Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.

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raymondg Contributing Member • Posts: 839
Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.
1

I am travelling again soon and my usual travel kit is a D800E with 3 lenses that cover 14mm-200mm (14-24 f2.8, 24-120 F4 and 70-200f4) . I am bemoaning the fact that Nikon does not make an 14-24 f4 so I could have a little less weight as this lot weighs around 3.6kg

So I thought what if I went mirrorless and got the 14-30 F4, 24-70 F4 and an adaptor for the 70-200f4? That would give me a full F4 kit and hopefully save some space and weight. However, it would set me back around $8,000 AUD.

So I added up the weight and with a couple of extra batteries for the ML due to reduced number of shots, the weight is virtually the same (3.0kg with extra batteries). The difference being only around 600gm. That's about $167 AUD per gram. Hmmmmm?

Hard to justify the spend for very little gain.

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Skyler King
Skyler King Regular Member • Posts: 161
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.
1

raymondg wrote:

I am travelling again soon and my usual travel kit is a D800E with 3 lenses that cover 14mm-200mm (14-24 f2.8, 24-120 F4 and 70-200f4) . I am bemoaning the fact that Nikon does not make an 14-24 f4 so I could have a little less weight as this lot weighs around 3.6kg

So I thought what if I went mirrorless and got the 14-30 F4, 24-70 F4 and an adaptor for the 70-200f4? That would give me a full F4 kit and hopefully save some space and weight. However, it would set me back around $8,000 AUD.

So I added up the weight and with a couple of extra batteries for the ML due to reduced number of shots, the weight is virtually the same (3.0kg with extra batteries). The difference being only around 600gm. That's about $167 AUD per gram. Hmmmmm?

Hard to justify the spend for very little gain.

The first thought that comes to mind, for me, is that you would go through a lot of trouble and spend a lot of money to save a very small amount of weight. Potentially negligible, depending on a few factors.

If your goal is to get professional level image quality while saving weight, and you don't mind buying a whole new kit, have you considered looking into Olympus or Panasonic? I told myself that I would never own an m4/3 camera because I was so paranoid about the loss in image quality. Somehow, I ended up pulling the trigger and buying an E-M5 Mark ii, back in 2016. It ended up being one of my favorite cameras, ever. I honestly never felt that the image quality was lagging in any way (even if a spec sheet says it's not technically as good as a full frame camera).

If you prefer to stick with full frame, you would like to save some money, but you feel like you need to find a way to reduce the weight in any way you can, perhaps a teleconverter would be a good option?

Now, take this with a grain of salt because I honestly am not up to date with what is available for which system or what the compatibility is between various lenses and bodies, but;
In my mind, I am envisioning the idea of ditching the 70-200 all together and, instead, using a 2x teleconverter for your 24-120 (giving you 48-240mm).
That would allow you to still have your wide angle, your mid range zoom, your full frame, and a camera you are already very familiar with, along with the same total zoom coverage, all while shaving a considerable amount of weight.

I guess I should see if Nikon even offers a 2x teleconverter that will work with the 24-120mm, though...

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OP raymondg Contributing Member • Posts: 839
Re: I think that this is the issue facing Nikon ML
1

If you are faced with buying a whole new system then why stay with Nikon? Cost, features, weight or just wanting something new may drive the decision in a different direction

In my case I would rather spend the money on going medium format rather than getting basically the same again for lots of $$$s. Doesn't make sense for me. The benefits are just not there for those photogs with a number of cameras and a collection of lenses.

BTW, the TC won't work and even if it did the 2 stops loss would rule it out.

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“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
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Skyler King
Skyler King Regular Member • Posts: 161
Re: I think that this is the issue facing Nikon ML

raymondg wrote:

If you are faced with buying a whole new system then why stay with Nikon? Cost, features, weight or just wanting something new may drive the decision in a different direction

I am not at all brand loyal and never feel the need to stick with a particular brand when investing in a new system. I even gave you an example of how I bought and loved an Olympus setup. I am honestly a bit confused by this question.

In my case I would rather spend the money on going medium format rather than getting basically the same again for lots of $$$s.

You didn't give any indication of this, at all, in your initial post. You actually seemed to give a very clear indication that you wanted to stay as close to your current setup as you could, you simply wanted to shave some weight.

Doesn't make sense for me. The benefits are just not there for those photogs with a number of cameras and a collection of lenses.

I am honestly not sure what you mean by this.

BTW, the TC won't work and even if it did the 2 stops loss would rule it out.

The change in equivalent aperture is obviously not ideal for everyone, but given that you introduced this topic as  a "travel solution" and said a few things that would indicate that your priority was not large aperture but instead was maximum focal range coverage, I assumed it wouldn't be a big deal.

