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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 13 Jan 2020 (Monday) 17:55
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Tronhard
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Jan 13, 2020 17:55 |  #1

Arguably the investment in a lens will outlast a series of bodies if the history of DSLRs is anything to go by. Bodies change frequently, while lenses not so much. I believe this is mostly because bodies are centred around electronics, and lenses around (electronics of course but) mainly optics - and these change at a much slower rate. Hence one could argue that the decision as to what lens, or for that matter lens system to engage with can have long-reaching effects. So lenses deserve their own space for discussion.

I see a lot of people buy into a camera system because of the bodies. For myself, having shot quite a few brands, when I moved from film to digital, I choose my dominant brand based on the glass rather than the bodies at the time. I have not personally regretted that decision.

Understanding lens concepts such as focal length vs field of view and the impact on how a sensor alters what is delivered by a lens and how we have to then consider that when looking at lens focal lengths (equivalence) are always interesting topics.


"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
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Tronhard
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Tronhard. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 13, 2020 17:55 |  #2

The Eight Laws of Lenses - to start the ball rolling ;-)a


  1. Never sell a good lens.
  2. When evaluating lenses, look at the pictures, not at the lens.
  3. The Leica Lens Designer's Precept (apocryphal) The only way to test a lens is to use it for a year. Everything else is a shortcut.
  4. You can make successful photographs with any lens, no matter how bad. ...
    And The corollary to the Fourth Law You can make terrible photographs with any lens, no matter how good.
  5. You get no extra credit for using a technically excellent lens.
    Ctein's Axiom If you can't see it, it doesn't count.
  6. You can never spend too much money on a lens.
    Corollary to the Sixth Law If a lens works for you, it doesn't matter how little you spent for it or how little it might be esteemed by others, it's still the right lens.
  7. The proper number of lenses to own is the intersection between the sets "all the lenses you need" and "the lowest possible number."
    (Another way to say this is "enough but no more.")
  8. All lenses give their gifts.

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
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Mike ­ B ­ in ­ OK
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Jan 13, 2020 18:38 |  #3

Law number 2 is certainly true. I acquired a fascination with tilt-shift lenses several years ago, and bought a “bargain” used Canon 45mm that looked like it had been run through the dryer with a box of rocks. But the glass was fine, and on the occasions when I’ve used it, it has taken fine photos limited by my ability, not the lens appearance.

I haven’t used that in several years, need to get it out and find an appropriate use....




  
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Jan 17, 2020 01:59 |  #4

9. If a lens really isn't getting used, it is permissible to sell it, but only on the condition that you are funding another piece of photographic equipment that will improve your pictures.


some fairly old canon camera stuff, canon lenses, Manfrotto "thingy", and an M5, also an M6 that has had a 720nm filter bolted onto the sensor:
TF posting: here :-)

  
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Jan 17, 2020 12:42 as a reply to  @ Tronhard's post |  #5

Corollary to #1: unless you replace it with a similar, even better lens, and feel even happier with that.

As an example, I replaced my EF 50 F/1.2L with the RF 50L, and the EF 85L II with the RF 85L. They are quite a bit better,, with the saem rendering but sharper, and I am even happier than before :). It was a relatively slow process, first shooting both EF lenses with an adapter on teh EOS R, replaced the one after a few months, and the other about a month later again.

Kind regards, Wim


EOS R & EOS 5 (analog) with a gaggle of primes & 3 zooms, OM-D E-M1 Mk II & Pen-F with 10 primes, 6 zooms, 3 Metabones adapters/speedboosters​, and an accessory plague

  
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Tronhard
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Jan 17, 2020 18:50 |  #6

Rule #00

The best lens you have (and body for that matter) is the one you have with you when you need it.


"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
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digital ­ paradise
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Jan 18, 2020 09:26 |  #7

Once a time people would purchase an SLR and a 50mm lens which would last a lifetime. Now since DLSR's and MLIC's are computers so this is true. When I first got into digital and realized the manufacturers where going to release new bodies frequently I adopted "glass will last a lifetime". I was careful selecting them and spent didn't hold back on the money. This is of course I got the best for what I could afford. I still have my trusty old 300 L FS IS which I have not touched for years. That was my favourite go to lens for many years before I stopped using it. It is sharp. I may have to try it on my R.

That holds pretty true for lenses but they keep releasing new versions. Even TC's are version III. You don't think they will sell but they do. People are gobbling up the new RF lenses.

I've broken rule 1 several times which I still regret but I had to make way for the salary cap :-) Sometimes you get extra credit for a technically excellent lens. People will comment on how sharp an image is. Something you likely won't see for an image taken with for example the original 75-300.


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Tronhard
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Tronhard. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 18, 2020 11:37 |  #8

digital paradise wrote in post #18994006 (external link)
Once a time people would purchase an SLR and a 50mm lens which would last a lifetime. Now since DLSR's and MLIC's are computers so this is true. When I first got into digital and realized the manufacturers where going to release new bodies frequently I adopted "glass will last a lifetime". I was careful selecting them and spent didn't hold back on the money. This is of course I got the best for what I could afford. I still have my trusty old 300 L FS IS which I have not touched for years. That was my favourite go to lens for many years before I stopped using it. It is sharp. I may have to try it on my R.

That holds pretty true for lenses but they keep releasing new versions. Even TC's are version III. You don't think they will sell but they do. People are gobbling up the new RF lenses.

