Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Commentary: Does The Quality Of Gear Matter?

Last week on The Digital Photography School House Andrew S Gibson
wrote an post called "Why Lens Quality Doesn't Matter." The premise of the post is that it doesn't matter what lens you use, because all the technical problems you can encounter can be corrected in post processing. This is an interesting topic, because in some ways the author is right, while in others not so much. First of all, yes you can correct most lens issues in post. Secondly, I also agree that the lens itself does not make a good photo. On the other hand there are some things that cannot be overcome in post.

Resolution is one of the key things that cannot be recovered in post processing. When correcting chromatic aberrations or distortions there will be a loss of resolution, there is no way around it. Secondly, higher end lenses offer more than better performance in terms of having fewer technical issues. Many higher end lenses often offer higher resolution in the first place. Thus any resolution lost in editing will still lead to higher detail than a cheap lens.

So what's the point? High end glass is a must to get the most out of your camera? That is true, from a technical standpoint. Is lower end glass always inferior? Technically, yes. What about in the real world? Anyone can take great photos with any lens or camera, period. Can you get better quality with higher end gear, you bet. In addition, the less time you spend fixing issues the more time you have to shoot or do other things you enjoy. In the end, what I primarily dislike about the post is the statement that lens quality doesn't matter, because it is a broad generalization without anything to back it up in real terms.