Andalucía Lens Usage


Colonnades in the Round. Double-decker colonnades surround a courtyard in Palacio de Carlos V at the Alhambra, Granada, Andalucía, Spain.

When I concluded my Santorini blog series, I wrapped things up with a tabulation of how much I used each of the lenses I brought on the trip. I have two main reasons to be interested in this data. First, I want to know whether bringing a certain lens was even worth the trouble. Second, I want to know which lenses I should push myself to use more. For Santorini, I brought nine lenses on the trip, although if you discount the pinhole lens (which is essentially a no-space-required body cap) I really brought eight. For Andalucía, I only brought seven: I dropped three lenses (the pinhole, the Petzval, and the 300mm) and added one (the 100-400mm, which I did not own for Santorini). In fairness, the one lens is about the size of the other three combined. The table below summarizes how many photographs I took with each lens for each trip.

# used
% used
# used
% used
Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S150465.2 %140378.0 %
Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S28512.4 %18910.5 %
Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S27511.9 %n/an/a
AF-S Fisheye Nikkor 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED1124.9 %301.7 %
Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S472.0 %512.8 %
PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED431.9 %482.7 %
PC-E Micro Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D411.8 %150.8 %
AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VRn/an/a291.6 %
Lensbaby Obscura 16mm Pinholen/an/a281.6 %
Lomography Petzval 55mm f/1.7 MkII Bokeh Controln/an/a50.3 %
Lens usage on Andalucía and Santorini trips, sorted from most to least used lens in Andalucía.

Obviously, the lion’s share of all images were taken with the Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S, which is a great all-around lens—if I could only take one lens, this would clearly be it and the data (65% usage) backs this up. The Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S and Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S evenly split another 24%. So, three lenses—admittedly covering a whopping 14mm through 400mm—accounted for 89% of my photographs. I consider these three my standard lenses; everything else is essentially a specialty lens in my kit.

The next most used lens was, somewhat surprisingly, the fisheye, which accounted for a solid 5% of my images taken. The remaining three—two tilt-shift lenses and a fast prime—evenly split the remaining images with roughly 2% each. The scene at the top of this post is one where I wish I could used a fisheye, but since I could not bring a backpack into the Alhambra, I left it behind in the hotel that day.

Compared to Santorini, I only managed to increase my usage of the specialty lenses from 9.9 to 10.6%, although the addition of the telephoto zoom to my kit did result in a lot more focal length diversity. I would like to do better, though, and boost the specialty lens contribution into the 15-20% range. This will be a goal for next time.