Consume Dollars, Acquire Lenses

by ajamess on 14.Aug.10

in Photo Gear,Photographic Musings

Bent over by Canon's Pretty White Lens

Pretty little consumer, face my wrath!

Well, it's been 2 years coming, but I finally decided to pull the trigger on Canon's new 70-200 2.8 IS lens.  I will miss my Sigma 70-200 dearly, as it's always been a stellar performer, and has helped me to make many a fine photo.  A salute to all the "stepping stone" lenses we have used in our photographic journey!

This brings me to another thing: photographic gear acquisition seems to be a tender point for many people.  Some are of the opinion that a kit lens and cheapo body are all you need to get great shots, and they would be right.  Others are of the opinion that the best of the best is all that will do for high quality photos.  They are correct, as well. 

How could this be?  Well, gear does not make you a better photographer, despite what Canon and Nikon want you to think.  There is nothing to make up for getting out there and shooting until your shutter finger is sore.  On the flipside, you aren't going to catch interesting photos of birds in flight with a 50mm lens, nor are you going to be able to get that nice, wide, landscape shot you saw in NatGeo.  There are always trade-offs, and you pick and choose your battles.  You don't buy a 500 mm lens just to "have it," but you don't skimp out on the focal lengths you use every day.  Buy what you can afford, and when you want something new, take solace in the fact that lenses hold their value for a long, long time.

All that being said, I plan to be a hardcore gear nerd for the next week or two after I get my new lens.  Photographic conscience be damned.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam August 16, 2010 at 22:17

 I couldn't agree with you more.  While equipment doesn't make the photographer, it helps the photographer take better pictures.  Lenses especially.  I've seen plenty of people walking around with top of the line bodies with kit lenses thinking that the camera will make all their shots look pro.  Meanwhile, they are using full auto.  Lens upgrades are worth their weight in gold, and often cost as much. Larger range of f/ and better quality glass really aid a photographer and make their lives easier.  I also have the 70-200 L IS on my 7d, but went with the f/4 since it is tested to be sharper 😉  just bustin' your balls.


ajamess August 16, 2010 at 22:45

You know, this reminds me of a story. I had a friend back in high school who lived in one of the suburbs around Chicago who I’d hang out with when visiting family there. Kid’s folks were extremely wealthy, but you wouldn’t know it, because the guy worked like a dog at a hardware store for every penny. Kid ends up getting into cars, and with his hardware store income buys a brand new Nissan something or other. Doesn’t know shit about it, hell, he didn’t even have his license when he bought it.

I come back 2 years later and the kid has the same car tricked out with everything you could possibly throw at it. A real ricer, to be honest. It actually looked pretty good, though. Anyway, people would give him shit for it, and he’d just shrug it off. You know what, though? He knew that car inside and out. If something was even slightly wrong with the engine, he could _hear_ it. If the suspension was off, he could feel it. And, as soon as he noticed these things, he’d take his car in his garage, rip the thing nearly completely apart, fix it, and build it back up again.

Too many people buy the ricer fully tricked, and don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to how to make it perform.

Thanks for the comment man, I dig it :).

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