I was thinking about equipment options and whether I should give up the ship and switch to Nikon. The D600 (and D7000) have given me two good options.
I keep reading about how wonderful the variety of lenses are for Nikon bodies and how I could find anything I want and they're inexpensive, also. I'm accustomed to dust and splash-resistant lenses, so I expect to pay more. I also want my lenses to be able to be used wide open, not stopped down.
I was browsing the Sam's Club website, which has the D7000 for US$999, a bargain, yes? The 24-120mm f/4.0 looked good and at US$1299.99, it wasn't a bad price for a premium lens, if it could fulfill my needs. It could be used on either the D7000 or the D600.
The reviews I've read suggest that it has problems. Now, I realize that it has a 5x zoom and that's 1-2x more than I usually find optimal. I current use a 4x lens and a 3.85x lens that aren't priced that high and are quite good wide open. They're dust- and splash-proof, so I can use them in hurricane weather, which I have.
So, I went to look at other lenses and I was startled to find that most of the premium lenses don't seem all that premium and have many compromises, except for the price.
I was interested in Panasonic's GH3 with the 12-35mm and 35-100mm lenses but the 12-35mm had compromises I didn't like. I'm finding that they're no worse than Nikon or Canon have done. Besides that, the size is much smaller, so I can carry them more easily. I could also have one body each and have them both at the ready.
I still would like to have a 135 format-sized body but only for the really wide angle work and maybe, Panasonic's 7-14mm would be enough for me.
I punted and ordered a refurbished version of Olympus' excellent 35-100mm f/2.0 lens. It's about US$500 cheaper than retail. It's only about 1.5 times the weight of my current 50-200mm and the f/2.0 should help with swimming photos since the pools appear bright but are quite dark, so I won't likely have to use flash at all. It's also somewhat faster than Panasonic or Nikon versions covering that range.
As you'll be able to see from the photo, the 35-100mm is slightly bigger than my trusty 50-200mm, and the tripod collar seems permanently attached, although I can loosen it. The filter size is a whole 10mm more at 77mm. Update: I just added the excellent 14-35mm f/2.0 as well. It's amazing how large it is. It makes the E-5 body look smaller, especially compared to my original "kit" lens, the 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5.