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01-18-2010, 08:51 PM   #1
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Software or Lens

I'm not sure whether to put this into Post Processing or Lenses so let's try here.

I've got a decent little bonus on the way from my company (20 years anniversary). I've got around 500 bucks to spend any way I want. This is rare for me on my limited budget. Here's my dilemma. I'm really wanting a wide lens, I'm considering the 10-20, sigma 24 1.8 prime or the DA15 with the addition of a few more bucks. Right now it's a 16-45 & 55-300 as my kit.

But I also think that I need to spend the money and go ahead and get aperture which I'm using in demo mode right now as well as nik software's Silver Efex which I absolutely loved after using the demo. Since it's only 50 dollars more I would go for the complete Nik package for aperture including the color tools, noise reduction and sharpening. I can get along without the software but it's a bit of a pain using iPhoto and Elements which are my options if I skip the lenses.

So bow to the LBA and use iPhoto and Elements or get the software and use what I've got for glass? What do you fine folks think would help me grow and improve my photography. My favorite subjects are the urban decay that I find on my walks downtown. That's why I'd like something wide.

01-18-2010, 09:46 PM   #2
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Your 16-45 should fit the bill in most situations, and is of decent quality to keep you satisfied with its results. You wouldn't be gaining so much from a 24 or 15mm prime to what you already have, but you also don't have a fast lens (like the FA 50). I'd normally have said to go for your next favoured lens to own & use, but in this situation, knowing you want to continue developing PP skills as well, the right software is important - and I don't know how much longer you can keep using the demo you have of Aperture.

So I say go for the Aperture and Nik package. Enjoy deciding.
01-18-2010, 10:23 PM   #3
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If you're not often in a situation where the lenses are limiting you, go for the software.

Else the choice is far more difficult and I don't like to be in your shoes. As usually advised, check what you're lacking in your current lens setup (focal length, low light performance). Except possibly for IQ you don't gain much (if anything) with the DA15LTD. The others depend on your needs (fast versus wideangle).
01-18-2010, 10:57 PM   #4
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If you do a lot of PP on your images, Shoot in RAW, have the determination to learn PP go for the software it will change the image a lot lot better than having a sharp lens.

01-19-2010, 05:14 AM   #5
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If you decide to go with lens, of the three options the 10-20 would be my choice as 15 & 24 are pretty much covered with your 16-45. Pentax own 12-24 would be more expensive choice and perhaps out of your budget.

I'm currently on the demo software phase too (LR3) and for me getting a licenced version is a definite way to go (before ~100mm macro lens) as I found out (finally) that PP is a very important part of digital photography.

So, my sugest would be also to go with the software (if you can/want not live with demo/freeware programs).
01-19-2010, 06:47 AM   #6
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If it were me, I would go for the lens.

You can, if you expose correctly get by with almost any software package. If you truely want to go wide, there is nothing software can do to give you that perspective.

ALso, while many people comment that your 16-45 should cover msot situations, I will go back to my film experience.

I hada 24mm and was always frustrated it did not go wide enough. a 16 mm on the ASP-C sensor is the same field of view. It is not all that wide.

I have the first generation sigma 10-20 and love it. It takes about 50% of my travel shots and over a year takes about 20% of all shots I take.
01-19-2010, 07:03 AM   #7
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I'm leaning toward the software as many have suggested. And also as suggested I was looking into the 10-20 as my number one lens choice. I just bought the 16-45 to suppliment my 18-55 and haven't even received it yet but they are so close in size I expect that I won't see a large difference in focal length. There are times where I want something much wider than the 18 provided. I had a 50 that I sold to get the 16-45, I never used it because it was just too long for anything that I like to shoot and wasn't getting used.

I'll probably go with software. I love the ease of doing basic editing and organizing with Aperture and since I love doing B&W conversion the Silver Efex is a winner. Still thinking about it. I'll at least wait until I get the 16-45 before making a decision.
01-19-2010, 07:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
... I will go back to my film experience.

I hada 24mm and was always frustrated it did not go wide enough. a 16 mm on the ASP-C sensor is the same field of view. It is not all that wide.
Funny, I had a 28mm and hardly ever had the need for wider. Shows that it depends on your needs and that is what OP has to figure out.

01-19-2010, 11:54 AM   #9
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What version of Elements are you using, it's a pretty powerful tool for what it is? If you have an older version an upgrade would be cheaper and you could still buy a lens.
FWI I'm still using Elements 6 and I'm still finding new stuff I can do with it.
01-19-2010, 12:55 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
What version of Elements are you using, it's a pretty powerful tool for what it is? If you have an older version an upgrade would be cheaper and you could still buy a lens.
FWI I'm still using Elements 6 and I'm still finding new stuff I can do with it.
I'm using 7 which will do fine. I'm a lazy SOB and I like the ability to be able to do the basic sharpness, contrast, saturation etc with Aperture. It's a big time saver compared to opening in elements and helps with organization. The nik stuff makes it so easy to do a B&W conversion compared to elements and the results seem much better. I'm considering splitting the difference and getting aperture and skipping the nik software stuff for now. I can then put a few hundred in the kitty for when that deal of a lifetime comes along in the marketplace.
01-19-2010, 03:31 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by VaughnA Quote
I'm using 7 which will do fine. I'm a lazy SOB and I like the ability to be able to do the basic sharpness, contrast, saturation etc with Aperture. It's a big time saver compared to opening in elements and helps with organization. The nik stuff makes it so easy to do a B&W conversion compared to elements and the results seem much better. I'm considering splitting the difference and getting aperture and skipping the nik software stuff for now. I can then put a few hundred in the kitty for when that deal of a lifetime comes along in the marketplace.
Are you sure that it's Elements 7, because there was no version 7 for Mac. Before the latest version 8, there was 6.

Anyway, before you run out and get Aperture, you might want to wait just awhile because the Mac rumors sites are anticipating a new version of Aperture soon. I don't know what "soon" means (no one outside of Apple does), but perhaps it will happen at the upcoming media event on 1/27 where the latest version of iLife and a rumored tablet computer are expected.

The Nik package sounds awesome--I've not read a bad review of it yet. I would love a copy of Silver Efex. Someday, maybe.

Last edited by indytax; 01-19-2010 at 03:35 PM. Reason: add links
01-19-2010, 03:56 PM   #12
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Yep elements 6. Last for mac before the new 8.

I also need to stay out of the 10-20 thread in lenses...
01-19-2010, 06:55 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by VaughnA Quote
I also need to stay out of the 10-20 thread in lenses...
Amen......
01-20-2010, 06:01 PM   #14
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I'm going to at least wait until the Apple Event to see what happens. I've got a nikonian friend who is going to let me play with his 10-20 to see if it would be good for me and worth the cost to get a bit wider than the 16-45.
01-20-2010, 08:05 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by VaughnA Quote
I'm going to at least wait until the Apple Event to see what happens.
A wise idea as more evidence (mostly placeholders in inventory systems for books and guides to Aperture 3) is coming very soon. When it does, I think it will be interesting to see what its feature set will be.
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