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Lenses for travel photography - Part I (Lens Classes

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This week is the start of my seven part series about lenses for travel photography. The series is primarily meant for SLR and DSLR camera users who can attach a variety of lenses to their cameras to support their creativity and suit the needs of their photographic opportunities. The series will include:
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Part I ² Lens classes; wide angle, telephoto, macro, etc. Part II ² Important specifications of lenses Part III ² Choosing between zoom and prime lenses for travel photography Part IV ² Lens choices for travel photographic opportunities Part V ² Lens qualities and characteristics in purchase decisions Part VI ² Special lenses and lens accessories Part VII ² Lenses I use and recommend for travel and why

There are four basic classes of lenses, defined by their angle of view: wide angle, standard, telephoto, macro. In addition to these general lens types, photographers use other terms such as super wide angle, fisheye, super telephoto, normal, close-up, micro, and others. These are either subcategories or synonyms of these four basic types. To understand these classes of lenses and their purpose, you¶ve got to understand the term, angle of view. Angle of view, also known as field of view, is the area of a scene that a lens covers or sees. I will avoid the difficult to understand geometric defi nition and use the following example. If the photographer stands in the middle of a circle, the angle of view is the size of the arc of the circle which the photographer can view through the lens. The ³angle of view´ is mostly determined by the focal length of the lens. A wide-angle lens (short focal length) includes more of the scene than a standard (standard focal length) or telephoto (long focal length) lens. In the DSLR world, we also must remember that the ³effective´ focal length of a lens depends on the sensor size. This dependency is called the ³Multiplier Effect´ or ³Crop Effect.´ For a full explanation of this ³Effect´ see my article, The DSLR Multiplier Myth Exposed. Wide Angle Lenses: What do you do when you¶re inside and you just can¶t get more than 10¶-20¶ from your subject, when your back is literally against a wall? What do you do when you¶re in an old European city, with narrow streets and you want to photograph a large building? Answer: You put a wide angle (short focal length) lens on your SLR or DSLR camera to get a wide field of view. While touring the interior of the Hearst Castle in California, I put on

was taken with a lens having a focal length of 400mm. While touring the Medieval city of Bruges. Telephoto Lenses: These are the lenses which allow you to capture distant subjects and enable you to see them up-close. from afar. we need to define a standard lens as having an ³angle of view´ similar to the human eye. shown in the photograph on the right. which would not be considered a standard lens. a 50mm lens on a Nikon DSLR with a DX size sensor has the field of view of a 75mm lens. With a longer focal length lens. You can see it enabled me to capture almost three fourths of the library. the surfers would have been little more than specks in the photo. Belgium at night. Telephoto lenses allow you to capture details which you might otherwise miss. and typically had a focal length of 50mm to 55mm. or closer objects magnified which enable you to see otherwise hidden details. These lenses have long focal lengths. only captured the central section of the front of the building.a wide angle zoom lens to take photographs of the spectacular rooms in the Castle. I have found wide angle lenses and/or wide angle zoom lenses essential for many cityscapes. I used a 200mm focal length lens to capture the details of the gargoyle on Notre Dame de Paris in the photograph on the right. which altered the effective length of the lenses used. The photograph of surfers off Hookipa Beach at Maui. Therefore. all smaller than the frame size of a 35mm SLR camera. I could not have shown the details and breadth of the room. above. The streets are narrow in this old city. at best. The photograph on the left used a lens with a focal length of 10mm. Standard Lenses: Standard lenses were the ones normally supplied with SLR cameras in the past. Macro lenses: Macro lenses permit photographers to get as close as a few inches from the subject of the . A standard lens would have. usually defined as having a focal length of 85mm or more. I could not have captured the full front of the City Theater. specific to the particular camera to which it is attached. For example. While telephoto lenses are a staple of wildlife photographers. they are also invaluable tools for photography in cities too. without using a wide angle lens. They have generally been considered good general purpose lenses having an angle of view close to the human eye. With the advent of DSLRs the idea of a standard lens initially became almost obsolete as DSLRs different size sensors. Without a powerful telephoto lens.

