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04-04-2015, 12:18 AM   #1
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Understand product lines saves you money

When I started with DLSR, I did not know anything about interchangeable lenses (some people here in this forum think I doesn't know anything :-) but that's another issue).

So, here is the story:
I purchased a K200 + 18-55 kit.
Then I purchased a 18-250, very convenient zoom lens, and not bad in good lighting conditions, took lots of great photos with the 18-250.
Then I realized the limitation of the 18-250 and 18-55, so I purchased a 17-70 and I was very happy.
Then I purchased a K-5, and realized the limitation of the 17-70...
....and so on.... bought other lenses.

Then I kind of understood the logic of Pentax lens product lines: DA L , DA, DA Limited, DA*, FA etc... and finally recognized that what Pentax folk were doing made sense.

If I had known that at the beginning, I'd have purchased the high-end lenses first and although their price is higher, it would have saved me money.

My friend from Canon tells me: "Yes, but if you did not buy the cheap lenses first, you won't have learned the difference."

Ok, but learning by buying was expensive.

04-04-2015, 01:35 AM - 1 Like   #2
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LOL I had the same experience and ended up with too many lenses. I finally cured my LBA by buying only the best I can't wait for the FF so that hopefully I can cure my camera buying addiction as well

Peter
04-04-2015, 01:36 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
When I started with DLSR, I did not know anything about interchangeable lenses (some people here in this forum think I doesn't know anything :-) but that's another issue).

So, here is the story:
I purchased a K200 + 18-55 kit.
Then I purchased a 18-250, very convenient zoom lens, and not bad in good lighting conditions, took lots of great photos with the 18-250.
Then I realized the limitation of the 18-250 and 18-55, so I purchased a 17-70 and I was very happy.
Then I purchased a K-5, and realized the limitation of the 17-70...
....and so on.... bought other lenses.

Then I kind of understood the logic of Pentax lens product lines: DA L , DA, DA Limited, DA*, FA etc... and finally recognized that what Pentax folk were doing made sense.

If I had known that at the beginning, I'd have purchased the high-end lenses first and although their price is higher, it would have saved me money.

My friend from Canon tells me: "Yes, but if you did not buy the cheap lenses first, you won't have learned the difference."

Ok, but learning by buying was expensive.
In retrospect it sound obvious that a zoom that cost 1000$ should be better than a zoom that cost 150$ isn't it?

I remember for me the same: it is difficult to understand that lenses are really important, more than the camera.
04-04-2015, 01:39 AM   #4
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Well, originally, the idea to buy a cheaper lens was to save money, but ultimately it was the other way around.

04-04-2015, 01:40 AM   #5
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In my opinion you buy more focal range and faster aperture than quality as far as standart zooms are concerned. At about f/8 the 18-55 is quite good if you don't pixel peep.
04-04-2015, 02:34 AM   #6
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That is what progression is about, you learn the pros and cons of lenses (prime or zoom). You don't learn if you don't try different lenses and focal lengths.
04-04-2015, 03:15 AM - 1 Like   #7
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If you've learned along the way then it was worth it. I sold off my K-100D Super, DA 18-55, DA 50-200, FA 35, FA 50 and went to a K-5II, HD DA's 21, 40 & 70! I did keep a Sigma 50-500 but that's the only zoom now. The Sigma is getting very little use these days and I'll probably swap that out for a DA* 60-250 in the Spring. I don't have regrets, and yes it did cost more in the long run. If you have your health and your camera…it's all good…the other stuff is just money:-)

Last edited by Saltwater Images; 04-04-2015 at 03:15 AM. Reason: Typo
04-04-2015, 03:32 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Saltwater Images Quote
If you have your health and your camera…it's all good…
Hey hey ! Yeah, it's beginning of spring over here... K-5 and K-3 are in the starting blocks :-)

04-04-2015, 03:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Well, originally, the idea to buy a cheaper lens was to save money, but ultimately it was the other way around.
Yeah but you didn' know at the begining ! More than half of DSLR buyers never buy any additionnal lenses. Maybe they think their camera is good enough or maybe they just finally aren't not that interrested.

Anyway, they can start and try for maybe 600$ while if they directly started with a pro level camera and lenses they would spend more 2000-6000$... Imagine if they could have been as happy with a more basic gear or if they discover they don't like taking photos that much in the end?

We buy many, many things. Sometime we buy cheap, sometime we buy advanced gear. The goal should be to buy cheap most of the time when you don't need more and buy more expensive only when there clear added value !
04-04-2015, 04:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
If I had known that at the beginning, I'd have purchased the high-end lenses first and although their price is higher, it would have saved me money.

I'm afraid it's all much more complicated. You can really learn a lot even from the cheap kit lens. And there's so much fun with the old lenses... K, M, A, F, FA... Russian lenses, East-German lenses, old Japan lenses...
The thing is what does "high-end lenses" mean? Is it technical perfection you're after? Or character, IQ, bokeh, pixie dust, 3D effect, sharpness, color rendition... I tend to enjoy both depending on the situation... sometimes a technically tiptop shot is nice, but sometimes I simply prefer the character (with respect to all the imperfections which my old lenses might have).


Anyway what counts is the experience (no matter how much you paid for it ).
04-04-2015, 06:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pacu Quote
In my opinion you buy more focal range and faster aperture than quality as far as standart zooms are concerned. At about f/8 the 18-55 is quite good if you don't pixel peep.
+1on that ! I learned the hard way. Rather than coming to my own conclusion on the 18-55mm I just bought into the mass gossip and rhetoric and sold it ! Now that exact lens is missed and Im using a borrowed copy that needs to be replaced....... Never again.
18-55 is just fine for certain applications and uses and everyone trashes it and says sell ! !
04-04-2015, 06:26 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
When I started with DLSR, I did not know anything about interchangeable lenses (some people here in this forum think I doesn't know anything :-) but that's another issue).

