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| p.1 #17 · Canon 7D / Landscapes question ? |
I just love it where people bring out the old saying, "it's the photographer, not the gear", and then look at their gear list in their profiles and see them loaded up with the latest gear. Practice what you preach or don't preach.
I think you are misconstruing that statement. Just because the photographer is the most important primary factor, it does not necessarily follow that good photographers should not own a variety of good lenses and other equipment.
The right gear for what you do is important. What the saying is getting at includes:
- A warning that simply buying stuff will not improve your photography.
- A reminder that purchase choices are best made in the context of your actual photographic requirements.
- The truth that, in fact, it is the vision of the photographer that makes the difference. And a reminder that obsessing about that will ultimately be much more rewarding than obsessing about a new lens.
I might fit your description of a photographer who owns decent gear but warns others not to rush too quickly into gear purchases. Someone specifically upbraided me in another recent discussion in almost exactly the same terms you use here. I was counseling a poster who asked about lens purchases to go slow and to develop some experience before buying a lot of other expensive gear. And a person (not the original poster) came back with a list of my gear (that can be found pretty easily - but why bother?) and insinuated that I was somehow trying to keep the OP from having the same good gear that I used.
I won't go into my whole response here, but I pointed out couple of things;
1. In fact, I had taken my own advice. When I was at a point roughly comparable to that of the person asking the question, my gear choices were a lot different than they might be now. In fact, when I started shooting DSLRs (after shooting film for may years) I did not go out and buy a bunch of expensive gear - I started with an entry-level DSLR and a single lens. That worked for me and I think it will work for others as a starting point.
2. Often when people ask "how should I spend $6000 on lenses" they are about to make some rather expensive mistakes. In a sense, I like to say that if you have to ask you are not quite yet ready to buy. Lens choices are not about finding The World's Best Lens - they are about figuring out "which lens works best for what I do." Until you actually /do/ that thing a bit, it is just about impossible to make great choices about what additional equipment to get. Starting with something versatile and a bit less pricey and shooting a lot ultimately provides a much more effective and rewarding path towards making smart gear choices that will be right for your photography.
And, finally, it really is true that what and how the photographer sees is way more important than the equipment that the photographer uses. While, indeed, many successful photographers use equipment that others might envy - though you might be surprised by some of the rather modest equipment they also use - putting that equipment in the hands of a person who has not worked on learning how to "see" will not result in photographs that are any better. On the other hand, give a fine photographer who does have that sort of vision a $100 point and shoot, and he/she will produce interesting and compelling work.