vignetting (light falloff). with its close-focus. or by a motor in the camera. permitting photographers to capture tiny details of small and tiny subjects which other lenses will not capture. Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements. and distortion DSLR lenses can auto-focus either via an internal motor in the lens. The series is primarily meant for SLR and DSLR camera users who can attach a variety of lenses to their cameras to support their creativity.Part II (Important Specifications) This week in Part II of my seven part series about lenses for travel photography. and suit the needs of their photographic opportunities. . You can actually see the small droplets of water on the flower¶s petals. chromatic aberration. the range of the largest aperture at the full range of the lens¶ focal lengths Magnification Focal Length Special Features such as Vibration Reduction. unlike other types of lenses.photograph. I¶ll discuss important lens specifications you should keep in mind when purchasing or choosing lenses for your travel. Lenses for travel photography . and life-size capture abilities. Many true macro lenses will produce life-sized images (1:1 ratio) on film or sensors. Internal focus lenses are generally faster focusing lenses than those which utilize the camera¶s focus motor. It¶s almost impossible to capture the detail seen in the photo without a macro lens. Focus Limit Switches. and no lens extension Potential problems such as focus softness in corners. special lens coatings. Among the important lens characteristics you should understand are: y y y y y y Focusing and sharpness Largest aperture and for zoom lenses when applicable. Note the detail in the macro photograph below of an orchid.

the angle of view is halved. When taking close-up shots. Many DSLR cameras don¶t have ³full size´ sensors. Most of us realize some lenses have the ability to produce sharper images than others due to their design and the quality of their optics. Nikon¶s 105mm Micro-Nikkor lens has a ³maximum reproduction ratio´ (when you focus very close to the subject) of 1. As the focal length doubles. the lens gets ³slower. In low light conditions. have a magnification specification. A 35mm lens. A ³maximum reproduction ratio´ of 1. That means.0 means that when a photo of a half inch diameter coin is made.5mm equivalent) on a DX size sensor camera.0. the effective angle of view of a lens on a Nikon DX camera is reduced by a factor of 1. Telephoto lenses. and therefore narrow angles of view) magnify distant subjects to pull in its details. and therefore focal lengths for lenses attached to DSLR cameras are based on ³full size´ sensors. may have vastly different purchase prices. sometimes expressed as 1:1. some cameras have no internal motor and only lenses which have their own mechanism will auto-focus on those cameras. is magnified and will blur the photograph.5. As the lens is zoomed from wide angle to telephoto. and at 200mm it¶s f/5. As a result. for example. Macro lenses. Nikon DX sensor based cameras have a ³crop factor´ of 1. For example. the coin will take up a half inch of camera sensor space.5. so an 18mm lens would have an equivalent angle of view as a 27mm on a ³full size´ sensor equipped DSLR. any movement of the lens. It¶s important for every photographer to know their lenses¶ focus sweet spot. Not many photographers other than advanced amateurs and professionals realize that even the best lenses will generally have a range of sharpness over the lens¶ range of apertures. a life size image. Lenses are. which aperture range produces the sharpest image. used for close-up photography. which are the same size as a 35mm film frame. and permit telephoto lenses to be handheld under well lighted conditions. so you can capture the object¶s details in sharp focus. (long focal lengths. with similar features. Nikon¶s DX sized sensor is smaller. in part. while the photograph is being exposed. That¶s one of the reasons similar focal length lenses. in part. lens magnification is important.Moreover. and zoom lenses may be specified.5. That ratio indicates it¶s a true macro lens. would is a standard lens (52. specified by their maximum aperture. If you¶re taking a photo of something very small. Nikon¶s 18-200mm DX lens is specified as f/3.´ meaning its maximum aperture is smaller. and/or low ISO sensitivity this can be a very important specification for your lenses. The angle of view specification. by a maximum aperture range. For example. To offset that problem. you want that 1:1 ratio capability.5-5. lens manufacturers developed . considered a wide angle lens for a ³full size´ sensor equipped DSLR. As a result. The focal length of a lens goes hand in hand with its angle of view. and/or at high shutter speeds.6. when set at 18mm the maximum aperture is f/3.6.

