Lightweight gear

Started 9 months ago | Questions thread
GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 9,617
Re: Lightweight gear

kasia123 wrote:

I currently own Canon 7D (mark 1, crop) and a few lenses, with Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 being my go to for street/travel (other lenses: Tokina 12-24mm f4, Tamron 70-300 f4-5.8).

It's (a high) time to upgrade and I'd like to use this opportunity to address my biggest issue with the current gear - it's so heavy that it gives me massive neck pain after a few hours of walking around with it (I mean just the body and the 17-50mm Tamron).

This is exactly the reason I went to mirrorless in 2010. I got tired of the boat-anchor around my neck. That Tamron is kind of heavy. At that time, it was a big compromise to go mirrorless, as they didn't have PDAF in the early mirrorless cameras, but today, there's little compromise.

So much so that it's discouraging me from photography altogether. Somehow it wasn't causing such pain despite me using it for years but maybe with (my) age things change.

I don't think I can blame my age. It was still annoying. Plus, just the size of my camera bag, the size of the camera itself is imposing. I wanted to pare it down. And I did!

So I started looking at Sony mirrorless (considering alpha 7c if ff or a6500 if crop). That should shave off 350-400g from the body alone. Looking at the lenses however, unless I go prime (which I don't want to), everything is pretty heavy (often heavier than my old Tamron) and/or slower than what I got. So I might shave off maybe 300g in total. I wonder if I can do better than that and still get a very decent IQ.

With APS-C cameras, you should get the same IQ (maybe better, since Sony does such a good job with these sensors). I'd only go FF if you also wanted to push for higher quality, as you will surely add a bit of weight there, between the camera and lenses.

My latest idea is Sony a7c + Sony 28-70mm f3.5-5.6, which should come to something like 800g (vs c. 1.3kg on my old gear). Any thoughts on this combination or any other alternative combination?


Hmm, the A6500 is 453g vs. 509g for the A7c, so there's almost no weight penalty with the a7c - then it comes down to the lenses.  Since you want to focus on zooms, unfortunately, some of the better zooms are heavy again, such as the 16-55/f2.8 or even the 18-105G.  But you might consider the Sony 18-135 - ok, it's a much smaller aperture, but is pretty popular and 325g.    Not any weight savings over the 28-70, though!   I would only question if you would stick with the 28-70, or end up with something else to get more quality.  I get the impression that the 28-70 isn't highly regarded by some, but maybe that's all relative.

When I feel like going light, I use the 20mm/f2.8 prime pancake lens.  That almost makes the A6500 camera the compact but high quality camera that I always wanted.  The 16-50PZ kit lens is compact, but there are a lot of complaints about the quality.  However, it's good enough for most use, just has some compromises (such as poor corners at some focal lengths and apertures).  But if you want light and compact, and still pretty decent quality compared to a P&S camera or cellphone, that's an option.  I have used it on some trips.  But I've also used the heavy 18-105G, which just works so well.  Basically, I try to decide how light I want to be for each event.  If I'm not going to be more than an hour or two, the 18-105 will be fine (for me).   For a day of walking around, I might go for the 20mm prime or the 16-50.

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Gary W.

 GaryW's gear list:GaryW's gear list
Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony a6500 +10 more
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