Have Ever Thought About This ? If You haven gone into photography.....

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New Member
Jan 9, 2003
East Singapore
Have you ever thought about this.......

The money we spend on photographic equipment is sometimes quite crazy. Especially when some people buy expensive equipment and shoot mindlessly and they believe they are enjoying photography. Its crazy when I come across... posts like "I just got my D2h/1Dmk2! Images attached" and I'm baffled when attached, is a snapshot of a skyline or a kid running around in a garden. And of course, I dont deny having some rather expensive gear. A d100 might sound cheap to a professional, but to a off the street person, its still a crazy sum of money for a camera.

Have our sense of money been warped by this obsession over equipment/photography ? Just because the price of a 70-200 has dropped by $500 ( If and only if... ) doesnt make it cheap ! It'll still be well over 2 grand, and that will buy us TWO 30" Television sets that will last over a decade.

Is the money spent, justifiable ?

Does the money spend gives us the greatest pleasure/utility ?

I'm not sure.

Look here.

For the price of a Sb800 flash gun, I could buy a decent 4mp digital camera. And the SB800 just flashes. Or I can buy a Kayak for my girlfriend who would love to have one but decided against it because she thinks its not worth the money.

For the price of a 85mmf1.4, I could buy a 24-85mmAFS, 50mmf1.8, 85mmf1.8, 35mmf2. All very good lenses and probably more fun. Or I could feed myself for half a yr eating out everyday (kopi tiam). Or... I could buy a set of 17" wheels for my car which would give me more satisfaction (my preference).

FOr the price of a 70-200 IS/VR , I could buy a very good mountain bike OR buy a Go Kart, buy a Piano, buy a D70 with a used 80-200f2.8 . All of which I believe, gives more utility.

FOr the price of a 1Dmk2, I could almost buy a Honda 400cc motorbike with some spare change to buy a 20d.

And some amateurs who shoot skylines, people, random stuff that are very very sharp and very very accurate in colour but compositionally quite a failure can actually have a 1dmk2 with 3 trinity lenses. Have you come acrosss....... "I think I might be interested in a 400mmf2.8 because my son just got into his high school football team and I might want to take some pictures of him" kind of threads ?

SO WHAT if a 24-70L is marginally sharper than a 28-75mm Tamron ? How often do you print big ? Do u even submit your pictures for competitions (sharpness does count, but the tamron will be hell sharp enough) ? Do you post 3000x2000 images on the web for poeple to see ? Do you even show your family and friends full size version ? Or issit because...... of your personal enjoyment when you inspect every single pixel at 200% at the comfort of your airconditioned room ? I suspect the joy from having a tremendously sharp image is often derived from posting a 200 by 200 pix 100% crop of an image with other forumers going GAGA over it. (note once again, I'm pointing my finger at some photographers, not all).

Just some thoughts. This is not directed to professionals, or anyone at all. Just to jolt the minds of people who has acquired an equipment disease and cannot get out of it.

Hmm.... I'm holding back buying more equipment. Do I need it ? Will the money be better spent else where ?

OF COURSE, if you are rich (in response to knightrider), go buy a 1DsMk2 with a 400mmf2.8 and bring it to the zoo and take a Zebra sleeping..... I think there will be some joy in that. But for those who are selling an arm and a leg just to reach a professional lens or equipment... please think again. Not once, but a million times. What are you forgoing ? Will there be something else that would give you more joy at that price ?

FOr me, I have quite a bit of interest. I like Mountain Biking, I live Radio COntrolled Gas Cars, I like Cars, I like Karting, I even like Aquarium Landscaping. So for the price of a f2.8 zoom, I can buy any of the above and get great joy, with only 1 lens short in my arsenal.

I mean if Photography is your life, and it runs in your blood, and you have no other interest but photography.... then I suppose there is no better way to spend your money, but its quite sad isnt it ?

shrugs. Have you thought about this ?


Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
:bsmilie: heh heh heh....... your own suggestions on alternate use of the $$$ doesnt seem to improve matters at all. :)


Senior Member
Dec 28, 2003
I've told my self that many times. This will be the last. I won't buy anymore. But I am fighting a losing battle. Call it an addiction or a love for photography or gadget chaser. It doesn't matter. You will end up buying something new sooner or later. I really salute those guys who have the willpower to stop and say no. I'm weak for technology regardless if it is a camera or pc or other electronic stuff. But hey, that's me.


Senior Member
Sep 13, 2002
Pigeon Hole in Mandalay
Hi Marc,
You're question is just asking how much the disposable income for each person. Anyway if you able to afford it why not? The silly thing if you got burden because of acquiring new equipment. A person can't bring his fortune to the grave....why not enjoy it while it can.


Senior Member
Jun 9, 2003
marcwang said:
Its crazy when I come across... posts like "I just got my D2h/1Dmk2! Images attached" and I'm baffled when attached, is a snapshot of a skyline or a kid running around in a garden.
If they have pleasure from buying more equipment, so be it. They may be earning 5 digits per month. After some time, when they find no one appreciating their photo except himself, then they'll switch hobby.


New Member
Jul 15, 2004
doesnt the final decision still lies with the person?


New Member
Aug 25, 2004
I don't have this problem as I buy what I love and need when I have $ :cool: So no $ I don't think about equipment. :bsmilie: What I don't get it is some one pay millions for a painting they don't understand. :what: I caught the photography bug what to do :blah: :p


Senior Member
Sep 1, 2004
Blue/Green Planet
Hey !!! let them come. Let them come to ME :bsmilie: :bsmilie:

If they are arrogant enough not to listen to what I would suggest they buy, but simply have to buy the biggest and the best. Then hey I will sell it to them. :thumbsup:

I take each person I talk to as a friend that I would like to do the best for.