but in the corners of the photographs. A third type of distortion is keystoning. The choices can be complex and difficult.a mechanism to compensate for small camera/lens movement. An image can have a complex distortion which is a combination of distortion types. ³Pro´ telephoto. and super-telephoto lenses always use this type of glass. Image distortion is caused by a combination of the relationship of the axis of the lens relative to the subject. especially at the corners. Sometimes using close-up or macro lenses you are just ³inches´ away from your subject. Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements. producing under-exposed corners. There are numerous potential problems you need to consider when choosing lenses for your purchase and photo making. It¶s called vibration reduction or image stabilization. Chromatic aberration is generally more prevalent in largeaperture telephoto and super-telephoto lenses. According to the optics of a lens. The combination of your particular camera and each lens you have may produce vignetting in your photographs. as the intensity of the light reaching your sensor is diminished at the edges of the sensor. sometimes throughout the range of aperture settings. may have a softer focus. Some lenses have a very sharp focus in the center. barrel distortion is when the image is bowed outward and pin cushion distortion is when the image is bowed inward. you should consider the above specifications and factors. For example. Some lenses don¶t focus quickly. This feature can be a big help for focusing on subjects quickly. Lenses for Travel Photography . at some focal lengths. This is manifest at the edges of your photos. Having a lens which doesn¶t extend forward as you focus it helps ensure you¶ll not touch your subject during focusing. When choosing lenses to purchase or use. and the optics of the lens. and does not generally improve by stopping down the lens. and special lens coatings minimize chromatic aberration (color fringing) and lens flaring. As a result. It can be corrected or at least minimized by low or extra low dispersion glass elements.Part III (Choosing between zoom and prime lenses) . photographic images may be distorted. manufacturers have installed focus limit switches. I wouldn¶t purchase a telephoto lens without this feature. You set the lens to the range your subject is at. These limit auto-focusing to only a portion of range of the lens to speed autofocusing.

prime lenses are smaller and lighter than zoom lenses which have a maximum focal length equal to the prime lens focal length. Before you can choose between these two types of lenses. through normal.5-5. the optics of zoom lenses are far more complex than prime lenses. the AF VR Zoom-NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4. to telephoto focal lengths.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Lens which runs the gamut from wide angle. Simply put. prime lenses are lenses with a single focal length. Zoom lenses can also have focal lengths which span lens classes such as the Nikon 18-200mm f/3. Prime lenses come in a large number focal lengths ranging from wide angle through super telephoto. but there are exceptions to this. For example. who can attach a variety of lenses to their cameras to support their creativity.6 EX DC HSM Lens. Zoom lenses are lenses which have a variety of focal lengths within just one lens. but generally the advantage still exists. y Flexibility ± Zoom lenses allow photographers to quickly change focal lengths within the specific focal length range of the lens. The series is primarily meant for SLR and DSLR camera users. That is. to date. and suit the needs of their photographic opportunities. for example. their maximum aperture is larger than the comparable maximum zoom lens aperture. such as the Sigma 1020mm f/4-5. Low Light Speed ± Generally prime lenses are faster than zoom lenses. and will continue to improve as new optics designs for zoom lenses are implemented. I¶ll discuss ideas you can use to help you choose between zoom and prime lenses. Zoom lens improvements are beginning to lessen the advantage. two full f/stops larger. To focus within a range of focal lengths. You need to compare lenses on a lens by lens basis. Weight ± Often. Here¶s why some photographers prefer zoom lenses. That can be a significant help for wildlife photography. when you¶re out in a dark overcast day. it is generally true that prime lenses within each class of lens (professional or amateur) have better quality optics. and therefore more difficult to design into the lenses.6 at 400mm. Let¶s look at why photographers prefer prime lenses. while the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2. y y y Quality ± While the quality of zoom lens optics has dramatically improved during recent years. Therefore the photographer can quickly change the photograph¶s . which allows the photographer to reframe the subject without having to change lenses.6D ED has a maximum aperture of 5. you have to understand the difference. or near sunset.8G ED VR prime lens has a maximum aperture of 2.This week in Part III of my seven part series about lenses for travel photography.8. which stays solely within the wide angle range of focal lengths. the same exceptionally sharp image quality which most prime lenses can produce. Zoom lenses can have focal lengths which are all within one class of lens.

