I did a shakedown hike of sorts this weekend, with 45# of gear including my D7000, Sunpak strobe, Tokina 12-24, 50/1.8D, and 70-200 VR1. The 12-24 was kept on my camera. I did not stop to switch off for the 70-200 very often but found myself wanting more reach than the 12-24. I'm thinking now of what other combinations of lenses I could bring to adequately cover the range of wide to telephoto without exceeding the weight of the combination I brought. I don't think I will bring the strobe as I found myself not using it very often.
The best I have thought of so far:
-Nikkor DX 16-85/f3.5-5.6 VR, Tamron 60/f2 macro, Nikkor 70-300/f4.5-5.6
-Tokina 12-24/f4, Tamron 60/f2 macro, Nikkor 28-300/f3.5-5.6 VR
I know I want more wide than 18mm, so I think I could happily trade off the 12-24 for the 16-85 to give me more reach. That also cancels out most DX superzooms unless I were to still carry the 12-24 or another wide zoom. I've also considered the 24-120/f4 VR lens but I'm not sure if the performance here is adequate to justify its weight. Also, I would still need more wide and more long.
I know with the 28-300 I would probably still be walking around with the 12-24 or other wider lens attached, since I will want wide more often than long.
The Tamron 60/f2 would be to have a fast lens for portraits / low light and roll that into a 1:1 macro lens.
I have the DX 55-300 which I could use in a pinch instead of the 70-300, but I am very underwhelmed by its performance on my D7000 and hear praise of the 70-300 all the time. I would also consider a 70-200/f4 if Nikon were to announce one of these between now and whenever I hit the trail.
Over the weekend, most of my shooting was wide with the 12-24 (often at 24, for want of more reach). 70-200 only came out when I'd stopped to deliberately take portraits or shoot at scenic vistas. I think it would have had more use if I hadn't been walking in a cloud for all of Sunday and Monday though.
Any input appreciated. I'm even mulling over carrying something like the Fuji X10 instead of a midrange lens, then just having wide and long for the D7000.