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Author Topic: Do you feel your photos have improved proportionally to the cost of your gear?  (Read 13563 times)

drolo61

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To the point!

Quality of pictures almost always finally lies with the viewer - what I consider cool might no impress others much.

Taking pictures since about 35 years, I started out with a SLR and free Kodachrome as much as I wanted (my dad used to work there). Looking through old boxes, some of my very early stuff impresses me still today. Went lat to digital, as IQ around the end 90' "wasnt there". Experimented with 6x6 and 6x9, enjoying the "slow down" which comes with 220 film. You rather carefully compose, measure your light and you come home with a roll or two (that is 10 to 20 pictures). Moved into digital T-Rebel, 10D, 5D and now 5DIII. Jump to FF made me feel like "coming home" with respect to IQ and less angles.

So cost of gear, if you buy used (that was my medium format time), is not really the problem. To me, new gear always inspiered my to experiment again and take some quality time to take pictures. I dont shoot for a living, but I am relatively certain that cost of gear and quality of pictures is related. You can't buy quality pictures, but quality gear helps a long way to get you where your imagination is going.

But, no imagination, no quality picture - it's in your head first!
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M.ST

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Expensive gear can help you to get the best image quality for your customers.

But for the most people who don´t earn the money with photography there is no improvement if they buy much more expensive gear.

If I search for pictures taken with the 5D Mark II and 5D Mark III in google I found, that there are only a few breathtaking pictures. It´s not an expensive camera who takes the pictures, it´s the photographer. A week ago I shoot many pictures with a cheap APS-C-body and get perfect results.


robbinzo

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I have a canon compact that I mainly use for the slow motion video function to video my golf swing up the range. It takes dreadful photographs and has minimal manual settings.
When I compare my 550D with 10-22mmEFS, 50mm f/1.4 or 100mm L macro lens, there is no comparison. I simply can not acheive what I want from a point and shoot camera.
Of course good quality gear won't necessarily make your photos better (although bokeh can be significantly better with a good quality lens) but you have a better chance of nailing the shot you want.
I live by the maxim "Buy cheap, buy twice."
The reason I buy good quality lenses is not so that I will be a better photographer but so that the equipment will last. My dad still owns Pentax lenses that he bought 40 years ago. They still work and produce nice images.
I will upgrade my camera one day when I feel I am worthy but only because of a few features that my current camera is missing. These features may increase my chance of getting the shot that I desire.
So for me, the answer to the question is yes. I have some amazing photos of my young son to prove it.
70D, 10-22mm EFS, 17-40mm L, 15-85mm EFS, 100L macro, 50mm f/1.4

K-amps

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But for the most people who don´t earn the money with photography there is no improvement if they buy much more expensive gear.


Thanks for your sweeping condemnation .....  tells me how little you know people beyond yourself.

I have seen amazing pictures taken by many people who do not make money off their gear.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 10:36:35 AM by K-amps »
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neuroanatomist

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But for the most people who don´t earn the money with photography there is no improvement if they buy much more expensive gear.
Thanks for your sweeping condemnation .....  tells me how little you know people beyond yourself.

+1
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Rienzphotoz

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Expensive gear can help you to get the best image quality for your customers.

But for the most people who don´t earn the money with photography there is no improvement if they buy much more expensive gear.

If I search for pictures taken with the 5D Mark II and 5D Mark III in google I found, that there are only a few breathtaking pictures. It´s not an expensive camera who takes the pictures, it´s the photographer. A week ago I shoot many pictures with a cheap APS-C-body and get perfect results.
I am an ordinary photographer ... with my 7D my photos are good. But with the 5D MK III my photos are much better ... same photographer (me) different equipment and my photos look better.
Great photographers make great images with any camera but they excel even more when they have the best camera in their hand.
Maybe you are a perfect photographer that's why you get "perfect results" with an APS-C body ... but me, a mere ordinary photographer, needs 5D MK III to make my photos look better.
Conclusion: Size DOES matter! ... better cameras do take better pictures (at least for me).
Canon 5DMK3 70D | Nikon D610 | Sony a7 a6000 | RX100M3 | 16-35/2.8LII | 70-200/2.8LISII | 100/2.8LIS | 100-400LIS | 40/2.8 | 50/1.4 | 85/1.8 | 600EX-RTx2 | ST-E3-RT | 24/3.5 T-S | 10-18/4 OSS 16-50 | 24-70/4OSS | 55/1.8 | 55-210 OSS | 70-200/4 OSS | 28-300VR | HVL-F43M | GoPro Black 3+ & DJI Phantom

dmills

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I find that almost exclusively the people that claim that "gear doesn't matter" are people that have expensive gear, and for whatever reason, claim that, though gear doesn't matter, for their specific purpose, they need it. I think people mostly do this to justify themselves spending money on expensive gear by 'setting themselves apart from hobbyists who just spend money on expensive gear'.

