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Various lenses with different physical and relative aperture sizes.

Various lenses with different physical and relative aperture sizes.

If you’ve gotten a hold of an interchangeable lens camera of some sort, then you should know that replacing your camera every two or three years isn’t always a viable option. However, that’s something that you should think about in the point and shoot world.

The best thing to do instead is to replace your lenses.

They Outlast The Lifetime of Your Camera

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus product photos (2 of 5)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.8

In the older film days, a camera could easily last a user 10 years or even more. But in the digital world there are processors and a lot more electronics that can result in something going wrong. With that said, a lot can happen to a digital camera and they indeed tend to degrade. Plus, with new versions being introduced so quickly, it can feel as if you need the latest and greatest camera to get better photos.

WRONG!!

If you scrounge up for a great lens instead, it will last you perhaps 10 years and you’ll be able to take great photos with immediately and for a longer time after that.

Good Glass Makes Your Old Camera’s Sensor Rock

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art Lens Review images (1 of 13)ISO 4001-800 sec at f - 3.5

On the personal side, when the Canon 5D Mk III was introduced I didn’t necessarily deem it as a major upgrade when it came to image quality. Instead of paying loads of money for the brand new camera I instead went for new lenses. These lenses made the images from the older 5D Mk II’s sensor still look great. Indeed, I still use the camera today and have never had a major reason to complain about the image quality.

They Can Help You Save Money

In the long run, purchasing one to three new lenses can save you a lot more money than purchasing a new camera every time that a new one comes out. Many working photographers don’t upgrade their cameras if they really don’t need to (and the same can go for software.) However, they tend to upgrade and purchase new lenses in order to create new things with their older camera that is still working.

To that end, by snagging a new lens you can get a lot better image quality over a period of time.

Primes Will Force You to Think More About Your Images

Chris-Gampat-The-Phoblographer-Tamron-90mm-f2

Many of the Phoblographer’s staffers mostly shoot with primes. For those not in the know, prime lenses are lenses that have a fixed focal length. Examples are 35mm and 50mm lenses. Because you can’t zoom back and forth, you essentially need to move around in order to more carefully compose your images.

And by doing this, you’re helping yourself take the most advantage of what your camera can do.

Let’s Face it: Your Camera is Nothing Without Lenses

Lastly and most obviously, your interchangeable lens camera can’t live up to the expectations that it will shoot better photos than your phone without good lenses.

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The Phoblographer

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By dpreview staff on Apr 18, 2014 at 22:11 GMT


What the Duck is a comic strip by Aaron Johnson. It started as a webcomic, with the first strip posted in July 2006. The strip has appeared as print in numerous photography magazines including Amateur Photographer in the UK. It was picked up for syndication in 2008 by Universal Press Syndicate under the name W. T. Duck.

What The Duck is published here every week, and also runs in our weekly newsletter.

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