8 Best Travel Lens to Carry Around: Our Great Picks

Mariotama – Without carrying a great camera with the best travel lens, your traveling will be incomplete. If you want to know which lens is the best to capture moments during your trip, you are on the right page. Choosing the right lens could be based on the style of your traveling.

There are some things you should consider before deciding to buy the best travel lens to accompany your camera. You should think about weight, versatility, speed, and some other factors. Well, it is recommended to choose the lens according to your budget, too.

So, which lens is the best as a travel companion? Here is the list of some products you should consider.

8 Best Travel Lens

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Last updated on April 2, 2020 1:27 am


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1. Best for Canon: Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens

Best Travel Lens

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens - 9518B002
201 Reviews
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens - 9518B002
  • Full-time manual focus permits critical focusing precision, even in AF mode. Help provide excellent color balance
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

This lens is made for all Canon DSLR cameras. It is just perfect for any type of photography both portraits and landscapes. This Canon EF lens has 16-35mm focal length with f/4L wide aperture. It is great for most travel situations you are about to be facing during your trip.

With a compact body, this Canon L-series lens is quite comfortable to be used as an all-rounder. Its well-built, lightweight, and weather-sealed features make ideal to be carried around during the travel. This full-frame lens has two ultra-low dispersion elements with the coating of Super Spectra.

Well, it isn’t the sharpest or brightest lens on the market, but this lens represents value and functionality with superb balance. The zoom range is great for taking landscape photos. Moreover, the aberrations are well controlled and the bokeh is impressive.

It is such a good recommendation for you if you are okay with the hefty price tag. It is an excellent lens for any Canon full-frame DSLR camera users.


  • The construction is robust, lightweight, weather-sealed, and portable.
  • It is reasonably priced.
  • Great for both landscapes and portraits


  • At the edges, it has sharpness fall-off.
  • There are some obvious barrel distortions at the 16mm.

2. Best for Sony: Sony 16-35mm Vario-Tessa

Best Travel Lens

Sony SEL1635Z Vario-Tessar T FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS Interchangeable Full Frame E-Mount Lens - International Version (No Warranty)
36 Reviews
Sony SEL1635Z Vario-Tessar T FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS Interchangeable Full Frame E-Mount Lens - International Version (No Warranty)
  • This version is originally intended for sale outside the US and may contain adapters, manuals, and warranties not compatible with US standards.
  • Model: SEL1635Z
  • Mount: E-mount
  • Focus Length (mm): 16-35
  • 35mm equivalent focal-length (APS-C): 24-53.2mm

This lens is made especially for Sony E-mount cameras. It is ideal for the Sony a7 series cameras. It is equipped with ZEISS T coating for reducing the ghosting and flare.

Inside the lens, there are three ED glass elements to suppress any chromatic distortion. It is also packed with built-in Optical Steady Shot stabilization to let the users enjoy handheld. That is the reason why it is great for travel.

This lens takes great landscape photos. You can capture great pictures of the beautiful view in your travel location. It would make a great memory to remember about the trip you were having.

Here are some features to enjoy with this travel lens for Sony E-mount cameras. Your image can achieve superior quality with minimal distortion because of the refined optics in the lens. At any zoom setting, the aperture will be constant.

This Sony lens is reliable and easy to use for any conditions. That is what a travel lens needs to have.


  • It works well for taking videos too.
  • It is able to shoot all the way to 16mm.
  • The color is just amazing.
  • The AF is silent.


  • It’s got some barrel distortion.
  • The aperture is quite slow to adjust.

3. Best for Nikon: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E

Best Travel Lens

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
111 Reviews
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • World's lightest 5x zoom with an f/2.8-4 maximum aperture
  • Inspiring image quality; ideal for daily life, travel, blogging, HD video and more
  • Versatile zoom range that covers wide angle to portrait views. Minimum Focus Distance : 1.15 feet.(0.35 meter)
  • 4 stops of VR image stabilization for handheld and low light shooting
  • Nonstick protective fluorine coatings on the glass resists water, dirt and smudges

This travel lens is fully professional and so versatile too. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR has everything you need for taking photos from portrait to wide-angle and short zoom. You will love the image quality and you will be impressed with the maximum aperture’s performance.

This gear for Nikon camera has VR image stabilization paired with the advanced lens technology by the manufacturer. This technology combination will take control of the wide-angle to portrait shots with brilliant quality.

The DX-format performance of this lens is at the new level. It enhances the contrast and sharpness of the image with the rich tonality, vibrant colors, and staggering level of detail. Taking photos in a low-light situation with handheld will not be an issue for this lens.

The innovative fluorine coating from Nikon will make you easier to wipe off smudges, dirt, and water from the lens.


