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The Need For Telephoto

Belize School Bus

As much as I romanticize about traveling with nothing more than a 35mm prime lens, I really can’t live without a long zoom or telephoto. For example, I shot this image high up in the Mayan Mountains of Belize looking down on the Hummingbird Highway. Well beyond the reach of a 35mm focal length. I really like this image. You could rationalize that with a single lens you will miss certain image, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. You win some. You lose some. Personally, I have a hard time with that. I don’t burden myself with a lot of gear, I actually think I travel pretty light, but I still can’t limit myself to a single lens. If you have, or you can, I would love to hear from you. Anything to help me get over my fear.


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  1. While I didn’t travel with one lens to Hawaii, it was a light load. Tenba medium backback (love it, btw), D700, 50mm, 24mm, plus a Lensbaby, plus room for misc. stuff in lieu of a purse. Did I wish I had a longer lens on my trip? You betcha. (Try whale watching in the ocean with a 50mm as your “long” lens. And two did breach right next to the Zodiac boat, and the 50 was too close!)

    Did I want to carry the weight? (Or ask my husband to carry my camera bag?) Nope. I had to “get over” the fact that some things I just had to enjoy with my eyes. Foot problems have forced me to be more creative and to try to be more deliberate with what I photograph. I’m not saying I’m happy about it, but I’m accepting it more. (And I try to buy camera bags that are gender neutral so I don’t feel bad asking my husband to carry the gear if we’re out on a hike or something. :) )

    Good luck weighing the pros and cons. I think it depends on what you plan on shooting and your mode of transportation.

    • Thanks for sharing Barb! Boy, that 24 is all you really need. I don’t know if there is a better lens out there. Simply amazing.

      I have to appreciate your Gender Neutral bag purchases, as I’m sure your husband does as well.

      My ideal, do anything kit, if I didn’t mind carrying it would be 24mm, 28-300mm and a fisheye along with to FX bodies…but that would be pretty heavy!

      • Oops, guess this is a sign I have one too many pieces of gear. It’s the Nikon 20mm 2.8D. (Don’t own the 24.) The IQ isn’t stellar, but it’s super lightweight and small. :)

Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you