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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Des Plaines, IL

    Question When do you need equipment?

    "When do you need equipment?"

    This question always comes up … and the answer is all too obvious, but people often play a game thinking they will improve … later. Well, contentiously, some things in life will not be so patient.

    As with most things, you need tools to do a job. Ask yourself: Would you build a house with substandard tools and equipment, and then go live in it? Hopefully, not in this lifetime.

    Well, the same thing applies with photography, in a much less threatening manner, but often with tremendous impact on your result.

    Tackling the world with a DSLR and only an 18-250mm lens is “brave” and ambitious, but will it solve all the issues? Heck, no. The 18-250 “all-in-one” lens is a solid performer, but it is a lens full of compromises to provide the flexibility of lightweight, terrific focal range and reasonable speed to focus. The fact is you should have a bag, right from the get-go, that covers an assortment of routine lighting conditions and real world conditions.

    The nice thing about this is, this is not just “made up” or guessing. It is part of the real-life drama played out in every photographer’s life and there are solutions that have been provided to deal with these. Hence, the “real-life” bag of glass.

    First, if you are serious about this, buy a camera worthy of claiming the shot you are taking. A camera you can really grow with and not have to worry about replacing in the coming years, although you should realize that the camera body is “technology” and that technology shifts constantly, so you do not have to get “too nuts”, as it were. Just a “solid performer” with the options you desire will be just fine.

    The items that will not change, nearly as fast, are the lenses you use. These are 'the gems in your setting', so to speak. If you use “good” or “excellent” lenses, the need for changing them will be practically non-existent. If you do buy cheap lenses, you will tire of the poor quality images you render, if you begin to examine your work, looking for improvement. That means, you will have to sell the original lens (it is wise to remember, everyone else is pretty up on these “marginal” lenses, too, so the chances of getting anywhere near what you paid is rather slim.).

    So, what about heading off the situation? ... How?

    First, you need to decide a “real” budget that you can live with and can go on from there. Crawling, ‘tooth and nail’, into serious photography can be an agonizing experience. You will always be asking yourself: “well, what if I had this?” “No, what if I had that?” Experience has shown me that it can get downright expensive.

    I ask: What if someone suggested a decent, no frills solution that would give me acceptable shots on the web and for my family members?

    Yeah, what if?

    This can be so complicated … I suggest you just do what you want and not have anyone else to blame for it. Just the man/women-in-the-mirror and his/her lack of reading/investigating his/her equipment. It is all too easy to get beat up for this and that. Some solutions are simple … some are as complicated as the day is long.

    That’s what these forums are about … use them and peruse them.

    Oh, and about that equipment .... you will know when you NEED it. More often than not, far too late to do much about it.

    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-29-2009 at 11:26 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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