  • It’s sharp at all aperture.
  • Great contrast
  • Fast zoom and wide-angle


  • It’s pricey.

4. Best for Fujifilm: Fujinon XF16-55mm

Best Travel Lens

Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR
105 Reviews
Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR
  • Optically designed to draw out the maximum image quality of a flagship standard zoom lens Angle of view 83 2°- 29°
  • Focal length(35mm format equivalent) f=16-55mm (24-84mm) Focus range Normal - 0 6m - ∞(whole zoom position) Macro - 30cm - 10m (Wide) 40cm - 10m (Telephoto)
  • High-speed quiet auto focus thanks to the Linear Motor Weight excluding caps and hoods 1 44 pounds(655g)
  • Weather resistant design with 14 sealing points dust-resistant and -10 Degree low-temperature operation
  • Nano-gi coating technology 9 rounded blade aperture diaphragm help create smooth and circular bokeh Max Magnification 0 16x (telephoto)

This Fujinon lens is optically designed to deliver the highest image quality of a Fujifilm standard zoom lens. It is a high quality, weather-sealed lens. It offers fantastic characteristics and solid build. All of those meet the photographers’ demands.

This XF lens from Fujifilm is the new generation of Fujinon lenses. It is a great choice for architecture and landscape photography. The photographers who deal with this area often face challenging conditions of weather.

The Linear Motor inside the lens allows high-speed, quiet autofocusing. The build quality of this Fujinon lens is truly superb. It is a heavy lens and weight about 655 grams. If you are using Fuji X-T1, you might need to add the VG-XT1 battery mounted in the camera body to balance the lens.

For the lens only, you can buy it with the polarizer or the UV filter.


  • The color is so beautiful.
  • The handles and looks are found.
  • The all-metal build is rugged.
  • Great in handling challenging weather conditions


  • It’s large and heavy.
  • It’s uncomfortable to carry around.

5. Best Sigma: Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 AF II DG HSM Lens

Best Travel Lens

Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 AF II DG HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLRs
198 Reviews
Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 AF II DG HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLRs
  • Designed for use with full frame digital cameras. May also be used with smaller APS-c size sensors with a corresponding effective increase in focal length to about 17-35mm with most cameras
  • German (Publication Language)

This is a great lens for travel designed to be mounted on Sigma Digital SLRs. You can also mount it on other cameras with an FX/full-frame sensor. It comes with a 2-piece lens cap and case in the package. The body of this Sigma lens is made of high-quality metal and plastic combined.

A beautiful matte black finish makes the lens more elegant. It is perfect for capturing moments for any sort of events. The lightweight and compact size make it suitable for your travel. This lens is also equipped with some useful features.

To deliver superior image quality, this lens has four FLD glass elements, which are similar to fluorite and one Special Low Dispersion (SLD). Both of them provide excellent color aberration correction. There is a super multi-layer coating to reduce ghosting and flare.

Fun fact, Sigma is the first manufacturer who designed and produced the wide-angle zoom lens. Sigma really knows what they are doing with their lenses.


  • Fast autofocus
  • Excellent image quality results
  • Effective use of any wide-angle lens


  • It doesn’t have image stabilization.

6. Best Superzoom For Travel: Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC

Best Travel Lens

Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC All-in-One Zoom for Nikon APS-C Digital SLR
1,061 Reviews
Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC All-in-One Zoom for Nikon APS-C Digital SLR
  • Faster, quieter and more precise autofocus
  • Maximum diameter: 75mm.Designed exclusively for APS-C DSLR cameras
  • 6 Year warranty
  • VC (Vibration Compensation) for sharp handheld shooting
  • Compatible Mounts:Canon, Nikon, Sony*3

Obviously, a superzoom lens is not the first choice for travel photography but it is something you can also rely on. Actually, this kind of lens is a great option instead of bringing a camera with various lenses and accessories.

Having a camera, some various lenses, and accessories in the bag to carry around during the trip would be a problem. You can just choose to pack only one lens like a superzoom one. This kind of lens is versatile and more space saving that bunch of kits.

This superzoom lens is relatively new and it is packed with amazing Vibration Compensation (VC) image stabilization. You can use this travel lens on both Canon and Nikon cameras. Lightweight and well-balanced construction can focus on the subject efficiently.

This Tamron 18-200m superzoom lens is a versatile superzoom lens, which is suitable for a travel lens. The price is impressively low.


  • You can adjust the focus so easily.
  • The autofocusing is very clear.
  • It comes with a 6-year warranty from Tamron.
  • Easy to hold with reasonable size


  • It doesn’t perform well in low-light situations.
  • The quality is poor.

