Lenses and Cameras for Travel

Posted July 20th, 2011 by   |  Photography, Travel  |  Permalink

The lens and camera questions keep rolling in from our readers. The neat (and fun) thing about photography is there is a never ending quest to find the perfect combination of cameras and lenses for each of our interests. Today’s question is from Roger in Texas, USA.

Tokina 11-18mm f2.8. Image courtesy Tokina.

Tokina 11-18mm f2.8. Image courtesy Tokina.


Hi Mike,

Question for you. On your suggestion I just purchased a second camera body – the Nikon D7000.  I have had the Nikon D300s since Feb 2010 and took your class in Dallas the end of May 2010.

Since stock is low around the country, I ordered my from Adorama in NYC and they only had official Reconditioned ones in stock for $1,150. I received one of those and it seems just fine.

Anyway, I have felt I needed a backup body. But what several of my friends have done, is purchase the 7000 and made it the primary camera with the D300s as the backup.  Interesting.

Question 1: lenses.

I presently have:
– Nikon 18-200 3.5-5.6 AFS-S ED VR 2  (primary walk around lens)
– Nikon 70-300 4.5-5.6 AFS VR (do not use it much)
– Tokina 11-16 2.8 (use it for inside; churches, museums, etc)
– Nikon 105 2.8 G ED
– Nikon 50 1.4 G (just several months old; as a more prime lens; more inside with low light, etc.)

Also – purchased the Gitzo 3541L // Kirk BH-1

NOW THE QUESTION: reading about the new Nikon 28-300 3.4-5.6 ED VR

I did read your report in your Newsletter a couple months ago. I know this is an FX lens, and I have a DX body. So there is the 1.5x crop factor I believe. Cost for the lens is about $1,000. The reviews I have looked at really like this new lens. Ken Rockwell says to get it and even sell some of one’s old stuff.

Anyway – being 70 now, I have no plans for an FX camera from Nikon. Thus, what is your suggestion to me on getting this new 28-300??? I know it is heavier but the present 18-200 is not heavy for me.  I would want to make this my walk around lens if I get it.

Any suggestion here would help. I am going on a cruise to Alaska August 23rd with 14 other folks – and if I decide get this, I’ll need to order it soon.

Thanks again Mike.  You are my hero in photography.

Best, Roger

Nikon 28-300mm. Image courtesy Nikon USA.

Nikon 28-300mm. Image courtesy Nikon USA.


Roger –

I use my D7000 when I need a lighter weight camera. I use my D300s when I need more performance (AF and frames per second). They work well together as primary/backup.

If you are willing to sell some stuff, here’s what I would do. Buy 28-300mm. Sell 18-200mm and 70-300mm.

Your travel kit would then be 11-16mm and 28-300mm. This is a perfect setup since you’ll have the wide lens for interiors and the 28-300 for everything from portraits to telephotos. The 1.5x crop factor means that you’ll be able to cover 17mm – 450mm with two lenses. Perfect.

Keep the 105mm macro and the 50mm 1.4. These are top of the line lenses and perfect for their intended purposes.

Nikon 105mm Macro. Image courtesy Nikon USA.

Nikon 105mm Macro. Image courtesy Nikon USA.

Hope this helps!

Best regards,

Mike Hagen

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