Traveler's dilemma: which lens to pack

I have an upcoming trip and I'm dreading my lens limit. I'll be visiting Grand Canyon, Rainbow Bridge, Horseshoe Bend, and several slot canyons (both upper & lower Antelope, and a few that are...less travelled).
The catch--I'm flying, then backpacking/kayaking. is more limited than usual and every single ounce counts.

How am I to decide which lens to take for my D3400?

Options include: Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6, the kit 18-55mm, or 70-300mm.

Any tips or advice from those who have been there would be very much appreciated.


  • A big dilemma always. I'm not sure just what the pack limit is, but if you really need to take only a single lens on such an important trip, I think one option, costly though it is, might be to find a wider range normal zoom. Something like the 18-140 is not outrageously expensive, but decently sharp and able to get a reasonable shot of wildlife. I have the 16-85 which is a bit pricier than the 18-140, but works pretty well as a general purpose zoom, and adds a pretty decent bit of width. Despite its relative shortness, it's not bad on a crop sensor camera with a 24 megapixel sensor. It starts out as a mild telephoto and you can crop quite a bit and still have something. If you can take two lenses it might be a bit easier, as you could cover the widest angles with the 10-20 and supplement that with a not-too bulky zoom. I'd be inclined to leave the 70-300 behind, just because of its bulk. You'll miss some birds and wildlife, likely, but I suspect you'll be wide more often.

    You say you're kayaking. Is the camera going to be on board? If so, you might have to consider a waterproof case, and that, in its turn, may rigidly determine what fits inside it.
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