The Best Travel Photography Lens

The Best Travel Photography Lens

The Best Travel Photography Lens image

photo by DieterMeyrl via iStock

When you’re traveling, the last thing you want to do is take all of your camera gear.

Aside from the obvious benefits of not having to carry around a ton of stuff, airlines have made it maddeningly difficult (and expensive) to get your stuff from one place to the next.

So, if you could only take one lens with you on the trip of a lifetime, what would it be? 

For me, and many other photographers, for that matter, it would be the 24-70mm f/2.8.

Let’s explore just a few benefits of this best travel photography lens.

Editor’s Tip: Get geared up for your travels and save some money at the same time. Buying a used 24-70mm f/2.8 allows you to stretch your gear budget without sacrificing the quality of the lens you use. Find the perfect 24-70mm lens now

The 24-70mm f/2.8 is Enormously Versatile

24 70mm f2.8 1 image

 photo by kunchainub via iStock 

One of the biggest 24-70mm f/2.8 benefits is its sheer versatility.

On a full frame camera, it gives you wide-angle to nearly telephoto range, which allows you to snap large landscapes, close-up portraits, and everything in between without having to do a single lens change

24 70mm f2.8 2 image

 photo by PeopleImages via iStock 

What’s more, you can get many different looks of the same subject thanks to being able to reframe the shot with a simple twist of the focus ring.

In both cases, this lens helps you minimize the time you’re fiddling about with your gear and maximize the time you’re actually taking photos. When you’re traveling, that’s a definite bonus!

Learn More: 

The 24-70mm f/2.8 is a Great Size

24 70mm f2.8 benefits 1 image

 photo by nortonrsx via iStock 

I enjoy shooting with my 70-200mm lens, but it’s a behemoth that has no place in my travel photography bag. 

Instead, the 24-70mm f/2.8 is a great size: usually in the range of about 3.3 inches wide and less than 5 inches long. 

Additionally, many of these lenses weigh around two pounds, so they’re relatively lightweight too. 

Granted, the 24-70mm is heavier and larger than a typical kit lens, but the image quality you get with the 24-70mm f/2.8 is far superior than what you get with a kit lens, irrespective of the brand. Besides, being a relatively small and lightweight lens makes it easy to carry, easy to handle, and easy to travel with. That’s certainly something you want in the best travel photography lens.

24 70mm f2.8 benefits 2 image

  photo by Brian Williams via iStock

Quick Tip: Many camera lens manufacturers have weather-sealed 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses with robust builds that can handle the rough-and-tumble world of travel photography. These pro-level lenses are more expensive than non-weather-sealed versions, but are certainly worth the added expense if you’ll be shooting in inclement weather. To save money, look for used 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses, as you can often find them in good to like new condition at a greatly discounted price.

The 24-70mm f/2.8 Lacks Much Distortion

The focal range of this lens closely mirrors that of the human eye, and as such, photos taken with these lenses lack much distortion at all.

This is certainly a benefit from the standpoint of how your images look, but it’s also a great benefit for learning how to improve your composition. 

That is, with the natural-looking results you get with this lens, you can concentrate more on things like composition and framing and less on how the lines in the photograph bend and bow.

On the wide end at 24mm, you’ll find that there is little or no ultra-wide-angle distortion, yet you can still get those beautifully wide shots of landscapes as you travel. It’s the best of both worlds!

Get more details about why the 24-70mm f/2.8 is such a great lens in the video above by Tony & Chelsea Northrup

Learn More:

The 24-70mm f/2.8 Takes a Common Filter Size

best travel photography lens image

 photo by Dimitris66 via iStock 

If you shoot with a Canon or Nikon system, their 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses take a 77mm filter, which is extremely easy to find. Furthermore, many other lenses from these manufacturers take 77mm filters, so you can utilize your filters with multiple lenses. 

What’s important when searching for the right filter for this lens is getting one with a slim housing, that way there’s no vignetting when shooting at 24mm.


kenko image

Filters like the Kenko Smart Slim Polarizer shown above are ideal for 24-70mm lenses for this very reason. And, of course, polarizing filters like this offer tons of benefits for your outdoor photos:

  • They reduce glare off of water and other non-metallic surfaces.
  • They boost the contrast in the sky, making the white clouds pop on a deeper blue sky.
  • They minimize atmospheric haze and reduce the softness of distant elements.

So, with the right filter paired with your 24-70mm lens, you can get outstanding photos on your travels, and do so without having to spend a ton of money or use up all your time making filter or lens changes!

Originally posted on

Back to blog