I've broken rule 1 several times which I still regret but I had to make way for the salary cap :-) Sometimes you get extra credit for a technically excellent lens. People will comment on how sharp an image is. Something you likely won't see for an image taken with for example the original 75-300.

Totally agree with your first paragraph. When I went from shooting film (I used Canon A-1s and Nikon F3s with Tamron Adaptall SP lenses), when I moved to DSLRs I had to really stick to one brand for my work. I went with Canon for the glass.

I think you get credit for the image quality as people see it (rule 2) and if they then find out it was with a good lens they are likely to say something like "of course, that is an awesome lens" but one can take a rubbish image with a great lens (corollary 4), as I am sure we have all done, and no-one is likely to praise the lens.

I had a 75-300 lens with the first DSLR I got, the 400d. For the model, it actually was a tolerably good lens and I got a couple of decent images (out of a lot of shots) that were praised, but I definitely didn't get kudos for the lens! ;-)a


"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
Trevor

  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Jan 18, 2020 13:24 |  #9

Tronhard wrote in post #18991531 (external link)
The Eight Laws of Lenses - to start the ball rolling ;-)a
.....

  • You get no extra credit for using a technically excellent lens.
    Ctein's Axiom If you can't see it, it doesn't count.
    .....

  • .
    I don't really understand what this means. . What do you mean by "extra credit"? . What type of credit is it that gets given to photographers, anyway?

    Any explanation that could help me to understand exactly what is being said here would be appreciated.

    .


    "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".

      
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    Tronhard
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    Post edited over 1 year ago by Tronhard. (12 edits in all)
         
    Jan 18, 2020 14:08 |  #10

    Tom Reichner wrote in post #18994106 (external link)
    .
    I don't really understand what this means. . What do you mean by "extra credit"? . What type of credit is it that gets given to photographers, anyway?

    Any explanation that could help me to understand exactly what is being said here would be appreciated.

    .

    Hi Tom, and thanks for your question.

    So, the point of the "rule" is that the quality of a photograph, from a viewer's point of view, is not dependent on the lens per se: or to put it another way, if you make a rubbish image, knowing you made it with a great lens isn't going to improve the result or their appreciation of the image. Viewers by and large don't care what you used to capture an image, in the end it's the quality of the result that counts.

    "Credit" could be commercial success, kudos (as on this site) or a result in a competition. None of these is likely to be based on the fact that you used a particularly good lens FOR ITS OWN SAKE. It might help you make a better image, but the lens is not the point, the outcome is - hence "if you can't see it, it doesn't count".

    It hearkens back to the idea that "if I get better gear it will make me a better photographer", as if the technology will somehow unleash the hitherto latent genius of the user. Speaking for myself, some of my favourite images that have been commercially successful, and received critical praise have been taken with fairly humble equipment.

    One gunmetal-grey, dank day I took the following image of a lone runner as she braved the elements on the breakwater of Victoria Harbour, Vancouver Island, BC. It was so miserable I didn't take a conventional camera, just my waterproof PowerShot D10. It scored two publications, so I guess someone else liked it, despite the humble lens.

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    If you look at my auto-signature you may see what I mean. Does that help?

    "All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
    "Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
    We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
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    Jan 18, 2020 14:12 |  #11

    I broke number one to fund a future with and woo the woman I love,. worked out well in the end :)


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    Tronhard
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    Jan 18, 2020 14:14 |  #12

    A story about the misconception of gear and talent:

    A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said "I love your pictures - they're wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera." He said nothing until the dinner was finished , then "That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove."

    Sam Haskins


    "All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
    "Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
    We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
    Trevor

      
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    Tronhard
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    Jan 18, 2020 14:15 |  #13

    CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #18994130 (external link)
    I broke number one to fund a future with and woo the woman I love,. worked out well in the end :)

    There is no price too great to pay for a happy and fulfilling life with the one you love.

    :-)


    "All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
    "Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
    We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
    Trevor

      
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    Jan 18, 2020 14:42 |  #14

    CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #18994130 (external link)
    I broke number one to fund a future with and woo the woman I love,. worked out well in the end :)

    You could have welded a coat hanger that was shaped in a circle to it. A little cumbersome to wear but you would have had the best of both worlds. :-)


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    digital ­ paradise
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    Jan 18, 2020 14:53 |  #15

    Tronhard wrote in post #18994067 (external link)
    Totally agree with your first paragraph. When I went from shooting film (I used Canon A-1s and Nikon F3s with Tamron Adaptall SP lenses), I had to really stick to one brand for my work. I went with Canon for the glass.

    I think you get credit for the image quality as people see it (rule 2) and if they then find out it was with a good lens they are likely to say something like "of course, that is an awesome lens" but one can take a rubbish image with a great lens (corollary 4), as I am sure we have all done, and no-one is likely to praise the lens.

    I had a 75-300 lens with the first DSLR I got, the 400d. For the model, it actually was a good lens and I got a couple of decent images (out of a lot of shots) that were praised, but I definitely didn't get kudos for the lens! ;-)a

    That is true. You can take outstanding images with any lens. It is all about the composition, the story your image tells and all the rest. If you want those super fine details in a birds eye, the head feathers, beak, etc then using a high end lens does make a difference. There are a lot of factors but starting with a lens that can squeeze those details sure helps as the starting point.


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