ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Can a photographer travel with only one lens?

Updated on October 22, 2013
Photography by Edward M. Fielding
Photography by Edward M. Fielding | Source

New Canon 35mm f2 IS

  • Newly designed wide-angle single focal length lens
  • Rear focusing system and ring USM for fast autofocus
  • One Gmo aspherical lens element achieves high image quality with improved performance in the periphery
  • Optimized lens coatings and lens placement ensures exceptional color balance while minimizing ghosting and flare
  • Optical Image Stabilizer provides up to 4 shutter speed stops of correction.

Best Price on the new Canon 35mm f2 IS

  • Sharp at f2 - sharper at f4
  • Vignetting but can be fixed easily with software
  • Image stabilization - fantastic for video
  • Almost instant focusing 2 feet plus
  • Close focus ablilities
  • Price drop (now around $550)

Can you just take one lens on vacation?

We're headed off to Maui, Hawaii this Christmas for a vacation and I've been debating with myself on which camera gear to pack. After considering zooms, ultra-wide angles and of course the favorite excuse to buy a new lens - the vacation, I settled on the idea of packing light and just bringing a single prime lens. Crazy? Well, maybe but here are my thoughts on the advantages.

Less Gear to Haul

Captain Obvious would point out that bringing a single prime lens on vacation would mean less gear to haul. Not only for the lens but for the accessories that go with it. Only one set of filters would be needed and I'm certain I'll be wanting a polarizing filter and a set of ND or Neutral Density filters to blur waterfalls.

Less gear means:

  • Less hassles at the airport
  • More room for things like snacks, iPad etc
  • Less gear to watch and keep track of
  • Lighter pack for hiking around
  • Less hunting around in your pack

Less Gear to Get Stolen

All of the guidebooks on Hawaii mention that you don't want to leave any valuables in your car. They seem to have the occasional smash and grab type of crime in the isolated parking areas. So I know that every piece of gear I bring has to come with me. I can either leave extra gear in the hotel room or simply just pack the minimal.

Besides theft, there are other concerns of course. Having a lens roll off picnic table, forgetting a lens in the excitement of the moment or dropping a lens while changing lenses.


If I'm traveling alone I can't take all of the time in the world to photograph. But when traveling with friends and family, the reality is that people are waiting for you to finish up and catch up. Slimming down the gear to one lens saves time because you are not spending any time trying to find a safe place to swap out lens or enlisting a family member to hold a lens.

Dust and Mositure

Maui's environment can go from hot beachs to cold mountaintops and from dry dessert like conditions to the rainforest. Having one weather sealed lens means never exposing the inside of the camera to the elements. Having a prime means not pumping in dust from zooming a lens.

Prime vs. Zoom

I have a "L" lens for my Canon EOS 6D, a 24-105 f/4 zoom but I haven't been all that happy with it under all conditions. At the far end its kind of mushy and needs a lot of light to get shutter speeds fast enough to eliminate and camera shake.

A fast prime lens will give me sharper images, better low light abilities, better depth of field as well as being smaller and lighter.

Walking around with the 24-105 L garners a lot of unwanted attention while the smaller prime will allow for more stealthy photography.

Why I'm bringing a 35mm

I settled on the new Canon 35mm IS f/2 as my single prime lens to bring on this trip. The 35mm format is great for storytelling. Just a bit wider than a standard lens (43 mm on a full frame or 35 mm camera is considered THE standard even though that exact focal length is very rare to find in a lens), the 35mm allows one to include part of the environment in to the frame. That's why the 35mm has been a favorite of photojournalists.

This focal length is also perfect for taking video as its the preferred focal length of cinema and this lens has stabilization which is a must for hand held video.

The f/2 fast aperture plus the stabilization means this lens will be able to handle all kinds of lighting situations from bright sun to indoors and nighttime.

Not wide enough? Well, I did consider a 28mm but in reality since I'm bringing a travel tripod along, I can always shoot multiple exposure panoramic and stitch them together when I get back for super wide shots.

Overview of the Canon 35 f/2 IS - note price has dropped on this lens


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)