Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Thoughts on photography purchases/influencers


At the end of 2016, I detailed the contents of my camera bag in this post.  I had intended to update my equipment status on a yearly basis, but in reality not much has changed over the past fourteen months.  Last year, I added a new lens to my collection - the Sigma Art 35mm, f/1.4.  I love this lens.  It's fast and sharp and everything I could possibly want in a lens.

Or is it?

I say this because someone on IG recently referred to the Sigma Art 35mm lens as a "budget" lens.  With a price point falling between $800 - $900, I personally find it difficult to include the word "budget" with that cost.  Budget, to me, implies a lower cost because quality is compromised in some manner.  Nikon offers a 35mm f/1.4 lens for full frame cameras that runs approximately double the cost of the Sigma Art version.  When comparing the cost of the two lenses, I can see why one would refer to the Sigma lens as budget.  But what about performance?  Again, in my opinion, you would be giving up something by going with the "budget" lens but if you research comparisons of both lenses, you'll find many photographers who have used both are of the opinion that the Sigma Art lens is the better choice of the two.

Sigma purposely created its Art line of lenses to compete with the big boys.  Viewing cost as a deciding factor of quality is a mistake in my opinion.  The IGer who referred to the Sigma Art lens as budget also stated that her 35mm lens of choice was the Nikon but, due to cost, she had settled for the Sigma version.  No other factors were mentioned aside from cost.  From a business perspective, Sigma needs to price their lenses below those of their competitors.  Makes sense, right?


I hold no doubt that my photographic skills would not have developed as quickly without the internet.  The ability to connect with others, conduct research, find answers in two clicks is amazing, but there's a downside.  I am not a fan of the current influencer state of social media these days.  Stay at home moms wearing silk blouses and heels.  To where?  I have no idea.  The follow-unfollow game on IG and Twitter.  If you want to be like me, buy, buy, buy this.    

Interestingly enough, one of the photographers I most respect out there doesn't have any children.  He doesn't even photograph kids or families.  Landscapes and night photography are his thing.  I like him because he shoots Nikon, uses mostly prime lenses, he's always ahead of me with purchases and he shares my dry sense of humor.  When I wanted to upgrade to full frame but wasn't happy with either the D600 or D810 series, for different reasons, he wrote a detailed review of the D750, which helped me in my decision making process.  I'm never going to be a pioneer, purchasing newly released cameras and lenses so I try to follow those who fall into that category regardless of their genre of photography.  Inspiration is all around.  I like following wedding photographers even though I have no plans to shoot a wedding.

If thinking of a new purchase, keep the following in mind:  

What are your needs?
Why doesn't your current camera/lens work for you?
What's your budget?  How much are you willing to spend?
Are you willing to buy a used or earlier series camera/lens?


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1 comment:

adrian faulkner said...

Thanks for your thoughts on the sigma lenses sarah, sigma are about to release 9 full frame prime lenses for the Sony e-mount and I'm seriously thinking of replacing my 35mm for the new 35mm sigma art e-mount, like you i wouldn't consider these lenses budget at all, they might not be zeiss prices but they're still not exactly budget either