My lightest weight travel gear consisting of my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk 2 body plus M.Zuiko 9-18 mm and Panasonic 14 mm, 12-32 mm and 35-100 mm lenses weighs in at an amazingly light combined weight of approximately 900 grams (2 lbs) ! with battery and memory card fitted. Or, to put it another way, less than the weight of a bag of sugar!.
These lenses aren’t my fastest lenses but they are my lightest and cover 99% of my requirements. I don’t frequently require the “buttery smooth” bokeh that is so often raved about nor do I often require a shallow depth of field as most of my travel works are landscapes and I like to stop-down a bit, usually to about F5.6 or so. The exception to this being interiors where the light can and often is poor and I really don’t like flash so I’ll make the most of available light thus I pack my 14 mm Panasonic F2.5 which does the job nicely and serves as a one lens general purpose backup, I can live with the extra 2 ounces in weight 🙂 . Thanks to the Olympus’ amazing IBIS (in body image stabilisation) I rarely have to resort to increasing the ISO which is something I only do when there’s no alternative and only then by a stop or two at the most.
I’m firmly of the opinion that one can pay a fortune for the “best” lenses which are a stop or two faster and arguably sharper but it’s no fun carrying their extra bulk and weight around on foot all day long and the monetary saving is substantial to say the least. As for the difference in image quality between these lenses and their faster more expensive counterparts one has to pay a heck of a lot more money and the difference in image quality is in no way reflected in the price difference.
Panasonic LUMIX G 14mm F2.5
Panasonic 12-32 mm/F 3.5-5.6 LUMIX G VARIO MEGA OIS ASPH
Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 9-18 mm 1:4.0-5.6
The above shots linked to full size images on my Flickr Page
As for my dream lens it’d be a zoom lens covering the above focal length range, weighing no more than their combined weight, ideally less, with equivalent sharpness and not appreciably larger than the largest of the lenses and of course at an affordable price, bring it on!. 🙂