While smartphones have revolutionized the photography game of late, there’s no denying the quality of pictures a DSLR camera and a good camera lens can deliver. From artistic photos with a great depth of field and focal range to portrait shots that make your travel memories worthwhile, bringing along a DSLR camera and a set of good camera lenses may just be what makes or breaks your vacation. But with all these additional accessories, how would you be sure that your camera lenses would be safe to bring around?
For some, there are tons of worries such as having your camera lens stolen during your flight to the qualms of your camera lenses being damaged while you’re traveling. On top of having no camera lenses to shoot when you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll also have to think about the price to pay if you want to replace all your camera lenses when you get home. Luckily, these sets of worries can easily be resolved by making minor changes to your camera lens handling especially during travels. From making sure your camera lenses are well packed to nifty tricks to keeping your camera gears dry that you’ve never thought of, we’ve compiled them all into an easy-to-follow cheat sheet so your next vacation with your photography gears can be a breeze.
And so, without further ado, here are 9 tips for traveling with a camera lens that will help make your next vacation a picture-perfect one.
Bring Along Your Camera Lens In Your Carry-On Bag
Regardless of the price tag of your camera lens, it’s important to remember never to leave it in your check-in bags. Camera lenses are a popular item for airport theft, and the one thing you’ll want to avoid is to arrive at your destination only to realize your camera lens has been stolen. Aside from inconvenient item loss claims, you’ll also be left without your camera lens throughout your holiday. Although they may add weight and take up space in your carry-on luggage, keeping your camera lens close to you is the best way to safeguard your camera lens during your flights.
Pick A Camera Lens That Can Be Used For A Wide Variety Of Shots
Where possible, you’ll want to keep the number of luggage to a minimum when traveling. This goes for camera lenses too as you’ll want to pick out a lens that can be used for a wide variety of shots during your travels. For instance, a 50mm prime lens is a great choice for most travel photography because of its small and light statute. These lenses are also great for capturing images in both bright and low-light conditions, so you won’t have to switch them out as you go through the day. Picking a camera lens that can be used for a wide variety of shots not only makes your packing easier, but you’ll also have to worry less about damaging your other lenses or having them stolen while you’re traveling.
Insure Your Camera Lenses Too
You may have heard of adding an insurance coverage your camera body if you’re traveling, so why not insure your camera lenses while you’re at it? In most cases, you’ll be able to add a camera equipment coverage to your travel insurance policy. This allows you peace of mind, knowing that your camera lenses will be insured in case of unwanted situations such as theft or damage. Be sure to read through your insurance policy to check the terms and conditions of your camera equipment coverage before you head out, so you won’t have to run through the hassles of a dispute in case of an accident.
Take A Picture Of Your Camera Lenses
Before heading out to your travels, do consider taking a picture of your camera lenses with your phone. This would help make them easier to identify in case your camera bag is stolen along with all your camera gear. Taking a picture also helps you lodge police reports faster as you can show them what your lost camera lenses and other gears look like, and if necessary, you can easily replace them when you return home. Be sure to keep these pictures updated if you’re bringing different sets of lenses each time you travel, as you’ll never know when the unexpected can happen.
Unmount Your Lenses And Keep Them Separated In A Padded Bag
When you’re done shooting for the day, it’s always best to keep your camera lenses separate from the camera body. This avoids damaging the connectors in both the camera body and camera lenses. Store your lenses in a well-padded bag, preferably with additional separation pieces so your camera lenses don’t touch your camera body or anything else during transport. While camera bags may not come cheap, they do come with compartments to help keep your camera lenses apart, so you’ll avoid scratching them along the way. When storing your shooting equipment, be sure to also keep loose items such as coins, keys, batteries, wires, and memory cards in a separate bag. Ideally, you shouldn’t hear any rattles from your camera bag when you shake it up, so you’ll know your camera lenses are safe from unwanted scratches.
Wick Away Moisture From Your Camera Bags With Reusable Silica Gel Packs
Aside from storing your camera lenses and camera body right, it’s also as important to keep the condition in your camera bags ideal. When you’re traveling to places where humidity and moisture are eminent, you’ll want to be aware of how to wick moisture away to prevent mold and water droplets from forming in your lenses. Enter the most unassuming assistant you’ll have – silica gel packs. That’s right, remember the gel packs that come with your online purchases? Silica gel packs, while dangerous if ingested, is a great moisture absorption material that’s weightless and comes free if you’ve ever shopped online. The next time you’re traveling with your camera lenses and camera body to a destination where you’re expecting high moisture, try placing a pack or two of the silica gel packs in your camera bag. Your camera lenses and camera body will thank you for it.
Pack A Lens Cleaning Kit And Clean As You Go
The last thing you’ll want to see at the end of your travels is that all your pictures have a speck of dust on them. Very often, cleaning your camera lenses isn’t something many people will think of while traveling. The fact is, your camera lenses would be exposed to a variety of environments including dust and sand. To avoid this, it’s recommended that you bring along a lens cleaning kit so you can clean your camera lens as you go along your trip. Keeping your camera lens clean not only helps you produce greater quality pictures, but you’ll also reduce the possibility of having your lenses scratched by dust particles and other dirty specks looming in the air.
Keep Your Lenses Covered When You’re Not Using It
Similarly, you’ll want to keep your lenses covered when you’re not shooting during your travels. This also reduces the number of times you’ll have to clean your camera lenses while you’re on the go and will help avoid unwanted scratches on your camera lens. While it may not be the most convenient when you’re shooting on the streets, this small change will help keep your camera lens safe in the long run. When storing your camera lens in the camera bag, be sure to use all the original caps that come with the lens. Never leave your camera lenses uncovered unless you’re keen to gain new scratches on either surface of your camera lenses.
Bring Along A Neutral Density (ND) Filter
Instead of packing along extra camera lenses for different effects such as long exposures and light control, you could opt to bring along a neutral density or better known as an ND filter. Simply put, an ND filter helps block light from your camera’s sensors, so you’ll be able to achieve separate photography effects even if you’re using the same camera lens. Like the effect of placing a pair of sunglasses over your camera lens, there are a variety of ND filters you can choose to use during your travel photography. Aside from the convenience of not having to switch lenses throughout your travels, an ND filter is also much lighter to bring around and is easier on your wallet.
In conclusion, packing in your camera lenses for your travels may be a big commitment but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. After all, you’ll want to be able to shoot great pictures wherever you go. By remembering key tips such as keeping your camera lenses close to you and keeping accidental scratches to the lens at bay by packing them in a proper bag, we’re sure that every vacation you take with your camera will be an unforgettable one from here on.