Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 31 Jan 2015 (Saturday) 21:45
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

How does a hobby photographer justify a $6000 lens?

 
sandpiper
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
7,170 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 49
Joined Aug 2006
Location: Merseyside, England
     
Feb 04, 2015 12:12 |  #31

sspellman wrote in post #17409954 (external link)
You can rent the lens as needed anytime for $190 for 3 days from LensRentals.com. Anything else for a hobby photographer is pure waste.

I have to disagree with this, especially as you make it a blanket statement for hobby photographers in general. I can agree with it so long as the hobbyist only wants to use the lens maybe once or twice a year, but how many of us who enjoy this hobby only want to shoot every once in a blue moon. Unless the lens is very specialist, and wanted for just a single shoot, I don't see renting as the cheap option. The 300 f/2.8 is a very versatile lens and has many uses, I use mine almost every week for a wide range of subjects. If I was renting I would have the option of renting it almost every week (at a cost of maybe $8,000 a year) to use it as I want, or just a few times a year (maybe $1,000 a year) and miss getting a lot of the shots I get. I would also miss out on a lot of the pleasure I get from using that lens, and have the hassle of ordering it and sending it back, hoping the weather is what I want when I actually have it in my hands. As it is, I can decide on a moments notice that the weather, and the light, is good and just grab my gear and go out to shoot.

So, how much money have I "wasted" by buying the lens instead of renting? Well, I bought it brand new about 8 years ago for £2,995 and now, thanks to the new price rising over the years, I could get around £2,800 for it as a used lens. That is just £200 less than it cost me, or about the cost of ONE rental. So for the cost of one or two 3 day rentals I have had the use of the lens for 8 years, and hopefully a few more years to come. OK, sure, I have got the £3k tied up in the lens until I sell it, and that could be getting me a few quid a year in interest but I would be getting far less pleasure from it that way. If I sold the lens tomorrow, I would have had 8 years use of it instead of just a few days for the same cost.

My 100-400L cost me £895, new, 10 years ago and I sold it towards the end of last year for £775. A loss of £120 or just £12 a year.

To get back to the OP's question. I agree with all those who say that if you can afford it, then spending money on a hobby needs no other justification than the pleasure you get from it. I know people who spend many thousands on their hobbies every year, often in ways that once the money is spent it is gone for good (such as golfers paying big money for every round they play). At least with lenses the value holds up well in the long term.

I would have no problem justifying buying an expensive lens that will give me a great deal of pleasure over the time I own it, and depreciate (in the long term) just a few pounds a year.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
Tom ­ Reichner
"I am a little creepy"
Avatar
12,477 posts
Gallery: 140 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 3113
Joined Dec 2008
Location: Omak, in north-central Washington state, USA
Post edited over 3 years ago by Tom Reichner.
     
Feb 04, 2015 12:29 as a reply to  @ sandpiper's post |  #32

I also disagree with the rental suggestion. $190 for 3 days is absurd. In fact, I think that rental rates are absurd across the board. If the OP is going to use the 300mm f2.8 on, say 20 weekends throughout the year, and one or two week-long vacations, then he would end up paying over $4000 every year for rental use. That is ridiculous!

Rental fees could be even worse for others; when I was "just a hobbyist" I used my 400mm f2.8 on at least 3 weekends each month, as well as many mornings and evenings before or after work, as well as on 5 or 6 week-long photo trips each year. In fact, I would say that when I was a hobbyist I used my big lens at least 250 days out of the year. Renting would have made no sense at all.

The OP says he primarily shoots wildlife and dogs, so when he is shooting, he is more often than not going to be using/needing a 300mm f2.8. It doesn't seem like a piece of gear that would only be used occasionally, but rather it would serve as the primary workhorse for the types of photography he does.

For people who hardly ever shoot, maybe renting could work out ok, but for those who are serious about their hobby, renting doesn't make any sense, from an economic standpoint.......espec​ially if you're renting the lens that you will use more than any other lens.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
proimages
Senior Member
Avatar
319 posts
Gallery: 2 photos
Joined Mar 2011
Location: Woodland Hills, CA
     
Feb 04, 2015 20:59 |  #33

Haven't seen this option mentioned...
70 -200 iii 2.8 - $2200
doubler..$350
$2550..and an extra 100mm - minus one stop -
take a bunch of huge trips with the money you save...
cheers
Darrin


Proimages.com (external link) - DarrinNupuf.com (external link) - Nupufnudes.com (external link) - video stock (external link)
_______________
PHOTO - VIDEO - ACTION SPORTS - MOTION CONTROL - TIME LAPSE - BACK COUNTRY - FINE ART

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Overread
Goldmember
Avatar
2,182 posts
Gallery: 12 photos
Likes: 27
Joined Mar 2010
     
Feb 06, 2015 03:05 |  #34

proimages wrote in post #17415823 (external link)
Haven't seen this option mentioned...
70 -200 iii 2.8 - $2200
doubler..$350
$2550..and an extra 100mm - minus one stop -
take a bunch of huge trips with the money you save...
cheers
Darrin

Nope you're 200mm shorter that way. See you can put a 2*TC onto a 300mm f2.8 lens and get a great 600mm f5.6 lens out of the deal. And that 4 to 600mm difference is noticeable.

