Alternative to 24-70 that is lighter

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by darya_a|1, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. hello. I have a 24-70 2.8 Nikon lens that I use for when we go on trips or out with my kids and I want to take their pictures. But lately it's
    just becoming too heavy for me to take and I end up leaving it at home. Any suggestions for an alternative lens that's lighter? I also use a
    50 1.4 for portraits. But I need a decent every day lens that's lighter. I shoot both indoor and outdoor. I appreciate your help.
  2. Your 24-70 is 900 grams. (Very close to 2 pounds.) You could try the 24-85 VR at 465 g, It or the Tamron 28-75/2.8 at 510
    g. Neither of those has the optical performance of your 24-70 but they're both decent options. I used to use the Tamron on
    a D800 and it was excellent when stooped down to about f/3.5.
  3. Just to add to that, if you have a body with a screw drive and weight matters more to you than aperture, the 28-80 f/3.3-5.6 G is only 194g. I've not done a detailed measurement of its performance on my D800e, but it's not terrible, at least on a D700. Which body are you using?

    As a "street sweeper", the 24-120 f/4 is a popular lens for flexibility and performance, and it's a little lighter than the 24-70 (708g). How close are you to your tolerance on weight? :)
  4. The Tamron SP 28-75mm f/2.8 is about half the weight and size of Nikon's 24-70. If you can take a hit on the wideangle end, then its image quality won't disappoint you. It's been my go to lens for about 5 years now. On a D800 the detail shown never ceases to amaze me for such a 'cheap' zoom.
    I wouldn't buy Nikon's 24-70 because of many reported problems with the zoom ring. However I'm now considering Tamron's 24-70 VC since it's smaller cousin has given me such good service. But I know I'd probably use the 24-70 less because of its bulk and weight - (sigh!). Tamron have shown that it's perfectly possible to have a great constant f/2.8 lens in a small and lightweight package. If only they'd extend it down to 24mm at the wide end.
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    A 24-70mm/f2.8 AF-S is mainly for indoors when light level is dim. For trip, there are various choices. For example, the 24-85mm/f3.5-4.5 AF-S VR is quite good:, at a fraction of the cast as well as a fraction of the weight.
    As mentioned in the above posts, there are third-party 24-70mm/f2.8 type lenses that are not constructed in the same was as Nikon's, and therefore they are lighter. E.g., the Tamron seems to be a fine lens, but I have never used one.
    The two left-most lenses in the image below are the Nikon 24-85mm/f3.5-4.5 AF-S VR and then 24-70mm/f2.8. It should be obvious that the f2.8 much bigger.
  6. Darya, what camera body are you using? If it's a Dx, you should look at the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC, or Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 OS.
  7. "when we go on trips or out with my kids and I want to take their pictures"

    When I go out to shoot a job, I take whatever gear I need and it weighs what it weighs. I use a camera case with wheels (the size of a carry-on suitcase) so I don't have to lug it all on my shoulder. But for family vacations and snapshots of the kids, I leave the big stuff at home. For a while I used one body and a do-everything "vacation" lens (Nikon D200 and a Tokina 24-200) but even that got to be too much. Since then I've carried a series of mostly pocket size cameras. My latest is a Canon G-15. It has an optical viewfinder plus live view, built in flash but also a hotshoe, can shoot both jpg and raw, total automatic or total manual, adaptor for filters, fast sharp zoom with good range, either 12 or 16 mp (I'd have to check). Tripod socket. Fits in my pocket, weighs a few ounces. I can put in in raw and manual and do serious work or hand it to my kids in full-auto for snapshots.

