Best travel lens for a trip to Paris

edited May 2012 Posted in » Nikon Lens Talk
Hi @Moose, great site! I got my D5100 a few months ago and really love it. I had really pushed my point and shoots to their limits and it has been great having a camera that can do so much more. I eventually want to upgrade to a more pro body, but I am in school now and don't have as much time as I would like to really get out there and take tons of photos yet.

I was told the best thing to do is to really learn how to use the camera and begin to accumulate lenses. I have a 50mm f1.8 and the 18-55mm kit lens right now. So I have some lens questions for you...

I use my camera mostly for concert photography (and the f1.8 on the 50mm has made that so much easier than that kit lens!), nights out with friends and travel related shots. Occasionally I also use it for nature and food photography (for a blog).

I am traveling to Paris in a few weeks with my family, and was considering buying a new lens. I can't seem to find a good consensus on what the best lens would be. So instead, given my interests, what lens would you recommend that would also be something I can grow into? I would prefer not to spend a ton of money, but to me worth the splurge if its something I can use forever, and I would consider it.

I have also been considering buying a nice flash...and learning to use that as well...what would you recommend? I have been looking into the SB700. Thanks!


  • edited May 2012
    Howdy @marfs - For your trip to Paris, I would take a look at the following lenses (I ranked them in order of price)...

    1. Tamron 18-200mm (see here)
    2. My pick: Tamron 18-270mm (see here)
    3. Sigma 18-250mm with optical stabilization 'OS' (see here)
    4. Tamron 18-270mm with vibration compensation 'VC' (see here)
    5. Nikon 18-200mm with vibration reduction (see here)

    An "all-in-one" lens is a must have when traveling abroad. There will be times on your trip, when you just don't have time to change between multiple lenses.

    Imagine walking through the streets of Paris. When you see something interesting, you don't necessarily want to contemplate which lens to pull out of your bag. Rather, with an "all-in-one" lens you can compose your shot and snap away. Easy as pie.

    As for choosing between the available "all-in-one's", it really comes down to your budget. The Nikon 18-200mm is the sharpest of the bunch. The Tamron 18-270mm and Sigma 18-250mm give you a longer reach, which can be extremely helpful when trying to capture distant subjects.

    In my opinion, the Tamron 18-270 without VC is probably the best value, when you consider price, zoom range and overall performace.

    The Nikon SB-700 (see here) is a fantastic speedlight, with much more flexibility than the SB-400. The biggest advantage is the ability to bounce light (upwards) when shooting both horizontally and vertically. The SB-400 can only do this when shooting horizontally. In addition to that, it provides a more powerful flash with a faster recycling rate (shot to shot speed).
  • edited May 2012
    Thanks so much!
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