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Archive 2010 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera
  
 
Tom K.
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


An interesting article on the topic right here........................


Aug 13, 2010 at 05:13 AM
dwweiche
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


Meh...

I usually think that out of the top 10 possible reasons for good/bad photographs, 1 through 8 are all the photographer. 9 is the lens. 10 is the camera.

And you can swap 9 and 10 if you want



Aug 13, 2010 at 05:36 AM
Jim Levitt
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


I grit my teeth every time someone utters that cliche, especially in the digital era. I used the same film bodies for a dozen years or more. Improvements came through better glass, and better film. Now, the camera IS the film, and the autofocusing mechanism plays a huge role in the results we get, unless we're photographing stationary objects. It's quite possible to do everything "right" as the photographer, and have the resulting photo be useless, due to camera failures. There's a reason loads of sports photographers jumped ship to Nikon; their own skill level was not the issue.


Aug 13, 2010 at 06:47 AM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


I still hold with the Glass before body mantra.
Yes its nice to get a more upto date body but if you still have to put a junk lens with the optics of a bear glass on then it aint going to see the benifit. Yes you will have a more responsive , faster FPS better AF and larger files which may have great higher ISO. But the images will still look like Crap.

Its still better to build a good glass set and THEN get the newer body.
Take any of the older (Even very old) digital bodies and they are well capable of great images. you just cant push them to their limits of ISO or print thme as big.
And anyway Good glass wont have lost much in $$ terms so you really only borrowed it

Edit:
the 'jump' to nikon was a particular case. At the time Canon had issed a body that in use for alot of people did not perform as well as the previous one. and the Nikon offered a marked improvement over its previous offerings.
But anybody who was in that situation would have already had the good glass set so the camera upgrade was a benifit even though the 'junmper' had to sell all their glass to get less Nikon glass.



Aug 13, 2010 at 07:44 AM
wickerprints
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


IMO, the author of the article in the link is missing the point of what is meant when one says "the lens is more important than the camera."

At least, when I think of this familiar phrase, I am thinking of how the choice of lens dictates the various qualities of the images it produces; i.e., not just its overall sharpness or contrast, but the way it presents the angle of view, its color rendition, vignetting characteristics, f-number, and blur characteristics of objects not lying within the DOF.

In other words, I'm not thinking, "what are all the ways in which I can fsck up the image, and is the lens the most critical component that must function optimally?" That is how the author interpreted the implied meaning of the statement--i.e., "which component is most important to getting the shot"--but that is obviously a pointless question to ask and the answer is of course that every component is equally necessary. You need skill to previsualize and determine the proper settings. You need to be able to push the button at the proper moment. You need a functioning camera body. You need a functioning lens.

So the author, in my view, is really saying nothing of value; at least, nothing that one doesn't already know. Of course the camera is necessary. We don't take photos by holding up our "more important" bare lenses and peering through them.

But what the author does do--albeit perhaps unintentionally--is lead us to think about what we really do mean when we say "the lens is more important than the camera (body)." Are we making a statement about the relative value (monetary? rarity? frequency of replacement?) of these components? Or are we saying something more? I, for one, interpret this saying as being about how the lens is the "heart" of the image. Yes, one might modify the scene or choose the composition or even manipulate the result in post, but the lens invariably is the first place we turn to when we want to understand the way light was projected onto the recording medium. Its flaws become the image's flaws.

By contrast, the body, for all its sophistication, really amounts to one and only one purpose--to facilitate the recording of the light projected through the lens. For the most part, the body doesn't change how the scene will appear--it is the lens that does this.

So when we say the lens is more important, that's what I think is meant--that the choice of lens is critical because it is the determinant of the way the scene is represented; and knowing which lens to use, and which particular lens gives an optimal result for the desired shooting conditions and budget, is one of the most fundamental skills a photographer must cultivate.

Edited on Aug 13, 2010 at 08:12 AM · View previous versions



Aug 13, 2010 at 08:11 AM
abam
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


if anything, the 5D2 has (to me) demonstrated the necessary symbiosis of modern FF dslr sensors and high-quality lenses.


Aug 13, 2010 at 08:11 AM
NDP_2010
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


Interesting topic, but the article didnt really go into anything that wasnt really pretty obvious

In the modern digital cameras, all are very capable of great images under good conditions. What would you rather have, a 35L on a 1000D or 28-80 on 7D? I definately would rather the 1000D with 35L simply becuase the 28-80 is pretty much trash hehehe.

Without at least 'decent' glass you cant make a nice photo. I guess if you used a trash body that you couldnt either.

I think on a modern dslr the glass is more important, and the arguement that you need faster AF and higher ISO under harsh conditions, you cannot use these to thier full potential without using good glass, so there seems to be a reoccuring theme here.


I remeber back when i sold my 1000D on ebay. I took many sample photos and posted them, using very expensive lenses (10-22, 35L, mpe65mm, 100-400mm) to show what the 1000D was capable of. I got a good price too. Now i wonder when the person who bought it puts on thier 18-55mm kit lens and thinks the body is defective becuase it doesnt take good photos



Aug 13, 2010 at 08:16 AM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


An example happend last week. A friend of mine has an XT and some of brand 18-200 (tamron I think) he does get some pretty good stuff with tha combo. (hes got a good eye) . He's in the market for an upgrade so goos to the local store to look at a 7D. he has a go with his lens and is fairly happy. I lent him my 80-200L and 24-105L to go for a shoot and he was knocked out by the difference(on his XT). His upgrade budget is now earmarked for a couple of nice L lenses


Aug 13, 2010 at 08:23 AM
DocsPics
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


That was cruel to lend someone the "Pipe" and then make them give it back.