    Before the G-15, I used an Olympus Stylus Epic and before that a Canon GIII GL17 rangefinder.
  8. That Tamron lens 28-75/2.8 was just suggested to me in another forum/thread. I picked one up used from KEH from excellent condition w/caps and hood yesterday for $278. It arrives tomorrow and I can't wait to get it on my d7000 & try it over the weekend. KEH had another one in sells for $499 new.
  9. Darya,
    I assume you have a DX body since you said you also use the 50mm lens for "portrait." I really think you should consider replacing the 24-70/2.8 with a DX only lens, like the Sigma or Tamron 17-50/2.8. You will get FF eq of 28mm at the wide end and they cost about $500 and weigh about <500g. Their IQs are excellent.
  10. I know your feeling. From my experience, with an e.g. D700/D800 size camera, a 50mm prime or a 24-85 zoom is needed to notice a positive reduction in size and weight. I`d discard anything bigger.
    The 24-120/4 is smaller than the 24-70, but still too heavy to my taste. It has an interesting range, but I tend to prefer a 50mm prime instead. Some times I have to use a zoom, so I take the 24-70/24-120, but many times I can adapt my vision to a single focal length (or two, say 50+24). Not for weddings or other "serious" assignments but perfect for family scenes or weekend trips.
    Anyway, what use to be really big are the DSLRs. A D700 with a small prime is still too big for casual shooting. Maybe you should consider not to swap the zoom but to add another camera, like a quality digital rangefinder. This way you`ll have a really comfortable tool, and another top image quality, fast AF system when needed.
  11. I'd not considered the camera-for-lens swap in my post above, but it does make sense now that it's been suggested.
    My trips abroad have nearly all been covered very successfully by a "bridge" camera in the past, but these seem to have fallen out of favour and offer less serious options than they used to - no RAW support in any of Nikon's bridge cameras now, and no support for off-camera flash either. The "small-but-serious" mantle seems to have fallen on 4/3rds or rangefinder style offerings and, from what I've seen of their output, it's an excellent choice for family snapshooting. You probably won't see any difference in image quality compared to a DSLR fitted with a consumer grade lens unless you make mural sized prints or insist on shooting in very low levels of available light.
  12. For FX, 24-85 VR has good image quality especially for the price. The 24-120/4 offers a bit more range and a constant aperture, but it is more expensive. For DX, the 16-85 has a very good reputation and is compact and lightweight.
  13. Thank you all very much for these helpful responses. I am definitely going to look at the different lenses mentioned! And I do have a DX Body.
    I also never thought about getting another camera, until I saw a couple of people mention that. That's actually a great idea. I like the G-15 idea Craig mentioned.
    Is the Canon G-15 considered a digital rangefinder? Or not?
  14. Is the Canon G-15 considered a digital rangefinder? Or not?​
    Not - it has an optical viewfinder but no focusing ability within that finder. The only real digital "rangefinder" are the Leica M bodies and with a certain allowance the Fuji X100S and X100T. Note though that the term "digital rangefinder" is sometimes used more loosely for the style of camera rather than the actual existence of a rangefinder focusing mechanism inside the camera - and meant to distinguish from the more "DSLR-like" appearance of those cameras that sport a prism housing (without actually having a real prism inside).
    For taking pictures of kids, I would particularly pay attention to the AF performance and look for those cameras that have on-sensor phase detection capabilities.
  15. And I do have a DX Body. … I also never thought about getting another camera, until I saw a couple of people mention that. That's actually a great idea. I like the G-15 idea Craig mentioned.​
    Im my opinions, sell the 24-70 and buy either the Sigma 17-50 which is still f2.8 and has OS (=VR) or the Nikon 16-85, and put some money in your pocket. Shoot this light kit for a while to see if it works. Changing cameras will cost you, and there is a long learning curve to get used to something new. Depending on which camera you have, you may not find a light alternative with a better IQ.
  16. Maybe a better solution for your trips is a mirror less camera including possibly a micro 4/3. Great lenses, you can get an equivalent 24-70, even take a couple of lenses with you and have it all weigh much much less than a DSLR and the brick 24-70. Pictures will not really suffer as some of these cameras are very capable.
  17. I think I am going to sell the 24-70. In the past year I have not even touched it. I am definitely going to get one of the lenses mentioned.
    I also want a much smaller camera. I'm not sure what the biggest differences are between something like a Rebel or a mirror less camera? And why choose one over the other.
  18. It depends on what differences you are referring to. One difference will be no fold-up reflex mirror, thus less weight and size. It also effects the lenses as they cn be smaller as well. Differences in image quality? Depends on what mirror-less you are talking about. Those who are using those cameras claim the image quality is equal to the APC sensor cameras since several mirror-less are using APC sized sensors. And some of the new Micro 4/3 cameras also have excellent IQ and great lenses. It seems many of these cameras are shooting at 16mp. Of course you have the Sony A7 series which are full frame sensor mirror-less cameras. Do a little research if you have the time. To tell you the truth, you almost can't go wrong these days for light walk around cameras, there are so many including some of the small dslr's by all the usual manufacturers. Just that generally the DSLR's are heavier and the lenses are definitely bigger as a general rule.
  19. i have the tamron 28-75 and the nikon 24-70 for FX and the sigma 17-50 for DX. there's simply no reason to use the heavier FX lenses on DX glass (unless you mainly do portraits and need more reach). for walkarounds? 24-70 is not your friend, although it's great for events and very reliable and fast in terms of AF. you'd probably be better off selling the 24-70 as it's a beast and overkill on DX bodies most of the time.
    But if you want a smaller camera--you dont say what model Nikon you are currently using--mirrorless is maybe the way to go. i recommend Fuji.
  20. A Rebel is just Canon's brand name for a DX SLR. You don't really save much size and weight by switching to that. They do have one model that's a bit smaller than Nikon's smallest, but not small enough to be worth switching brands over.
    If you really want to save size and weight you need to ditch the mirror, with either a fixed lens (anything from a little Canon SD series to a Fuji X100T - a camera with a lens that doesn't come off and no mirror involved - is smaller than a DSLR) or interchangeable lenses. The choice depends on your priorities. There are some real nice fixed lens options, like said SD or X100 or a Sony RX100 series, though I'd honestly pass over the Canon G series at this point in time because there are smaller and better options out there. In interchangeable lenses, you've got your Sony and Fuji options with DX sensor size and your Olympus and Panasonic with smaller sensors. Personally I find the Fuji X-E series with the XF zoom and prime lenses, which is what I got when I decided I was done with carrying SLRs, to be excellent, though tastes will vary.
  21. Sorry I mistyped- I did not mean to say a rebel. I meant to say a canon powershot (or something similar). What's the
    difference between that and a mirrorless camera or is a powershot considered mirrorless?
  22. What is a mirrorless? If you are thinking of smartphone and the good old P&S, then I would suggest you to go to Dpreview to read because with the advance of mirrorless cameras, your question is as broad as asking what a dSLR is. I don't think this is right place for you to learn it all. For this reason, unless your current camera is old/broken and you are not committed to Nikon in terms of lens, just sell the 24-70 and get a cheaper/lighter/better lens for your DX camera.
  23. I think I am going to sell the 24-70. In the past year I have not even touched it. I am definitely going to get one of the lenses mentioned.
    I also want a much smaller camera.​
    a used 24-70 in very good condition should still fetch you around $1500. that's enough for a new lens, a new camera or a new system. for casual shooting, the fuji XE is great, the body is pretty small but you still get an APS-C sensor. i got the XE1 with the surprisingly excellent 18-55 lens which might be all you need; the XE2 is the same thing with slightly better AF at a higher price point. Fuji has some killer primes as well. the Canon G series are slightly more compact due to retractable lenses but they've crippled those bodies somewhat with slow AF and some shutter lag, which makes them more point and shoot-y than i'd like. the G1X II has a big sensor but the G15 has a P&S-size sensor, which means it's not great for low-light or huge prints. for what you shoot, you may want to check out the Sony RX 100 series. bigger sensor than a P&S and very compact, and a very usable zoom range. unfortunately, i can't really recommend any of Nikon's compacts except maybe the Coolpix A (which is overpriced IMO). Nikon's version of the Canon G15 is the P7800, that would be a lot better IMO if they gave it the 1" sensor in the Nikon 1 cameras.