even your travel location is an important consideration. I use a combination of prime and zoom lenses. The series is primarily meant for SLR and DSLR camera users. this can be especially helpful. In the time it takes to swap lenses you could miss a great shot. or a combination of both? The best answer I can give you is to choose what works best for you.y perspective and vary the images within seconds. The lens weighs just 1lb 4oz. Personally. who can attach a variety of lenses to their cameras to support their creativity. Which way should a travel photographer go. There are other factors too. and the types of locations you¶re visiting while traveling. You could have each lens on separate bodies. Birds don¶t normally stay in one place for long. From the above discussion. and suit the needs of their photographic opportunities. plus I¶d have the bulk of 4 lenses to pack in my camera bag. prime lenses. then another at distance. to telephoto photographs without swapping lenses. that can be very heavy. zoom lenses. 50mm. you can see that there are a whole range of considerations to ponder to determine which lenses will work best for you. Clearly. it is capable of being used for wide angle. 105mm and 200mm lens the total weight of the lenses would be about 9lbs. While I know my Nikon 18-200mm f/3. Lenses for Travel Photography . there is a trade-off between quality and flexibility. I¶ll discuss choosing lenses for your travels. but when hiking. through normal.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX has some optical weaknesses. During wildlife shoots. but with zoom lens quality improving year after year. Weight and Portability ± For the travel photographer. your budget being of major concern. Often one will see a bird singing in a nearby tree. choosing a zoom lens to replace prime lenses is becoming easier. Moreover. If I would replace it with a 16mm.Part IV (Lens choices for travel photographic opportunities) This week in Part IV of my seven part series about lenses for travel photography. this can be a big deal.5-5. . of course.

wide vistas. as well as a back and shoulders with the strength of Arnold Schwarzenegger's in his prime. Peggy Lee asked in one of her famous songs.There is a large variety of lenses: wide angle. Gorgeous flowers in gardens and the wild. and super telephoto zoom lenses. Lens choices for standard 35mm SLRs and full size sensor based DSLRs such as the Nikon D700 would be the same. Lens development has simultaneously taken two distinct roads. As the great American jazz and popular music singer. Markets in city squares. there aren¶t many in this world who can say each of the above is true. If one had unlimited funds. an unlimited carry-on bag size. ³Is that all there is?. macro (close-up). and selective focus lenses. Great works of art. . and an unlimited weight allowance for carry-on. as well as specialty lenses such as fisheye. There are also super telephoto lenses. normal or standard. will be different due to the ³crop factor´ of their smaller size sensor. Mechanical marvels. Yes I know you¶re adding many more photographic situations and opportunities to the list. Animal wildlife in the distance. y Low light and bright light conditions. especially wide angle lens choices for smaller sensor based DSLRs. Landscapes and seascapes with wonderful. So. and zoom lenses designed to handle a range of purposes via their range of focal lengths.´ in the world of photographic lenses. no. Landmarks. single focal length lenses and specialty lenses for single purposes. Here¶s an important caveat. you could carry the perfect lens for every situation while you travel. the answer is. what kinds of photographic situations can we expect to find while we travel. such as the DX size sensor Nikon D300. and telephoto zoom lenses. Here are a few which I¶ve run into: y y y y y y y y y y y y y y Cityscapes and buildings in cities with narrow streets so that it is difficult to get much distance between you and the buildings you wish to photography. so the rest of us are stuck making compromises and carefully thought out choices. Interesting people at work or play. Architectural sites. standard zoom. Children enjoying amusement parks. but lens choices. and don¶t forget there are also zoom lenses which go across the categories as I discussed in Part III of the series. wide angle zoom. and telephoto lenses. perspective control lenses. Building interiors with low light and tight spaces. Archaeological ruins. The trouble is. Theme parks.

