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02-25-2016, 11:37 AM   #1
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How can I tell it's enough?

Odd title for an odd question. I'm always "on the budget" so reducing expenses is always a subject in my book. Anyway, wanted to ask how will I know I don't need one more lens...
My first DSLR was Canon EOS 1100D (or Rebel T3 in US) and I had the 18-55mm kit lens plus a 70-300mm lens. As it was impossible for me to have a "practical all-rounder" and a DSLR (always having the wrong lens attached) I sold it and bought a Canon SX50HS prosumer. That was a few years ago. Now my finances allowed me to have both and I went for a Pentax camera. Bought the kit with the 18-55mm DAL lens and found two cheap Pentax 50mm lenses (one "A" and one "M", both f1.7) as it seemed that I need a better lens than the kit one. Shortly after that, I found a Sigma 28-300mm for a good price, then one more (new) Pentax DA 50mm f1.8 lens and of course, I thought I need a dedicated macro lens and now I'm waiting for a 90mm Tamron to arrive (purchased from a forum member).
To be honest, that seems to cover all my needs (not making money making pictures)... However, I realized I just keep reading reviews, browsing sites like ebay just as if my bag with them lenses isn't already crowded... Am I sick or I really need more lenses? Will it ever stop? Why do I feel that strange urge to buy another one? I didn't have that feeling with the Canon... Help? (before I waste all my money on something I don't need at all...)

02-25-2016, 11:49 AM - 6 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by stein Quote
Anyway, wanted to ask how will I know I don't need one more lens...
Otis says when you see a Priest standing over you making funny hand signs, you can relax, you have all the lenses you will ever need!

Regards!
02-25-2016, 11:58 AM   #3
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Sounds like you might be getting a case of LBA
02-25-2016, 12:01 PM   #4
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Made me smile, but unfortunately, doesn't help.

I barely managed to get out (live and sane) from the enchanted circle of audio stuff. Before that, of course, had to have two massive A class amplifiers, two pairs of electrostatic speakers, external DAC, vacuum tube hybrid CD player, a high end record player (turntable)... Now that I have all that, I don't even bother to turn all those on sometimes and listen to music...
Don't want to end up with a Hubble designed by Ikea...

02-25-2016, 12:10 PM   #5
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Use what you have, learn those lenses and then if there's something you want to do and can't, look for something else. Remember they're tools for your photography. The lens is just a tool. The job dictates the tool.
02-25-2016, 12:14 PM   #6
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Makes sense. Funny how I never thought of that (and I'm fifty one, should've known better by now)...
02-25-2016, 12:31 PM - 1 Like   #7
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There are several ways to approach this.
a) Enjoy the idea of collecting every lens that you can't afford. For some people, collecting is their hobby, and not photography.
b) Go out and shoot with what you've got. Discover the pros and cons of your current lenses. Then research if there is a lens that will reproduce the pros and reduce the cons that you can afford.
c) Think Zen. If your mind and soul is cluttered with indecision because there are too many options, you are not at peace and are distracted from pursuing the real objective. Get rid of all those zooms and pick one or two primes. Even with 2 primes, you'll always feel like you've got the wrong lens on your camera. There is no solution for this. So then you pick up a second body and have two straps on your neck. You'll constantly feel like you have the wrong camera and lens in your hands. So forget it, with APS-C live with that one 35mm or 43mm prime. FF go with 50mm. MF go with 75mm. Learn to control that itch to switch to the wide angle. Tomorrow is Wide Angle Wednesday. Telephoto Thursday. Standard Saturdays and Sundays. Work on your photo editing on Mondays and Tuesdays.
d) When I'm really lazy, or I'm willing to compromise, I'll go with a 16-85mm zoom. Most of my shots end up being at 16mm or 85mm, but I didn't have to swap out primes.
e) Trust the universe. Let the right lens find you and stop trying to find it. Recently I discovered the Russian-made Petzal lens. Too expensive and no Pentax mount. She's beautiful but we're incompatible. Let it go.....
02-25-2016, 12:32 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Use what you have, learn those lenses and then if there's something you want to do and can't, look for something else. Remember they're tools for your photography. The lens is just a tool. The job dictates the tool.

I couldn't agree more. New glass is fun, but it will not make you a better photographer. The thing is to really take the time to learn how to use what you got and make the most out of that (even if it's just the basic kit lens).

