Hiking is a great way to get in touch with nature and enjoy the fresh air, but it can also be challenging. One challenge many people face when hiking is deciding what camera lens they should use. The answer depends on the type of hike you’re planning and your personal preferences for capturing photos.
If you’re planning to hike around a city, for example, you may want to bring only your cell phone. However, if you’re walking in the mountains or near waterfalls, getting close-up shots of the landscape is essential. For these types of photos, I recommend carrying a wide-angle lens on your camera.
It will allow you to take non-distorted pictures of everything from mountains to flowers. You can also use this type of lens for taking group pictures with friends since it’s easier to frame faces with the broader field of view it provides
Another alternative is carrying both a wide-angle and telephoto lens on your camera along with your cell phone. Then decide which features are more critical on each hike—getting distant photos or close-ups—and bring the lens that will make it easier for you to capture those kinds of images.
Whatever lens you use, remember that every model is different, and there’s no guarantee your pictures will turn out perfectly unless you’re experienced with that camera. For this reason, I recommend bringing your cell phone if possible because it takes good quality pictures without all the additional equipment.
I want to conclude by saying that hikers should carry whatever camera lenses they prefer for their own hiking experience. Additionally, hikers should note the difficulties associated with taking time-lapse videos on hikes since these can lead to missed opportunities for great photos.
Consider the following factors:
The type of hike you’re planning:
In a national park, hiking in a national park is different from hiking on a mountain trail, unlike walking through the woods near your house. During each type of hike, you may want to capture beautiful landscapes or wildlife, or both. You’ll also need to consider how far you’ll be hiking since this will impact the length of time it will take for you to get back home and process your photos.
What kind of photography gear do I already own?
If you’re looking to buy new camera equipment specifically for outdoor photography, then think about what lens or lenses are already part of your collection that could come in handy while hiking. Remember that some zoom lenses are great for capturing when you’re far from a subject but aren’t ideal for close-up photography. So, compare the type of shots you want to capture with your hiking lens choices before deciding what to buy.
The following lenses are a good choice when hiking:
A wide-angle lens
Since you’ll most likely be taking photos from a distance since the majority of your hiking time will be spent far from scenic spots, a wide-angle lens is probably best. You can capture more scenery in one photo and have excellent depth of field with this type of lens. Plus, they’re lightweight and not too expensive.
A mid-range telephoto lens
These types of lenses are versatile but can also be pricey, depending on what you choose. They let you take close-up pictures that would otherwise only be possible with an actual camera close to the subject. However, remember that these lenses aren’t ideal for capturing landscape shots because they don’t have a wide enough field of view.
A macro lens
Macro lenses cost more than other types of camera lenses. Still, they’re ideal for capturing both landscapes and wildlife in stunning detail when you’re up close to your subject. The downside is that they can be heavy and not take great pictures from a distance since their focus is very narrow. If your heart is set on a macro lens, consider purchasing a tripod or monopod in addition to the lens so it will be easier to hold the camera steady when taking photos from afar.
A telephoto zoom lens lets you take close-up shots of wildlife or scenery without having to get too close. You could also use the zoom feature on your camera if it has one. Still, a lens provides more flexibility and control since you can focus on specific parts of a photo and will likely be less expensive than buying a camera body with an advanced feature.
Monopods support heavier cameras and lenses when you’re trying to capture photos from afar. Plus, they help stabilize video footage that otherwise may be shaky because another hand is holding the camera.
Tripods are ideal if you want to set up your camera for more extended periods to take multiple pictures without holding onto your camera. They’re beneficial when using longer lenses to take photos from farther away.
In summary, choose what type of photography gear you buy when hiking based on how far away you’ll be from scenic spots while taking photos, the type of shots you want to capture, and what type of lenses you already own. Different types of photography gear do other things, so think about what kind of pictures you want to take before purchasing. Remember to think about the lenses you already own when buying new photography equipment because it will save you money in the long run if they’re compatible with your future camera.