The 70-200mm is certainly a fantastic lens and will indeed take a 2*TC to get to a decent 400mm lens; however if given the choice the 300mm blows it out of the water.


Tools of the trade: Canon 400D, Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS, Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 24-70mm f2.4, Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6, Raynox DCR 250, loads of teleconverters and a flashy thingy too
My flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Luxx
Senior Member
477 posts
Likes: 40
Joined Jan 2013
Location: St Louis
     
Feb 06, 2015 05:16 |  #35

I had rented a 300 2.8 l is for about 10 weekends over a couple years and then bought a used one here for about 3400. The rentals were very reasonable at about 60 a weekend. (Much less than other places...for them a weekend is one day).

I can't really justify my purchase by how much I save vs renting. However, I have used it at least twice a week since I purchased it and taken thousands of photos. I've taken pictures of my kids playing sports and in winter thrown on a 2x mounted on a crop camera and taken photos of Eagles and other birds.

I can tell myself that when my last kid is done with outdoor sports I could sell the lens maybe for 1.5k 15 years from now (who knows) but I'm never selling this thing. I'm having too much fun and that is how I'm justifying it.

Of course now what do I need to get...85 1,2 l...hmm not a lot of version I for sale used...100-400 I for hiking? We will see




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Perry ­ Ge
Batteries? We don't need no...   . . . or cards.
Avatar
12,266 posts
Gallery: 83 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 287
Joined Jul 2007
Location: Hong Kong
     
Feb 08, 2015 10:25 |  #36

It's like asking a car enthusiast how they can justify a Ferrari when they're not a professional race-car driver. Or how a hobbyist golfer can justify blowing thousands on a set of clubs. Or <insert any among hundreds of expensive hobbies>.

As long as you enjoy it and can afford it, it's your money to spend. Just be sensible, financially responsible and don't put yourself in a sticky situation over a few lenses.


Perry | www.perryge.com (external link) | flickr (external link) | C&C always welcome | Market Feedback & Gear | Sharpening sticky | Perspective sticky

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
John ­ Sheehy
Goldmember
2,370 posts
Likes: 263
Joined Jan 2010
     
Feb 08, 2015 10:39 |  #37

Perry Ge wrote in post #17421673 (external link)
As long as you enjoy it and can afford it, it's your money to spend. Just be sensible, financially responsible and don't put yourself in a sticky situation over a few lenses.

One big factor in any financially responsible decision is where the money is coming from. Coming from a credit card is always the most expensive choice in the long run, but taking it out of a checking account yielding only 0.01% interest is much less of a problem.

If one needs a credit card to finance (as opposed to just using it not to carry cash around), it may be worthwhile to look for an almost-as-good substitute, like an older lens with no IS and manual focus, and just learning to focus manually. If you buy used, and don't deteriorate the lens while you own it, it should sell for almost what you paid for it when you can truly afford the more expensive, newer lens.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Perry ­ Ge
Batteries? We don't need no...   . . . or cards.
Avatar
12,266 posts
Gallery: 83 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 287
Joined Jul 2007
Location: Hong Kong
     
Feb 08, 2015 10:46 |  #38

John Sheehy wrote in post #17421703 (external link)
One big factor in any financially responsible decision is where the money is coming from. Coming from a credit card is always the most expensive choice in the long run, but taking it out of a checking account yielding only 0.01% interest is much less of a problem.

If one needs a credit card to finance (as opposed to just using it not to carry cash around), it may be worthwhile to look for an almost-as-good substitute, like an older lens with no IS and manual focus, and just learning to focus manually. If you buy used, and don't deteriorate the lens while you own it, it should sell for almost what you paid for it when you can truly afford the more expensive, newer lens.

Oh yes for sure, that goes without saying. One should always avoid accruing interest on credit card debt, and certainly not for non-essentials. If you can't pay for it it with your own money, you can't afford it.


