Mon 18-Feb-13 09:44 AM | edited Mon 18-Feb-13 09:46 AM by nrothschild
I have shot the 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 for many years now. When I got around to solving my ultra-wide problem I considered the 16-35 and 14-24.
I like the "two kings" I have now, and interestingly, at least at the time I could have bought a mint 14-24 used for only a couple of hundred more than the 16-35. At the time there were 2 or 3 for sale right here, and at least one from someone I would have been very comfortable buying a nice used lens from.
(I think it says something that there appear to be an excessive amount of "hardly ever used" 14-24's floating about. Not that it is a bad lens- it is certainly one of the finest made. But I suspect it is more of a niche lens than many people realize, at least for typical needs)
I decided to buy the 16-35, mainly because I did not want to fall off the bottomless cliff of the very expensive filter systems needed for the 14-24. The idea of spending $1K for a starter set was not appealing. Just moving from P size to 100mm size rectangular filters was painful enough!
After buying the 16-35 and using it a bit, I realized that it makes a very nice two lens combo with the 70-200. Although there is a world between 35mm and 70mm, in most cases I can work around that gap.
I've always had a bit of a problem when "forced" to carry 3 big lenses. I find that the 3rd lens is far more cumbersome. So a big benefit of the 16-35 is that I can stay with the 2 lenses I am used to carrying, but my focal length range is greatly expanded. You mention travel and this might be very applicable to that.
It is so effective that the 24-70 is becoming the "odd man out". I don't think I could do the same with the 14-24. I think there is a huge difference between 24 and 35mm on FX. At 35mm I can make it act somewhat "normal" (like 50ish). I can't really do that at 24mm.
I don't consider VR a "must have" in that focal length range, but it is certainly a nice tool to have in the box.
If you have never shot wider than 18mm/DX, you may find 16mm FX to be very difficult to use effectively in many cases. It takes a very well thought out foreground subject of interest. And for that reason it is very nice to have a zoom for landscapes. Sometimes 16 is just too wide!