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Advice needed! Lenses vs Tuition
Calling all photographers!.

I got an Olympus E-510 for Christmas but up until now have been unable to purchase any lenses for the camera, so am stuck with the 14-45mm kit lens. I'm new to digital SLRs (I used a film SLR back at school in art quite a lot though). I'm beginning to get into things and, generally speaking, I think I know what I'm doing with the vast majority of the cameras functions (e.g. I use manual and aperture mode most of the time). But nevertheless I'm really keen to learn and to improve my skills..

However, I've now managed to save up 450 quid and am really torn between spending the money on either:.

A) Upgrading my lens - some friends are visiting New York soon so I thought they might be able to grab me the 14-54mm and the Sigma 50-200mm for around 450..

B) Getting tuition - a course at St Martin's College of Art and Design, for example, is 450..

The questions is...what in your opinion is the better option? More tuition but the kit lens VS better lenses but no tuition. Ideas?.

PS BOTH is in NO WAY an option - getting together the 450 was a real strain already!..

Comments (14)

This will sound rude, but I'm trying to say it the same way as I would to a good friend..

Why on earth would you ask total strangers such a question?.

If money is scarce, you are the only one who should decide how you want it spent. Only you can decide whether your plans will be better served with more stuff for your photography, or more knowledge about photography..

Please don't make your choice based on what anyone here says they think you should do..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #1

Absolutely no offence taken - it's a fair point. The reason I'm asking is quite simply I'm trying to make a decision about spending a large wodge of cash on two very different things, both of which I have no previous experience with. I suppose what I'm unsure about is whether photography tuition is actually worth it in terms of yielding worthwhile results measured against the impact of having an improved lens kit. Obviously equipment is no substitute for talent but it's whether or not tuition is the answer I suppose...opinions anybody?..

Comment #2

What's worth more to you, lenses or your future?Rationally I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #3

Neither..

If money is tight, and if you are bright (it sounds to me like you actually do have a good ability to think) you can slowly spenmd the money on a self-education program..

About equipment: taking into account the 4/3 design and smaller sensors and so, your current lens manages to cover a range from wide angle to short telephoto, and this is enough for vast numbers of photographs..

You should go buy yourself a subscription to Photography Monthly, or buy the copies as they come out, and study the tutorials and advice columns and other picture-taking (as opposed to equipment collecting) articles..

After doing this for a few issues, you'll have a much better idea about what kind of pictures you want to take, what equipment you might need to expand your work, and you may have figured out ways to use your talents and current equipment to buy you both new lenses and more advanced classes..

There are other good magazines, too, but Photography Monthly impresses me enough that I actually spend money on every issue, even though, by the time it gets to me in Canada, it is pretty expensive..

BAK..

Comment #4

Go for the lens !! internet is the new school !!Aim High..

Comment #5

I believe it's a no-brainer. Lenses, of course....

Money spent on "tuition" (whatever that means) is a total waste of time. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't go even if it were free (Actually, I HAVEN'T - I have thrown to the trashcan Nikon's free lessons opportunity that came as an offer with the D40 kit)..

Internet; Public library; Even purchasing a good book (wouldn't recommend it, but they're cheap either way).

I've taken 5000 photos in 7 months with my DSLR, and I can guarantee you: 5000 photos are the best tuition you'll ever need. Just do yourself a favor, get the lens you need, and start taking photos. Do search the web, there's some good info..

But please, please, please...Don't waste your money on some "tuition" of questionable (to put it kindly) value..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/96953368@N00/..

Comment #6

Adysaes wrote:.

Calling all photographers!.

I got an Olympus E-510 for Christmas but up until now have beenunable to purchase any lenses for the camera, so am stuck with the14-45mm kit lens. I'm new to digital SLRs (I used a film SLR back atschool in art quite a lot though). I'm beginning to get into thingsand, generally speaking, I think I know what I'm doing with the vastmajority of the cameras functions (e.g. I use manual and aperturemode most of the time). But nevertheless I'm really keen to learnand to improve my skills..

Art class? Good Start. Do nto know why you use manual alot. I only use it, selectively at best, & then only when I desire a specific result. Otherwise, it's generally Aperture or Shutter. Which ever is more important to adjust quickly, given teh conditions..

However, I've now managed to save up 450 quid and am really tornbetween spending the money on either:.

A) Upgrading my lens - some friends are visiting New York soon so Ithought they might be able to grab me the 14-54mm and the Sigma50-200mm for around 450.b) Getting tuition - a course at St Martin's College of Art andDesign, for example, is 450..

Really torn on spending your money?Then don't spend it..

That money is not likely to run off, while you are not looking. Keep it , until you know exactly what you want and why you want it..

The questions is...what in your opinion is the better option? Moretuition but the kit lens VS better lenses but no tuition. Ideas?.

One can rarely go wrong with having the very best tools one can afford.Key is able to afford..

That said, if the image is strong, positively no one is going to notice if the image was taken with a less than perfect lens..

My suggestion is keep your money(maybe adding to it as you wait) learn how to you use the camera and lens you have now..

Scratch that - - Learn how to MASTER the camera & lens you have now..

Whiel you learn, you are going to discover just where your current equipment falls short (for You0 and that in turn will tell you just what you need to purchase next.Namely, classes or gear, and what kinds..

Google "henri cartier bresson"A Master Photograher who pretty much stuck with one lens, his entire carreer.A fixed 50mm, not even a zoom..

Again, if the image is strong. nothign else is going to be noticed.Focus on learning how to strong images..

Then show them to those of us with no imagination, so we can try to emulate.

Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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