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Hi, I am an amateur photographer with a Canon 550D. I am travelling to Peru in August visiting Machu Picchu and the Rainforest. Ia m trying to decide which lenses to take with me so that I can get the best photographs and would really welcome your advice.
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What lenses do you have Rachel?
A kit zoom should do the trick.
A rain coat might be very handy.
The rainforest can get susprisingly dark, even at midday, but the high ISO capability of the 550D should make things a tad easier (find some local woodland and see how it goes). I presume you want minimum weight so I would suggest mainly zoom lenses - the 15-85 is an excellent option with the 50mm f1.8 for low light and portaits. If you want a telephoto zoom, the 70-300 IS USM is a vastly under-rated lens or if you want something lighter the 55-250.
A lighter solution would be the Tamron 18-270 with the Canon 50mm f1.8: there is a very good '365 day roadtetst' on this site that shows the capability of this lens for wide andgle, telephoto and macro. This actually may not be a bad option if the weather is wet.
Ideally, I would also take a lightweight tripod (one of the Velbon Ulra-Rexi range?) so you could do some panoramic stitching or long exposures. If that is too much bulk/weight think about the Gorillapod.
Also consider a polarising filter.
My avatar was taken at Machu Picchu. The 15-85mm Canon is a superb all round lens as has been said. I think from I had the 17-85 mm at the time. If you want a bigger zoom, can't say I ever needed one there, the Sigma 18-200mm OS is a good compromise. The Tamron above is also widely quoted as being not a bad lens. Neither are as good as the Canon 15-85mm however.
Mine if you take me with you LOL
Tamron 18-270mm PZD comes to mind for travel photography if a fast lens isn't important to you. I rarely shoot wide open, but usually stick to the f/8-16.
Wow - thank you so much for the advice. I will let you know what I decide - I am sure that I will have lots more questions.
Having done this trip a few years ago, I'd suggest that you need something wide for landscapes - there are a lot of opportunities there to say the least - and a short telephoto for things like portraits of the local people. So I agree a good one-lens solution for your trip and your camera would be the 15-85 suggested above. If you wanted to take two, with the 550 I'd probably take something like the 10-22 for wide stuff and maybe a 70-200 for when you need something longer.
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