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Lens purchase strategy

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Hello all,

I imagine many of us are having a kind of strategy to purchase lenses that cover our needs for the shooting style we have. My approach was to get f/4 zooms (back problems) and combine them with fast primes for low light and better sharpness (even though latest f/2.8 zooms seem to nullify the latter) when needed. Then, probably some of us are basically going for more of a lens to lens evaluation for the purchases, considering + & - of getting in in addition to or replacing one or more lenses in the current lineup.

What is your approach and why?


My approach is to only purchase lenses, which will allow for shots I couldn't have taken with my existing gear.

I started out with what I considered to be good enough and reasonably priced f4 L zooms, but trying to get better results has led me to be interested only in the very best for what I do, which led me to shooting primes mostly. Now if something goes wrong I can consistently blame myself, not my gear.

I am fairly new in photograpy, and still learning and exploring various avenues. Initially I had 15-85 and 60D. I realized I liked shooting at the wide end or the tele end in almost 90% of my shots. I like shooting landscapes, and also lust for shots that yields creamy background. I sold the 15-85, and bought 24-70L to cover general shooting, portraits, and wanted a constant aperture. About 90% of the time I found myself shooting at 70mm wide open.

When I moved to FF, I felt I was missing out on the reach and wanted a 70-200 or 70-300. I could not afford the 70-200 f2.8 IS MKII so bought a used 70-200 f.8L only to see if I like the weight, and the shots it can help me get. Then later sell this and add money to get the MKII ultimately. Sort of like a stepping stone for me.

So for the next 10 months I am hoping to get the 14mm Samyang for wide landscape shots, and then upgrade to MKII. Who knows, all these might change depending on my shooting habits down the road. Something tells me I will love primes more once I get my hands on some.

My strategy is simple - purchase a new lens only when the several that I have won't allow me to take
the kind of shots I want to take.  It leads to a rather sparse camera bag, but a rich satisfaction at my
production.  If you find yourself continually moving backward to get the framing you want, buy a wider
angle.  If you find yourself constantly cropping your frames, get an appropriate telephoto.  If you do
neither, you don't need a new lens.  I find my 35mm and 75mm cover just about everything.

I buy a new lens when I can't get the shot with my current set up. In the past, I've rented lenses that were not likely to see a lot of use in near future but were required for a specific shoot.



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