For my part, I'm an amateur. My father has been a magazine photographer for more than 30 years, and I understand now why he always used to say: "If gear didn't matter, I wouldn't cart 30-40 pounds of equipment around for two weeks in Africa."
Photos | 5D3 | 60D | GoPro Hero3 | 8-15 | 10-22 | 24 1.4 II | 24-105 | 85 1.2 II | 70-200 2.8 IS II | x2 III | 600EX-RT x2 + ST-E3 | lighting accessories, umbrellas, etc

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awinphoto

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Just to chime in with my 2 cents... short answer, yes...  long answer, maybe... well depends...  My personal opinion is I dont personally upgrade until my business needs demands it and or when I've outgrown my current gear...  So new gear, for me, offers a new ceiling of quality to master, a new challenge, a new expansion upon my current limitations that I can learn to achieve...  For instance I shot a wedding ceremony with my 5d3 and got away with ISO's nearing at times 20,000...  no flash for ceremony.  I didn't think twice about it because I knew once processed, they would look stunning at 8x10's and with a little bit more care, would make great wall portraits...  You just couldn't do that with the 7d, 5d2 5d classic, hell even the 1ds3.  And the images, focus, quality looked great...  That, to me opens up a world of opportunity to expand my skills and services...  Is that worth the $2000 premium over the 7d and 5d2 right now?  In my current example, yes. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

Rienzphotoz

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I find that almost exclusively the people that claim that "gear doesn't matter" are people that have expensive gear, and for whatever reason, claim that, though gear doesn't matter, for their specific purpose, they need it. I think people mostly do this to justify themselves spending money on expensive gear by 'setting themselves apart from hobbyists who just spend money on expensive gear'.

For my part, I'm an amateur. My father has been a magazine photographer for more than 30 years, and I understand now why he always used to say: "If gear didn't matter, I wouldn't cart 30-40 pounds of equipment around for two weeks in Africa."
+1
Canon 5DMK3 70D | Nikon D610 | Sony a7 a6000 | RX100M3 | 16-35/2.8LII | 70-200/2.8LISII | 100/2.8LIS | 100-400LIS | 40/2.8 | 50/1.4 | 85/1.8 | 600EX-RTx2 | ST-E3-RT | 24/3.5 T-S | 10-18/4 OSS 16-50 | 24-70/4OSS | 55/1.8 | 55-210 OSS | 70-200/4 OSS | 28-300VR | HVL-F43M | GoPro Black 3+ & DJI Phantom

awinphoto

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I find that almost exclusively the people that claim that "gear doesn't matter" are people that have expensive gear, and for whatever reason, claim that, though gear doesn't matter, for their specific purpose, they need it. I think people mostly do this to justify themselves spending money on expensive gear by 'setting themselves apart from hobbyists who just spend money on expensive gear'.

For my part, I'm an amateur. My father has been a magazine photographer for more than 30 years, and I understand now why he always used to say: "If gear didn't matter, I wouldn't cart 30-40 pounds of equipment around for two weeks in Africa."

As a professional, i'm torn on the whole gear vs skill debate... the old school side of me goes back to the grass roots where pro's used to get stunning shots with a pin hole camera and sports photographers made due with field cameras and or medium format to get the shots before 35mm really became main stream...  And for me, starting out pro, I started with the most humbling of equipment with a 10d, the infamous (and not in a good way) 28-135, 70-300 first generation softie, and a tokina 19-35 that smelled like cigarettes because I bought it off ebay...  And i worked up the wrung, upgrading gear as I needed and refining what i wanted to be branded as and such and now I've got, in my humble opinion a good quality chunk of glass and cameras...  I was able to shoot sports with my 10d with it's 3 FPS and the 75-300 or better lenses if I could borrow them, and so on and so forth...  Of course I can get a blazing 8 FPS with the 7d, 6 FPS with the 5d3, and if i wanted to rent the 1d series....  but I still can be done...  I think good gear makes getting key shots easier and better in some instances, but without skill, without growing your skill set, without developing yourself as a photographer, you can get a 1dx but not get any better photos to show for it.  Camera manufacturers have pushed the envelope, whether we choose to see it or not, they have raised the bar, raised the ceiling, and if we can grow and make use of it, you can indeed see better results... otherwise, you wont see any improvement over a pro with a 10D. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

sdsr

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To the point!

So cost of gear, if you buy used (that was my medium format time), is not really the problem. To me, new gear always inspiered my to experiment again and take some quality time to take pictures. I dont shoot for a living, but I am relatively certain that cost of gear and quality of pictures is related. You can't buy quality pictures, but quality gear helps a long way to get you where your imagination is going.

But, no imagination, no quality picture - it's in your head first!

