1 lens for fishing -- what would it be?

GOTY

7x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
I know it is an impossible question, but if you only had 1 lens to bring on the river, what would it be? Taking pics of fish, wildlife, scenery, etc.

All my shit was stolen so I'm starting fresh and only want to pay for 1 piece of glass to start. I was thinking something like a nice 24-70mm but wanted to hear from those of you who know more than I do.

Thanks
 
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Jojo

Trout Thank Me
WFF Supporter
Not if i close one eye!

My Nikon lens is a 24-85 zoom and i really like it al ot. But i would never take it on the river. I’m sure i would somehow drop it in the river or ruin it some other way. It’s too expensive.
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
I've used a 70-200 for yrs but thinking of a 24-70, but I usually bring all my lenses, unless it's gonna be pouring like Noah needs to start building!
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
WFF Supporter
If limited to one lens and shooting a full frame dslr I would use a 70-200. If shooting aps-c an 18-200 would be a good choice.

When I was shooting regularly I carried at least three and many times five lenses. My three consisted of a 24-70, 70-200 and a 500. If I am primarily concentrating on shooting and don’t have a specific shoot in mind I will add a macro lense and a wide angle.
 

Speyrod GB

Active Member
When I packed my dslr I usually had my 55-200 attached. It gave me the most versatility. Its not a real fast lens, but it covered a majority of my needs and is not very big. Good luck with your search.
 

tkww

Member
I know it is an impossible question, but if you only had 1 lens to bring on the river, what would it be? Taking pics of fish, wildlife, scenery, etc.

All my shit was stolen so I'm starting fresh and only want to pay for 1 piece of glass to start. I was thinking something like a nice 24-70mm but wanted to hear from those of you who know more than I do.

Thanks
Personally I think the 24-120 (or APS-C equiv) are a pretty sweet spot. I carry a 16-85 for my DX camera. If you're going with an APS-C sensor, the 18-xx can be decent quality and offer pretty tremendous range. As I'm sure you know, the further you stretch that zoom ratio, the more suspect the quality at long end is going to be. The 24-85 that JoJo mentioned is a fine choice for FF.

While the 24-120 (or APS-C equiv) doesn't offer a lot of telephoto reach, it does offer something on the wide end, which is where I'd rather have it as a "general purpose" lens. In my experience, if you want tele, you want way more than is useful in a do-all lens. So I'd just count on adding another lens on down the road--like a 70-300 zoom. That would give you considerable reach at considerably higher quality (on the long end) than something like the 18-200 or 18-300, and would do-so with pretty reasonable size and cost.

But if you're addamant on one lens only (i.e., even in the future), the 18-XX lenses for APS-C do offer quite a compromise.
 
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GOTY

7x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
Appreciate the responses, good info here.

I'll eventually add more than one lens, but since everything was taken I just don't have the coin to buy a body plus multiple decent lenses right away. I'd rather build up my gear slowly with marginally nicer stuff than buy multiple compromise lenses that might get replaced later anyways.
 

creekx

spent spinner
Appreciate the responses, good info here.

I'll eventually add more than one lens, but since everything was taken I just don't have the coin to buy a body plus multiple decent lenses right away. I'd rather build up my gear slowly with marginally nicer stuff than buy multiple compromise lenses that might get replaced later anyways.
Did you mention the sensor format (Full Frame, APS-C or MFT)? Asking because if I had to carry just one lens it would be a zoom that covers wide angle to portrait. Something with a reach of about 24mm to 85mm full frame equivalent. For all-around lenses I have a 17-70mm on my Nikon APS-C (25.5-105mm equiv.) and a 12-40mm on my MFT (24-80mm equiv.) Tough to beat that range for fishing with one lens.
 

nb_ken

Active Member
I would say start with a good wide angle. (I like a 24mm on a full frame sensor - or the equivalent on your camera - but you could probably get by with a 28 on a budget). There's a variety of wide to medium telephoto zooms out there. Faster is always better, but faster is also heavier and more expensive. Since you'll be outside, and shooting at the wide end mostly, fast isn't as important as it would be in other situations.

Hard to buy a bad lens these days and easy to get a great lens if you have the budget.
 

Kfish

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Bummer your stuff got stolen Matt. I used to be into photography and sold, well do still sell stock photos with istockphoto and Getty. My Cannon 5D Mk2 full frame don't see the light of day much anymore except for the kids bday parties. You're welcome to borrow my stuff to try out if you want, 24-105L, 50mm 1.2 EF, 40mm prime pancake, 24mm Olympus manual oldschool.

If I were to haul the full frame out to the river it would be paired with the flat 40mm pancake, fast and sharp, good compromise between landscape and fish faces.
 

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