If you are an average Joe off the street coming in to buy a digital camera; Then expect that I will spend a bit of time talking to you to find what I believe will suit your need now and hopefully for some time :)

But if you have more money than you know what to do with, and reserch your every purchase buy reading magazines for professionals.

Show me the money :blah:


Dec 20, 2002
Planet Nikon
U think photography's expensive? You haven't seen how much an audiophile or car can cost eh? ;)

Jul 28, 2002
My feel in this is to buy the best that you can really afford and to be able to realise the full potential (or most of it) of the equipment.

I always feel most respectable lenses/cameras out there out-performed most photographers, including myself, in the specification/technical department. Unless you out-grown the lenses/cameras in that department that warrants a upgrade, then I find it justifiable as far as I am concerned.

I just had a good look at my own work, about 70 to 80% of my personal best were taken with lenses such as the cheap Nikon 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 AFD, Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8 ATX Pro II, Sigma EX 105mm f2.8, Nikon 50mm AF f1.8, Sigma EX 15mm f2.8 fisheye. I still have few of these lenses with me as I have no reasons to dispose them as they served me well.

I don't suppose I contribute much to the economy here, do I? :sweatsm:


Senior Member
May 2, 2004
if i were nOt to be in photography.. or i gave up a few yrs ago... i might juz find myself at the wakeboarding championships that time at bedok... and since i devote so much time and $ into my equipment and stuffs...

looks like my dream of enjoying wakeboarding wld be very far... unless someone wants to sell me his/her wakeboard.... hahahaha....

and wakeboarding is not a cheap hobby comparing to fishing and reading.. haha


Senior Member
Nov 14, 2002
Not everything in life is about economics... there are somethings that are priceless... for me, it's that single captured split second moment... others may differ.


Senior Member
Jan 19, 2002
Visit site
Oooh heck yeah. I have a STUPID amount of gear, and I won't hesitate to spend say S$3k on a lens that I've saved up for when I want it, and on the other hand I'm continually skimping and saving on other things (like I haven't spent S$100 per month on satellite TV for instance).

On the other hand, it's a matter of prioritising and opportunity cost. I really fancied leather in the car but at a S$3000 option, I kind of figured, well, if I don't spend that, I can buy a very nice leather 3 piece for the same money.

But then when it comes to cameras...

And then there's the topic of equipment exceeding the usage of the vast majority of photographers. A touchy topic if ever there was one, and I think, as a generality, probably true however.


Senior Member
Jan 24, 2002
Wait till you see what people wear on their wrist !!!!
What is a D2x, 70-200 VR, 85 f1.4 etc. Even the whole system is peanuts.
Ever think that a cheap S/S watch bracelet will cost a 70-200 VR !! and that is considered low end. A box that you put the thing in cost a D2X !!.

To each his own. BTW any photo is something the photographer wants to express. There is no good or bad photo and thus also no good or bad equipment. It is something you make the most of. Of course sometimes a better piece of equipment helps.

The only caution in any hobby is it is addictive and you will be drawn deeper and deeper into it. Buy whatever within your means and spent wisely.

espn said:
U think photography's expensive? You haven't seen how much an audiophile or car can cost eh? ;)


Senior Member
Jul 24, 2002
Planet Eropagnis
Hmm.... Previously I wasn't at all interested in photography. Ppl can tell me abt photography stuff and I can actually doze off. But since I'd started taking photography, no doubt it had helped me tremendously to actually sit up and notice the things around me instead of letting the world fly by me.

Its crazy, but for the price of my flash, 300D and 50mm f/1.8 lens, plus other minute accessories that costs a little here and there, I could have easily gotten another Mac or a new iPod with spare change to boot to buy a normal P&S camera.

I'd slowed down a little on that buying craze now. I simply ask myself this question to stop myself frm splurging:

"Am I qualified to use/buy that lens? Do my current skill do justice to buy that lens? How often do I use it? Are there alternatives in getting around it?"



Senior Member
Nov 9, 2003
Visit site
If people enjoy spending money on expensive gear and using it to take pictures at their nephew's birthday party, why not? It's their money, and since they are deriving some amount of pleasure from it, all the more power to them. Plenty of other people splash out on expensive stuff and subsequently chuck it to one side and forget about it.

Who are we to tell them that no, they are enjoying photography the wrong way? That they shouldn't be obsessing over their trinity or L lenses, or that they shouldn't be obsessing over 100% crops of pictures of brickwalls? If multiple pictures of testcharts is what floats their boats, then good for them. At least their boat floats. :D


Senior Member
Feb 9, 2004
I don't need a DSLR,
I don't need a compact camera,
I don't need a digital camera,
I don't need a camera...

I need to go study...

I'm satisfied with what I've got; though having more would be nice; I don't NEED it; I don't NEED any of it; (but I want it ;p ) the total of what I've spent isn't much to photographers, but would be a lot to those who aren't into photography; to me, it's a lot! it does every thing I need/want it to do, so I don't need any more, though sometimes when taking a picture, it would be nice to get a close shot, when I can't move closer, so I'm limited in what I want to do by what I've got, but I'm still happy ;P
I'm holding back from buying more equipment, especially equipment I don't need.

"Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also"

I should get back to study.
Wireless access in the library = play clubsnap!

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