I think that's all true.  I'm just an amateur, and have been into "serious" cameras for only a couple of years, but I've been learning more in the process of, and as a result of, acquiring better (often more expensive) equipment, and I'm pretty sure the photos I take are better as a result.  Unless you're one of those who are the visual equivalent of tone deaf - and more than a few photographers seem to be - really good equipment (which needn't be expensive, of course) can indeed be inspiring.  There's *something* to the quip that it's the photographer's brain that matters, not his equipment, but it's overstated (sometimes rather amusingly so - e.g. Rockwell's site, which repeats the quip ad nauseam but devotes most of its space to showing why equipment matters). 

(Of course, if all you do with your new expensive toys is take exactly the same shots you would have taken before, the improvements, if any, will be merely technical - but how often does that happen?)

Rienzphotoz

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To the point!

So cost of gear, if you buy used (that was my medium format time), is not really the problem. To me, new gear always inspiered my to experiment again and take some quality time to take pictures. I dont shoot for a living, but I am relatively certain that cost of gear and quality of pictures is related. You can't buy quality pictures, but quality gear helps a long way to get you where your imagination is going.

But, no imagination, no quality picture - it's in your head first!

I think that's all true.  I'm just an amateur, and have been into "serious" cameras for only a couple of years, but I've been learning more in the process of, and as a result of, acquiring better (often more expensive) equipment, and I'm pretty sure the photos I take are better as a result.  Unless you're one of those who are the visual equivalent of tone deaf - and more than a few photographers seem to be - really good equipment (which needn't be expensive, of course) can indeed be inspiring.  There's *something* to the quip that it's the photographer's brain that matters, not his equipment, but it's overstated (sometimes rather amusingly so - e.g. Rockwell's site, which repeats the quip ad nauseam but devotes most of its space to showing why equipment matters). 

(Of course, if all you do with your new expensive toys is take exactly the same shots you would have taken before, the improvements, if any, will be merely technical - but how often does that happen?)
Ken Rockwell and all you great folks might be able to take great photos with any camera.
But I, a mere mortal, make better photos with my 5D MK III than my 7D ... I needn't be ashamed of it ... I can afford to buy slightly better gear, so I do ... and the joy I get from buying new gear is priceless.
Canon 5DMK3 70D | Nikon D610 | Sony a7 a6000 | RX100M3 | 16-35/2.8LII | 70-200/2.8LISII | 100/2.8LIS | 100-400LIS | 40/2.8 | 50/1.4 | 85/1.8 | 600EX-RTx2 | ST-E3-RT | 24/3.5 T-S | 10-18/4 OSS 16-50 | 24-70/4OSS | 55/1.8 | 55-210 OSS | 70-200/4 OSS | 28-300VR | HVL-F43M | GoPro Black 3+ & DJI Phantom

2n10

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To the point!

So cost of gear, if you buy used (that was my medium format time), is not really the problem. To me, new gear always inspiered my to experiment again and take some quality time to take pictures. I dont shoot for a living, but I am relatively certain that cost of gear and quality of pictures is related. You can't buy quality pictures, but quality gear helps a long way to get you where your imagination is going.

But, no imagination, no quality picture - it's in your head first!

I think that's all true.  I'm just an amateur, and have been into "serious" cameras for only a couple of years, but I've been learning more in the process of, and as a result of, acquiring better (often more expensive) equipment, and I'm pretty sure the photos I take are better as a result.  Unless you're one of those who are the visual equivalent of tone deaf - and more than a few photographers seem to be - really good equipment (which needn't be expensive, of course) can indeed be inspiring.  There's *something* to the quip that it's the photographer's brain that matters, not his equipment, but it's overstated (sometimes rather amusingly so - e.g. Rockwell's site, which repeats the quip ad nauseam but devotes most of its space to showing why equipment matters). 

(Of course, if all you do with your new expensive toys is take exactly the same shots you would have taken before, the improvements, if any, will be merely technical - but how often does that happen?)
Ken Rockwell and all you great folks might be able to take great photos with any camera.
But I, a mere mortal, make better photos with my 5D MK III than my 7D ... I needn't be ashamed of it ... I can afford to buy slightly better gear, so I do ... and the joy I get from buying new gear is priceless.

+1!!!
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charlesa

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The short answer would be yes. If you tailor your gear towards what you want to achieve, the results are infinitely worth it. Did a 10 stop ND improve my black & white photography? You bet it did. Did the TS-E help the architectural and landscape photography. Yes it did.

Plato the Wise

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My first camera was a Pentax film camera. Auto exposure, but manual focus, etc. I learned a great deal with that camera, but I learned a whole lot more when I decided to get serious and buy a Hasselblad. The polaroid back on the Hasselblad and manual exposure, which forced me to understand a great deal more about exposure, taught me more about photography in a short time than I had learned in a decade before on the Pentax.

Every piece of gear I have purchased has allowed me to explore photography in a different way, adding to my abilities and inspiring me to create different images.

Having the right tools will help you develop as a photographer. Does one need the latest/greatest? Probably not. But if you are serious about your art/craft, you should invest what you can to get the best equipment affordable. After all, if you are not serious enough about your art to make the investment, why would anyone else take you seriously?

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