Sunday, December 30, 2012

Are the tools important?

It seems I helped to start a debate on The Online Photographer about exactly how important the camera is for the results.
About the widely-used arguments that painters "don't argue about brushes", Mike added a post.

I think it's a never-ending argument, because it's so complex. Which specific tools for what specific use? Sometimes it's mainly a preference, like Canon Versus Nikon, other times there are specific differences, like a zoom versus primes for street shooting, but exactly how important those differences are to a person and situation, can be very hard to pin down.

Adding to the confusion, some like doing the art, some just like the tools, and some like both.
For example, both Mike and me have a great affinity for an excellent lens, even though we both admit that the differences in the picture rarely have much, if any, influence on how the picture is received by the public or buyers. They are usually only really visible to the trained eye.

Bokeh test of the 75mm above. Photo by Reed


emptyspaces said...

It is certainly an open-ended argument! I get a variation of this question a lot, since I work for a retailer and often have a chance to try out the newest gear. My (ever evolving) take is that equipment does matter, but really only after a certain level of proficiency is achieved. Even then, it's a very personal matter that ultimately comes down to what an individual hopes to achieve.

But you make a crucial point that there is a large subset of photographers that care more about the gear than they ever will about photography...which is cool, too. Just another way to approach the hobby. I was a musician for a time, and ran into plenty of gearaholics.

Anonymous said...

I bet painters would argue about brushes. Quality makes a huge difference. Take any watercolor painter and see if they can get the same results with bargain basement 99 cent store brushes as with top drawer Winsor & Newton.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

No comparison. And a good W&N is pricey too.