Travel Lens Setup

SDunnSDunn Posts: 14Member
Hi Everyone,

I recently sold my D810 and replaced it with a D850.

My wife and I are having our first child so I’m looking to put together a lighter weight wider coverage setup.

Currently I tend to travel with an older 35-70 2.8D, 20 2.8D, 50 1.4 G or 50 1.8D and 70-300 VR sometimes the 20 and 50 get dropped in favour of the 24 1.4. Both are on either on the front of either the D8XX or my D4 which all fits into a small Lowe Pro sling bag with a travel tripod and a couple of flashes, cam ranger, filters, batteries stuff.

This unfortunately leads to a LOT of lens changing which is probably not going to fly with a kiddo. The 35-70 is a little short as I really like the 24 end. The 70-300 also tends to lack reach sometimes and is a little soft out long.

I’m hoping to get this down to something more reasonable and was wondering about people’s opinions on the 24-85 VR combined with the new Sigma 100-400 as a two lens solution with an option to carry the 20 for wife and a fast 50 for the darker situations? Or would I be better off with the 24-120 f4 Nikon or go to an all Sigma all the time 24-105?

Or do I really just say screw it and go 28-300 get a 300 pf and a teleconverter for the long end and keep the 20 for the wide?

The struggle is real! Anyone have thoughts?
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Comments

  • prototypeprototype Posts: 11Member
    I've used a 24-120 quite a bit on my D750 and I like it a lot. My copy is noticeably less sharp at around 90ish mm and longer. I still like it at those focal lengths for portraits (it's not mushy by any means... just less sharp than the wide end). That may be more pronounced on a D850, I expect it would still produce excellent results, but it's something to be aware of.
    I have an assortment of different lenses, but when I'm traveling I almost always only take my 24-120. I enjoy photography more when I don't have much gear to think about. But I typically don't use long lenses, so I'm generally content with the zoom range of the 24-120. Your mileage may vary. When I think I might need it, I have an old 50mm 1.8 that gets chucked in the bottom of my bag... and usually ends up staying there.
    I enjoy astro type photography and if I think there will be opportunities I bring my 20mm 1.8, but even so I've been surprised at how well the 24-120 performs on the night sky. The corners are pretty garbage (tonnes of vignetting), but all things considered it's not terrible overall in my experience.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,901Moderator
    My findings about the 24-120 align with prototypes closely in terms of its mid range performance. I sold mine and bought the 24-15 Sigma Art which is a very nice lens, although not long enough or light enough to use as a travel lens because it is very heavy plus it needs other lens lengths to accompany it.

    My advice would be look at the 24-85 VR and 24-70 f4. Unless it is a safari, I never go longer than 200 on holiday.
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,166Member
    edited February 6
    You have a nice set of lenses ...

    And I like the directions of your thoughts..( for a more baby friendly kit.. with the D850)

    Sorry, I am not more help :-)

    I can only give you more issues/problems to consider LOL..

    1) The D850 has more megapixels.. and although the 24-85 and the other kits are nice travel lenses you may be seeing more of their weaknesses if you tend to Pixel Peep...
    2) Your current 35-70 will also show its edge weaknesses more. (I have one of them .. really nice lens) so will some of your other D lenses.. (if you pixel peep :-) )

    maybe just go with the 24 1.4 :-) and digital zoom



    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • BetelgeuseBetelgeuse Posts: 39Member
    I have the 28-300, I can tell you it's a very good lens. It does have a bit of distortion on the wide end, but it's corrected in light room easily with one click under lens profile corrections. You really notice this distortion mostly if your wide and close to your subject, naturally. If your shooting a landscape, you don't really notice it. If your making a large panorama landscape correct your distortion in Lightroom before stitching.

    Maybe rent one and see if it's for you. For my long end I have and 'love' my Nikon 200-500, and on my DX D500 gives me 750mm equivalent reach with the crop factor. For my super wide stuff I'm using the Rokinon 14mm F2.8.

    Here is a shot with the Rokinon 14mm F2.8 taken on the Hood Canal in Washington state. Taken in a reasonable dark zone, but not the darkest.

    imageMilky Way On The Canal" alt="" />


    Here is a shot with the Nikon 28-300mm:


    imageCherry Point" alt="" />

    Here's a shot with the Nikon 200-500mm:

    imageGreat Big Hop" alt="" />


    Remember these are low resolution flickr uploads.

    Here's another Nikon 28-300mm:

    imageCrazy Clouds" alt="" />
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,633Member
    You control the child's life don't let it control yours.

    28-300 all the way and a Samyang 14mm on the other body ..job done
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 324Member
    I am carrying the Nikon 14mm to 24mm F/2.8 and the Nikon 24mm to 70mm F/2.8 and the Nikon 80mm to 400mm F/4-5.6. I used to carry the Nikon 70mm to 200mm F/2.8 but the latest iteration of the Nikon 80mm to 400mm F/4-5.6 (AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR) replaced it. Occasionally I carry it when I the speed.

    Find that I shoot 75% with the Nikon 24mm to 70mm F/2.8.

