Travel lenses

We put eight com­pact and light­weight zooms to the test

NPhoto - - Front Page -

Re­cent wis­dom says that a su­per­zoom is the most travel-friendly op­tion when tak­ing your D-SLR on hol­i­day or on a busi­ness trip, or when trav­el­ling to far-flung places for any other rea­son. A rel­a­tively dinky DX Nikon won’t weigh you down, and there’s a lot to be said for the ver­sa­til­ity of a lens that cov­ers ev­ery­thing from wide-an­gle cov­er­age to tele­photo reach in one con­ve­nient pack­age. It means you can re­spond to pretty much any photo op­por­tu­nity with just the turn of a zoom ring, in­stead of weigh­ing your­self down with ad­di­tional lenses that you need to change ev­ery few min­utes.

Pop­u­lar cur­rent su­per­zooms for DX-for­mat Nikons in­clude 18-200mm and 18-300mm lenses from both Nikon and Sigma. Th­ese have ef­fec­tive zoom ranges of 27-300mm and 27-450mm re­spec­tively. Both give you a gen­er­ous fo­cal length range, but nei­ther go overboard at the wide-an­gle end. For this, as well as for out­right zoom range, the Tam­ron 16-300mm is leader of the pack, with its ef­fec­tive 24-450mm range.

But is a su­per­zoom re­ally the best op­tion for travel? While they are con­ve­nient, they can also be fairly chunky. In­deed, Nikon’s orig­i­nal 18-300mm is so

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