Curing lens envy

Do you still want “that last lens and that’s it”? According to the statistics on this page, you probably already have the right lens in your camera bag. Chances are that you are using your cheapest lens most often. The best quote from this page must be “The cost of the lens is inversely proportional to the frequency of its use.”.

Where did I get that link from? Well, from a brilliant text by Ken Rockwel titled “Your Camera Does Not Matter”. It states that you may not only have overspent on lenses, but on your complete kit alltogether! According to Ken, “Buying new gear will NOT improve your photography.”.

Watching the “Odobenus rosmarus” swimNext time you see a guy with a D200, don’t be impressed. The guy behind him with his old Holga camera could be shooting far better pictures!

I have had a Canon EOS 300 (35mm film), a Canon Powershot A20 and now a Canon 350D. I also have made photo’s with some of my dad’s camera’s, a Canon FT-QL, and an Exa IIB. When changing from one camera to another, my photography (in particular composition) did not change. It just took some trouble away from the process. EOS 200 to Canon A20: no more film hassle. Canon A20 to 350D: Faster bootup and shot-to-shot times. Canon FT-QL and Exa IIB: The romantic feeling of craftsmanship when holding the camera 🙂

Hedge sparrow on a fence, at 200mm, aperture 5.6Sure the 350D gives me nice resolution and more freedom to play with aperture and exposure times and I still like the camera after reading Kens article. But he is right. Period. I recently spoke to a guy who owned an EOS 300 just like I did. He looked at one of my photo’s from the 350D and said “I’ve got to have that camera, how did you do that?”. I explained “aperture” to him and told him that he could do that with his own EOS 300 if he had taken the time to learn how to use it.

I guess some sales people translate “I want a good camera” to “I want to spend a truckload of cash on a camera of which I’ll only use the full-auto mode to shoot pictures of uncle Zed with.” People who don’t know what “aperture” or “exposure time” means just want a snapshot camera which automatically will produce clear, colorful, crisp foto’s of uncle Zed 95% of the time.

Before buying a camera, read Ken’s article, get out of that chair and start shooting with whatever camera you have right now. That one brilliant moment is waiting for you!


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