There’s this adage “that it’s not about the gear.” And while it’s true, well at least it’s mostly true, the problem arises that it’s pros with $10,000+ worth of equipment saying this to amateurs with <$1,000 worth of equipment. Despite this discrepancy, they’re right.
Before I get into the obvious, let me talk about the gray area. Can you produce great images with cheap gear? Yes, 100%, absolutely. However, can you match the look of a 400mm f2.8 with a $50 lens? No.
This is the disconnect. Good photography can be done with anything. Because good photography is not about to the equipment, it’s about what the photographer brings to the table beyond that. It’s about light, placement, rhythm, tonality, composition, perspective and so on. None of which have anything to do with the quality of your equipment.
Photography is art, and thus it shares elements with traditional art. There is no element of art that deals with resolution or dynamic range or any other technical detail that photographers get hung up on. Thus, good photography can be done with anything.
However, it’s not that simple.Here’s the short of it. Equipment matters. Nothing can match the look of an 85mm f1.2, but and 85mm f1.2 does not create good photography.
Here’s the short of it. Equipment matters. Nothing can match the look of an 85mm f1.2, but and 85mm f1.2 does not create good photography.
This brings me to the point of this whole post. It’s very easy to say to the pro who has $10,000, $20,000 or more in equipment “Yeah right, gear doesn’t matter.” (And to be honest, I’m not sure many of the pros these days realized that until they became on of those sitting with a godly sum of equipment.) So, to that, my answer is rent something that is beyond your normal price range. Take it out for a weekend. You’ll learn that a $2000 lens or body doesn’t improve your photography.
You don’t realize this adage until you experience it. So experience it. Rent something exciting, something that you lust after. Because, in the end, you’ll realize that you’re the same photographer with or without this exotic piece of equipment.