I went that route, replacing the 70-200 and 24-70 f/2.8's with the 24-120 and 70-200 f/4's and adding the 16-35 f/4 and then got the 28, 50 and 85 f/1.8's when low light is a problem. I didn't go the f/1.4 route since the extra 2/3 stop isn't worth the weight and price to me, but, that's me. If you're ready to carry the f/1.4's and can afford them then have at it. I find the "slow zooms and faster primes" to be wonderful lenses and don't regret the decision for a minute. The only lens I have that I think twice about is the fairly heavy 80-400 afs; but that comes out only when it's needed.
Though I have the three Nikon f/2.8 zoom lenses, the 24-70 and 70-200 have seen very little use in the past couple of years. With the D800, I mainly use the 25/2, 35/2 and 100/2 Zeiss primes and occasionally the Nikon 14-24. The reason is not so much weight or bulk of the zoom lenses, but the significantly better IQ I get with high performance primes. . Apparently, only the very best prime lenses fully utilize the resolving power of the D800 sensor.
With my type of photography, I don't need a slow zoom lens, but use the 35/2 as my "walk around lens".
I went pretty much the same way. I sold the 24-70 after getting the 24-120 and I added 35, 50, and 85 primes. I did keep the 70-200 f/2.8. I actually owned the 70-200 f/4 as well, but decided to keep the 2.8.
I'm in this transition myself. The 24-120/f4 seems to suit me just fine for most things, and when it's not fast enough, f/2.8 isn't fast enough either. Fortunately I already have a 35/f1.4, 50/f1.4 and 135/f2 (I had a 105/f1.8 but didn't use it much). I'm waiting a bit on the wide end prime. If I had to get something now, I'd be getting the 28/f1.8 AFS. But I don't need it just yet, and I am waiting to see if Sigma does as expected and offers a 24/f1.4 ART. If so, I'd probably spring for that.
I don't think I've even mounted the 24-70/f2.8 since the 24-120 arrived.
The 70-200/f2.8 stays as it's in a different usage category entirely. My ultra-wide is a Sigma 12-24/f4.5-5.6 and is thus already not fast.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
I sold my 17-35 f/2.8, 35-70 f/2.8, and 80-200 f/2.8 zooms and now use primarily a 24-124 f/4 and 180 f/2.8. I have numerous other MF and AF primes in the f/1.4 to f/2.8 range. I don't regret selling the 2.8 zooms one bit.
>I am really considering selling my fast pro zooms, with the >exception of the 17-35/2.8 and replacing them with fast prime >lenses. I have a slower 28-105 zoom lens and use it a lot due >to weight. > >Selling two of the zoom lenses would pay for 2/3rds of a >35/1.4 and 85/1.4. > >Any one else used this approach and do you have any regrets >doing it?
The first thought I have is "use right tool for the job". Lens choice tends to be about your shooting style and your subjects and the conditions surrounding them. (None of which you mention.)
---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
>>I am really considering selling my fast pro zooms, with >the >>exception of the 17-35/2.8 and replacing them with fast >prime >>lenses. I have a slower 28-105 zoom lens and use it a lot >due >>to weight. >> >>Selling two of the zoom lenses would pay for 2/3rds of a >>35/1.4 and 85/1.4. >> >>Any one else used this approach and do you have any >regrets >>doing it? > >The first thought I have is "use right tool for the >job". Lens choice tends to be about your shooting style >and your subjects and the conditions surrounding them. (None >of which you mention.) > >---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ >Joseph K >Seattle, WA, USA > >D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, >50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX >
I usually shoot closeups with a wide background view along with portraits of people, landscapes and macro. I have macro lenses for the macro. I find anywhere between 24 and 105 is my most used range. That is whey a 24/1.4, 35/1.4, 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 would be perfect to couple with my 105 and 200 macros. I also have a 300/4 that I also use for closeups of butterflies and flowers.
Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants. :)
I am really considering selling my fast pro zooms, with the exception of the 17-35/2.8 and replacing them with fast prime lenses. I have a slower 28-105 zoom lens and use it a lot due to weight.
Any one else used this approach and do you have any regrets doing it?