So, here is the story:
I purchased a K200 + 18-55 kit.
Then I purchased a 18-250, very convenient zoom lens, and not bad in good lighting conditions, took lots of great photos with the 18-250.
Then I realized the limitation of the 18-250 and 18-55, so I purchased a 17-70 and I was very happy.
Then I purchased a K-5, and realized the limitation of the 17-70...
....and so on.... bought other lenses.

Then I kind of understood the logic of Pentax lens product lines: DA L , DA, DA Limited, DA*, FA etc... and finally recognized that what Pentax folk were doing made sense.

If I had known that at the beginning, I'd have purchased the high-end lenses first and although their price is higher, it would have saved me money.

My friend from Canon tells me: "Yes, but if you did not buy the cheap lenses first, you won't have learned the difference."

Ok, but learning by buying was expensive.
Hey biz-engineer, don't be thinking we think you don't know anything.... my favourite line is from my sister on this topic, when everyone lets loose on her "You make one little mistake and everyone goes ballistic." But there really is no way around the lens learning curve thing. Except to take a course from a school that has lots of different gear and you can borrow it. Nothing tells you about a lens like using it. But don't toss those old lenses. Every now and then when I go on a long canoe trip, lots of food to carry and too much weight, I just take the 18-250. I have the DA 18-135 and DA *60-250 but I just don't want to be bothered. I think a lot of your edge as guy interested in photography is knowing when you can get away with a less than stellar lens, because they are almost always lighter.

I few years ago, I was walking through the woods, when I realized a lot of what I was looking at for images were on hillsides and south faces, and that my Sigma 70 macro, just wasn't giving me what I wanted. The Sigma 70-300 macro gave me the opportunity to move downhill and shoot from ground level or even low the level of the mushroom,for a more interesting perspective. I used my old Sigma 70-300, that I bought when I was first getting into digital. Generally considered to be a terrible lens, but, used from 7 feet away in macro mode, it gave me some great images....







And that's the thing about those lenses. Sure every piece of glass I have bought in the last 5 years is better in most ways, but a day comes along when, you remember "this lens does something my others don't" like take macros from 7 feet away. I might use that lens once every 6 months, but I'm not parting with it. I used it enough to understand what it can do for me. And if you understand that about your lenses, you know something valuable. The fact that you can expand your vision by exploring new lenses doesn't mean you'll never again use what you learned on the older cheaper ones. Just remember the shots you took with them that turned out great, and if that situation comes up again, give it a try. It might surprise you again.

The most expensive 35 or 50 macro with the best resolution, wouldn't have given me these images, I used all 300mm. And I'm not buying a 300mm macro to sit in my cupboard and get hauled out twice a year for a couple hours total.

Last edited by normhead; 04-04-2015 at 06:42 AM.
04-04-2015, 06:48 AM   #13
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Yeah, thats exactly how it goes.
If you buy K-5IIs and DFA 100mm or FA 77mm, then you would never know the difference between a poor lens, a budget lens, a decent compromise, and a premium lens. Then you wouldnt appreciate your photography as much. And not only that, we all took bad photos at first, before we developed our skills. So if you take snapshots with affordable gear, you wont be as miffed, as you would be if you take snapshots with high end gear.
So I think its good to start slowly, build up skills, and only upgrade when you realize how your gear is limiting you. Otherwise, you have gear with a really steep learning curve. Might even end up quitting in frustration. Better to start with 18-55mm, then get DA 35mm f2.4, and so on. You can get some money back by selling the old gear, if it doesnt have too much sentimental value
04-04-2015, 07:09 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
In retrospect it sound obvious that a zoom that cost 1000$ should be better than a zoom that cost 150$ isn't it?
But is it 6.67 times better?

Perhaps, but perhaps not. Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. Does the value of a thousand dollar lens justify it's price relative to $150 lens? For some, that answer may well be yes, for others no.

Years ago the first non-kit lens I bought was the DA40 Limited. Several months ago I bought the "Plastic Fantastic" DA35. Since buying that lens, I'm more inclined to use it than the 40 because in my opinion the optical quality is close to the same, but the 35, being physically larger, is easier for me to mount to and remove from the camera. So, the value of the 35 is, to me, higher than the value of the 40.

But that's my mileage, others' mileage may vary.
04-04-2015, 07:39 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Yeah, thats exactly how it goes.
If you buy K-5IIs and DFA 100mm or FA 77mm, then you would never know the difference between a poor lens, a budget lens, a decent compromise, and a premium lens. Then you wouldnt appreciate your photography as much. And not only that, we all took bad photos at first, before we developed our skills. So if you take snapshots with affordable gear, you wont be as miffed, as you would be if you take snapshots with high end gear.
So I think its good to start slowly, build up skills, and only upgrade when you realize how your gear is limiting you. Otherwise, you have gear with a really steep learning curve. Might even end up quitting in frustration. Better to start with 18-55mm, then get DA 35mm f2.4, and so on. You can get some money back by selling the old gear, if it doesnt have too much sentimental value
For sure, there's nothing worse than seeing the posts on the forum who have bought really good expensive lenses, and are really disappointed with the results, because they were expecting to much from the lens. A really great lens in the hands of a really great photographer produces really great images. A really great lens in the hands of a snapshot shooter, produces snapshots. And maybe not even really great snapshots.
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