Does Expensive Mean Better

This is a slight change in direction to our normal blog posts but we wanted to share with you our thoughts on a subject that can, at times, be rather contentious.

As a photographer we use tools; cameras, lights, backgrounds, triggers and all sorts of other of other equioment.  Some photographers use more than others, some less, but I think it’s safe to say that we all need a camera.  This isn’t going to turn into a discussion of which camera brand is better and quite frankly that is a subject that bores me greatly.  At the end of the day would anyone say that the Mona Lisa was any less a priceless piece of art should it be discovered that Leonardo da Vinci had used 16th century toilet brush to paint it?

What I want to talk about is the descision between buying expensive gear or cheap gear.  We are photographers on a budget and as such the best, and frankly the expebsive, gear is often out of reach so compromises have to be found.  Take the explample of the full size tripod with quick release plate that I recently bought on eBay for £14.99 (inc. delivery).  My personal love is landscape and nature photography and quite often I’ve needed a tripod for some of the shots I want but not being able to afford the best I decided to make a compromise.  For the small sum of fifteen quid I have a very capable tripod that is pretty light and very stirdy and will do the job I want it to do – what more can I ask for? Oh yes the fact that it will double as a great stand for the cheap speedlight I also just bought off eBay!

Yes, shock horror, I bought a Yongnuo YN460 speedlight off eBay!!!! Have you calmed down yet? I jest.  The fact is that I could not justify forking out hundreds on a Canon speedlight just yet and for the job I wanted this light for I frankly didn’t need a Canon light.  This thing does a great job and at under £40 delivered it was a BARGAIN. When you want to experiment with flash lighting these cheap units are brilliant.  It has a built in slave so it’s great for multi-flash setups and creative lighting.  So what’s te trade off? Well okay it’s a stop less powerful than say a Nikon SB600 – not a problem for me at all.  It’s build quality is not as good as the big boys (apparantly) – well mine is build pretty well.

So what’s the moral of this little blog tale? The tools you have are the best tools you have.  Use them to their full potential and stop chasing the next new toys. At the end of the day none of this gear (cameras, lights, tripods) actually makes a photo – the photographer does.


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