    Denver Shooter
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,901Moderator
    It all depends on your requirements. If you only want to post low res on Flickr, you have a wide range of lenses available but if you want to print large, that changes.
    Always learning.
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 402Member
    I've gone as large as 20x30 out of a D610 with a 24-85, but I can't speak the impact the additional resolution a D850 brings to the party might have.

    On my (24MP) cameras, the 24-85 is plenty sharp when stopped down to f5.6 to f8. On the other hand, my 70-200 f4 is sharp enough to draw blood, even wide open.

    I'm iffy on the short zoom, but the 70-200 sounds like it would work well for your stated purposes.
  • RyukyuRyukyu Posts: 30Member
    The Sigma 24-105 f/4 Art lens is my favorite lens for travel. That's the lens that's usually on my camera most of the time. It's sharp at all focal lengths and focuses quickly even in low light situations. That, and the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VRII are all I usually take on vacation.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,633Member
    there are two 24-85 ..the one with VR is excellent
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 402Member
    Oops. Mine is the VR. For my uses and skill level it works well.
  • framerframer Posts: 489Member
    The travel lens setup depend on where I'm going and what I'm planning to do. There is no one solution IMHO.

    framer
  • picturetedpictureted Posts: 153Member
    I've been very happy with the 24-85VR - it's small, light and inexpensive. When I need longer, I carry the 70-200/4 and sometimes add the TC1.4. For wider I've been extremely happy with the 20/1.8G. All-together a small and very competent kit. (all shot with D810)
    pictureted at flickr
  • SDunnSDunn Posts: 14Member
    prototype said:

    I've used a 24-120 quite a bit on my D750 and I like it a lot.

    Thanks for the info! My ideal set up would be a 24-120 and 80-400, however the 80-400 is a little BIG.

    Ive heard similar issues in the mid for the 24-120 but lots of people swear by the lens but its a contender.

  • SDunnSDunn Posts: 14Member

    My findings about the 24-120 align with prototypes closely in terms of its mid range performance.

    Appreciate your input. You take GREAT photos, Ive been lurking on here for YEARS and have always liked your work. The 24-120 is a strong contender. Im wondering if I could get away with giving up the short end to 28 to go to the 28-300.
  • SDunnSDunn Posts: 14Member

    I have the 28-300, I can tell you it's a very good lens.

    So I have ordered this lens three times... and canceled this order three times. This seems to be a VERY polarizing lens, perhaps the most so in the Nikon lineup! I really appreciate your beautiful samples. Im jealous of your work and the journeys that you've been on. I'm considering a rental of the 28-300 to see if its wide enough for me.

    Back in my DX days I never wanted more at the 18 end, but ever since I got the 24 1.4 it has been nearly glued to the front of my camera. I have done a lot of reading at it seems that many people fall in love with a focal length. Lots of people swear by 35 for example, it doesn't do it for me. 20 is too wide. I dunno I love me that 24 but it is ONLY 4 mm on the short end. I mean how much of a difference does 4.... gah I know its huge.

    Anyway... thanks for your input. And again beautiful pictures. The 28-300 sings in your hands!
  • SDunnSDunn Posts: 14Member

    You control the child's life don't let it control yours.

    28-300 all the way and a Samyang 14mm on the other body ..job done


    Ha... Im low on the pecking order in this house. Im sure it goes my loving wife, yet to be born child, dad. Its not all bad though. I do have a D850 after all!

    I appreciate yet another vote for the 28-300. I have a 14 kicking around. Its too wider for my day to day, but it is a very versatile lens and I can see why you would suggest it!

    Thanks for taking the time out to suggest something!
  • SDunnSDunn Posts: 14Member

    I am carrying the Nikon 14mm to 24mm F/2.8 and the Nikon 24mm to 70mm F/2.8 and the Nikon 80mm to 400mm F/4-5.6.

    I would love to do a 24-70 80-400 combo. It is actually the IDEAL combo for what I want EXCEPT its too big and heavy. The 80-400 is too big to physically fit in the bag I want to use. Which shouldn't be a reason to discount a lens except it is.

    I have a couple other ways to 400 floating around and if I KNOW I needed to get that long, I would bring the big guns. Thus if Im bringing a bigger bag, I probably wouldn't bring the 80-400. I know that sounds dumb but in my head it balances.

    What Im looking for is a way to replace the 70-300. Something longer would be great for those moments when I don't expect it but want it, but if its not a direct replacement (ie fits in my bag) its probably not going to work in this workflow.

    Thanks for taking the time out. I agree the 24-70 is a fantastic everything everyday lens!
  • SDunnSDunn Posts: 14Member

    On my (24MP) cameras, the 24-85 is plenty sharp when stopped down to f5.6 to f8. On the other hand, my 70-200 f4 is sharp enough to draw blood, even wide open.

    This is a fantastic bit, thanks. The feedback on the VR 24-85 is really important. I had not thought of the 70-200 F4. I have never held one, though it does seem to be RAVED about. It seems it would fit length wise. A tce1.7 would get me out past 300.

