Pho­to: popphoto.com

Ini­tial data: you plan to do pho­tog­ra­phy, set aside a cer­tain amount of mon­ey to buy equip­ment, and … and fell into a stu­por. What to buy and what to invest in more? An expen­sive lens and a very sim­ple car­cass? Dear car­cass and some kind of lens for left­overs? Or maybe try to find 50/50? The ques­tion is impor­tant.

Invest­ing in high-qual­i­ty optics will play into your hands more than once. We under­stand why.

Size matters

Let’s say you chose the option with an expen­sive car­cass and a cheap “for change” lens. We did a cou­ple of shoots, filmed some­thing, but the result, most like­ly, caused sup­pressed feel­ings. And then com­plaints began: to man­u­fac­tur­ers, cours­es, a cam­era (to myself and skills, of course, in the last place). And there should be no com­plaints at all in this sit­u­a­tion, you your­self chose to invest in an expen­sive cam­era, sav­ing on a good lens.

It is fool­ish to expect out­stand­ing image qual­i­ty, noble mid­tones and high image sharp­ness from a five thou­sand zoom lens.

Yes, whale optics can be a good tran­si­tion­al option to start with, but only tem­po­rary. Pick­ing up a pre­mi­um fix, you will feel the dif­fer­ence from the very first frames, even if you are just start­ing your jour­ney in pho­tog­ra­phy and col­lect­ing a park of optics. If we are talk­ing about updat­ing the kit for a per­son already film­ing, then there is noth­ing to say. There is a huge dif­fer­ence between a mod­est lens and a pre­mi­um one! The case when size mat­ters.

Pho­to: dpreview.com

Camera vs lens. What and how affects the picture?

If you close­ly study the chronol­o­gy of updates from major play­ers in the pho­tog­ra­phy mar­ket, you will notice that new lens mod­els come out much less fre­quent­ly than cam­eras. In the 21st cen­tu­ry, optics pro­duc­tion tech­nol­o­gy is so advanced that it pro­gress­es slow­ly: most of the mod­els already pre­sent­ed give an incred­i­ble pic­ture. Get­ting old to be updat­ed in the new for­mat, they will be long. Many mas­ters shoot with the same lens­es for decades.

A lens is a one-time invest­ment for many years.

In turn, the cam­eras — yes! The line­up is updat­ed every year, man­u­fac­tur­ers present improved car­cass­es with new fea­tures and improve­ments. But these are just bells and whis­tles that have a sec­ondary effect on the pic­ture. And makes her lens. Shoot­ing in 4K, long bursts, wi-fi con­nec­tiv­i­ty to a smart­phone and so on and so forth seems excit­ing, but rarely comes into play unless you have a spe­cif­ic request for these options. For exam­ple, shoot­ing a video for a blog or mul­ti-part sports shoot­ing.

The lens will mat­ter in all respects and in any shoot­ing.

Pho­to on 85mm/1.2 lens pixel24.ru
Pho­to on 85mm/1.8 lens pixel24.ru

The cam­era will affect col­or repro­duc­tion, depth, aut­o­fo­cus speed (such as the num­ber of focus points), and over­all con­trol over image acqui­si­tion. The lens, on the oth­er hand, makes the pic­ture and will have more influ­ence on accu­ra­cy, pat­tern, col­ors, depth of field and bokeh qual­i­ty. Of course, the sharp­ness of the image depends on the num­ber of megapix­els and the size of the matrix in the cam­era, but if the lens is not “sharp” enough, then you will not ful­ly ben­e­fit from such a res­o­lu­tion of the car­cass.

The essence always remains the same: there is a lens through which light pass­es, and the matrix itself (film) where it enters. A kind of pre­lim­i­nary ver­sion of the future pic­ture.

Any bells and whis­tles like frames per sec­ond, noise reduc­tion, phone con­trol, etc. — only the vari­abil­i­ty of the approach and work with this light pass­ing through the lens.

The essence remains the same. And if so, then with the arrange­ment and seri­ous­ness, first of all, you need to approach it, to the essence.

From my own expe­ri­ence

My last few cam­eras have var­ied great­ly in sen­sor size and res­o­lu­tion. Yes, now it is FF, but before that there was a crop, and even ear­li­er — it’s not a shame to speak, a very mod­est device. The cards fell so that almost from the very first car­cass I had 85/1.2. Very fast and pre­mi­um lens. And what a hefty one! The years went by, and over time, shoot­ing with sev­er­al dif­fer­ent ones, one of which was a whale zoom, I increas­ing­ly felt the dif­fer­ence in the pic­ture between them. Yes, even on a strong crop. Hav­ing moved to a more seri­ous cam­era, I felt the dif­fer­ence more and more: take my word for it, I didn’t even want to use oth­er lens­es when I saw the results from L‑ki after shoot­ing. By switch­ing to FF, I com­plete­ly got rid of mod­est rep­re­sen­ta­tives in my arse­nal. I just don’t get the same from them that I get from seri­ous optics. Why then?

