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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
I've heard that tune quite a bit, including at least one poster on this forum. "Can't get a good pic with that $100m lens, you need to buy this $1000 lens". I submit that a competent photographer could get good, clear shots from either. Here is a "modestly" (cough, cough) priced lens that has much of its cost thrown into automatic features (there are many far more expensive than this): EOS (SLR) Camera Systems - Standard Zoom - Standard Zoom Lens - EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM - Canon USA Consumer Products.
"Better" is in eye of the beholder. For the most part better used to mean better optics which means maintaining focus and color control out into the corners of the photo and being better at putting more available light on the film. Higher speed film and then digital cameras made some of that less compelling, especially the digital controls that can give you very high equivalent speeds with fewer compromises than high speed film.

Today "better" tends to mean the same superior optics, but over a broader zoom range - and quiet, quick and accurate auto focus, while typically being lighter and more compact than the less expensive versions. If you make a living with your camera then "better" lenses might be a real value to you. And, if you have a lot of spare change, it is always nice to have the best. Wider ranges of zooming and lighter weight are of value to me when I am skiing with the family. But I fail to see how a more expensive version of lens compensates for exposure control and framing the subject matter.

For me the larger memory cards that are now dirt cheap are more useful than a special lens, say a 17 mm wide angle lens with an f-stop of 1:1.2 even though the optics of such a single purpose lens are far better than any zoom at similar focal length. Carrying 30 lbs. of expensive optical equipment around in a back pack while skiing is just not practical if you are actually skiing.

To each his own, though.

Jim
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 10:27 AM
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Anytime someone starts talking up big buck lenses a full month into first-time SLR ownership, I'm going to assume it's to compensate for a lack of skill. Framing a shot properly does not require skill as much as common sense and simple aesthetics. Exposure control and manual focus are learned skills. I've tinkered a bit with manual shots, I have yet to take a single one that's better than what I can manage in one or more auto modes. I have on occasion, achieved results that are comparable. And I'm fully aware that speaks to my lack of skill. My total investment in my camera, including three lenses, remote, tripod, memory cards, filters, bag, is under $1000, and there it will stay. It all weighs in at about 4 lbs.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
Anytime someone starts talking up big buck lenses a full month into first-time SLR ownership, I'm going to assume it's to compensate for a lack of skill. Framing a shot properly does not require skill as much as common sense and simple aesthetics. Exposure control and manual focus are learned skills. I've tinkered a bit with manual shots, I have yet to take a single one that's better than what I can manage in one or more auto modes. I have on occasion, achieved results that are comparable. And I'm fully aware that speaks to my lack of skill. My total investment in my camera, including three lenses, remote, tripod, memory cards, filters, bag, is under $1000, and there it will stay. It all weighs in at about 4 lbs.
Not necesserily.

If all your shots are made in a bright daylight, you would need to work really hard to beat the auto.

On the other hand inside shots / non-sufficient light shots / arranged light shots will require skills and patience.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 01:01 PM
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^ Well that makes sense. It is difficult to get the camera to auto-focus in poor light, I've noticed that I can do a better job manually at times.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 01:51 PM
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I don't think, based on 40 years of shooting that the expensive lenses always give you a better quality. In the past I used to suggest getting the normal lenses and spending more on film and just shooting more. Now, with digital even that cost is gone. It is possible to shoot 400 shots in a day. The important part of that is knowing what you did different in those 400 shots to learn the lessons.

What an experienced shooter finds with inexpensive lenses are the limits. The glare that he didn't notice when he first started shooting or the slight diminishing of focus around the edges as he gets to the widest of angles.

To me the best features of expensive lenses are in the f-stop and lack of distortion. The ability to open the lens up to f 1.2 and get a sharp portrait and blur out the entire background is what makes the portrait pop. It also gives me better ability to pace racing shots to pan a car and blur the background out of focus.

Modern zoom lenses are very good, but once you get shooting very well you move to the next step. Take a look at the setting of the zoom is on your best photographs. If most of the landscapes are at, say 25-30mm, look at a 28mm fixed lens. That eliminates the zoom function and gives a dedicated lens for that focus and will, over the course of time give better photos. I have one for portraits [90mm in old 35 terms] and one for sports [300 in old 35 terms]. I am getting ready to buy a very low distortion wide angle one for landscapes since I can so easily crop from within Lightroom.

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 05:36 PM
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My Nikon D90 and I don't get along! Too many buttons and settings that I just use my Nikon Coolpix P60 instead.

D90 photo



P60 photo


http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c328/nutz4benz/W123/6C3A9CA5-EDFF-4834-8125-34B70B20A676_zpsiyesrawz.jpg
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 04:21 AM
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the d90 shot is still better

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