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  #31  
Old 11-05-2004, 12:46 PM
Galeota Galeota is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Default Re: DSLR, lenses and photography 1

Please excuse me not being spot on the original subject, but this thread calls some other thoughts I would like to share with you, being myself, also, a future potential DSLR owner…

As some of you might have noticed I am a “regular” P&S photographer, which is the plebeian social status within the photography hobbyist circle. I am therefore higher ranked than the infamous “incidental” P&S photographer, but have not yet reached the expertise of the amateur… (forget about pros – I don’t intend to make a living with it – and forget about artistic aspiration – I’ve found out a long ago that I’m no Mozart in my several fields of competency).

But… as a curious and interested human being, I humbly aspire to perfection myself (mmmhh…if it sounds too pretentious, please understand it as a constant will to learn something new) and I’m convinced that is a never ending path we have to follow through our lives. Now, this doesn’t mean I systematically adopt noble causes to justify my thirst of learning. It is obvious that I can find as much satisfaction in plunging into XIXth century Russian literature, than rediscovering a fairy world with my 6&4 years old son and daughter.

Back to the point. Two or three months ago I felt the urge to improve my knowledge of photography, and I came quickly to the conclusion that I had to solve first an equipment issue. I am perfectly satisfied with the image quality coming out of my P&S, and it is a pretty well constructed camera with a terrific swivelling LCD which has allowed me to take photographs without making a fool of myself in public (no, I’m not a contortionist). But.. well, won’t get in that debate here, but it is obvious that a P&S has some limits if you want to improve your technique, and if you want to enlarge the number of photograph possibilities you will be getting. The first question I asked myself was : Will I become a better photographer? And the answer was YES! Now, don’t misunderstand me, a DSLR in itself (even with Hubble space telescope attached to the mount) won’t make anyone take better photographs. But it will definitely be a way to go for those who are willing to be patient, learn and develop their creative capabilities.
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  #32  
Old 11-05-2004, 12:46 PM
Galeota Galeota is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,268
Default Re: DSLR, lenses and photography 2

So, once I understood I would need the equipment I thought it would be easy to go a camera store and just buy it. Well… it seemed easy until I started reading reviews and consumer opinions. An three months later I still don’t have my camera! Of course it would be much easier if I had carried a camera for twenty years. I would probably know what would suit me best, for the type of photography I would like to make. But… I’m not that experienced. Of course, I could follow several advices I read here and there, like for instance “start with a middle range zoom (or whatever) and make yourself a statistic of which focal length you use the most, or which you’re missing the most, etc, etc…” . Make a statistic… well I surely like photography, but not really to the point of working on an Excel chart in the evening to check out my average preferred focal length.

Ultimately there’s a quality issue. Do you really have to buy a Steinway to improve your skills as a pianist? Or, would a Steinway make you play the Goldberg Variations like Glenn Gould does if you are a mediocre musician? The answer is no, I’m afraid. Of course, when money isn’t an issue, I also tend to buy the best quality (for instance, even though I’m still not sure about the camera I will buy, I will definitely buy a Billingham bag to carry it, no matter how expensive these bags are. Not only they are the best, but they’re also the ONLY aesthetically acceptable photography bags…). Manufacturability, and durability have to be paid for. They are expensive, and that is justified. I once read somewhere that a Leica representative, making a demonstration, launched a 50mm lens like a bowling ball across the floor and against the wall on the other side of the room. He then took it in his hands and said that it was ready to take photographs. That is robustness. Of course it just CAN’T cost $100 only. But, relax…even though you’re desperately looking into your empty pockets for the $ you don’t have to buy a 50mm Summicron, I may assure you that you will still be able to take good photographs with far less expensive equipment.
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  #33  
Old 11-05-2004, 12:47 PM
Galeota Galeota is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,268
Default Re: DSLR, lenses and photography 3

So, during these last three months went through all the stages of anxiety and metaphysical thoughts that go along with the disease of not knowing what to buy. I knew a “lens lust” period, a D70 urge, a 20D curiosity, etc. etc… Still don’t know where I’ll end up. One thing is certain, I will start with a prime and I will force myself to use it for two or three months because I’m convinced it is THE way to learn about photography and every single person starting in this domain should first learn to zoom with his feet, before spending $$$$$$$$ and show off with a 2kg white telephoto lens.

The issue of all this, and if you don’t believe me I’m ready to take the challenge, is that I’m sure I will make BETTER photographs with a combination of D70/50mm 1.8, than someone with the D70/18-70 who didn’t take the time to know his equipment or to improve his skills. This in terms of composition of course. As far as image quality is concerned (or the criterias of resolution, CA, vignetting, sharpness from center to corners, etc), although I’ve come to understand that the combination of a digital camera with a specific lens is determinant, it is not a bad review or a low rate that will stop me from acquiring the equipment I “subjectively” think it suits me.

There is a lot of subjectivity in the appreciation of an image, and I for a fact tend to stay away, as far as possible, from comparison charts.

And for those who have some free time to spare, here’s a funny article where, exceptionally, someone says that Nikon 50mm 1.8 is not EVEN good with good old 35mm..hehe, the myth had been already mistreated before…

The 50mm Lens and Metaphysical Doubt

Wish you a good day to you all :o)
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