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oh, and another cheap option would be a 50-135 ais 3.5 (you could grab for 130 bucks give or take), and then one wide lens (your 14 or 20) or a wider zoom like a 28-50 3.5 ais. You are done, and all MF. If you want longer add the third lens (your 70-300 or a 180, for example).
So many options, and many will work.
I am not going to buy any lenses for this - it's not like I don't already have enough to choose from .
In 2010 I did this type of hike with a D90 body carrying the 18-55VR and 55-200VR and used them about 75/25%, stitched a bit here and there, but never got it to work well in the dark, or with long exposures, since I left the tripod at home. Still, most of the time I was quite happy not to have all that extra weight in my pack.
Taking the two zooms and nothing else will definitely do the job. Any change to that AF kit has to make up for the extra weight with added capabilities (and with that I mean more than being able to post to this thread ).
The 14mm is pretty unique with the extreme field of view and adds night skies at short shutter times none of the other wide lenses I own can muster. It also is sharper than any Nikkor I own.
The 20mm would be a little wider than the 24-85 and more general purpose than the 14mm, but no night skies with that thing - the 24-85 is sharper than the 20mm wide open.
55mm mostly adds low DOF, but how often do you use that shooting grand landscapes in the High Sierra? the f/1.2 to make up for low light is not really that useful compared to the VR and AF in the zoom. Still, if I were to use the 20 and the 55 instead of the 24-85mm, I'd only add half a pound. There's the loss of VR, but not much else, especially if I bring the 70-300mm on top of the MF lenses. Not using zooms and VR may even save me battery power (can anyone confirm that?)
The longer MF lenses really don't offer anything over the 70-300mm than saving a few ounces, but removing the long range. When the first bear walks across the trail I'll regret not having a 300mm... so 105 and 135mm will not go on the hike.
The final decision will come Monday afternoon when I am putting the full pack on my back to head out.
Edited on Aug 01, 2013 at 05:54 PM · View previous versions