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Do we give the wrong advice?

Started Mar 5, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Do we give the wrong advice?
Mar 5, 2011

I think we commonly give the wrong advice. One of the most common questions on this forum from new DSLR owners is: What lens should I buy? They just bought their brand new camera and expect their pictures to look like something out of National Geographic. After all, that’s what the salesperson told them. So they take a few pictures and they look like…..the same as their pictures from their old P&S, maybe worse.

Well, it has to be the lens right? After all, everyone knows that the kit lens sucks right. So what lens should I buy to make my pictures look magic? Most of us, INCLUDING ME, commonly respond with recommendations for higher cost lenses that we use and enjoy. We do it sincerely. The lenses we recommend are very good. But that is usually the wrong answer. The correct answer is:

e) None of the above.

The kit lens is actually very good and there is not a lens out there that makes pictures look magic. Only a photographer can do that. I think that in most cases we should discourage – not encourage new owners to buy lenses other than the kit lens and the 55-250mm. Instead we should encourage them to learn about their camera and about photographic composition. We should encourage them to buy Lightroom or PSE and learn how to post-process. We should encourage them to shoot RAW.

Learning all of these things will make their pictures look better. A new lens, without that knowledge, will not, no matter how expensive it is. There is a huge misapprehension out there. That is, if you spend enough money, all you have to do is go click and your pictures will look like Ansel Adams’. All of us who have been on this forum for a while know that this is not true.

If the goal of this forum is to help new photographers perhaps we should be telling them to save their money by buying a $30.00 book on photography instead of a $1000 lens.

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