    This is something more to think about for sure.
  • SDunnSDunn Posts: 14Member
    Ryukyu said:

    The Sigma 24-105 f/4 Art lens is my favorite lens for travel. That's the lens that's usually on my camera most of the time. It's sharp at all focal lengths and focuses quickly even in low light situations. That, and the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VRII are all I usually take on vacation.


    Thanks very much. The new Sigma glass is AMAZING no doubt. I have never had 3rd party lenses and while I wonder less about primes, I wonder if the zoom direction would drive me nuts. If I decided to go the 24-XXX route in either Sigma or Nikon it will be a very hard choice to make.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.
  • SDunnSDunn Posts: 14Member
    framer said:

    The travel lens setup depend on where I'm going and what I'm planning to do. There is no one solution IMHO.

    framer


    Absoultely agree. Do you have any suggestions on a travel kit for two lenses that covers between 24mm on the short end and 300+ on the long?

    I think I laid out my requirements for a lighter set up, that is more kid and family friendly (meaning kid and family type photos) that requires less lens changes.

    Can you give me some examples of what you do bring when you go to shoot these "different things" what you bring and the methodology as to why you chose to go that route?

    Thanks!
  • SDunnSDunn Posts: 14Member

    I've been very happy with the 24-85VR - it's small, light and inexpensive. When I need longer, I carry the 70-200/4 and sometimes add the TC1.4. For wider I've been extremely happy with the 20/1.8G. All-together a small and very competent kit. (all shot with D810)


    Thanks for this. The vote for the 24-85 on a higher MP body is great news. Interesting that this is the second time the 70-200 f4 has come out! I would probably keep the 20 2.8 in the bag to save space over the 20 1.8. A buddy of mine has that 20 1.8 and its a beautiful lens.

    Thanks for letting me know about your set up!
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,901Moderator
    SDunn said:

    My findings about the 24-120 align with prototypes closely in terms of its mid range performance.

    Appreciate your input. You take GREAT photos, Ive been lurking on here for YEARS and have always liked your work. The 24-120 is a strong contender. Im wondering if I could get away with giving up the short end to 28 to go to the 28-300.
    Thanks.

    Regarding the 28-300, I will just say this: If you look at the best IQ zooms out there, they all have a small zoom range. My current go-to lens is the 24-35 f2 Sigma. That lens is superb, but has a very small zoom range. You have to weigh up what is most important to you - image quality or convenience. I am not trying to change your mind about the 28-300, just saying you have to be aware of its limitations.

    I sold my 24-120 f4 VR to get the 24-35 and am very pleased I did so. I bought the 24-120 for weddings as the D750 and 24-120 seemed perfect for that but the mid-range shot's IQ was just so 'MEH' that I really came to dislike it.

    If I go on a photographic break with friends, all my gear goes with me but if I go on holiday with my wife, a crop body with the 16-80 is usually all I take.
    Always learning.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,729Member
    SDunn said:

    You control the child's life don't let it control yours.

    28-300 all the way and a Samyang 14mm on the other body ..job done


    Ha... Im low on the pecking order in this house. Im sure it goes my loving wife, yet to be born child, dad. Its not all bad though. I do have a D850 after all!

    I appreciate yet another vote for the 28-300. I have a 14 kicking around. Its too wider for my day to day, but it is a very versatile lens and I can see why you would suggest it!

    Thanks for taking the time out to suggest something!
    If you have a D850, then you should read this article.

    http://www.dslrbodies.com/cameras/the-d850-blog/more-about-lenses.html
  • SDunnSDunn Posts: 14Member


    Regarding the 28-300, I will just say this: ... you have to be aware of its limitations.

    If I go on a photographic break with friends, all my gear goes with me but if I go on holiday with my wife, a crop body with the 16-80 is usually all I take.

    I agree with everything you say. If I was going to shoot critically none of these lenses I have spoken about here would come. I would have several bags including lighting. BUT, thats not always practical and what I'll be able to get out of a D850+28-300 would be completely superior to the next option which would be an iPhone X. This entire exercise is exactly that, a balance of all the considerations to get a desired output. There are certainly tradeoffs, some I might be willing to make, some not. The 28-300 might just be too compromising. But then there are chances Im just not as critical as some are here. After all I shoot the heck out of a 70-300 without much complaint. Is it soft? Oh sure. But I get shots at 300 with it I couldn't get without it. Im going to see if I can find one to rent. Might grab the 24-120 at the same time and have a shoot off!

    You are of course correct, the smaller the zoom range, the better the lens. Lens making, like lens choosing is all about the compromises. Lenses could almost always be made better, but they need to get bigger and heavier, more expensive coatings, higher tolerances and at some point the costs associated with all of this makes it unsellable or more likely not profitable. Which means they just don't get made (unfortunately).

    I would very very much like to get my paws on a 24-35, that thing looks sick. But courses for horses. Thats not for this acquisition.

    You can have parallel acquisition strategies though right? Don't tell my wife!

    Thanks again for your insight. It is very valuable.
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