What was in my camera bag for Barcelona?

Round about the first week of July, my friends and I booked our plane tickets for Barcelona. Needless to say, we were all excited. But that was just the start. We had a whole list of planning to do, and for a photography fanatic like me, that also meant planning which lenses to take.

Stuffing each lens I owned into my bag seemed like the easy way out. But having read horror stories of pick-pocketing around the streets of Barcelona, it felt too much of a risk. Later on, I also learned that the ceiling for insured gear would be pretty low.

So right off the bat, I decided to keep my 70-200 at home. As much as I love that lens, lugging around a 1.5kg brick of optical goodness for just a handful of shots seemed too much of a luxury.  Next up was the tripod. I love my tripod. But I honestly doubted how long the patience of my non-photographer friends would last while they waited for me to set-up and refine my shot. So the tripod stayed at home.

At this point, I had narrowed down my selection to three lenses: The 16-35mm, the 24-70mm and the 50mm. After changing my mind a dozen times, I went with the 16-35 and 50mm combo. I had a look at my photos and noticed that most of my photos were taken between 16-35mm or else at 70mm. With my decision, I had to forego shooting at 70mm. To an extent, I did miss it. But this combo also gave me two significant advantages - weight saving and ensuring I stayed within the ceiling set by my insurance.

Looking back, would I say I was satisfied with my decision? The answer is yes. But with some qualifications. In an ideal world, I would have traveled with a mirrorless camera and taken a lens which ranges from 16-85mm. But physics dictates that it is impossible. (damn :/ ) So, the next best thing would have been a fast ultra-wide angle prime- ideally less than 16mm, and a fast short- telephoto lens- say around 85-105mm. The 24-70mm offers unparalleled versatility and I use it a lot for events. But it has 1 huge limitation - it only goes down to 24mm wide. And for an ultra wide-angle junky like me, 24 does not cut it. 

So in the end, I chose to take my 16-35mm f/4 and 50mm f/1.8 lenses to go with my D610 body. I also took a polarizing filter and it did a magnificent job in accentuating Barcelona’s luscious colours. 

That’s all for you tech-heads. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below. If you read this far, you will also be interested in how my journey around Barcelona went. My next blog posts will be just about that. It will be a traveller’s delight, peppered with a lovely selection of photos for you photography fans. Stay tuned!

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