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Old Jul 16, 2010, 1:12 PM   #1
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Default About equipment

What would be the best solution according to you

To buy the less expansive and less good lens with the money you have right now, or to save some money and buy directly premium lenses?
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 1:21 PM   #2
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Save. If I've learned nothing else in photography, I've learned this: You can go inexpensive but don't go cheap. Especially, with lenses.
Gary ---- "The best camera is the one you have with you."
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 5:43 PM   #3
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Somewhere along the line, you have to decide what's good enough.

I was in a position where I was using a Konika Minolta Maxxum 5D dSLR, and I wanted to shoot action indoors. All there was was the Sony/Zeiss 85mm f/1.4. It's a superb lens, but it's $1,400! The 5D failed, and I replaced it with a Nikon D90 and picked up a Nikon 85mm f/1.8 to go with it, all for the price of that one Zeiss lens. I'd have liked to have gotten that lens, but it was more than I was willing to spend to do what I wanted.

It's not how much something is worth; it's how much it's worth to you! You can save up for something very good, but is it worth saving up a little longer to get something a little better? That's the law of Diminishing Returns. A $1,000 lens is a lot better than a $500 lens, but how much better is a $2,000 lens than a $1,500 lens?

You must draw that line for yourself. No one can draw it for you.
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Jul 16, 2010 at 5:47 PM.
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 10:10 PM   #4
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There are a number of things to consider. One is; how long will it take to save for the expensive lens vs. what you could buy now, and how many pictures would you not take while you are waiting. If you have a camera body only, you are not going to be doing anything with it (except maybe pinhole photos). A kit lens is usually a pretty good general photography lens, and is going to teach you a lot while you are in learning mode. Is there a specific need you have that you want the new lens for? There may be a workaround to use while you are saving for the expensive lens, and sometimes, when you are forced to do without, you find you are able to get along just fine with what you have. Sometimes, not, but you will have learned a good bit in the meantime.
So, I guess my advice would generally be to get what you can afford now, and later on, if you find you do really need the expensive lens, you can sell your old one used and make up at least part of the price, and be ahead in experience.

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Old Jul 16, 2010, 11:18 PM   #5
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I agree with brian - don't strain your budget and don't wait until you can afford that $359,897 lens. The quality of your pictures will suffer if you have a bad lens (but cheap) and you will learn how much more quality *YOU* want by using it.

You should count the price of a cheap lens as tuition. You will learn if a lens of that focal length and aperature is something you are willing to spend more money on for better quality. As an example, I have a 100-300 zoom that I paid about $65 for (more than a couple of years ago). I now know that I really don't have much use for a lens of that range. And that cheap lens is just fine for web photos.
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Old Jul 17, 2010, 8:46 AM   #6
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Most manufacturers have three grades of equipment, consumer, amateur, and professional at corresponding price levels. You as the end user have to decide what is good enough for your creative needs and abilities. Even the consumer grade equipment can produce good results if you don't push the envelope by trying to make a print the size of a barn door!
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