The only three lenses you need for travel photography anywhere in the world are a fisheye lens, a 50mm, and a 135mm (or similar telephoto).
You can agree and finish this article right here, or you can read on to see exactly why I would choose only these three lenses to take with me anywhere in the world.
Before I say anything else, the fisheye I have in mind has an aperture of f/2.8, the 50mm has an aperture of f/1.4, and the 135 has an aperture of f/2.0. Popular, cheaper variations on these lenses would be the 24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8, and the 100mm f/2.8 Macro. I’d also like to address what I imagine a popular response to this article might be: “What about the 24-105mm?” This lens is weak for a couple of reasons. The maximum aperture on this lens is f/4, which ends up being very limiting if you are trying to travel light (and going without an off camera flash). Also, prime lenses are always superior in quality to zoom lenses. There are less moving parts and the image quality is cleaner. If you think having just one lens to cover a greater range is easier, just remember what you gain in convenience (by having one lens) you lose in quality, weight, and ability to “see” in the dark.
Each of these lenses are used for very specific reasons. Just as we wear different shoes for different purposes throughout our week, such as; sneakers for exercise, dress shoes for work, and slippers around the house – we use different lenses to convey different feelings, emotions, and to use as different tools to capture our experiences. Some lenses really are better than others for certain things. For example, portraits are best taken with lenses between 85mm and 135mm. The distortion to the face/ears is minimized and the truest proportions are found in this range.