7. Best Micro Four Thirds: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO Lens

Best Travel Lens

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras
242 Reviews
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras
  • Constant f2.8 maximum aperture
  • Focal length : 12 to 40 millimeter, Minimum focus distance 7.87 inches (20 centimeter )
  • Drip Proof; Dustproof, splash proof, and freeze proof construction. Lens construction:14 elements in 9 Groups (Aspherical ED lens, 2 Aspherical lenses, DSA lens, 2 ED lenses, HD lens, 2 HR lense)
  • Includes lens hood and pouch,Filter Size 62 millimeter, equipped with manual focus clutch mechanism
  • Compatible with Olympus and Panasonic cameras

This PRO lens from Olympus is one of the best ones for travel photography with you micro four third cameras. It is a walk around lens, which gives you various shots with details. It could a big upgrade to your kit lens.

The price is set around a thousand dollar, which is a little too pricy for some Olympus photographers. For those of you, who are on a budget, do not bother buying this lens. Compared to the kit lens, this one is a lot faster in performance.

Even though it is pricy, it would be a great investment to make. This lens would be the lens that you can keep on your camera all day. This M.Zuiko Pro lens is specifically designed to shoot everything during your trip.

The versatility is just what people love about this micro four-thirds lens as your travel gear. This lens is packed with special coating technology named Z.E.R.O, which stands for Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical coating. You can still get great image even with backlit situations.

The handheld performance is just enjoyable. Thanks to the built-in image stabilization feature in the lens. The well-built body can handle the harshest conditions.


  • This all-purpose lens is almost perfect.
  • It has quick autofocus.
  • It’s constructed with all metal materials.
  • The body is weather-sealed.
  • The best versatile lens to carry


  • It’s big and it’s heavy.
  • Zooming and focusing is not that smooth.

8. Best Budget Macro: Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 45-150mm F4.0-5.6

Best Travel Lens

Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 45-150mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH Mirrorless Camera Lens with Optical Stabilizer, Micro Four Thirds Mount, H-FS45150AK (USA Black)
942 Reviews
Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 45-150mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH Mirrorless Camera Lens with Optical Stabilizer, Micro Four Thirds Mount, H-FS45150AK (USA Black)
  • Multi-coated lens: A multi-coated lens element reduces ghost and flare to deliver high optical performance (12 elements in 9 groups, [1 UHR lens and 2 aspherical lenses])
  • Near silent focusing for video and still: inner focus system enables excellent resolution and contrast from full life-size magnification to infinity; stepping motor makes focusing action smooth and near silent for use in video and photo recording
  • Lumia optical image stabilization: Panasonic Mega O. I. S. Makes it easy to shoot super clear shots even in low-lit situations by suppressing the blur caused by a hand movement
  • Medium zoom lens: A 45-150mm (35mm camera equivalent: 90-300mm) focal length with F4. 0-5. 6 ASPH provides a versatile medium zoom range for daily situations
  • Seven aperture blade construction: The lens’ seven aperture blades produce an attractive smoothness in out-of-focus areas, even when shooting at large aperture

If you are on a budget but you still want to have a telephoto zoom lens, this Panasonic LUMIX G lenses are great for workarounds or traveling. You can take amazing landscape and portrait shots. You can capture your moments on your trip.

For example, you are in Vietnam. You can cover the paddy fields and the local market with decent results. It is a great budget pick lens to improve your range to 300mm. The sharp image result, the stabilization technology, and the price become an excellent combination to win your heart.

The sharp results come from high optical performance and 7-aperture blade construction. The image stabilization of this lens is the Mega optical IS from Lumix. For the body, this lens has an ultra-compact size and lightweight body that emphasize the versatility of the lens.

This Panasonic LUMIX G lens is priced low with 45-150mm focal length.


  • It does a decent job as a macro lens.
  • The weight and size is an excellent choice for travel.
  • It’s relatively cheap.
  • It works well in a low-light situation.


  • It can’t take wider shots.
  • The hood doesn’t fit.


What is the best Nikon lens for travel photography?

It has already been mentioned above. The best Nikon lens to use for travel photography is Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E. There are actually many choices available. Well, that is our best pick.

Is 35mm lens good for travel?

Yes, it is. Some photographers mostly shoot their travel photos with their 35mm lens. This lens size is wide enough to get scenic pictures, street photography, and environmental portraits.

Is 50mm lens good for travel?

It is the standard lens for go-to and all-around.

What is the most versatile lens?

The list of products above already answer this question

Should I buy 35mm or 50mm?

As mentioned before, the 50mm lens is a standard lens. The better one for travel is the 35mm. It offers a much wider image.

Final Thought

All of those products cover all aspects of travel photography. You can choose it according to your preferred brands, styles, and uses.

As a conclusion, the best travel lens you should consider to buy right away is the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens. It is recommended and well rated on most websites. The lens has all you need to be your travel companion.

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API