Love is in the air.....
Love is in the air.....
Good day :D I had to sign up after reading this thread and seeing the recommened 6 thousand payout on lenses :eek:
I bought my first DSLR, a Sony a200, about 6 months ago. I have the 2 kit lenses, the 18-70 and 75-300. I'm an amateur hobbyist and now looking at getting a new lens. After reading DonChaps "So you have Sony now what?" post on DPS several times, I'm pretty much settled on the Tamron 18-250mm. What I wanted to add here though is really what DWessel said:
"Here's an idea!!!! Rather than bagging on Don's lens collection, how about explaining why you think the average person who might be viewing this site and trying to decide which lenses to buy is better served splurging on the high quality/high priced glass."
As one of the forementioned "average" people, I must say I was somewhat shocked and disheartened reading this thread. The general consensus seems to be that we should all be spending thousands on lenses. I certainly can't afford 6 grand on lenses for my camera, I'm having a hard enough time questioning the £400 or so on the Tamron. I appreciate that the more you pay the better it gets (I work for Sony), but everyone here seems to be seasoned (semi)pros who dont think twice about the cost. Clearly you are all being paid too much ;P
So from the AVERAGE persons view, reading this thread, we're shocked at the costs expected to payout and we're really just looking for the next step up. Dont they say "Its not the camera that takes the picture"?
Now at my level, I have been very impresed with my kit lens'. Sure there have been times when they haven't quite performed, but I've had what *I* concider to be some pretty good shots and even won some global competitions! The following was taking from the hip (no post cropping) on the move during an average day using the Sony 18-70mm 3.5/5.6 kit lens on my a200.
(more here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/41731611@N03/)
I have to say, it is hard to mix the "beginners" with those who have been at this for a little while. While you can look at all the pretty glass available, yes, you are faced with the daunting reality that good optics cost real money. We all face this reality.
So, yes, you will use what you have available to provide the BEST shot you can wrangle out of them. DO NOT fret in the idea that some of your work ... well, may need work. That's why you have the option to improve your glass. I mean IF these lower cost lenses worked as well as the higher ones ... what would be the point? Vanity? C'mon, you would NOT waste your time.
A hard pill to swallow is when you embark on the acquisition of a DSLR ... if offers you all sorts of ways to make for a far more dynamic, creative and powerful expression of your "vision." You direct your camera ... you do the framing ... you do the final work. This camera can offer you things that you simply cannot get with a P&S or other types of design.
That being said, take pride in your work with the a200 and lens(es) you have available. When you post you have the option to stipulate what you used to take the shot (EXIF data) and allow people to understand the devices you used to get it.
This is an extremely competitive field of endeavor. It is kind of like owning a 'Formula One' race car and an economy sedan ... yes, you get there ... and just stand in the street and tell the formula driver to "slow the heck down" ... and see how that works for ya. :D
[QUOTE=Biomech;398471]As one of the forementioned "average" people, I must say I was somewhat shocked and disheartened reading this thread. The general consensus seems to be that we should all be spending thousands on lenses. I certainly can't afford 6 grand on lenses for my camera, I'm having a hard enough time questioning the £400 or so on the Tamron. I appreciate that the more you pay the better it gets (I work for Sony), but everyone here seems to be seasoned (semi)pros who dont think twice about the cost. Clearly you are all being paid too much ;P
So from the AVERAGE persons view, reading this thread, we're shocked at the costs expected to payout and we're really just looking for the next step up. Dont they say "Its not the camera that takes the picture"?[QUOTE]
While great glass will certainly improve an image's sharpness and will generally focus faster and smoother, you are right that the QUALITY of the image ultimately comes down to the brain behind the camera and lens. You choose the subject and composition, the camera is ultimately just a tool to capture what you envision. Moreover, if there is one thing that my film photography class has tought me, and it trasfers over to digital, the end product print is often quite different from even the negative or original digital image because the image can be and often is tweaked in post-production to bring out what the photographer ultimately wants.
