IMHO some people need to stop complaining about weight issues and man up. I think people are getting way too sensitive about self-comfort. Sometimes, it disgusts me how wimpy some people can get; even my 15-year old sister lugs around a 70-200 all day for her school newspaper stuff.
The other day, I saw a dude walking around with a Nikon 400mm f/2.8 and a TC-14 mounted on a D300. The sun shades on made it look even more monstrous. Now that was a man setting. His lens alone was 10 pound naked and to impress me, the guy was showing me how he handheld that thing. He let me hold it for a while and I got concerned about snapping a vertebra.
My D700 70-200mm f/2.8, even with the shade looked tiny and I felt shame for my past weight complains.
I would not mind the weight if I only was carrying the 70-200, but I need a “good” camera with it and I would never go anywhere without wider lenses, so I must bring my 24-70mm f/2.8, and of course my 105mm, tripod, TC-20E III, Genko tubes, spare battery, SB-600 + batteries, filters and a few other necessities. You know what? It adds-up.
A (long) while ago, I walked the northern Americas, through the civil-war of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua with 40 pounds on my back for 4 years straight and I probably have lost an inch in height because of it, so I know what weight means and I don’t think any one can call me a wimp.
I am planning a trip to china for the fall and the thought of lugging 20 pound of hardware by foot, 10 hours per day for weeks in a row does not enchant me. And with that, I have no water, lunch, clothing, battery chargers and laptop yet. And to make things worst, I may have to carry my wife’s stuff too.
So when does it become legitimate for someone to start complaining about weight and how crazy is one going for the good shots is really a personal thing.
I did not do the math yet, but I am thinking to leave my zooms and bring only a 35mm and 85 mm f/1.4 instead or maybe the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 85mm f/1.4 combo.
The weight of all my gear is the only thing that gives me regrets (just to be back on the topic).