There comes a time when the quality of the shot is at odds with the quantity of ready cash you have in your pocket.

Basically, when it comes to photography, if you do not use decent enough equipment, no matter how great you are with a camera ... there will always exist a gaping margin for improvement that some critic is going to point out, because you did not use this or that piece of high-end optic.

There are a number of "serious-spending" users to make your laying claim to a decent enough shot almost impossible because you did not use the manufacturer's high-end glass. Argument abounds that unless it has the "label" ... you cannot get a truly exceptional shot.

Personally, I say "HOGWASH!" I am of the belief that you can certainly produce excellent work with "acceptable" level glass ... and it does not have to be the prime manufacturer's stuff, either.

If your efforts are at the point where you have to inspect your work at 300% or better to determine the quality of the shot,
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Size:  12.1 KB I contest that you are simply looking too hard for flaws. What is the point, in the end? If you are selling the work, that is one thing, but if it is for your own edification ... try to enjoy taking the composition ... rather than inspecting it for edge focus flaws.

Lighten up! You certainly can enjoy this craft without buying into all the hype concerning high-end glass. For one thing, not only is it expensive ... it downright heavy to lug around. Before you buy your next lens, do some research on the class of the lens and various alternative lenses that are out there, before plunking down $1500.

A case in point is the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM 82mm (28 oz) versus the SONY 24-70mm f/2.8 CZ 77mm (33 oz). After a couple of reviews, these two lenses are nearly identical in performance ... yet the Zeiss lens is almost twice the cost of the SIGMA.

Sorry ... I'm not a fan boy ... the SIGMA gets the job, lighter and for less cost.