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Best Lens and Settings for Beach Vacation

edited July 2013 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
We are going to Hawaii in September for a week and it's our first time. I hear it is beautiful and we will be staying at an oceanview hotel. What type of lens and settings would be good for the ocean (waves), sand, flowers, etc? I have the 18-55mm and 55-200mm kit lens and hope to get a 35mm or 50mm for my birthday at the end of July. I just want to get some really good pictures since this is a big trip for us.


  • Howdy @elmerglue - You'll definitely want to pick up a circular polarizer. It will enhance the colors and give you a deeper blue sky with more cloud detail.

    As for settings, it will vary between the subjects that you mentioned (ocean, flowers, etc...). My advice would be to shoot in aperture priority (A) and play with the aperture f-number. You'll want a high f-number for landscape type shots (f/8 or higher) and the lowest available f-number for up close nature shots (this number will vary depending on the lens).

    If you need some help remembering which settings to use, I created a pack of cheat cards for the D5100 and 18-55mm lens combo. In the pack, you'll find my recommended settings for shooting landscapes, sunsets/sunrises, natures details and more.

    All the best and happy shooting!
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