there are many times in a landscape you want narrower view. It¶s important to mention that in each of the above circumstances there are a variety of lenses with a variety of qualities and speeds fitting different budgets. Remember that a telephoto lens¶ magnification properties are not increased when attached to a DX based DSLR. Lenses in the normal range have the same basic field of view we see with our own eyes. You want a lens in this range. There might be an important archaeological site on a hill in the distance. or possibly into national parks to photograph eagles and hawks. magnified to get more detail. For years. You want it for landscapes. the 28mm lens has the equivalent field of view of a 42mm lens. but for travel.For any trip. A lens with a focal length between 200mm and 300mm will work nicely for most travel telephoto shots. there are other specialty lenses. these qualities must be taken into account. 18±70mm or 18±105mm zoom lenses. and possibly a teleconverter to lengthen the focal length even more. a normal or standard lens (50mm) was considered the typical walking around lens. you want to have wide angle capability. If I¶m traveling to the Netherlands in spring. and therefore becomes a normal or standard lens. having a wide field of view. You want it for market and theme park panorama style shots. You want it for indoor shots where you just can¶t get back far enough to include all the details you desire in the image. Traditionally. a 28mm lens on an SLR camera (FX based DSLR too) is considered a great wide angle lens focal length. a super telephoto lens might be a great lens to take along. on a DX sensor based camera. It¶s my personal preference to want a telephoto lens. I¶m going to bring a macro lens with me to get great flower close-ups. If you¶re trying to get insect in garden photographs you might want a longer macro lens to permit you to keep your distance. even though the field of view is narrowed. On those Nikon DX based cameras. If you¶re going on an African safari. or perhaps to the Galapagos for wildlife photos. or to a botanical garden. The most popular focal lengths of macro lenses are 85mm and 105mm. but a telephoto lens could suffice for those shots. Unfortunately. As mentioned above. an 18mm lens is the equivalent of the traditional 28mm lens. For a DX cameras this would be a lens with a focal length around 35mm. That can make the choice of lenses more difficult. you might want to zero-in on a particular site and capture it¶s details. but when choosing your lenses. or in a wonderful view of a city. You want it for cities with narrow streets for architectural photographs. cityscapes and seascapes. for good reason. It¶s no coincidence that the kit lenses introduced with the early Nikon DSLRs were 18± 55mm. . such as a 400mm to 500mm lens.

and why. one of the biggest considerations is weight and volume. . For travel. Unfortunately for anyone purchasing lenses. researching trip details is not only important to maximize the quality of the trip itself. Hence zoom lenses are a staple for travel photographers. specifications. all ³35mm´ SLR cameras had the same size film-frame area on which the image was captured. The series is primarily meant for SLR and DSLR camera users. I discuss what qualities and characteristics are important to consider when choosing lenses for travel. when purchasing your lenses. and characteristics which should be considered. as they can act as multiple lenses rolled into one. there are a myriad of lens qualities. and suit the needs of their photographic opportunities. Canon calls them APS-C. When the first DSLRs were introduced they had sensors which were smaller than ³35mm´ SLR film-frames. That. maximum aperture. If placed on an FX (Nikon¶s designation for a ³full sized´ sensor. One of my favorite lenses on my Nikon D200 is a DX lens.they rarely come into play. After you know to where you¶re traveling. but also to help you reveal the photographic opportunities you¶ll encounter before you leave.Part II (Important Specifications) I discussed the basic specifications of lenses such as: focal length. you will be weighing choices and making compromises. You¶ll have to decide the relative importance of specifications and characteristics for you photography to make your lens choices. Even if you¶ll be purchasing nothing but the absolute best quality pro lenses. If you're planning to move to an FX sensor based camera. will enable you to intelligently choose the lenses you should take with you. don¶t hesitate to get a DX/APS-C lens. vibration reduction. the equivalent of the ³35mm´ SLR film frame. Sensor Size: y Before DSLR cameras. Lenses for Travel Photography . consider sticking to nonDX/APS-C lenses.Part V (Lens qualities and characteristics in purchase decisions) This week in Part V of my seven part series about lenses for travel photography. Some lenses are specifically designed for the smaller sensor based cameras.) the outer portions of the image will be black as the shaft of light coming out the back end of DX/APS-C lenses will not fully cover an FX sensor. who can attach a variety of lenses to their cameras to support their creativity. Otherwise. This article should help you familiarize yourself with what you need to consider. Nikon calls them DX. magnification. Lens Specifications: In Lenses for travel photography .