And I don’t even think about part­ing with sev­er­al L‑s already. These lens­es are quite old, but they still do their job per­fect­ly. Like the old Mer­cedes-Benz and the new Lada 2021, where the old Mer­cedes is still a Mer­cedes, a lux­u­ry car. A clear exam­ple of how car­cass­es can change, even if very rarely, based on the finan­cial sit­u­a­tion, needs and devel­op­ment of tech­nol­o­gy, and the lens will con­stant­ly pro­duce a strong pic­ture on what is, and con­tin­ue to pro­duce it on a stronger tech­nique. Even after decades.

Pho­tos of user pikabu.ru/@Zelibon

On the left is the pre­mi­um Sig­ma 50mm Art — on the right is the demo­c­ra­t­ic Nikon 35mm 1.8

Pho­tos of user pikabu.ru/@Zelibon

On the left is the pre­mi­um Sig­ma 50mm Art — on the right is the demo­c­ra­t­ic Nikon 35mm 1.8

Pho­tos of user pikabu.ru/@Zelibon

On the left is the pre­mi­um Sig­ma 50mm Art — on the right is the demo­c­ra­t­ic Nikon 35mm 1.8

Reverse per­son­al exam­ple! Once I was lucky enough to buy a Ger­man Voigt­lander Bessa for an inde­cent­ly mod­est amount. Pre­mi­um rangefind­er of Leica lev­el. But there was not enough mon­ey for the same pre­mi­um optics from Voigt­lander itself or from Leica (they have one mount). I took in the appendage the sim­ple “Jupiter” of the Sovi­et era. And after a while, anoth­er mod­est lens, pin­ning hopes on it. It did­n’t help the case. The car­cass, maybe, is pre­mi­um, it works out the shut­ter speed, it lies in the hand, the expo­sure meter is of high qual­i­ty — but cheap lens­es do not give out a high-qual­i­ty pic­ture. The longer I put off buy­ing good optics on Bess, the longer it just lies, because I just don’t want to shoot with exist­ing lens­es.

Is there an ideal scheme?

Let’s go back to the begin­ning: are you putting togeth­er a starter kit and try­ing to fig­ure out how to allo­cate finances? There is no per­fect answer here as it all depends on a lot of fac­tors includ­ing the amount, your shoot­ing style and what you will be shoot­ing.

But I will give some gen­er­al tips on how to put togeth­er a good kit, even for a mod­est amount, and still not mis­cal­cu­late.

- First and most obvi­ous: you need to see how dif­fer­ent lens­es per­form in order to under­stand which one to take. Even good optics have a large price range.

- Per­son­al advice: when choos­ing between sev­er­al lens­es, bet on fix­es. 18/35/50/85 mm. Just because. Zoom lens­es are by no means bad, but prac­tice shows that fix­es give a bet­ter pic­ture.

You can also see exam­ples. My advice is to go to Flickr and search for pho­tos by the key com­bi­na­tion “your car­cass + the lens you are look­ing for.” There will def­i­nite­ly be pho­tos, there are a lot of users on the ser­vice. See how the lens will draw exact­ly on your cam­era mod­el, how it will show itself, what kind of pic­ture it gives to oth­er peo­ple.

— You can look for pho­to equip­ment rental com­pa­nies in your city and take the lens of inter­est to shoot for a cou­ple of days. Most like­ly, it will not cost space mon­ey, and you will under­stand how you shoot for the cho­sen mod­el.

- In the end, if all the pre­vi­ous points have been sort­ed out, but a finan­cial ques­tion aris­es, then look for a lens in the sec­ondary mar­ket. Ad sites, VKon­tak­te prod­ucts and pho­to forums will come to the res­cue. The prices will be low­er. When buy­ing, you can agree on a test day to check the equip­ment. Or check the work­ing out of all options and the clean­li­ness of the lens­es inside on the spot.

It is impor­tant to remem­ber that car­cass­es are only con­sum­ables that become moral­ly and phys­i­cal­ly obso­lete, break down, wear out and be replaced soon­er or lat­er. The lens is the main invest­ment. In order for your cam­era to work with full effi­cien­cy, soon­er or lat­er you will have to fork out for seri­ous optics. A high-qual­i­ty and expen­sive lens will give excel­lent results on both ama­teur and pro­fes­sion­al car­cass­es. Only with good optics will you get the most out of your cam­era.


От Yara

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