IN my last few articles, I mentioned that I have issues on what’s the right lens to bring when shooting travel photography. It’s always been a hit or miss in my case. Recently, I went out for another travel photography project and made some adjustments. This time, my Samyang 14mm joined the gang.
I normally just bring my 70-300, 17-40 and 24-105. I’m most comfortable with these lenses and the level of sharpness and contrast is just enough for me to get the results I wanted. The issue of whether to bring two camera bodies was resolved in my last trip. I have decided that two camera bodies help a lot in minimising changing lenses in the field.
At one point, I tried to dish out my 24-105 to reduce the weight and space in my carry-on bag but the argument that it’s still the best versatile lens to carry during your travels won the debate. It’s wide enough to cover a good landscape and at 105mm, you can isolate some few interesting subjects. It’s a default lens in one of the camera bodies while the other camera will take the 70-300mm lens.
The only reason, I have my 17-40mm as part of my default lens for travel is for wide landscape shots. It has a good zoom up to 40mm so you can reframe your shot and get that angle and compression without taking another step. In landscape photography, that extra step might be a cliff or sharp rocks that will definitely make you rethink photography.
After a three-day trip in Camotes, it turned out that the 70-300 lens never came off from it’s mounted camera, while the other three lenses were sharing another camera body. The 17-40 almost didn’t see action while the 24-105 fulfilled its role as a go-to versatile lens. What’s surprising is the 14mm. It almost outperformed all the other lenses.
I love the wider angle it offers. It’s a manual focus camera but it was never an issue. The distortion in this lens is very impressive. I love the way it captures the wideness of the scene — by shooting near your subject, you get a good contrast in size between your subject and your background. The focusing is scary but if you just follow your guts in estimating the distance of your subject, it’ll work wonders.
Since this lens is a wide lens, it has a greater depth of field and when setting it at 5.6, the focus will be very forgiving. Increasing your aperture to 8 or 11 will definitely increase your depth of field. I was surprised to see my shots sharper than I expected. With all the advantage of this lens, not to mention that it’s really cheap, I have only one issue with this lens, color.
I know that you can always correct the colors in the post, but getting the right one while shooting is still best. I’m not getting the right vibrance and glow in the images from this lens. The contrast is also disturbing. However, with just a couple of disadvantages from this lens, the pros are more than the cons especially when it comes to price and performance.
Keep on shooting, everyone!