if this is present. and some cameras don¶t have their own motors to auto-focus lenses without an internal motor. Maximum Aperture: The largest (fastest) aperture opening a lens has (may be a range for zoom lenses). Build and Quality: Lenses vary considerably in terms of their quality of construction. This is the size of such filters for the lens. Internal autofocus motors are generally faster and superior to having the camera provide autofocus. . etc. that doesn¶t mean it will auto-focus with all autofocus cameras. This is especially important with macro lenses so the lens doesn¶t bump into the subject while being focused. normal. wide angle. N: This means the lens has a nano-coating to reduce ghosting and lens flare problems. Zoom Ratio: This ratio between the largest and smallest focal lengths a zoom lens has. AF-S/HSM (Nikon/Sigma) are examples of lens designations which have internal motors. Auto-Focus: A lens may be listed as an auto-focus lens. Focus Limiters: Some lenses don¶t focus quickly and if the subject is well out of focus ³hunt´ for the correct focus. the scene must be very bright. compatibility doesn¶t work in reverse. You should go back to Part II for a more thorough discussion of those attributes. however. ED/APO: This indicates the lens has special low-dispersion glass designed to minimize color aberration. Not all lenses contain an internal focus motor. A focus limiter sets a narrow range of focus to force quicker focusing. It is especially important for camera/telephoto lens combinations being handheld. Some of what was discussed will be repeated below. One may contain a lot more plastic than the other. to provide lens auto-focus. telephoto. this angle will be narrower than for FX. For DX/APS-C sensors.and auto-focus. Angle of View (for zoom lens minimum and maximum): Will depend on the sensor size of the lens. Using this aperture will give the longest depth of field of the lens. IF: This means the lens has internal focusing so that the length of the lens doesn¶t change as the lens is focused. VR/OS (Vibration Reduction/Optical Stabilization): This indicates the lens utilizes a built-in mechanism which compensates for camera shake. however. You can often notice the difference in this simply by picking two lenses up and feel the weight of them. Minimum Aperture: The smallest aperture opening a lens has. Typically the full focus capability is divided into two focus ranges. but to be effective at this setting. y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y Mount Type: For example. Make sure that the lens you¶re purchasing has the right mount for your camera. Nikon SLR/DSLR cameras have a different lens mount than Canon models. Lens which work with ³35mm´ film SLRs and FX sensor DSLRs will work with DSLRs having a smaller sensor. full sized sensors. Minimum Focus Distance: This is the closest a lens can be to the subject and focus. Filter Size: Typically SLR/DSLR lenses can have filters screwed into the front of the lenses. Focal Length: The focal length or focal length range (zoom lens) of your lens is indicative its type of lens (lenses). Compatible Formats: This has to do with which sensor or film sizes with which the lens will be compatible. which are fast and relatively silent. and limit hunting.

and . an rectangle may appear as a barrel or pin cushion-shaped object. Bokeh: This is the blur. Distortion: These are different effects due to the design and construction of the lens which result in a distorted appearance.Part VI (Special lenses and lens accessories) This week in Part VI of my seven part series about lenses for travel photography. This is especially important for portrait and wildlife photography where you want to ensure the area surrounding the main subject doesn¶t detract from the subject. Spherical Aberration: This is when there is an increased refraction of light it strikes a lens near its edge. or really the aesthetic quality of the blur. This is often seen in the two focal length ends of zoom lenses. in comparison with the center and results in ³halos´ in the image. Three lenses possible lenses for travelers include: fisheye. perspective control. while ghosting is when you get a second lighter image out of sync with the actual image. according to their needs. and suit the needs of their photographic opportunities. Lenses for Travel Photography . but the ones I have chosen have utility during travel. Lens Flare and Ghosting: Flaring is when light is scattered manifesting itself as starbursts or rings. in the out-of-focus areas of an image. which in the middle focal lengths these effects are absent. This can occur only in the corners of the image. and along what should be sharp edges. and are carried by some travelers.Lens Qualities: y y y y y y y Soft Focus: This is often more of a problem for zoom lenses which generally have more complicated optics. who can attach a variety of lenses to their cameras to support their creativity. For an example. Vignetting: This is the underexposure of an image in the corners. Chromatic Aberration: This is caused by light rays of different wavelengths coming to focus at different distances from the lens. I discuss special lenses and lens accessories to consider when choosing lenses for travel. but the list above should be enough to look at to help you make an intelligent decision when choosing a lens. actually the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light. There are certainly other specifications and characteristics one might look at. The f/setting the lens is at can affect the quality of focus. It¶s important to note there are many more lenses and lens accessories available for your consideration than I will discuss below. or more across the image. generally a high contrast points in an image. The series is primarily meant for SLR and DSLR camera users. and results in both blurring and color fringing.

