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Thread: What's with all the equipment chase, when composition is paramount ?

  1. #1

    Default What's with all the equipment chase, when composition is paramount ?

    Hie people,

    I have been into photography for hmm.... 1 year now, still pretty new to it. You can call me a newbie, and I wont argue about that.
    There is this aspect about photography, that interest me, yet irks me at the same time ; the equipment. I just cant justify, both for myself and others, the crazy prices of equipment as you move up the line. Many people seem to indulge in expensive, ultra fast, ultra sharp lenses just for the sake of owning it. I sometimes wonder, do they actually need it. I just cant seem to understand spending one grand more for a lense which is one or 2 stops faster, not unless the buyer is mad rich. How sharp would I want my lense to be, when its hardly discernible, less to blow it up A3 size. Why would I need a f2.8 300mm lense, when a f4 300mm does the job just as well. How often do we take shots wide open ? Its true the more expensive lenses render better pictures, but the opportunity cost is huge. When the pictures turn out, the differences is hardly noticeable, and even if there is a difference, so what ? Its the composition that takes my breath away, not how sharp pictures are. Sharpness is important, but an average lense, taken well ... will be sharp enough to impress. The equipment chase is maddening. I just cant justify it, NOT UNLESS you are a professional who does photography for a living. I dont mean buying the crappiest lense out there, but even a nikon 28-80mm G lense can make impressive pictures. Sometimes the pictures people produce, just doesnt justify the lense. Perhaps its only human....... to lust over big, fast, extravagent stuff. Hmm.... its like buying a Mercedes S600 when a S320 does the job so frigging well... . Oh well, ... . I dont have that kind of dough. I'll just keep snapping.

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    Just a mealsy little prosumer digicam is all I've got, for near 4 years now, plus a little polariser is all. Don't really need that WA or TC or FE. Doesn't faze me a bit. Why should it you?

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    It applies in many other parts of life too. There are people who buy Porsche and people who buy Proton. Both are just cars with 4 wheels.... There are also people who live in bungaloos and some who live in 1-room flats.
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

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    I feel that it all depends on what you are doing with the pictures. If you are into hi resolution reproductions of your prints, a good set of glass does make a difference. However, if you are just doing a bit of printing at home on your $300 Epson or sending your films to the neighbourhood colour centre, it makes little sense to invest heavily. It's the weakest link that breaks the chain.

    Like some people who buys high end HiFi sets that produce sounds in the frequency range that only dogs can hear...

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    Default Re: What's with all the equipment chase, when composition is paramount ?

    Originally posted by marcwang
    Hie people,

    I have been into photography for hmm.... 1 year now, still pretty new to it. You can call me a newbie, and I wont argue about that.
    There is this aspect about photography, that interest me, yet irks me at the same time ; the equipment. I just cant justify, both for myself and others, the crazy prices of equipment as you move up the line. Many people seem to indulge in expensive, ultra fast, ultra sharp lenses just for the sake of owning it. I sometimes wonder, do they actually need it. I just cant seem to understand spending one grand more for a lense which is one or 2 stops faster, not unless the buyer is mad rich. How sharp would I want my lense to be, when its hardly discernible, less to blow it up A3 size. Why would I need a f2.8 300mm lense, when a f4 300mm does the job just as well. How often do we take shots wide open ? Its true the more expensive lenses render better pictures, but the opportunity cost is huge. When the pictures turn out, the differences is hardly noticeable, and even if there is a difference, so what ? Its the composition that takes my breath away, not how sharp pictures are. Sharpness is important, but an average lense, taken well ... will be sharp enough to impress. The equipment chase is maddening. I just cant justify it, NOT UNLESS you are a professional who does photography for a living. I dont mean buying the crappiest lense out there, but even a nikon 28-80mm G lense can make impressive pictures. Sometimes the pictures people produce, just doesnt justify the lense. Perhaps its only human....... to lust over big, fast, extravagent stuff. Hmm.... its like buying a Mercedes S600 when a S320 does the job so frigging well... . Oh well, ... . I dont have that kind of dough. I'll just keep snapping.
    Nicely stated but well, although this is well intended, i reckon this post is just for you to get the issue off your chest yes?

    But here is an observation, why do you feel this need to tell everyone something that alot of us already know? I'm not being sarcastic mind you but the point i am trying to bring across is, for those who think equipment is everything, they already have such a mindset, and no amount of any persuasion will make that person think otherwise. He has clearly self justified why he needs that piece of equipment... so why deny him/her?

    However, if the person buys the lense, the starts showing it off and taking crap shots with it, then fine, we know what kind of a photographer he/she is.

