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    Curious on peoples opinions here. I am looking into getting some new glass for my sony nex 5n. I currently use the kit 18-55 f3.5-5.6, and I have an 16mm f2.8 pancake, that generally doesn’t make it out split boarding because it’s limited in use. The zoom lens I feel it’s pretty good, but a bit slow on the top end. I also feel like I am a bit limited in range. I have a few thoughts on the next lens I want, but still a bit unsure. I’m between getting 4 different lenses.

    18-200 f3.5-6.3 – 18oz, lot of range, decently fast, big, heavy
    18-105 f4 – continuous through range, 2x zoom what I have now, but big and bulky, 15oz
    55-210 f4.5-6.3 – cheapest option, would give full range in two lenses, but would probably need to carry two lenses. 12oz meaning both lenses would weigh the same as the 18-200 option.
    16-70 f4 – most expensive, and best reviewed lens. Almost as clear as a prime, and faster than what I have now, but not too much more range. 11oz. Hard pressed to spend a grand on a lens though.

    So I’m curious, what do you carry in your pack when backcountry skiing? Do you use multiple lenses? What do you use most, and why do you like it?

    For me, weight, speed, and zoom range are big factors.


    Lately I have been using the canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 as my one lens quiver on the 70D. It’s a nice range for BC riding and pretty sharp. I’ve gone away from using a two lens approach. Just too much of a pain. I’ll use the fisheye to change things up every now and then. Especially if we’re not doing big terrain. Have to have your subject right next to you with the fisheye.

    Out of the four lenses you list I would probably go with the 18-105. I don’t know the quality of these lenses, but I would guess the fixed aperture lens is a nice one and it’s a decent range. I usually stay away from super zooms like the 18-200 because most are not that sharp. The 16-70 would be fine if you want to get more into the landscape shots. I used a 15-85 for a long time but always wanted a little more on the long end.

    Hope that helps!


    I like to carry a 18-200 super zoom, because I love to get everything from panoramas to tight shots of people ripping and I will only carry one lense with me.

    I modified a neoprene sling-type cover (zing) to hang off my pack’s chest strap which gave me quick, easy access to the camera without digging in my pack.

    Finally, I like to use a circular polarizing filter which brings out the texture in the snow and clouds.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.


    Just 11 years ago, I was lugging around an f4 with 3 lenses. My boss at the time was heavily invested in his Nikon film system and then went digital from the early days. He had some of the sickest Nikkor glass, old gems and the lastest releases. It was fun to geek out on his gear.

    Since going digital, I have never owned an interchangeable lens system. I do miss having some nice lenses, and some of the new compact systems look really nice, but for now it’s a pocketable 24-70 and a super-zoom. I have had pretty good luck with a 2 camera system. The fuji xs1 has been a real gem for me with a 24-624mm f2.8-5.6. It’s heavy at 2lbs., but it takes some great pics, and I haven’t even learned all it’s functions. Even though the xs1 is a better camera, 80% of the time I only have the 24-70 in my pocket. For this season, one of my poles has a threaded mount and will work as a monopod, so the xs1 should see more use.

    Anyways, if in your shoes I would be scheming a way to get the two f4 lenses starting with the 18-105 and searching out a deal on the 16-70. Those are great looking lenses!


    Interesting seeing this again. I ended up last year purchasing a Tamron 18-200 f3.5-6.3. I got a deal for something like $500 for it, so pulled the trigger. I had read some poor reviews of the 18-105, so didn’t get that. And wasn’t feeling spending $1000 for the 16-70, although it is pretty sweet. I also felt like I wanted a longer zoom, mostly for animal spotting, and line scoping.

    I’ve really liked it for a few reasons:
    Very versatile, can take wider shots, but also long range line scoping. This is actually the best part. I have a ton of line scoping shots now. I have taken it splitboarding and backpacking. It stayed at home for biking, because it was too heavy. I still throw on the 18-55 if I know I won’t need a long zoom, although I find I take this lens more. I’m also waiting to see one of those lynx again so I can get a shot of it!

    The biggest thing I dislike is it is a bit slow on the autofocus, and I continually have to shoot in a higher iso in low light. But overall, I think it takes pretty good pictures.

    I also upgraded to the Sony Nex 7 and that was pretty sweet as well.


    200mm, still worked. Shot from over a 1/4 mile away.

    200mm, in full whiteout


    Nice to see the Tamron at work. I’ve been debating an all-in-one lens for my 6D: 28-300 v. 18-200. Basically, it’s reach v. width. I’m leaning toward the former, since I tend to compress scenes in the mountains more than get big wide shots with foreground subjects. And, 28 is usually wide enough if shooting another rider. I have also enjoyed shooting with a 50 prime while touring — to capture scenes “as seen” rather than zoomed in or out. The images always have a cool feel to them. I have to say though, it’s still really hard to beat Sony RX-100 for touring–incredibly convenient with its size and weight, big sensor and takes great images.


    One thing to note, is that full frame equivalent of the Nex for the 18-200 is actually 27-300. I don’t feel I need too much more width for most situations. Only at times where I would be in a couloir. For that, I have a 16mm and .75 adaptor (12mm) to bring, which gives a full frame equivalent of 18mm with adapter on.

    Interesting to hear you use a 50 prime.

    Last, the RX-100 sounds interesting. Does it shoot in raw? Seems 10fps burst, 28-100 frame size equivalent, pretty good. Anyone know the weight? Anyone have sample pictures with it (for riding specifically).


    Ah, I’d been eye-balling the 18-200 and a Sigma 18-300 and never noticed they’re not for full frame. Duh. Back to the 28-300. The range of Perm’s Fuji is ridiculous too for an all-in-one. I’d like to see its image quality.

    On the RX-100 — yup. shoots in RAW. 240 grams. 1″ / 13.20mm x 8.80mm sensor at 20.2 megapixels so for a compact it’s got some juice. I don’t have any super fast shots in blower pow to really depict its imagine quality. I shot this with it though – of Rico in AK:

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