Perry | www.perryge.com (external link) | flickr (external link) | C&C always welcome | Market Feedback & Gear | Sharpening sticky | Perspective sticky

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Furlan
Senior Member
717 posts
Likes: 103
Joined Nov 2012
     
Feb 08, 2015 10:57 |  #39

Perry Ge wrote in post #17421673 (external link)
It's like asking a car enthusiast how they can justify a Ferrari when they're not a professional race-car driver. Or how a hobbyist golfer can justify blowing thousands on a set of clubs. Or <insert any among hundreds of expensive hobbies>.

As long as you enjoy it and can afford it, it's your money to spend. Just be sensible, financially responsible and don't put yourself in a sticky situation over a few lenses.


Totally agree, and to simplify it affordable YES beg, borrow or steal NO that simple.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sploo
premature adulation
2,382 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 453
Joined Nov 2011
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
     
Feb 08, 2015 14:43 |  #40

sandpiper wrote in post #17415102 (external link)
My 100-400L cost me £895, new, 10 years ago and I sold it towards the end of last year for £775. A loss of £120 or just £12 a year.

Being a bit pedantic (because I don't disagree with the overall tone of your mail) but as per http://www.thisismoney​.co.uk …e-money-changed-1900.html (external link), £895 ten years ago is worth about £1200 in today's money - so slightly higher loss.


Camera, some lenses, too little time, too little talent

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
dliu
Member
67 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Mar 2013
     
Feb 09, 2015 23:04 |  #41

As someone who's been in the same situation, but in a different corner of the world, I thought I might pitch in:

I'd rented the Sigma 120-300S a few times, which was $120/day. I enjoyed having the reach, especially as a lazy photographer who had grown used to a 70-200 on an entry-level crop.

I looked into older versions of both the 300 and 400, but ultimately settled on a 300 II brand spankers new at close to $10k (I did say other side of the world right?).

I've had to upgrade my insurance a fair chunk, purchase a Pelican case specifically to fit the 300, but I'm fine with those. The lens has been amazing, and I don't worry about damaging a rental.

The 300 II with the 1.4x TC has been awesome. I actually prefer it to just the 300mm on fullframe, crazy right?

I haven't made much money off it. It's mostly been a personal-project sort of lens. I shoot a bit of sport for developing teams in niche disciplines, so there's even less money to be made than if I was a Sports Illustrated photog- oh wait.

My back probably hates me. Would I do it again? I'd probably go for the 400 or the 200-400mm to be honest, as crazy as that sounds.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Tom ­ Reichner
"I am a little creepy"
Avatar
12,477 posts
Gallery: 140 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 3113
Joined Dec 2008
Location: Omak, in north-central Washington state, USA
     
Feb 10, 2015 00:27 |  #42

dliu wrote in post #17424764 (external link)
The 300 II with the 1.4x TC has been awesome. I actually prefer it to just the 300mm on fullframe, crazy right?

Not crazy at all. In fact, a 420mm f4.0 sounds a lot more useful than a 300mm f2.8, for ..... well, for shooting just about anything.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
newbie808
Junior Member
21 posts
Likes: 1
Joined May 2012
     
Feb 17, 2015 00:53 |  #43

How does one justify a uber expensive lens? That question has often crossed my mind too. The posts have been very helpful for me because I'm in the same boat. I just purchased the 200-400 super telephoto lens and wow, what a lens! Just make sure you have expendable cash and enjoy it. You don't need to justify anything that you can afford.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Nightstalker
Goldmember
1,666 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Feb 2007
Location: North West UK
     
Feb 17, 2015 17:17 |  #44

Honestly, it would be harder for me as a full time professional shooter to justify that particular lens than it would be for you as a hobby shooter.

Why? I make my living at this and as such I need to justify that any significant capital spend like this will recoup not only the cost of the kit but also a substantial profit in a reasonably short period of time. Being 100% honest I don't shoot anything that requires me to have a 300mm lens so the business justification is impossible at the moment.

Now one of my hobbies is Audio Visual / Home Cinema and justifying spending $6000 on a new setup would be child's play - I want, I can afford, I will buy.

See how simple decisions can be when you break it down to basics.


  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
VBclick
Member
50 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Jul 2013
Location: USA
     
Feb 20, 2015 20:45 |  #45

My neighbor bought a Corvette. He doesn't make any money with it, and he is not looking for a way to justify his purchase. That's what he wanted, and he had the money, so that's what he got.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

8,950 views & 17 likes for this thread
How does a hobby photographer justify a $6000 lens?
FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is Navywife66
736 guests, 382 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 6430, that happened on Dec 03, 2017

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.