FX or not.
    If I go FX, then maybe the 16-35.
  8. Galen Rowell's favorite-the 20mm f/4-uses 50mm filters. If I'm remembering history right, this was made both as a pre-AI and AI lens. There's also a 20mm 3.5 available in AI and AI-s that uses 52mm filters. The MUCH more common 20mm f/2.8 uses an oddball size for Nikon-I think 62mm. The ancient(and kind of expensive) 20mm 3.5 UD takes 72s,

    Like I said, though, WAs are an addiction. With something like a 14mm, it can be hard to get close enough to your subject to exclude the stuff at the edges that you DON'T want, and can also be dangerous if you're walking while looking through the camera. I've actually frightened myself at times when working with lenses in the 14-18mm range at how close I've found myself to something while not paying attention to wear I was until the camera was away from my face.
  9. I own a Sigma 14/3.5 in k-mount. Not a regular travel lens, due to my laziness and it's bulk + odd cap and front element.The Voigtländer 15/4.5 is light enough to not complain about it and nice to have for the odd selfie.+ also needed to make my M8 a real backup camera, since the ultra wide I really like to shoot would be a 21 or 20mm (FF).
    I noticed myself being quite content with a 16mm wide end on crop bodies, but if I am bringing the crop SLRs, I'll usually go 12-24/4, kit zoom, 50/1.4, 135/2.8, two bodies.
    Wide lens related travel problem: You either need multiple bodies or time, preferably both.
  10. I guess in a lot of ways it depends on your style and preferences.

    I know many photographers who consider 35mm a "standard" lens on film/full frame. If you are one of those people and like ultra-wides also, something like the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR is a dream lens for you. Personally, I find 35mm too wide for a "standard" lens but there again different strokes for different folks. 10-24 on a crop frame covers roughly this same range.

    When pushed, I can work with a 24mm on the wide end as it will still give some of the "in your face" WA look that I love. There are several good choices of "standard" zoom lenses that go to 24mm. so I can still make do with only one lens if need be.
  11. Yeah, my default 'standard' lens on my D800e is the Sigma 35/1.4 ART. I also have a 50/1.4 ART, but I don't use nearly as much as the 35.

    Strange though, that on an RF, a 50mm seems more standard to me, while the 35 feels like a wide angle lens.
  12. Dang it Ben, now I have another lens to look for ;)
  13. And I made a mistake-the 20mm f/4 uses the Nikon standard 52mm, not 50mm.
  14. Here's proof of the filter size - in this case the non-AI 20mm f/4. One of my favorite Nikon lenses in film days.
    Unfortunately, because of a rear 'flange' projection, this will not adapt to full-frame EOS mount without mutilation...
  15. There again, Galen Rowell loved it because it was the smallest and lightest 20mm that Nikon made.
  16. I've said for a long time that if I were going to be stuck on a deserted island I'd want an F2, a 28mm and 100 rolls of Tri-X. The 20 got me in al kinds of trouble with one editor who didn't like me anyway but I recently came into this really nice 18mm that I'm enjoying a lot. We'll see how much trouble I get into with that!!

    Rick H.
  17. It's a great lens!

    This was shot last summer with that lens on an F4 with Velvia 50. I have a long running project of trying to photograph all the churches in this county and surrounding counties.

    Moving On likes this.
  18. The shortest lens I travel with is a Sony/Zeiss 16-35/4 zoom. For the best quality, color and contrast, I have a Batis 18/2.8. Both lenses accompanied me to Ireland this Spring. Short lenses are best used to emphasize the foreground, as below, or to capture interiors. This was taken in The Burren, a rocky area in western Ireland. According to signage, this area was denuded by early settlers, as long as 6000 years ago, rather than by glaciation. It is grazed to manage surface vegetation, but fences and buildings are not allowed.

    Spmu A9 + Batis 18/2.8
  19. I agree, in case I am permitted to call it "shouting for a 2nd body with a long counterweight".
  20. I have traveled with my 20 mm

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