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What is the best travel lens for Sony A9?
So you’re planning on travelling and wondering which lens is best for travel photography with your Sony A9?
These days, most travelers use their smartphones to take pictures and post them on Facebook or Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, you can make impressive pictures with recent smartphones and they are very useful to document little details of your trip, but they are limited to one perspective.
So you’ll probably need a lense with a focal range that will allow you to get shots that are impossible to get with your cell phone (zoom or wide angle).
What makes a good travel lens?
Well, this is extremely subjective and depends on the type of photo you will make when you will be on the road. It also depends on how often you’re going to use it. Any lens can be good for travel, but having to commute by train, bus, plane, and moving around all the time makes it hard to carry a huge bag dedicated to your favourite lenses. There are always the risks to pay extra fees for them, to break them during the trip or to get your bag stolen.
Hence, most photographers like to travel light, with the lightest and most versatile setup possible. Getting the most out of one or two lenses is probably the way to go, with a range .
You may not know for sure what kind of shot you are about to make during your trip. If you plan on taking portraits, wildlife, street scenes but also landscapes, a zoom lens will be perfect since they offers the advantage of allowing close-ups and scenery shots, to some extent. For a more versatile use, this kind of lens will be the perfect fit.
Travels are full of surprises, and you may want to grab your Sony A9 and shoot as quickly as possible. For this situation, the best lens will be a bright wide angle lens since they are usually a good choice for street photography. They allow for close-ups and large scenes, and are generally pretty small and convenient to carry. If you are planning a city trip, this kind of lens should be attached in permanence to the body of your Sony A9.
Every photographer has its own favourite setup for snapping on the go. But if you are not sure on what travel lens to choose for your Sony A9, this small selection is suitable for most photographic opportunities while traveling.
Note: the product links in this article lead to Amazon.com
- Sony 24-105mm f/4 FE G OSS (All around travel lens)
- Sony 16-35mm f/4 OSS (Wide angle)
- Sony 70-200mm f/4 FE G OSS (Zoom lens)
- Useful accessories
Here’s the Top 3 travel lenses you should consider for your Sony A9:
Weight: 663 g
Filter size: 77 mm
If you’re looking for a versatile travel lens for your Sony A9, which you can take on a trip for example, then the Sony 24-105mm f/4 is the one for you! It’s part of Sony’s G range, so we are dealing with a lens with outstanding construction quality, which also offers superb image quality. Its focal length range of 24 to 105mm makes it very versatile, and its constant aperture of f/4 is a significant plus. It offers better optical performance than 24-70mm f/4, and is much lighter and above all much cheaper than 24-70 f/2.8
Its silent and fast autofocus is very useful for making video. In short, it’s one of the best standard zooms available for the Sony A9.
- G-lens design with 4 aspherical and 3 ED glass (extra-low Dispersion) elements, for high corner-to-corner resolving power throughout the entire zoom range
- 35 mm full-frame.Constant F4 maximum aperture maintains exposure and Depth of field throughout the zoom range
- 9-blade circular aperture contributes to beautifuly de-focused bakgrounds
Weight: 518 g
Filter size: 72 mm
This is the very first wide-angle lens available for Sony FE hybrid cameras: overall its optical performance is excellent and if you plan to focus on landscape, architectural or interior photography, it’s a very good choice. It produces very sharp images in the center, with little vignetting and distortion. Its manufacturing quality is excellent and its development is fast.
On the same focal range, the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM is also very good and has a larger aperture, but its price is mainly intended for professionals or amateurs with a large budget.
In short, this Sony 16-35mm f/4 OSS is highly recommended if you own a Sony A9 and want to take a wide angle picture.
- Ideal for landscapes and the a7 series of full frame cameras, ZEISS T (T star) coating to reduce flare and ghosting
- Minimum Focus Distance: 0.92 feet (0.28 m), Maximum Magnification ratio: 0. 19x, Focal-Length: 5/8 - 1-3/8 Inches
- Three ED glass elements suppress chromatic distortion, constant F4 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range
Weight: 840 g
Filter size: 72 mm
It’s one of the best zooms available for Sony full-format hybrids, if you take into account its price and size. It delivers very detailed images with superb contrast, its focus is fast and quiet and it’s very well built. Combined with the Sony A9’s silent shutter release system, it’s the ideal tool for taking pictures from a distance while being discreet.
Compared to its big brother, the 70-200mm f/2.8, it’s half as heavy and expensive, and even if its aperture is only f/4 it allows a very beautiful bokeh. It also remains compact and light enough to carry in its travel bag.
In short, this is the lens to buy with you if you are a long focal length enthusiast.
- Brand is Sony
- Minimum focus distance:1–1.5 m (AF)/1–1.35 m (MF) (3.28–4.93 ft [AF]/3.28–4.43 ft [MF]), Maximum Magnification ratio : 0.13x, Focal-Length : 70–200 mm
- Interchangeable Lens
Travels can be hectic, so you want to make sure that your lenses are safe and sound all along the trip. A good quality carry bag is mandatory to protect them from the weather and bumps. A UV filter will also help protect your lens by adding a layer of glass that can be scratched or dripping with water with no harm to the lens. Finally, a polarizing filter is always useful to get a glare-free result in any shooting scenario you might face.
Here is a small selection of useful accessories to complement your lenses and your Sony A9:
If you want to go on a trip soon and are wondering what is the best travel lens for the Sony A9, think in advance about the types of photos you plan to take mainly: landscapes, portraits, night shots… Think about the focal lengths you need for that.
You can also go on Google, type in the name of the country or the tourist sites you want to visit and you will see which focal lengths are mainly used. This will give you an idea of what equipment you will need to bring but remember that taking a single lens with you might be too limiting. The flexibility of an all-around lens is very useful but generally they offer a lower image quality than a fixed focal length.
Another thing, if you plan to do a lot of walking or hiking, take into account the total weight with the camera body and the lens. If the whole thing is too heavy or bulky and lacks discretion, you won’t want to bother with it and would rather just take your smartphone with you. You may also not want to risk damaging an extremely expensive lens.
And finally, perhaps the most decisive point about choosing the perfect travel lens for your Sony A9 will be if you need to get a portfolio of professional quality travel photos or videos (it may be your business or it may become your business who knows?).