You’ve booked your flight, you’ve paid for your stay, but you may be wondering what camera lens to bring. Do you bring your heavy dSLR, a light point-and-shoot camera or just bring along your smartphone (note: do not just bring your smartphone – I used a smartphone for my entire 2 month Europe trip and sincerely regret it.) If you’re a photographer, absolutely bring your bulky dSLR; the quality in your images will far outweigh that of your point-and-shoot. If you are thinking about bringing one lens with you on your travels, I know just the lens you should bring.

the 24-70mm f/2.8

I spent months researching the travel lenses that my favorite travel photographers and Instagrammers used. After I realized the 24-70MM F/2.8 lens was the common popular choice (for a multitude of reasons outlined below), I got the lucky chance to work with this lens while I was working as a newborn photographer for a hospital in New York. I immediately fell in love and picked up this lens the day before I left for Paris. It’s incredibly popular focal length-aperature combo offers the speed and distance to capture pretty much anything, and its versatility is worth the price tag.

Wide Aperture

Got stuck in a low-light situations where you can’t use your flash? A wide aperture lens will solve that problem.  This telephoto lens gives you a wide aperture and is great for capturing the details in a dimly lit situation. Whether it’s a dark church or a restaurant in the night time, this lens goes down to f./2.8 and makes photographing super helpful!

Range of Focal Length

Prime lenses are my favorite to shoot with. They’re some of Canon’s sharpest lenses, and I always use them for portrait sessions when I want to get beautiful bokeh in the background. Prime lenses aren’t as versatile as a zoom lens, however.  There is enough focal range that I don’t need to keep switching out my lenses, and it produces super sharp images that I can use them for landscapes, portraits and adventure shots. If I only want to bring one lens, I’ll choose the 24-70mm f./2.8 every time.


Light Weight

As a traveler on the go, moving from country to country and jetting from different airports, the one thing you’ll be grateful for is not packing heavy material possessions. And camera equipment will be the heaviest items you carry in your bags. Carrying my camera backpack with all my gear often produces a lot of strain on my back, so I usually make the risky decision to bring only one camera body and one lens. The Canon 24-70 weighing in just under 2lbs, is super light-weight, versatile for the majority – if not all – of your shots, and produces brilliantly sharp images. It’s no wonder the majority of travel photographers use this lens!

This is by far my favorite travel lens to venture with, but there are some other light-weight options that don’t have as wide as an aperature. The 24-105mm and 70-300 mm are also other great options and if you’re looking for a quality point-and-shoot, I always says the Canon Powershot G7x produces beautiful quality images and and video!


For more details on what’s in my camera bag, check out my recent blog post here or view my video below (my attention-seeking kittens are the main star of this video)!


Best Camera Lens to Travel With

November 29, 2017


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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical moments through my lens and my pen. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I'm inspired to share the light around me. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.