    in general, the choice between a large sensor/small sensor camera comes down to how big you're going to print, whether you need to shoot past ISO 800, and how much absolute image quality means to you vs. compactness and portability. the Sony RX 100 is a tweener with a bigger than P&S/smaller than DSLR sensor, while the G1X is almost an APS-C sensor. i bet you'd be happy with either as a true compact. the Fuji gives you the option to build a system with interchangeable, but it's pretty good with just the "kit" lens. then there's the Panasonic GX100, which has a fixed 1.8-2.8 zoom and a m4/3 sensor, and the Sony RX10, an almost- DSLR sized (but lighter) body with a fixed 24-200/2.8 zoom and the same sensor as the RX100 series. at this point, your problem may be too many choices. i'd probably start by reading the DPreview articles on each of the cameras i mentioned, making a list of the features which most appeal to you, then going into a store and physically handling some of these cameras to see if you like the ergonomics and UI.
  24. Panasonic GX100,​
    I think you meant FZ1000.
  25. Yes Darya, CC. Chang is right. Here on there is a mirror less forum and Olympus and other 4/3 forum. These are better places to delve.
  26. actually i meant Panasonic LX100 which they just announced at Photokina. it actually has a fast 24-70 lens built in so it might fit the OP's needs well. the FZ1000 is a bridge camera with a smaller sensor and bigger zoom; the LX100 has an m4/3 sensor.
  27. The LX100 has an M4/3 sensor but isn't able to use the whole sensor area. It's really about 80% of a 4/3 camera. But anyway.
    Darya, a Powershot is a mirrorless camera in the sense of not having a mirror. But usually these days the term mirrorless refers to interchangeable lens mirrorless such as M4/3, Fuji X and Sony NEX. With those, you have a real DSLR replacement, because with the large sensor and the lens options you can get the same functionality.
  28. Thank you everyone for your very helpful comments.
  29. You have to know that the Nikon 24-70 is one of the very best lenses made, but I concur that it is not a good fit for DX (for most people). You just won't get that kind of speed and accuracy with anything else. However, I use a Df, which is pretty small for FX, and I consider a 24-70 too large for that camera. I am awaiting delivery of a Panasonic LX100, which I think is lights out for a small carry camera. I think the 4K still image mode is going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. The purpose of this camera is photos of my grand children. But any time I want to do something really nice, particularly in low light, nothing can replace a Df, IMO.
    For anything larger than the LX100, there is nothing wrong with the camera you have. The suggestions of the Sigma and Tamron 17-50 lenses is excellent. The Tamron (non VC version) is smaller and lighter, and it gives you great corner to corner performance right from f2.8. The Sigma adds OS, but it is larger and heavier. It's strength is excellent center performance at all focal lengths right from f2.8. I think you could get real happy with either of them for different reasons.
  30. I am not a big fan of slow zooms, I like my 24-70 2.8 but it is heavy, I've been using straight lenses- a 35mm 1.8 on camera with a 50 1.4 and a 85 1.4 in my bag.
  31. LX100 comes with an integrated F1.7-2.8 Leica lens. You can also attached a .66X angle lens (16mm) and a 2X tele converter (150mm). I love this system and the quality is just fantastic. Can't get much more compact while still retaining the lens quality, sensor size, and full manual controls. Link:

Share This Page