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Thread: What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

  1. #1

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    What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

    I had, until recently, been pondering the decision. Should I go all out and spend big bucks on a Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 that I've lusted over for years, or stick with stuff that I have?

    With a devil on one shoulder whispering "just buy it", and an angel on the other whispering "you don't need one", I searched for more reasons why the pro guys buy them.

    The angel pointed out the reasons why I don't need one:-
    Look on Flickr, all the images are at f/5.6 anyway.
    You don't need high shutter speed - you have VR instead.
    80-200 is too small a range - you have 18-200 already.

    Then the devil had his turn, mostly after a beer or three:-
    It's just sooo sexy.
    You NEED one, so just get one.
    You ned f/2.8 to stop motion - forget that VR stuff.

    After discovering a trade-in option on stuff that I had obsoleted somewhat, I got one for a bargain price. And you know what? I now know why I needed one.

    The thing lets the camera focus much easier and faster in difficult conditions.
    200mm stays at 200mm when things are closer.
    Background blur happens now.
    My speedlight works further away.

    But.
    I still stop down to f/5.6 or more for depth of field quite often.
    The thing weighs A LOT.
    I now need a monopod, as I can shoot more stuff. (And even more stuff as pro gear is addictive!)

    Did I do the right thing?

    Discuss please.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

    I think you answered the question for yourself on both counts. But the real question is "what can't you do with your current lenses that you could be able to do with the new lens?" If the answer is nothing that you can think of then use your money on something else. What is so interesting about photography is that as your skills grow you try to undertake different assignments or more difficult challenges. I think your equipment should grow at a pace that you are willing to grow as a photographer.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 3rd November 2010 at 09:38 AM.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanC View Post
    Did I do the right thing?
    So long as you/your family are fed and warm, have clean drinking water, that the house hasn't been re-possessed and that you continue to make a useful contribution to society - YES!

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    Re: What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    So long as you/your family are fed and warm, have clean drinking water, that the house hasn't been re-possessed and that you continue to make a useful contribution to society - YES!
    Why worry about the little things when you can buy such pleasure!!
    I really enjoy my 70-300 VR but wish I bought the 80-200, and as I have none of the above I guess I'll have to wait!!

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    Rob Douglas's Avatar
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    Re: What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

    I'm in the Canon camp so I'm not really sure if this will help you out with Nikkor lenses but... the sweet spot on Canon's 70-200mm f/4L & 2.8L is f/11 If you are shooting outdoor and have the light for it give it a shot and see.

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    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    ...and that you continue to make a useful contribution to society - YES!
    Well, two out of three ain't bad for me!

    Enjoy your new gear and don't look back, JonathanC!

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    Re: What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

    What I "WANT" doesnt't always always equal what I "NEED" and I have a hunch that I am probably not the only photographer out there who is in the same boat. I "WANT" a Canon 7D. Do I "NEED" that camera, acttually; no I don't! I get along quite well and am very happy with the imagery from my older 30D and 40D cameras.

    However, when I had the 70-200mm f/4L non-IS lens, I felt that I not only "WANTED" the IS model, but actually "NEEDED" it! Was that true? Well based on the fact that I use my IS version 4-5 times more often than I was ever able to use my non-IS lens, and based on the fact that I now use the 70-200mm as half of my two-lens go-to travel outfit, and based on the fact that I shoot probably at lest 1/3 of my images with this lens... The answer is an unqualified, probably yes!

    However, I never purchased any equipment expecting it to make a night-and-day improvement in my imagery. Virtually any DSLR purchased today along with most lenses on the market can produce very good imagery. If you are getting very-good imagery out of your equipment and believe that you need, and have the discretionary funds, to purchase new equipment to make your imagery better or to provide you with more versatility, then by all means go for it and don't look back!

    You will know that you have excess equipment when you begin to find reasons to leave it at home.

  8. #8

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    Re: What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

    I ALWAYS buy pro-level equipment ... wouldn't have it any other way. By buying top shelf stuff I know that I'm not going to be limited by my equipment - and I know that it's built like a tank.

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    Re: What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I ALWAYS buy pro-level equipment ... wouldn't have it any other way. By buying top shelf stuff I know that I'm not going to be limited by my equipment - and I know that it's built like a tank.
    Good points. The other good thing about buying top shelf lenses is that, if you take care of them, they likely have a net zero cost of ownership. Hold them for the right amount of time, and you probably get back at least what you paid for them for when you (or your heirs) get around to selling them. Lower shelf stuff will depreciate quite significantly.

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    Re: What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerbaker View Post
    Good points. The other good thing about buying top shelf lenses is that, if you take care of them, they likely have a net zero cost of ownership. Hold them for the right amount of time, and you probably get back at least what you paid for them for when you (or your heirs) get around to selling them. Lower shelf stuff will depreciate quite significantly.
    Kinda / sorta. I sold an EF70-200mm F2.8L IS USM the other day for (off memory) around $2300, which is probably what I paid for it 5 years ago ... the problem is though that I bought the EF70-200mm F2.8L IS USM II as a replacement ... and that cost $3600

  11. #11

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    Re: What's the big deal with pro grade lenses I asked myself.

    No worries, Colin, look on the bright side! By the time you are ready to sell your new lens, and with our economy being the way that it is, $3600.00 will be dinner for four at Pizza Hut. Your lens will be worth a small Duchy in the Loire.

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