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Iceland trip - which zoom?

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I am going to a road trip in Iceland in mid September.

Currently I have an XT-3 with 16mmF1.4, 35F2 and 50F2. I finally have the budget for a zoom lens, but I wonder which one would complement / replace my current ones, specifically for a place like Iceland

I am debating between

- a normal zoom, then 16-55 F2.8, 16-80 F4

- or a wide angle, then 8-16 or 10-24 

I know in both cases prices and quality are very different, so I wonder if you have any experience or recommendation.


Thanks,


Stefano

 

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Although I have never been to Iceland, whenever we travel, I find the lens on qmycamera the most is my 18-135 lens. Gives you the wide angle and the reach. Watching several YouTube vlogs of landscape photographers in Iceland, it seems the longer reach is helpful since many of the compositions seem to include longer range subjects. The 18-135 is WR as is the X-T3 so rain or spray is not going to be an issue.

I love my 10-24, but find is most helpful in walking around older European cities or other locations where you are up close to wider scenes.

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Having been to Iceland a few times, I know that hiking with a lot of gear can be stressful. Also, with inclining weather conditions, the less you need to swap lenses the better. On top of that light conditions on Iceland in Sept aren't always optimal. 

Judging from what you already have, the 55-200 can be a great addition. Iceland has vast open landscapes and getting close isn't always easy or even possible. In that case your 16 and 35 together with a 55-200 can be a nice set that covers pretty much everything.

An option is the 18-135 or the 16-80. Both are fine travel lenses with OIS and WR. It depends on how long a telephoto you want. Esp. since you have the wide end covered with your 16/f1.4. Nevertheless, I would always also bring the 16 for wide landscapes and low light situations.

Both the 16-55 or 18-55 may add little to what you already have. Though the 10-24 and the 8-16 are great for landscapes, only adding one of these may leave you wanting a longer lens once in Iceland. And again, you already have the 16.

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Thanks for your comments, I see your points.

I was tempted by a long focal length as well. My issue is that I don't use long focal lengths in my daily pictures pictures (street, candid shots), but I understand that in Iceland landscapes are the key subjects.

I see a shop nearby renting the 50-140 F2.8 at a reasonable price. Any experience with that zoom over the 55-200? I guess better quality but heavier and less focal reach...

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The 50-140 is a very good lens, but with a few caveats. Dustin Abbott has a very good review on his site and on Youtube where he covers all there is to say about this lens. His findings concur with mine. It is a classic 70-200 f2.8 reporter lens, which means it is great for sports, portraits and general street shots (reportage). In poorer light (indoor sports) it still caters for short shutter speeds. The downside of this lens is that edge and corners have less contrast and sharpness. It renders a little soft. For its purpose that’s fine.

The 55-200 is less expensive, smaller, lighter and has a slower variable aperture. I don’t own that lens, but I’ve used it and know people who have it. It is super sharp and contrasty right across the frame. In terms of IQ it’s actually better than the 50-140. In fact, the German Fototest.de tested both and gave the 50-140 lens 86.4 out of 100 points. The 55-200 scored 94 points. The difference was all IQ based.

So, unless you need the fast aperture for sports or portraits/fashion, the 55-200 can actuallly be the better option. It sure is easier to carry along.

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