    I know your post is well intentioned and i reckon quite a few of the photographers do appreciate the wake up call but at the end of the day, G lense or not, L lense or otherwise, we'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

    Cheers.
    --
    "High Wired, Dream Sired"

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    Concur with Wolfie. And I do believe this topic has surfaced before. And like I mentioned to some of those whom I've had the privilege to go on an outing with, 3MP is more than enough for most of my commercial production needs.

    Then again, you'll also find a lot of enthusiasts like you who've only that small a budget (no pension funds, no wealthy daddy, no high-paying job kind lah) and who are happy with their lot... If it makes you feel better, mix around with them instead.

    That's life, man. Be happy!

  7. #7

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    Originally posted by mpenza
    It applies in many other parts of life too. There are people who buy Porsche and people who buy Proton. Both are just cars with 4 wheels.... There are also people who live in bungaloos and some who live in 1-room flats.
    When it comes down to Porsche and Proton, its just damn different man. The thrills of a Porsche is to die for. Will work my ass off for it ! Oh well, it just clearly voices down to priorities. To some people, the silence of the AF-S just makes them high. Hehe, no offence.

    Yeah, its just an issue I want to voice out. Hope it doesnt start a flame war. Let them have that extra f-stop, I'll keep the change and go on a holiday to take pictures.

  8. #8

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    Let me say (as the guilty owner of... erm, never mind) that the final picture is NOT everything.

    What's becoming almost as important to me is the pleasure and process of taking a photograph. Pro lenses (f2.8 and greater) are a pleasure to use, because they're sharp and fast. In the case of "L" lenses, they're also very silent. And that helps you get the picture, the definitive moment.

    It's a shiok feeling just to pick up your camera and half press the shutter button, and see your subject snap into focus. You don't even have to take the picture (because you'll delete it later anyway). I'm sure Leica owners play-focus and snap without any film many times over, just for the sake of it.

    Even with a consumer digicam, it's fun to see your subject SLOWLY coming into focus, and press the shutter button to "freeze" the moment. Never mind if you immediately delete the picture afterwards.

  9. #9

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    Thats an interesting viewpoint.
    I honestly beg to differ, less I'm sponsered or something. But still, interesting viewpoint. I guess you enjoy your life very well indeed. I ask some of my friends, why do u really need that F5, and the casually say .... its just damn shiok. Hmm... makes sense now. But $2K for shiokness... hmm.... .

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by StreetShooter
    Let me say (as the guilty owner of... erm, never mind) that the final picture is NOT everything.

    What's becoming almost as important to me is the pleasure and process of taking a photograph. Pro lenses (f2.8 and greater) are a pleasure to use, because they're sharp and fast. In the case of "L" lenses, they're also very silent. And that helps you get the picture, the definitive moment.

    It's a shiok feeling just to pick up your camera and half press the shutter button, and see your subject snap into focus. You don't even have to take the picture (because you'll delete it later anyway). I'm sure Leica owners play-focus and snap without any film many times over, just for the sake of it.

    Even with a consumer digicam, it's fun to see your subject SLOWLY coming into focus, and press the shutter button to "freeze" the moment. Never mind if you immediately delete the picture afterwards.
    This post is classic!

    Anyway Marcwang,

    By saying that Porsche and Proton are different, you're essentially taking a biased point of view. At the end of it, it does boil down to different preferences and priorities.

  11. #11

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    Oh boy, another thread on equipments.

    The last time it was on cameras and now it's on lens.

    I think you cannot really compare the 70-300mm f/4-5.6, to the 80-200mm f/2.8, AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8 ED, AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 VR...

    or the Canon equivlant...etc USM...IS...etc.

    It all adds up to what you are shooting and the situation.

    According to you, you DO NOT need the f/2.8 aperature and your f/4-5.6 is enough for your needs.

    Well if that's your need, then the lens is a good buy for you.

    But there are photographers who need to shoot fast moving images at great distance at low light.

    Take the recent WakeFest 2003 for example, the wakeboarders are moving very fast at a distance from the beach.

    When the sun is bright at 1pm or 2pm, a f/4-5.6 may manage the fast shutter speed required to capture the action.

    But when the sun is setting at around 5pm-6pm, the light is quite "dark" and at 200mm or 300mm, if the aperature is f/5.6, you will either have to use a higher shutter speed to freeze the action but get an underexposed image, or a slower shutter speed for a correctly exposed image but blurred shot.

    Thats where those fast lens come into play.

    This is only 1 example.

    So like I said, its a balance between what you need, what you shoot, and what you can afford to own.

    No point, being bothered by what other people buy, their pay may be differnet from yours and their needs different from yours.

    Not all people who buy those 'L' lens or AF-S and VR lens are snobs or richie rich.

    Only those who buy them to show off are.

    These lens are made for a purpose or a specific need.

  12. #12

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    Kudos to Streetshooter for elaborating the essential differences between the lenses and suaning measurebators all in the same post.