On more than one occasion, I've built a "bag" out of the 17-35mm f/2.8 and 50mm, 85mm, and 180mm primes. But I've owned and used an xx-200mm f/2.8 for so long I can hardly imagine not having that option. Especially with the addition of VR, time after time the versatility of that class has proven worth the weight and size.
On the other hand, I rarely use my Tokina 28-70mm f/2.6~2.8, and upgrading to the 24-120mm f/4 "cured" any thoughts of buying a 24-70mm f/2.8.
"There is no real magic in photography, just the sloppy intersection of physics and art." — Kirk Tuck
Thu 27-Jun-13 10:50 AM | edited Thu 27-Jun-13 10:56 AM by ajdooley
Mark - You pose an interesting question. I think the best answer depends entirely on what and how you shoot. Most of my work is in two areas -- photojournalism for a small newspaper and aerial photography.
In the PhoJo area, I find the flexibility in framing to be totally worthwhile. My 24-70mm f2.8 is on one body almost permanently. In aerial photography, I use exclusively helicopters at a minimum of $550 an hour. It is easier to zoom to frame -- and a LOT cheaper -- than telling the pilot to turn around a fly closer or further away -- at almost a dollar a minute! Again, the 24-70 is my "go to" there as well.
But I seldom, if ever, carry more than three-four lenses at any one time. And I try not to changes lenses often -- it's too easy to miss a shot! My standard newspaper kit is two bodies, four lenses (14-24, 24-70 and 70-200, plus a 16mm full frame fisheye.)
If sports are in order, in daylight I will take my 80-400 and probably leave the 70-200 at home or in my vehicle. At night and indoors, the 70-200 is my "go to" telephoto. I also carry an SB-800, a flash bracket and extra batteries and CF cards. (And a "Bert's Cheat Sheet" for when the dummy gets stumped!) I have a 105 AF-D macro and 50mm 1.4 AF-D for occasional use as well.
Again -- look at what you do and what you use. If you find for example, that you never seem to be zooming to frame, maybe top shelf primes will be your better answer. In the end -- there are no right or wrong answers -- just having what serve you best. And glass is a long term investment. I am changing NOTHING there as I go to D800s from my D700s.
With the high ISO performance available in today's camera bodies, I have seen no reason to abandon zooms for primes, aside from extreme low light and shallow depth of field. In event photography, I have sometimes been crippled by using a prime with the wrong focal length for the subject matter. I think it can be more difficult on DX bodies, where a 50mm lens is too long for most candid photography and wide angle lenses often have narrower apertures or higher weight and price. Vibration reduction coupled with a reasonably fast aperture (f/2.8) can go a long way these days.
The f/1.4s are great. I think I only have the 50 f/1.4 and the 85 f/1.4. I also have the Sigma 30 f/1.4 DX and the manual focus Nikon 50 f/1.2. I have the 35 f/2 so have never upgraded. I have the 50 f/1.8 and used to have the 85 f/1.8. They are both excellent lenses.
I started my "kit" wiht the "fast" primes first - 20mm f/2.8D, 35mm f/2D, 50mm f/1.4G and 85mm f/1.8D. I know that there are better and more expensive primes than these ones, but, for me, these are really good and i think i can achieve quite good results.
At this moment in in the route to get the fast zooms - already got the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, and saving to get the 24-70 (and the 14-24 next year, maybe). I passed the f/4's zooms cause have zero interest in them, though i know they are really good ones, but rather have the f/2.8 ones.
Normally, when i'm out shooting for fun, i only take one lens with me and try to work with what i have. It make me think/work a lot to get the shot i want, specially when i'm with primes - my favourite ones.
When travelling i usually go light - D90 with 16-85 and the 35/1.8.
Nikonians!!! My best investment made after my camera!!!
As somebody who ten days from now turns 81 it looks like I will have to pull rank on you as the even-more-antique geezer in the group! In accord with Bruce's comment about the f/4 zooms I am firm in the conviction that "Light is right" for us senior citizen photographers. The only heavy zoom I have is the 80-200 f/2.8, and I use it solely to shoot basketball and volleyball games. I'd never be found lugging that beast around otherwise! Most of time I use a 24-85 f/2.8-4 on my D700.