As is true of lenses. and the vertical AOV will be ~94°. the older circular style. for example. Perspective control lenses allow the photographer to control the appearance of perspective in the image. We¶ve all taken photographs standing at the base of a building to capture its image. Most circular fisheye lenses cover a smaller image circle than rectilinear lenses. The full frame fisheye is the most common type of fisheye lens today. The angle of view (AOV) produced by full frame fisheyes measures 180° along the diagonal angle of view. The focal length extension of a lens via a teleconverter isn¶t without a downside. If you take a significant number of cityscapes in close quarters. For a 16 mm full-frame fisheye. DSLRs with DX sensors need a 10. Teleconverter optics will reduce the sharpness of the lens to which it is attached to some degree.5 mm lens to achieve the same effect as a 16 mm lens on a camera with full-frame sensor. Circular fisheye lenses take in a 180° hemisphere and project it as a circle within the film or sensor frame. The horizontal and vertical angles of view will be smaller. There are two kinds of fisheye lenses. however. and the more modern full frame fisheye.4x teleconverter you turn a 400mm telephoto lens into a 560mm lens. can be beautifully corrected in post processing. most perspective issues. so the corners of the frame will be dark.teleconverter. With a 1. Teleconverters are secondary lenses. and many architectural photographs. this lens might be a great travel lens for you.´ when the parallel lines defining the building¶s exterior converge along the height of the building. I always try to produce the best possible image in the camera I can. only to find the top of the building ³pinched-in´ compared to the base. That¶s called ³vertical perspective. . by an adjustment which moves the optics parallel to the film or sensor. Use of teleconverters cuts back the amount of light reaching the SLR¶s film or DSLR¶s sensor by one or more f/stops. the horizontal AOV will be ~147°. even complex ones. While you can correct images in post processing. Teleconverters permit you to extend the focal length and therefore the reach and magnification of telephoto lenses. With fisheye lenses gaining popularity. all teleconverter optics are not manufactured equally. sometimes you can¶t quite post process a photograph to how you¶d prefer it to appear. manufacturers designed fisheye lenses which enlarged the image circle to cover the entire 35 mm film frame and FX sensor. Their purpose is to enlarge the image obtained by the main lens. Fisheye lenses can produce wonderfully interesting wide angle images which standard wide angle lenses are unable to capture. mounted between the camera and a photographic lens.

neutral density filters. and reduce reflections from non metallic surfaces like glass and water. and graduated neutral density filters. They don¶t eliminate it. Polarizing filters can darken blue skies. UV filters are mostly transparent to visible light. I use a combination of items. but my lens was unharmed. the use of teleconverter with it. That¶s an essential accessory. increase the contrast of partly reflecting subjects. For example. something you often see in landscapes and sunrise/sunset photos. They are often used in landscapes to allow the photographer to catch the detail in a bright sky while simultaneously catching the detail in the darker foreground. For more detailed information on these filters. so they can be left on the lens for nearly all shots. Perhaps more important is the physical protection UV filters provide the lens. can be an economical alternative to purchasing a longer lens. designed to never dry out. They are especially useful when the transition between light and dark is a straight line. protected by the filter. read my article. It has a retractable brush to remove dust and a special non-liquid cleaning element. Neutral Density filters (right) reduce the amount of light equally of all wavelengths passing through the filter throughout the entire filter. UV filters reduce atmospheric haziness created by ultraviolet light. Do filters for digital cameras make sense? Don¶t forget to have something to clean your lenses. on a bright sunny day a Neutral Density filter can be used to help obtain macro photographs of flowers in a garden with a blurry background to enhance the main subject of the image. These filters are often used so that even in bright light the aperture can be opened wide to reduce the image¶s depth of field. It's much less expensive to replace the filter than the lens. I was accidentally knocked into a metal railing in front of a home.If your telephoto lens is fast enough. My UV filter was badly smashed. A very useful device is a LensPen (right). the UV filter is my top lens accessory. and is much lighter than an additional long telephoto lens. While some photographers won¶t agree. . Several years ago in Paris. If you only have enough cash to buy one filter (other than a UV filter which is a must). Graduated Neutral Density filters (left) are used when the dynamic range of a scene exceeds the capability of the camera to record detail in both the brightest and darkest parts of the scene. There are other filters which provide excellent aids for travel photographers. I have one installed on every lens I own. polarizing filters. make it a polarizing filter. while walking near the Eiffel Tower.

It¶s up to you to choose the ones which make sense for your photography and your travels.In addition. . Each of the above lenses and accessories can serve you well for many situations you encounter while traveling. I always carry a non-woven lens cloth and a high quality liquid optical cleaner.