Also, the idea for a teleconverter was more about the concept than it was about needing to work with that exact lens and camera, since you were looking into potentially getting into a new system, anyway. The idea being that teleconverters help increase coverage without having to lug around another lens; great for travel purposes.

I guess we are just speaking different languages, with this. Sorry I couldn't help. Hopefully someone else can offer more assistance than I can.

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OP raymondg Contributing Member • Posts: 839
Re: Apologies. My response was rhetorical and not aimed at you.

Your points were well made and I accepted them and the line you offered was exactly the point. There are many options available.

I just went off at a bit of a tangent.

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“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
- Roald Dahl

 raymondg's gear list:raymondg's gear list
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Skyler King
Skyler King Regular Member • Posts: 161
Re: Apologies. My response was rhetorical and not aimed at you.

raymondg wrote:

Your points were well made and I accepted them and the line you offered was exactly the point. There are many options available.

I just went off at a bit of a tangent.

Fair enough. Again, hopefully you can come up with a solution that you are happy with. If you have the money to even consider dropping nearly $10,000 on a new system, you have a ton of options and it is pretty exciting. I have never spent so much money, at one time, on camera gear. I remember when I had $3,500 set aside for a new camera, I felt overwhelmed with options. So many brands, so many styles, new, used, etc.

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OP raymondg Contributing Member • Posts: 839
Re: I will not be buying anything at the moment...

But taking my tried and tested system as outlined in the original post. The 24-120 F4 is my main walk around lens and has been on many trips and many countries and has perfumed faultlessly.

And I guess you hit the nail on the head. IF I was to drop $10K, all the great options available (not just from the brand currently owned) make it a tough decision.

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“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
- Roald Dahl

 raymondg's gear list:raymondg's gear list
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James809 Senior Member • Posts: 1,069
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.
3

This is what people keep missing with the "ML is lighter" argument; the lenses are just as heavy, and the only weight savings is (arguably) the less-important part of the kit. Though to be fair, 600 grams is over a pound.

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Mackiesback
Mackiesback Senior Member • Posts: 6,689
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.
2

James809 wrote:

This is what people keep missing with the "ML is lighter" argument; the lenses are just as heavy, and the only weight savings is (arguably) the less-important part of the kit. Though to be fair, 600 grams is over a pound.

But it can be lighter. My Z6 and 24-70 f4 is much lighter than the 810 and 24-70 2.8G I used to lug around. I know that f4 is not 2.8, but with IBIS and better low light capability, I am getting better results and a considerable weight savings.

To the OP, for the single use case you present, indeed you would not be saving weight. Most people who buy ML Nikons are using them in a variety of ways and weight savings may not be the only benefit they were seeking.

Different strokes for different folks....

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NikonNature Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.
2

Interesting dilemma... what do you use the 70-200mm for? If you kept the 24-120mm, you would only be giving up the 120-200mm range. How badly would you miss it? Perhaps you could test drive that theory with your current gear, just be leaving the 70-200mm at home one time.

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Schrodingers_cat Senior Member • Posts: 2,593
The way I did it.
11

raymondg wrote:

I am travelling again soon and my usual travel kit is a D800E with 3 lenses that cover 14mm-200mm (14-24 f2.8, 24-120 F4 and 70-200f4) . I am bemoaning the fact that Nikon does not make an 14-24 f4 so I could have a little less weight as this lot weighs around 3.6kg

So I thought what if I went mirrorless and got the 14-30 F4, 24-70 F4 and an adaptor for the 70-200f4? That would give me a full F4 kit and hopefully save some space and weight. However, it would set me back around $8,000 AUD.

So I added up the weight and with a couple of extra batteries for the ML due to reduced number of shots, the weight is virtually the same (3.0kg with extra batteries). The difference being only around 600gm. That's about $167 AUD per gram. Hmmmmm?

Hard to justify the spend for very little gain.

I suspect that it's not the same way I would go about it, but that's not particularly relevant.    The fact that you've recognized an issue and considered a solution is the key.

I traveled for several decades with what was the current equivalent of your exact same kit.  Ion August in Mexico and February in the UK.  Stuffed it all in a backpack and didn't think much about it.

I'm 71 now, and I've been slowly cutting down on stuff for a rather long time.  Every trip the pack gets a bit lighter

And the interesting thing is that I've not noticed I'm missing anything in my images.  Quite the contrary, the quality of my photos has been steadily increasing.

Equipment improvements are certainly a part of this, as is my gaining more experience.  But I personally feel he image quality improvement is in large part a result of my increased mobility and a heavier concentration on composition, lighting, subject matter, and all the artsy stuff that doesn't get discussed much on DPR.

