Ad
Ad
Ad
Poll
Question: Which is more important for the final image?
1. Camera - 5 (6.7%)
2. Lens - 70 (93.3%)
Total Voters: 74

Pages: [1] 2 3 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Camera vs Lens  (Read 11347 times)
opgr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1125


WWW
« on: September 15, 2006, 03:23:58 AM »
ReplyReply

In light of the upcoming photokina and corresponding announcements I thought it would be interesting to poll the relative merit of equipment in Photography. Although in reality it is not a binary choice, if you had to choose between a high-end camera with a low-end lens, vs a low-end camera with a high-end lens, which would you rather have?

Let's assume that in either case the camera+lens combination has equal AF behavior. They both have similar output resolution.
Logged

Regards,
Oscar Rysdyk
theimagingfactory
macgyver
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 510


« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2006, 10:04:27 AM »
ReplyReply

I'll take the nice lens every time.  As long as the camera at least can do the very basic of what I need its the lens every time.
Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7789



WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2006, 02:25:19 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I'll take the nice lens every time.  As long as the camera at least can do the very basic of what I need its the lens every time.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=76440\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Me too. Besides, in the present era it is cameras that become quickly obsolete, while good lenses go on being good for a lot longer.

-Eric
Logged

-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
Lisa Nikodym
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1702



WWW
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2006, 05:00:00 PM »
ReplyReply

It's not "either-or", it's a matter of which is the weakest link.  If you put a great lens on a crappy camera (for example, one that has poor noise characteristics, or one that doesn't have the features you need to get the exposure or focus correct for your shooting conditions), that great lens isn't making your pictures any better than a mediocre lens. Since the digital SLRs we have available these days are really quite impressive, the lens is usually the weakest link; however, that's not necessarily always been true.  Rather than asking "which is more important", you should be trying to match the lens quality to the camera quality to avoid having one be too much worse than the other, since the weakest one with determine how technically good your photos are.

Lisa
« Last Edit: September 15, 2006, 05:02:48 PM by nniko » Logged

dlashier
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 518



WWW
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2006, 09:02:53 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
the lens is usually the weakest link;
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=76499\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Umm, I think that the photographer is usually the weakest link  

But other than that I agree with you that a balanced approach is the best, although if I had to favor one it would be the lens.

- DL
Logged

Fred Ragland
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


WWW
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2006, 11:41:39 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Umm, I think that the photographer is usually the weakest link   
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=76536\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
This is a conundrum.  Leica, for example, offers excellent optics but may have been overrun by the digital revolution.  If a great Leica lens goes on a digital body that can't fully exploit that greatness, the image suffers because the technology of the body doesn't match the technology of the lens.

Canon faces this challenge with its wide angle lenses.  To get great wide angle images with a Canon camera you have to use someone else's lens.  The Zeiss 21/2.8 reigns supreme for wide angle images on Canon pro bodies.

And on it goes.

Exceeding photographer expectations, achieving cutting edge design and manufacturing control in both electronics and optics, and doing all of this cost effectively is a task no company has mastered.

To get an exceptional system that "balances" lens and body qualities may require mixing and matching of manufacturers which many of us aren't prepared to do.  

But we're learning.
Logged
Frere Jacques
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 86


WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2006, 05:04:11 PM »
ReplyReply

I have a friend who shot some candids at a wedding with a Canon 300D and a rented 85/1.2 L series -- the output was gorgeous! The same camera with the kit lens attached looks little better than a p&s. Go for good glass.



Quote
In light of the upcoming photokina and corresponding announcements I thought it would be interesting to poll the relative merit of equipment in Photography. Although in reality it is not a binary choice, if you had to choose between a high-end camera with a low-end lens, vs a low-end camera with a high-end lens, which would you rather have?

Let's assume that in either case the camera+lens combination has equal AF behavior. They both have similar output resolution.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=76412\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged
gochugogi
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 80



WWW
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2006, 02:58:29 AM »
ReplyReply

I say go for both top quality cameras and lenses. Why make a choice? If you're short on benjamins, credit is easy and life is too short to fut around with crap.
Logged

[span style='font-family:Impact']I'm tryin' to think but nuttin' happens  -The Three Stooges
Ma Blessed Digs 'o Net[/span]
Ben Rubinstein
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1733


« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2006, 03:27:49 AM »
ReplyReply

It is strange in these confusing days where the camera contributes a major amount towards the final image quality as opposed to the film days where for a 'M mode' shooter like myself the camera was little more than a light proof box with dials.

However nowadays the chip is extremely important, you still would want to shoot pro film in your light proof box and the same goes for your digital camera, having a great lens will not help if you're chip is 'underpowered' for your specific needs.

Added to that is useability. If you need fast AF/performance then a camera with slow AF and lag will miss you shots and there is no use having that incredible lens hanging off your camera if you aren't able to get the shots!

It is both I'm afraid. When I bought a 1Ds I bought a 24-70L to go with it and vice versa. You need the tool which will fulfill your expectations and needs and a camera is just part of that system that you require, just as the lens is only part of it.

For non pros I think that the above question may make sense, what do you invest in first? For those who have to get the shot, whose livelihood depends on getting the shot, investing in that RRS L plate is just as important as investing in fast pro glass or a pro level camera, your whole system has to 'hack it', you cannot afford one single weak link in the chain.
Logged

Graham Welland
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 610


« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2006, 06:25:50 AM »
ReplyReply

There's definitely a trade off with digital vs. film. Now that the bar for DSLR entry level quality has risen so high that it's hard to buy a truely flawed DSLR image-wise, it easier to say that the quality of the lens is far more important than the DSLR body.