Back in Kodachrome days I used only prime manual focus lenses on my F and F2A and never owned a zoom or even automatic lens until going digital in 2007. Now I'm addicted to zooms like most everybody else because of the convenience of not having to change lenses so often. I hardly ever use my old Nikon 28, 55, 105, and 200 MF lenses but nevertheless can't bear to part with my "old friends."
Philip, not to make this into a contest but I'm 68 and the f:4's are great lenses in pro models and much lighter than the f:2.8. Although I also have several primes, (I'll spare you the list), the zooms make it much easier to trek through swamps, up hills and clime small rock formations. Up until last year I carried a back pack that weighed over 40LBS with gear. Now I'm down to 20LBS. f:4 works for me.
This what I do. Slow zooms and fast primes. I'm shooting a D300 and have the 35 f1.8, 50 f1.4, and 85 f1.8 when I need fast. As Brian said, when you want a fast lens, sometimes you want faster than f2.8. I've considered getting a 17-55 f2.8, but don't think I'd use it much. Most of the time a slow zoom is more than adequate, and much more portable. The fast primes have worked well for me, and let me shoot faster than f2.8.
Everyone is different in what they shoot and how much of a load they're willing to carry. So sure, it depends on what suits your shooting. But as to your original question, the slow zooms/fast primes setup works very well for me.
I use a mix of primes and "slow" zoom. My main lens for good conditions is a 24-120mm f/4 AFS VR. I've grown to love the VR feature and for me it's worth more than speed. I also have the 16-35mm f/4 AFS VR and these along with the 70-200mm f/2.8 AFS VR make up a very versatile kit.
What I carry most is the 24-120mm, 35mm f/1.4 AFS Nikkor and 85mm f/1.8 AFS Nikkor.
I have and used to use almost exclusively a 24mm f/2.8 AFD, 35mm f/2 AFD, 50mm f/1.4 AFD and 35-70mm f/2.8 AF lens kit. I'm soon to sell those items as I prefer my other choices. It may seem a bit bazaar but I prefer some MF alternatives when working slowly with primes. These are a 24mm f/2.8 AIS, 28mm f/2 AIS, 35mm f/2 AIS and 50mm f/1.2 AIS. These are almost always picked for a specific venue/task and typically, I carry only two primes and now rarely the zoom.
I'm covering a wedding reception in a month for a friend and the 35mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.8 will be the two lenses in my kit bag. The 24-120 will be my backup. I'll be using a SB-800 and SB-910 for strobe assistance if that is required. I've never shot this venue before and it's all glass on three sides, afternoon into evening time frame and I'll have to be flexible. I'm testing the reflective of the windows next week. It may require just the fast primes and a lot of selective pairs photography instead of larger groups.
This may not sound relevant, but it's the kind of problems I have to solve other than just the normal stuff I shoot. So as always, the lenses that work for you may not be those that work for me.
PS: when I travel I take a Fuji X100 and Fuji X10. That's the compact equivalent of a fast prime and a slow zoom. It's a very flexible package. Just depends on your history.
Roger It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?
I sold my nikon 24-70/2.8 to get nikon 24/1.4. I like the prime lens and now pair it with nikon 85/1.4. The only pro zoom lens I am still keeping is nikon 70-200/2.8. I also sold 14-24/2.8 to get Zeiss 15mm. So far so good.
I can't imagine not having a 70-200mm 2.8 VRII. So darn good with the TC-14EII for more length. What a fine and flexible lens it is. Wouldn't care to exchange it for the F4 version if you gave me an extra $1K... I used to LOVE the 180mm 2.8. Sold it because it never came out of the bag, once I had the 70-200...
I honestly can't imagine not having my 14-24 and the 70-200. I did sell the 24-70 (I must be on the odd side as I never really "loved" the lens anyway) and replced it with the the 50/1.4G, 85/1.8G and the 135/2Ais. All seem sto be good now...
I have both. Which I use depends on the situation.
If I'm in control, I go with the fast primes at maximum aperature (f/1.4 or 2). I get my critical focus with a rough frame, and then move myself back and forth until I have the frame I want, re-focus and shoot.
If it's some news or pseudo-news event (one time, no retakes), then it's back in the bag for the pro zooms and the fast ISOs.
Find what works best for you. In the end, if you get The Picture, you've chosen the right lens. If you spend all your time diddling about which lens is best, you're going to miss the shot.