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    When it comes down to Porsche and Proton, its just damn different man. The thrills of a Porsche is to die for.
    I will say that I feel otherwise ... I do not have much interest in cars and on a Singapore road, any ordinary car ... will suffice as long as it brings you from point A to B. Between a Porche and Proton the price difference is gonna be more than $100K whereas between a consumer lens and prosumer lens ... the price difference ain't that great (within < 2K, dun include IS and DO) ... so you can't compare the 2.

    I agree with you about the point on some photographers owning alot of pixels and big lens but produce mediocre works ... Hey, you see many people with porche racing on Singapore roads ...? What's the point of having a fast speed car then ... I am sure there is something about the equipment in this case a car to provide some form of satisfaction to justify the ownership like better suspension, etc ... for lens it is color contrast and sharpnes, etc ...

    If you are able to shoot good pictures with 28-80G, good for you ... have you tried shooting at 300mm or 400mm with A.S.A 100? You'll get lots of shake ... if you don't have a large aperture ... having said this I strongly believe in buying what one needs rather than getting the best in everything but do access and minimise the possibility of upgrades.

    Just my take on the issue ...

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    Nikon F80
    Nikkor 50mm F1.8
    Sigma 28-105mm F2.8-4 Asp D
    Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DL s macro
    Sigma Super ST500 flash
    You setup is definitely good enough for good S8Rs shots ...
    But compare your 70-300 with a ED lens ... you will find a world of difference ... this however also depend on the type of pictures you shoot ...

  16. #16

    Default Re: What's with all the equipment chase, when composition is paramount ?

    Originally posted by marcwang
    Hie people,
    There is this aspect about photography, that interest me, yet irks me at the same time ; the equipment. I just cant justify, both for myself and others, the crazy prices of equipment as you move up the line. .
    If you can't justify the equipment chase, why all the earlier posts telling people you're looking to upgrade to DSLR after 1 YEAR in photography?

    If i recall from your earlier posts, you are looking to buy a DSLR so i am suprised that you are claiming that you 'just can't justify... the crazy prices of equipment'?

    When I was a student, there was no way i could afford a $3000 camera and if you ask me, its crazy that a student would be looking to own something that expensive. A pretty nice film SLR at $700-800 on the other hand was possible after some saving.

    So, why are you passing judgment on 'others' who buy equipment that is more expensive than yours? envy?
    Last edited by erwinx; 25th June 2003 at 09:04 PM.

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    Originally posted by mpenza
    It applies in many other parts of life too. There are people who buy Porsche and people who buy Proton. Both are just cars with 4 wheels.... There are also people who live in bungaloos and some who live in 1-room flats.
    hmmm.... whats a bungaloo? sort of like an outhouse only more elaborate/ornate?

    Anyway, I fully concur with Streetshooter's view, where the utter feel and pleasure of using quality lenses far outweigh the economic difference. Same analogy with Proton and Porsche cars, where both will do what its designed to do, but the Porsche will imbue upon the driver a more luxurious feel and a better driving "experience", and the utterly smug feeling that whenever the performance is needed, its available "on tap".

    I know that given a choice between two items - one "quality" and one "standard" - I would most likely go for the "quality". There's been too many times where I have bought the "standard" item only to lust after the "quality" and ultimately to buy the "quality" item anyway, thus now, just jump straight to the "quality" -- errr... that is if its within reasonable budget lah.

  18. #18

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    Originally posted by Darren
    hmmm.... whats a bungaloo? sort of like an outhouse only more elaborate/ornate?
    I can think of 2 possibilities:

    1) A lavatory meant only for the Bunghole and not the Peehole.
    2) A detached lavatory that resides on its own plot of land.

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    What's with all the equipment chase, when composition is paramount ?
    One other thing to add ... composition is indeed paramount but after which ... sharpness matters too ... sharpness in a picture is also important ... unless you want it delibrately blurred ... I mean if the "Afgan Girl" eyes weren't sharp, would it draw viewer's attention ...

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    no leica but I did that with the fm2 "click, katcha! click, katcha!"
    anyway u could always buy cheapo lens like me and just shoot.

    Originally posted by StreetShooter
    Let me say (as the guilty owner of... erm, never mind) that the final picture is NOT everything.

    It's a shiok feeling just to pick up your camera and half press the shutter button, and see your subject snap into focus. You don't even have to take the picture (because you'll delete it later anyway). I'm sure Leica owners play-focus and snap without any film many times over, just for the sake of it.

    Even with a consumer digicam, it's fun to see your subject SLOWLY coming into focus, and press the shutter button to "freeze" the moment. Never mind if you immediately delete the picture afterwards.
    so true so true... so fun to frame something...
    "I'm... dreaming... of a wide... angle~
    Just like the ones I used to know~"

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