How do you define Obsolescence?

Started Apr 1, 2011 | Discussions thread
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How do you define Obsolescence?

Just came from another thread where the 17-35 f2.8 was declared "obsolete." Remarks like that always make me scratch my head, so I wanted to gather some public wisdom here to see how people define or measure whether a piece or equipment becomes obsolete. Some possible options:

  1. A newer model just came out (e.g., AF became AF-S).

  2. The old model is no longer in production and you can only buy it used.

  3. The model in question is X years old (tell us what X should be, please).

  4. The model in question no longer works with current equipment (i.e., old lens incompatible with new camera).

  5. No one talks about the old model because, it's like, so 1990s.

  6. Other: ___ __

Here's my way to determine whether a lens or other piece of equipment is obsolete: does it get me the shot? If so, it's not obsolete. It may be old. It may be "outdated." It may be a "classic." But if it still works and gets me the shot, it's not obsolete.

Does newer equipment often come with advances that make certain shots possible or easier to capture? Sure. Does new gear offer quality improvements? Sure. That still does not make the older model(s) obsolete if they are still in working order and can produce.

By some people's definition of "obsolete" (it's not as shiny as the new one in the store), we would forego some old equipment that in some cases can produce images just as good if not better than what we have at our disposal today. The AIS 105 f2.5, AIS 55mm f2.8 micro, and AIS 28 f2.8 CRC come to mind.

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