My recent favorite load out has been one high resolution and three small and lightweight primes, a 28, a 50, and an 85.  I have not felt I was missing anything and the trip itself has ben more enjoyable.  A single midrange zoom would accomplish the same goal.

James809 Senior Member • Posts: 1,069
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.
2

Mackiesback wrote:

James809 wrote:

This is what people keep missing with the "ML is lighter" argument; the lenses are just as heavy, and the only weight savings is (arguably) the less-important part of the kit. Though to be fair, 600 grams is over a pound.

But it can be lighter. My Z6 and 24-70 f4 is much lighter than the 810 and 24-70 2.8G I used to lug around. I know that f4 is not 2.8, but with IBIS and better low light capability, I am getting better results and a considerable weight savings.

To the OP, for the single use case you present, indeed you would not be saving weight. Most people who buy ML Nikons are using them in a variety of ways and weight savings may not be the only benefit they were seeking.

Different strokes for different folks....

Agreed; if you replace like for like,  the weight saving is negligible. By stepping back on the speed of the lens, you've realised where the weight savings is. Just switching the body (to your point) didn't do it.

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pekored
pekored Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.
7

I realize this is not what you will want to hear, but if you don’t mind I will contribute an opinion.  In the film days, I was a prime guy with Nikon ... and all the fastest versions of lenses:  105, 50, 35, and 24.  At one time, I even had a Panasonic m4/3 to save space and weight.  It sits in the cupboard and I refuse to use it as I have so much fun with my new camera.  I am no spring chicken at 66 years of age.

My current gear?  Just a Nikon D500 (upgraded from the D300) and one zoom lens:  16-80mm DX.  This lens is tack sharp and covers a focal range that never leaves me wanting something else.  I have thought about a 70-200mm but when I give it serious consideration ... I just do not have a high enough need at the high end.  Again, this is for the photos I take.

I recently returned from a cruise of Italy, Greece and Malta (some photos in the link below). While not full frame, the D500 and one lens did it all.  I created a ‘gallery’ wall of metal prints that sure give me a lot of pleasure.

You can never say ‘never’, but that combo could see me to my end.  If I had the cash, I know I could travel the world with it, ha, ha.

All the best to you in any choice you make and it will work!

Regards, Peter

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James809 Senior Member • Posts: 1,069
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.
1

pekored wrote:

My current gear? Just a Nikon D500 (upgraded from the D300) and one zoom lens: 16-80mm DX. This lens is tack sharp and covers a focal range that never leaves me wanting something else. I have thought about a 70-200mm but when I give it serious consideration ... I just do not have a high enough need at the high end. Again, this is for the photos I take.

My travel kit is the D750 w/a 28-105mm Nikkor zoom. Pre-VR, so it's light, and sharp as all get out. Clearly not too fast, but the ISO capabilities of the D750 help offset that.

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Suntan Veteran Member • Posts: 6,000
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.
2

Same conclusion I came to. A little while ago (before Z6/7) I looked into the idea of going mirrorless prior to a big vacation that would include a lot of hiking in a number of national parks.  All-in, the weight size difference was not nearly enough to justify changing out the whole kit.

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bocajrs
bocajrs Senior Member • Posts: 2,426
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.
7

I also almost jumped to Z...but my better half stopped my GAS..haha.

Weight difference is negligible between the Z and D750. My 2 lens setup is performing admirably with no need to add additional glass or bodies

When traveling, D750+24-120F4 combo fit nicely in my LowePro 102aw slingshot.

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romfordbluenose Veteran Member • Posts: 4,223
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.

I use an 18-35 on my D800 a great wide angle zoom, if you need a little wider and VR then there's the 16-35. I also find the overlap from 24-35 a nice thing to have.

That's a lot less than going mirrorless and will only cost you $750/$1000 and save you the 0.6Kg.

IQ is arguably the same for each lens so I have read.

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pekored
pekored Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.

Yes, that sounds like an excellent travel kit .... and full frame to boot!

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toomanycanons Forum Pro • Posts: 12,780
Try this to save some weight
4

Don't change systems, keep your D800E, sell or leave at home your 24-120 f/4 and 14-24.

Buy an 18-35 G and an 85 f/1.8 G.  Keep your 70-200.  You'd drop 845 grams this way, almost two pounds.

No stressing about a new system and you'd still be getting great images from great lenses.

Digital_David New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Travel, DSLR, Mirrorless, Weight and Cost = Conundrum.
1

I would not change systems, just take the 800E with the 24-120, that is a very useful focal length range. When you need a wider angle stitch frames together and crop when you return home.

I would also take one of the 1.8 primes, probably the 35 mm for low light needs, very light and sharp.

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