1. Your bank manager is probably right
2. All lenses in the N-mount lineup are big, because they use much bigger mount. The reason for it is primarily to to provide better luminance and sharpness in corners (and correct certain types of aberrations) as well as provide nearly 90 degree angle of incidence on the CCD in digital N1 (all this AFAIK of course. I don't work for Kyocera
And 24-85mm is bigger than 28-80 also because it's wider angle (ever seen D21?) AND it includes fluor-crown and aspheric elements. 28-80 only has one aspheric element.
Which one is better? You decide, but keep in mind your bank's manager opinion
Ian - the 24-85 is an outstanding lens in every aspect especially in its contrast and lack of excessive distortion at the wide end (compare that to the competitors) and color reproduction. If this and wide angle is important to you, then you know the 28-80 will not cut it and then there is only one choice. If you don't have the cash, then there is also only one choice. BTW, grey market the 24-85 is about $800 which is quite cheap compared to say Canon 24-70 L and Nikon 28-70 AFS (all are way over $1k and much heavier and bulkier, if you believe it).
I've seen 24-85 selling for around $550 on eBay, and B&H currently has a few used ones starting from $550. I believe that represents an incredible bargain for a lense of such high quality. Will that make your bank manager feel better?
Thanks for all the info.
TriState have the 24-85 at $750 and the NX body at $390 new. I think these are "Grey Imports"
What does that really mean since I live in UK but come to New York on business only occassionally. Contax warranty is usually worldwide. Since the 24-85 in UK is over $1,600 they did not import it from here! I suspect that my Bank manager has been genetically modified not to feel anything.