Traveling without Telephoto, A New York No-No

Wanting wide? Think about where you are going…

So while I was in New York City, I’ve recently discussed how the Fujifilm X-T2 had become my main shooter for the whole trip. It doesn’t mean I didn’t take the Sony A7Riii out to shoot with, I did, however I have to say a few things about the lens I chose.

A 16-35mm focal length is very hard to travel with, and I am a travel style photographer- this means I enjoy having an all around style of lens while I’m walking around. If I need a macro shot I could get it, or a slight telephoto I would get it too. But this focal length was, kryptonite for my camera, and for myself. Whenever I would look through my finder I never truly enjoyed what I saw.

I prefer a 24-70mm range for my Sony, I have a 50mm macro lens and the 70mm is just enough telephoto to really get around and get nice and close for interesting angles. While negatively the 35mm is still considered wide- if I wanted to get a nice shot of a seagull I would have to post process my photo to get a good crop. That isn’t the point of travel photography. Running and gunning is the point.

Now most people I talked to said that the 16-35mm would be great in New York City, and I do agree with them, but as an additional lens to an arsenal. To only bring a 16-35 is not beneficial to anyone, it is a landscape camera in a city with a lot of old fencing. There was a carousel in Bryant Park I was doing long exposures of, unfortunately it had a fence around it. And it’s one of those old iron fences about 3 feet high, but with no tripod available your ability to get that diminishes quickly. The focal length no matter what I did, got the fence unless I went for an artistic approach of composition. Sometimes it seemed too artistic.

The Sony still takes gorgeous images, but it is a very evident camera to be carrying around, it was uncomfortable and I’m not the type to stick gaff tape all over my camera. Plus if I had brought my other lens I would have needed back surgery (the 24-70mm is nearly 3 times the size of the 16-35mm).

But I will say I loved the long exposures I can get with the Sony, needs a tripod but otherwise I should have chosen a different focal length for the trip. Below are my favorite shots from the Sony, not many as I only took roughly 30 photos with the camera. But still some goodies.