Aug 13, 2010 at 08:43 AM
wickerprints
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


I didn't directly refer to it in my previous thread, so I think it bears emphasis now. Of course, whether a body upgrade or a lens upgrade makes more of a difference in terms of resultant image quality depends on the body and/or lens in question.

But as I pointed out, that's not really what I think of when it comes to the saying "the lens is more important than the body."



Aug 13, 2010 at 09:23 AM
 

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mohamed alfari
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


abam wrote:
if anything, the 5D2 has (to me) demonstrated the necessary symbiosis of modern FF dslr sensors and high-quality lenses.

+1
well said.



Aug 13, 2010 at 09:55 AM
dolina
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


I rather spend money on new glass than on a new camera. Lens updates can be measured in decades while bodies in months.


Aug 13, 2010 at 10:08 AM
Breitling65
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


Glass always wins! Especially L galss ...


Aug 13, 2010 at 10:14 AM
Snopchenko
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


I guess it's a little of both... but in most uses, lenses count more than camera bodies because on the camera body's side, the ability to get a decent picture is limited in very few cases (such as sports shooting, when extremely precise AF tracking speed is paramount, or extremely dark conditions where high ISO bodies come out as winners). I guess the camera engineering has gone so far up that you are hard pressed to find a camera that is substandard enough to affect pictures in most cases. Whereas it's very easy to cripple the shot by inadequate lenses with slow AF - in case of Canon system the motor is in the lens, not in the body, poor effective aperture (resulting in insufficient shutter speed), softness and/or other aberrations, especially wide open.

I chose to upgrade my body, 30D, only after I have upgraded both wide and tele lenses I was using to /2.8 L variants (and because I was tired of my 30D's mechanical unreliability). If it hadn't been as unreliable (shutter failure, shutter release button malfunction, built-in flash failure and whatnot over just 2,5 years) I would have been using it still. I plan on buying a latest Rebel as backup / video unit and expect the pictures to be on par with what I get from my 1D2N in most situations.

If I had been offered the choice of using a 30D with the glass I have, or the 1D with something like 28-90 / 75-300 zooms - I would have gone the first route. I can't forget the irritation the 18-70 Minolta kit zoom and the 28-300 Sigma (Nikon mount) have caused me years ago.



Aug 13, 2010 at 12:25 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


DocsPics wrote:
That was cruel to lend someone the "Pipe" and then make them give it back.


Yep, I could see the tear in his eye when he handed them back



Aug 13, 2010 at 01:58 PM
jerrykur
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


dwweiche wrote:
Meh...

I usually think that out of the top 10 possible reasons for good/bad photographs, 1 through 8 are all the photographer. 9 is the lens. 10 is the camera.

And you can swap 9 and 10 if you want


+1



Aug 13, 2010 at 02:04 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
I still hold with the Glass before body mantra.
Yes its nice to get a more upto date body but if you still have to put a junk lens with the optics of a bear glass on then it aint going to see the benifit. Yes you will have a more responsive , faster FPS better AF and larger files which may have great higher ISO. But the images will still look like Crap.

Its still better to build a good glass set and THEN get the newer body.
Take any of the older (Even very old) digital bodies and they are well
...Show more

You could of course say exactly the same with the cameras instead of the glass

Put a junk camera and good glass together and it will still look like crap

Or take any of the older (even very old) lenses and they are well capable of great images



Aug 13, 2010 at 02:45 PM
GC5
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera



A good body can make photography easier and more fun. For example, better controls, liveview, larger and brighter LCDs can all help you get shots you might have missed on an earlier model. So in some ways, body can be more important than lens. There is simply no question though, that lens choice has a very large impact on the final image. Given how capable most modern DSLRs are, for most people, investing in improved glass is the better option.




Aug 13, 2010 at 02:54 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera




yes but how many of the recent r not so recent cameras (canon at least) have been truely junk cameras? I've seen many great images from the D30 D60 1D 1Ds 10D and 300D. I had a XT which when I go back thru my old images still would hold up (upgrades for useablity not withstanding)


"Or take any of the older (even very old) lenses and they are well capable of great images "

Yes agreed but that also supposes it was good glass to start with. the argument to upgrade glass does not say upgrade to NEW glass

I'm in no way against body upgrades (hell I've been thru enough already) just fill any holes in the glass bag first.



Aug 13, 2010 at 03:04 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · The Lens is Not More Important Than the Camera



"Or take any of the older (even very old) lenses and they are well capable of great images "

Yes agreed but that also supposes it was good glass to start with. the argument to upgrade glass does not say upgrade to NEW glass

I'm in no way against body upgrades (hell I've been thru enough already) just fill any holes in the glass bag first.


Yes you can take nice images with any of those bodies. But the same goes for the glass. I have seen very good photos with about every lens Canon have. From the ones with the lowest price, to the most expensive ones


Edited on Aug 13, 2010 at 03:25 PM · View previous versions


Aug 13, 2010 at 03:23 PM
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