Five reasons why the 35mm lens can be perfect for travel photography

Aug 6, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Five reasons why the 35mm lens can be perfect for travel photography

Aug 6, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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When you’re taking travel photos, you might want to carry as little gear as possible. It’s great to grab just your camera and one lens so you can walk around the destination without too much baggage. But when limiting yourself to a single lens, which lens should it be? For Julia Trotti, it’s a 35mm f/1.4. In this video, she gives you five reasons why this can be the only travel lens you’ll need.

YouTube video

In the video, Julia uses a Canon EOS 5D Mark III paired with a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM. And here are her main reasons why she prefers this lens over the other ones from her kit.

1. Wide angle

When traveling, many of us want to capture scenes such as landscapes and cityscapes. With a 35mm lens on a full-frame body, you can shoot these scenes and have an entire scene fit in the photo.

2. Portraits

Although a 35mm lens generally might not be your first choice for portraits, it can work amazingly while traveling. With this focal length, you can include a lot of background and environment along with the main subject. So, this lens works great when you want to capture both the person and the surroundings. It does distort the subject a bit, but using a wide angle lens for portraits can give you interesting results.

3. Lightweight

35mmlenses are easy to carry around. This may not be important when shooting in a studio or for a few hours on location. But when traveling, walking around and hiking for hours, this can be a big plus. Julia’s Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM weighs around 600 g (1.3 lbs), and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art for Canon weighs approximately the same. Nikon users will carry the same weight with the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G.

4. Fast focusing

When it comes to Julia’s kit, Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM is the fastest lens she owns when it comes to focusing. When you’re traveling and walking around a new place, chances are many situations will only happen once. Since you don’t want to miss them, it’s important to have a lens that has a fast and accurate autofocus. If you take photos out of a car window, Julia points out that this lens is also good for these situations thanks to the fast AF.

5. Low light conditions

When traveling, you will often spend all day outside. Shooting in the daylight or golden hour is one thing, but you might want to capture some photos during the blue and night. In these situations, a fast prime lens such as 35mm f/1.4 will really come in handy.

To sum up, a 35mm f/1.4 gives you high-quality photos, fast AF and low-light capabilities. All this, and the fact that you can use it for both landscapes and portraits, makes this lens a very versatile piece of gear for travel photographers. Of course, this is just a matter of preference, and you may agree or disagree with Julia. And while we’re at it, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Would you pick a 35mm f/1.4 as the to-go lens for travel photos? Or would it rather be a zoom lens, or another prime? Share your thoughts in the comments?

[5 Reasons the 35mm Lens is Perfect for Travel Photography via FStoppers; lead image credits: John McSporran (modified)]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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6 responses to “Five reasons why the 35mm lens can be perfect for travel photography”

  1. Todd Povilaitis Avatar
    Todd Povilaitis

    16-35mm f/2.8

  2. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
    Adrian J Nyaoi

    Just too limiting. I go for a fast zoom …24- 70mm

  3. Báthori Zsigmond Avatar
    Báthori Zsigmond

    35/2 IS on full frame is my choice!

  4. Viggo Næss Avatar
    Viggo Næss

    In fact, the Canon 35 f1.4 L II is 50% of my current lens lineup, epic lens??

  5. Anthony Kerstens Avatar
    Anthony Kerstens

    I prefer the EF 40mm pancake lens. It’s super light weight, unobtrusive, quiet, and just slightly wider than and just as sharp as a nifty fifty.

  6. Tom Koetting Avatar
    Tom Koetting

    I got a 35L II for travel and slowly incorporated in my wedding work. A few months later it’s my most-used lens, professionally and personally. Almost 1,000 weddings in and I just discovered my absolute love for this focal length. Crazy. I guess it’s where I started with the Yashica rangefinders in the 1970’s so a bit like coming home. I own all of Canon’s amazing-balls L lenses but this one is in a different class. The Japanese Summilux.