Just kidding. 😀 What I really mean by this post’s headline is that there’s an old saying among photographers: “Get the best gear you can afford.” In other words, whether buying or renting, you really owe it to your clients and yourself to get the best gear you can afford at the time. This goes double for lenses, because they have the potential to really improve your image quality.
Still, don’t just buy any lens; be sure it will do the job. Let’s research the Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO DG OS HSM (Whew! Lens names are always long because they have to list all those features):
150-500mm: It's a long telephoto zoom lens. f/5-6.3: About standard depth of field for each focal length AF: It has Autofocus. APO: Apochromatic. It's got special optics to improve quality. DG: It's designed to fit DSLR cameras. OS: Optical Stabilization, the same as IS on Canon lenses HSM: Hypersonic Motor. The lens focuses very quietly.
With all these features it’s still comparatively inexpensive when you line it up against similar lenses offering f/2.8 maximum aperture (the latter sort will set you back between one and two thousand). It’s fair to say that the increased price will get you better quality images, but there’s that price. And I can tell you that I’ve gotten pleasing results with the f/5.
The takeaway? If at all possible, don’t skimp on gear that can make a real difference. But if you find yourself unable to spring for top-of-the-line, don’t feel bad. Instead, do your homework and get the best you can.
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