Everyone gets so wrapped up in what camera they should buy (that is the question I get more than any other), but they often ignore the question of what lenses to buy. In reality, the lens on your camera is probably going to impact the quality of your image a whole lot more than the camera. For travel photographers, the lens is going to impact a lot more than just your image quality as well. The lens will determine how big and heavy your set up is and how convenient it will be during travel. Because lenses get expensive, you likely need to be smart about what lenses you buy. Hopefully, this quick guide will help you Fuji shooters pick out a travel set up.
What Fuji lens should you get for travel photography? I recommend the the Fujinon 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6. This is my favorite all-in-one zoom for Fuji, but there are some other great options that may fit you better that I will discuss below.
When it comes to camera lenses, most camera systems have what is called the trinity of lenses. This is going to be the top quality wide angle zoom, medium zoom and short telephoto zoom. Investing in the trinity of lenses is usually a safe bet because you get the best quality lenses to cover the range needed by all but wildlife and sports photographers.
For travel photographers or casual shooters, however, the trinity of lenses may not be the best option. When we are traveling, I love bringing an all-in-one zoom lens. These cover the focal ranges from wide angle to moderate zoom in one lens, which is much more convenient for traveling. The quality usually isn’t as good, but you can still get something that will produce very good images while you only have to carry one lens and not worry about changes lenses ever.
The other lens I love to use for travel photography is a pancake lens. a pancake lens is usually a prime lens (only has one focal length). It is called a pancake lens because it is really thin, like a pancake. I like taking a pancake lens for casual situations where I want my camera to be as compact as possible. The my pancake lens, I can actually fit my camera in most pockets so it is not a burden when we are just headed out of the hotel for dinner or something where photography is not the focus.
Recommended Lenses for the Fuji X System
The Fuji system is actually really easy to buy lenses for because there are not a ton of options. While that isn’t a great thing, it makes it easy to recommend lenses.
Fuji has a brand new lens coming out that is going to be their premier wide angle lens, the 8-16 mm f/2.8. As it brand new, I don’t have much to say about it, but I am pretty excited about it. Until you can get your hands on that lens, the only wide angle zoom option is the 10-24 mm f/4. This is a great lens for landscape photography and anything you don’t need the speed of a 2.8. The other downside is it is not weather sealed. It will currently set you back $999 , but I expect the new 8-16 mm to drive that down a little further.
In the mid range zoom, the top option from Fuji is the 16-55 mm f/2.8, which is currently priced at $1,199. If you don’t need top of the line, the 18-55 mm f/2.8-4.0 is still a very good mid range zoom. It isn’t quite as wide and the variable aperture means the lens is slower as you zoom further, but it will be sufficient for most users and is much cheaper-currently $699.
For the telephoto zoom, Fuji’s top option is the 50-140 mm f/2.8. While I would love for this lens to have a little more reach, having that speed with the longer focal length is awesome. The price reflects the quality at $1,599. The budget option. at around $599 on this lens is going to be the 55-200 mm f/3.5-4.8. The extra range on this lens is nice, but it is a bit slower with the variable aperture.
The All-in-One Zoom
The all-in-one zoom I recommend for Fuji is the 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6. This lens covers a pretty wide range in a solid casing. It is probably the lens I use the most. While the slower aperture can be a pain, it works pretty well for most situations and is great for travel photography. It is a great lens to start with if you are on a budget as it covers most of what you’ll ever need for $899.
The Fuji 27 mm f/2.8 is another of my favorite lenses for traffic. I love having an f/2.8 lens that is tiny. This is the lens whee I can fit the whole camera and lens in my pocket. It is great when I am doing street photography or when we are going for an evening stroll to get some dinner. I found a great deal on mine for under $300, but its normal price is $449.
What do you think? Do you have a Fuji lens you love for travel photography? Let us know in the comments or in our Facebook Group. Be sure to check out our Recommended Gear as well for more lens recommendations and much more.