02-25-2016, 12:48 PM   #9
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Thanks... Now I feel better... I was really afraid of getting into the whirl of wasting money today on things I will not use tomorrow. I'll just stop thinking about it and keep walking around with whatever I have now (that includes the Tamron macro lens I already paid for but still waiting on USPS to update the tracking page to "delivered" )

The mantra for today: keep cool and think of other things...
02-25-2016, 01:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stein Quote
I was really afraid of getting into the whirl of wasting money

Another point of view could be that (not all but) some of the lenses keep the value better than money in the bank. When you'll keep your money in the bank what will you get nowadays? Interest almost 0. When you buy a nice solid lens, you hardly lose something and you'll surely have lot of fun. Unless there are other things which you need more.
02-25-2016, 01:06 PM   #11
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Welcome to the club...
To reduce the feeling that you don't have the right lens attached to your camera, try this exercise: Put a prime lens on your camera, for example one of those 50's, and make a deliberate effort to go out and shoot with just that prime for a certain time. Like, go out for an hour or two, and shoot only with 50mm. Or keep the camera with you the whole day, and shoot only with that one lens. It will make you think differently, or see differently and you'll learn how to use whatever focal length you have with you at that time.
Learn to sell lenses you don't use.
And yes, it's the job that dictates the tool, so if you plan to shoot macro, buy macro. If you plan to shoot wildlife, buy telephoto. Buy whatever you feel like buying, but if you don't really use it, don't be afraid to sell it.
02-25-2016, 01:21 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
Another point of view could be that (not all but) some of the lenses keep the value better than money in the bank. When you'll keep your money in the bank what will you get nowadays? Interest almost 0. When you buy a nice solid lens, you hardly lose something and you'll surely have lot of fun. Unless there are other things which you need more.
Oh, it's not the bank... The fact is that I recently replaced my ten year old Renault Modus for an almost new 4x4 Skoda Yeti. Of course I didn't pay for it from savings but with money I didn't make...yet. Each monthly payment cost me the equivalent of a low end/cheap lens. So, I'm not keeping my money in the bank, at least not for a long time ... OTOH, the Yeti was really a bargain at half of a price of a new one, under warranty and a very low mileage. I consider that move to be a reasonable investment, not wasting money... (plus it has heating in the seats which is highly appreciated by my back) sorry for the OT rambling.
02-25-2016, 02:26 PM   #13
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Nice. The Yeti is similar to the Subaru Forester or maybe smaller?
We'll replace our 2003 Subaru Outback this year. It's rusting pretty badly but still drives like a champ. It was nice not having car payments...but my wife is pretty set on a new Outback.

it will be interesting to see what you can do with your kit. The macro will be a LOT of fun. That's a whole new skillset in the field, walking around looking for interesting small things. I chase bees. One thing I figured out last autumn was getting shots of little lassoglossum and (I think) perdita bees was actually easier with my 28mm Sigma macro, which has a deeper DOF. Who would have thought shorter lenses are better for 4mm bees?
02-25-2016, 02:32 PM   #14
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When I evaluate a need for a lens, I usually look at the focal lengths I am covering. If I am covering the span of focal length that I am interested in for use, I am satisfied and don't want to double up.

If the use of primes (designated lengths) is a method in which a user wants to perform, distinguishing which matter most that perform in different focal length areas (example: macro, 50, 150) may be a way of approaching the different areas of focal length.

I myself, with my K-5IIS/Pentax 16-85 and K-3II/Sigma 150-500 have a lens on each camera, and do not plan to take it off for long periods to avoid dust/dirt contamination. I know the 86-149 focal range is not covered for now, and have been looking at possibilities for that coverage (example: 70-200), but right now the coverage and image quality I am getting is satisfying. If I did get a 70-200, I would also probably be looking at purchasing a DSLR to match it up with. Not that I would be surely buying another camera and that lens right now, but I might consider a K-1 for it. At this time though, with two cameras and lenses, as I said I have what I need, am not missing out on a lot, and I know it.

You do not have a super telephoto lens (example 400, 500, 600), and maybe you do not need it, but from reading your list of lenses, it seems that you are more than covering the up to 300 focal range. Being conservative, using and learning about the equipment you have now may be the sensible step for you. That way you will know what you use/don't use, need/don't need and go from there. Of course there will always be new choices and availability, but using what you have and being conservative sensibly is a wise step also.

Happy Shooting!!
02-25-2016, 02:50 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stein Quote
almost new 4x4 Skoda Yeti

My first car was Fabia (1st generation) yeeeeaaaars ago, then I had Superb II, another Superb II and now since several weeks the new Superb III. Best value for the money in my opinion (like Pentax among cameras... ).

I'm quite interested to see the final version of this one: https://www.carwow.co.uk/news/Skoda-2016-SUV-price-specs-and-release-date-1824

Last edited by zzeitg; 02-25-2016 at 03:09 PM.
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