I'm a Nikon shooter (sorry ... LL imposter I know), and I can get excellent results from cheap travel DSLR's like the D50 using my Nikon premium AFS lenses. I can't get the same quality results from kit lenses with my D2X's unless I stop down or do post production with tools like DxO.

Establish the base line camera capabilities and image quality (Rebel Xt/D50 etc) and buy the best glass you can afford.
Logged

Graham
Jack Flesher
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2595



WWW
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2006, 09:45:12 AM »
ReplyReply

Interesting...

I look to the body first, then try and get the best glass on it I can.  Unfortunately, right now I cannot find that "best body" -- none of them have everything I want in a body, yet most of them have way more gimmicks than I need
Logged

boku
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1493



WWW
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2006, 11:18:34 AM »
ReplyReply

Just an observation (the obvious, perhaps)...

What used to be "camera versus lens" is now "imager versus lens". The imager now supplants both the former camera and film. When you choose your body, you are, in essense, also choosing your film.

Perhaps this means that camera bodies now are a bit more important than they used to be in the old days.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2006, 11:19:07 AM by boku » Logged

Bob Kulon

Oh, one more thing...
Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
OutsideShooter
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 39


« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2006, 08:21:44 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
For non pros I think that the above question may make sense, what do you invest in first? For those who have to get the shot, whose livelihood depends on getting the shot, investing in that RRS L plate is just as important as investing in fast pro glass or a pro level camera, your whole system has to 'hack it', you cannot afford one single weak link in the chain.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=76651\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't think there's much one can add to pom's point. Sure a ton of verbage can be changed but his essential point simply cannot be altered. Every aspect of photography is only as strong as it's weakest link. RRS all the way up to the most expensive lens or body. Take a Hassleblad H2. The fact that the back is capable of 39MP means very little  if an inexpensive lens is attached.

Well said pom
Logged

giles
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 209


« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2006, 08:51:18 PM »
ReplyReply

I agree it's one of those "weakest links" situations: a poor lens on a great camera limits the images, a poor body on a great lens limits the images, and a poor photographer limits the images regardless of the equipment.

In the digital realm, I think I'd prefer to have great lenses and a passable camera body than to "optimise" and have only good lenses with a good camera body.  Rationale: the camera bodies are still evolving much more quickly than lenses are.  For amateurs (for professionals tax deductions, depreciation, and professional competition might change this) buying lenses to "grow into" is I hope not ridiculously silly.

Personal disclaimer time: I've been guilty of attaching a silver 300D to a white 70-200mm f/2.8 IS, and yes, that is a pretty ugly looking combination.

Giles
Logged
BernardLanguillier
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7763



WWW
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2006, 01:17:48 AM »
ReplyReply

Considering that a camera system is serial (as opposed to parallel devices), the quality of the output will be controlled by the weakest link.

From an investement standpoint, it is indeed tempting to invest in long lasting good lenses instead of investing in a DSLR that will only stay top of the notch for a few years, but the such a way of thinking would stuck us in a position where our images at any given moment in time will always be inferior to what they could have been had you invested in the best sensor for our application...

Cheers,
Bernard
Logged

A few images online here!
opgr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1125


WWW
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2006, 06:21:31 AM »
ReplyReply

As mentioned earlier, it really isn't a binary choice and perhaps it should be possible to poll the relative importance of elements. But this means it is necessary first to separate the "chain" in simplified relevant elements.

My current thinking in order of importance:

1. Photographer,
2. Lighting,
3. Lens,
4. Camera,
5. PostProcessing,
6. Subject.

I think Subject is the least important, because with the right lighting and creative vision, any subject can be made to shine... For the same reason, Photographer is obviously the most important. Perhaps we should separate that also into "Creative Vision" and "Skill". The latter is not nearly as important as the former, and good lighting and post-processing can compensate a lot of ill skill...

Ergo:
1. Creative Vision,
2. Lighting,
3. Lens,
4. Skill,
5. Camera,
6. PostProcessing,
7. Subject.

Any thoughts on this?

Mind you, I'm not denying that certain contexts have different requirements. But even then you could argue about true value: You can buy 4 digital rebels for a single 1 series. The latter may be more dependable as a single unit, but having 3 back-up units obviously compensates dependability.

To refer back to the formula 1 metaphor: I'm not arguing that a formula 1 race requires a formula 1 car, I am asking whether the car is more important, or the tires. For some this may mean a state-of-the-art digital back vs a refurbished unit. If that's your flavor, the question might be: would you rather have a state-of-the-art back plus the old Zeiss lenses, or a refurbished unit plus digitar lenses?
Logged

Regards,
Oscar Rysdyk
theimagingfactory
Eric Myrvaagnes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7789



WWW
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2006, 08:49:35 AM »
ReplyReply

Bingo!

Oscar, I think you have nailed it exactly. I like your analysis.

-Eric
Logged

-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
macgyver
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 510


« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2006, 01:59:04 PM »
ReplyReply

I disagre, subject is more important that camera or lens.  You can give me the best gear on earth and I can have the world's best vision, but if you put me if a 6x6x6 concrete room with all grey walls and no shadows i have nothing.

Or, think of it this way:  think of the difference in photos of little leaguers and major league ball.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2006, 01:59:48 PM by macgyver » Logged
Jack Flesher
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2595



WWW
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2006, 09:36:07 PM »
ReplyReply

I think it is all about light and subject, then having tools that do not get in the way of one's creative vision.  The lens is simply a tool choice to render that specific vision; the camera a tool that captures it accurately.  So for me, the best gear is the gear that "becomes invisible" when I'm working with it -- and the body leads that set of choices.  

Cheers,
Logged

Ben Rubinstein
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1733


« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2006, 02:52:03 AM »
ReplyReply

Didn't MR write about this and put tripod before either? I agree with him as well!
Logged

Pages: [1] 2 3 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad