24-50mm or 24-200mm?

The latest conundrum for those considering moving to Nikon mirrorless is the kit lens choice. For the Z5, that means choosing either the wonderfully small 24-50mm f/4-6.3 or the far bigger and heavier but all-encompassing 24-200mm f/4-6.3. 

First, when you buy bundled kits, you should always pay attention to implied price of the lens in the bundle. For the 24-50mm, it's US$300 (a US$100 discount). For the 24-200mm it's US$800 (also a US$100 discount). But those won't always stay equal in discount as Nikon micromanages pricing to move various different stocking units (SKUs). Sometimes—but not today—the implied discount for the bundled lens may tip you one way or the other. 

Frankly, in the Z5 case, I think the answer of which kit lens to buy is simple. If this is your entry into the Nikon Z mirrorless system and you're a "don't like to change lenses" kind of person, just get the 24-200mm and be done with it. If you're coming from a Nikon DX DSLR, that's equivalent to a 16-135mm DX lens, of which none existed (there was an 18-140mm lens, but that missing 2mm at the wide end makes a big difference). With the 24-200mm you'd have significant wide angle thru significant telephoto available and never have to change lenses. 

If you're into the "right lens for the job" and don't mind changing lenses, the 24-50mm makes for a very compact traveling kit that can't be ignored. Keep your other lenses in a small bag with the collapsing kit lens on the body as you travel. You're always ready to take a shot that way. As I've done with the Z50, I'll eventually get around to showing you how to put together a solid, small, complete Z5 kit. 

That said, I suspect demand for the Z5 will be high enough that you're going to have to buy what's available if you want it quickly. That may be one of the two kits early on, but if demand is high, expect body-only to be your only choice to get you a camera quickly. In that case, things get more complicated, and you might have to buy a 24-70mm f/4 lens to go along with your body. That's not a bad choice at all, but it's almost exactly in the middle of the road between the two kit choices ;~). Some people don't like the middle of the road, and you'd be paying US$1000 to live there.

I'm going 24-50mm (but I already have the 24-200mm). It's what I expect to carry around, as I'm entirely into "small and compact" these days.

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