Lens Choice:

Beyond all of the regular gear, you may be considering bringing; your lenses are a huge part of the gear list. Again, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about your gear, what you may be considering purchasing or renting, and in general just any help you need with choosing lenses.

It is important to understand first and foremost, there is no one lens that is perfect. We are asked all the time what lens should I use. Our answer is always the same, what do you see? How do you want to see it? What do you want to capture in the scene? The answer to those questions will dictate lens choice.
It is important to remember that EVERYONE sees differently and there is no wrong choice for a lens. How you want to capture and interpret a scene becomes the way you choose what lens to use. This can be as unique and personal as each person on a tour.

When preparing for a tour, these are some items to consider. Weight – How much gear do you really want to lug around? Personally, I do not carry everything with me when hiking or walking around cities. However, I do usually bring most of my lenses on a tour with me and if we are not walking a lot and have access to our bus or vehicles easy enough (most tours this is the case)

I keep them in the vehicle with easy access to get to. It never hurts to bring the gear, except when weight is a major factor. With this in mind, the main lenses to consider bringing are a wide angle, a medium range, and a longer telephoto. Each tour is specific as well. If we are doing a ton of wildlife, you will need your longest telephoto lens whereas for mostly landscape, a wider and medium range lens will be excellent choices. A wide angle and or medium range lens may be useful for the landscape scenes we will photograph.

Personally, I am a huge fan of wide angle lenses for scenic and landscape shooting. Typically, I find that I use a wide angle much of the time on our excursions UNLESS I am photographing animals, sports, or aviation. Every lens has a purpose and the wide angle lens can be really cool to allow people to “take a journey” through your image. Many people are not used to a wide angle lens and this is one more reason we love to show people how to use them. If your camera has a full frame sensor, such as a Canon 6D, 5DMK Series or Nikon D600, 700 or 800 series, then you have a full frame. You would look at around the 14mm or 16mm range for a wide angle lens.

If your camera is not full frame (Canon Rebels, 7D, 60d, 70d or 80D series, or a Nikon 3, 5 or 7000 series.) You want to be in the 10 or 11mm range. The Tokina 11mm-20mm f2.8 is an awesome choice for a wide angle lens for Canon and Nikon cameras. It is also an excellent choice for night time and star photography

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All in one lens option: If you are looking for a great versatile “all in one” style lens that will not break the bank and give you the ability to pretty much capture everything except the widest angle images, in one lens that covers fairly wide to long telephoto, the new Tamron 18mm-400mm is a fantastic choice for Canon and Nikon users.

This is not the best most expensive lens choice available, but for the price and versatility, it is a great amateur lens that people love and we have found to be excellent for the value. This lens is only available for the crop sensor cameras such as the Canon Rebel Series, 60d 70d 80d etc and Nikon 3, 5 or 7000 series. At this time, it is not available for Sony. Again, if you are not sure, please do not hesitate to let us know what camera you have (Make and Model) and what lenses you have or are considering bringing. We are happy to help!

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Renting a lens or the gear you need for a specific tour is an excellent way to get the very best gear for a tour without having to spend a lot of money if you are not sure if you want to purchase a lens. We highly recommend LensProToGo as our gear rental company of choice for MPA!


Watch this video on David’s perspective of what lens you should use!