Where I think the higher priced, higher quality glass (and I include the mid-cost Sigma/Tamrons), makes the difference is in faster focus speeds, larger aperature for low-light situations, and quality of bokeh (influenced by # of aperature blades and curved vs straight edge), followed by a comparatively sharper image. Let's face it, the original focus is critical - if the original image is not in focus, there is virtually no amount of post-production that will save it. Wider aperatures give you more options, especially in low-light. And, if you're looking for that dreamy quality bokeh, you will notice a difference between the lower cost glass with less aperature blades and straight edges versus higher quality glass with more blades and the even better curved edges. In my book, sharpness is less important because it can be improved through post-production. Also, unless you are enlarging your image beyond 8x10, I doubt you would really notice a significant difference in image quality (but alas I've not done such a comparison).
So do you really need to plunk down $2K-$6K for a single lens, no. Will you want to plunk down $500-$6K for better quality mid to high grade lenses? If photography becomes more of a passion, then absolutely. As an example, I have taken some good quality macros with my cheap Sigma lens (original retail price about $150, I picked it up at Ritz liquidation for about $25). But looking at some of Peek's macro photos taken with a higher quality prime macro, I see a clear difference, like comparing a plastic diamond ring (photos from my macro) to a real diamond ring (photos from a prime macro).
Now, I can see why we might consider the "What can I get by with" thread ... but, please note, this is the "great glass" decision thread ... so you, by design, are wading through and witnessing a discussion of the highest caliber glass that is available to SONY users.
It is not an attempt to demean or reduce the importance of what you are currently or planning to use on your DSLR. For those who actually do have "expendable" cash flow in this forum (man, talk about a real tiny group), we need to cater to them occasionally, too.
SONY DSLR users are in a group of really limited options compared to Nikon and Canon. Although it is growing (to me it seems a bit slower than I would like). There are three to four options in the Canikon world, where there may only be one or two in the SONY world. Heck, there may not even be any! So, be that as it may, your art is set by a level your determine. If you cannot achieve it with one manufacturer's goods, you move on to another's.
The beauty of the SONY line is that you can get tremendously "great glass" for it ... and take advantage of the in-body stability, too. Do you have to? Again, it depends on your require in your hobby and art, but at least the option is there.
That's what I call, "GREAT."
Referencing the "Got my SONY DSLR camera ... what next?" thread (sticky post at the top of the forum list), it was written to establish HOW you could quickly improve your imaging without having to resort to all sorts of tomfoolery that probably will not make a hill's bit of difference ... and will more than likely increase the amount of time you need to spend on each shot to make it "presentable" in post-processing.
Darin makes an excellent point about getting the best looking, well-focused image you can out of the camera BEFORE post-processing. A better lens (over and above that "kit" lens) is a superior solution (quickest and to the point) over all others, in that regard.
Think about the hundreds of photographs you are probably going to take in the next few months. Time is money, too. If you swallow hard and spend the obligatory $400 for just one decent lens ... then your images stand to require a whole lot less detail attention after you take them. Shooting one lens against the other, you should see the improvement almost immediately. If not, simply return the more expensive optic and get your money back. We are obviously in "the wrong part of town" to affect whatever it is you are doing in your photography that made you think you needed help ... it's probably not the lens.
What it is time to do is ask questions ... and that's precisely where this forum comes into play. We all know it takes some work to come up with the perfect composition. Equipment is just a small portion of that battle. So, it is incumbent upon you to submit your images that are problematic and, literally, ASK "What's wrong with this picture?"
Thanks for reading this ... and let's see some work. ;)
I do wonder, however, if you are going to be disappointed by the marginal improvement in IQ over your current lenses. Whilst the 18-250mm certainly beats your existing pair it is a 'Jack Of All Trades' and still somewhat soft wide open at the short end and soft everywhere over 150mm. Of course we don't know why you've chosen this lens as an upgrade nor what you are expecting from it.