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LPT: If you're planning on buying an expensive digital camera without investing any money in a good lens, you'll probably be underwhelmed with the cameras performance.

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The cheapest way to get a good lens is to find a 50mm lens. You can find them new for $100 and they are all outstanding. Used lenses are another great way to go.

another important thing to remember is the typical screen on a DSLR is much worse then what you have on your phone. I have seen a lot of people frustrated about the performance of there camera because they are so used to the instant gratification a shot on your iPhone will give because of its high quality display.

I'm not sure if it's considered expensive- probably not by prosumer standards at least, but if you buy a GH4 and don't invest in something considered OK like a Tokina lens, you'll be very disappointed. Also, never trust kit lenses. My work bought a cheap t5i and it came with 2 kit lenses and I was super disappointed until we realized the body was fairly capable for its price point once outfitting it with a decent lens.

Not necessarily. Many of us cannot tell the difference. Plus the expensive body will perform better in low light (indoor) and sports movement situations. Catching little kids in gymnastics was often just disappointing.

A lot of cheaper cameras come with lenses using servo focusing motors instead of the much faster ultrasonic motors. They make a huge difference in photographing sports.

A good rule of thumb; buy a cheep body, but expensive lenses.

Original Poster2 points · 6 months ago

Agreed. I'd say the lens should cost at least as much as the body.

1 point · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Not necessarily, most of kit lens can do a decent job. The problem is that people start photography with kit lenses and they don't know yet how to use them, so they blame the camera/lens. Kit lenses are a great way to start, and you can definitely squeeze good pictures of them. Once you start to understand photography is a better moment to consider buy another lenses.

Why wouldn't an expensive digital camera come with a decent lens?

Good lenses often cost more than the camera itself.

Some do, some don’t. The thing to remember is if the camera was built to compete on price, the lens will be as well. Usually, they are plastic, slow focusing, and don’t have consistent quality throughout the zoom range. To hit shots perfectly every time and have as little cleanup as possible in post, you need expensive glass.

Professional cameras don’t come with lenses and prosumer usually are bought without one.

Not OP, but the kit lenses that come with the camera are decent all around lenses. Good for alot of things, but nothing in particular. The lenses you buy are expensive and used for a specific purpose. Wide angle, low f/stop, close or far MM ect..

Expensive lens have better optics/coatings.

Crafting high quality camera lenses is an extremely tricky art and science, because of the glass that's needed. Hence they also keep their prices very well.

Almost any aspiring or professional photographer will already have a small lens collection for a particular lens mount, and just swap out the camera body.

Some price examples:

Canon 5D Mark IV camera body, latest model in the second-highest pro range: $3300

Canon 70-200 IS ii f2.8 zoom lens: $1950

Canon 35mm ii f1.4 prime lens: $1700

Canon 85mm ii f1.2 prime lens: $1900

Used prices are maybe 15-30% lower for the lenses and 30-50% lower for camera bodies.

To do the full range of photography you usually want a zoom and some primes at different focal lengths ("fixed zoom levels"). There are some bundle deals, but for the most part it makes little sense to include one specific lens with the camera body.

I think OP is just scaring people away from picking up photography. There are plenty of kitlenses which are fairly decent. They don't stand out in anything particular, but are fine as an entry-level all-round lens. Start with the kitlens and work your way onward from there. Sure your photos will look better when taken with a Leica lens, but you gotta start somewhere.

Edit: typo

I'd say OP is quite accurate. Certainly for indoors photography, where many kit lenses will be awful.

Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

Dammit you caught me. I was banking on being the only photographer left after this post. Guess I gotta go learn to f/stop now :(

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