I’ve seen so many things over the last several months that just makes me want to leave every social media photography group that I am a part of. Here is the short, quick, and controversial list of my photography pet peeves of 2017.
Full Frame is better than crop sensors and full frame sensors gather more light than crop sensor cameras. First off, sensors do not gather more or less light based on their size. Sensors measure light per unit area, not total area. Why do I say this? Check out this scenario… If you added more and more light to any given room the room would get brighter and brighter. More light equals more brightness. If the bigger sensors gathered more light statement was true then Sekonic, which is the leading manufacturer in hand-held light meters, would be making light meters for cameras that had full frame sensors, crop sensors, medium format sensors, 4/3 sized sensors, and point and shoot cameras with sensors a little larger than what a cell phone has. That’s not the case. Light meters measure light per unit area just like your crop sensor, just like your full frame sensor.
As for your full frame camera being better than a crop sensor camera…. Just know that for 20, 40, and 50+ years photographers did not want to go to full frame cameras because the sensor/35mm film was TOO SMALL! And here people are now boasting about how crop sensors are just too small, yet there are plenty of photographers making a perfectly fine living shooting with Canon 7D’s, Canon 7D mk II’s and Fuji mirrorless cameras with crop sensors
I’ve seen this posted several times over the last month… “What is the best portrait lens to get?” The responses have been predictable, quite funny, and sad all at the same time. I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of people replying with the same…. 85mm f1.8, 50mm f1.4, 70 – 200mm F2.8, 200 F2.8, 24 to 70 F2.8. I’ve seen these lenses being stated over and over and over and over again. First off, there is no such thing as a portrait lens. What kind of portraits are you going to be making? Are you going to be making environmental and lifestyle portraits? Are you going to be mostly doing family portraits and portraits of larger groups? Are you going to mainly be doing portrait work of models in the studio? Are you going to mainly be doing headshots? I’ve seen many AMAZING portraits done with 35mm and 28mm lenses. Please stop the lens discrimination. STOP LENS PROFILING! Not one person is asking the person who initially made the post very important questions that need to be answered before spewing off what they think is best for someone they don’t know and don’t know what they will be shooting.
The last thing I am going to touch on is the dynamic range. All of a sudden there is this dynamic range craze going on in the photography community. Most likely it’s mainly because these camera companies are creating this craze to make us, the consumers, the prosumers, and the professionals we think we are, think we need a newer better camera with more and more of this and that in our camera… But that’s their job. They are trying to make money persuading us we need the newest and the best. While there’s nothing wrong with getting new gear, digital photography hasnt been around that long. No digital photographer has had a life long career doing photography, and if they were to they’d get by just fine with a Canon 7D Mk II, a 5D Mk IV, or the Nikon equivalents just the same. But many will be going out to upgrade again and again without truly understanding what they need and don’t need. Since 2001 I’ve been doing family portraits, senior portraits, weddings, model portfolios, events, and concerts. I’ve shot both available light and used off camera flash. Not once have I ever been concerned with dynamic range or needing more dynamic range out of my camera. Yes, there are cases out there in the photography universe where more dynamic range may have been needed, but for the majority of what these Facebook group photographers are shooting, cameras that were put out 5 and even 8 and 10 years ago will get the job done just fine.
(image above is an album cover I shot this year in 2017)
Okay, I know I said that the dynamic range rant was the last one but here’s one more… Be careful of who you take advice from. There are many Facebook group photographers who have been doing photography for 6 months to a year and people are going to them for end all and be all advice and these photographers are giving it out as if they are the end all be all. The same thing goes with these people on youtube. There are so many channels out there pushing photography gear. One thing that you may not know is that these people with affiliate links on their channels are getting kick backs. They are making money off us clicking on the link and buying the gear. Now I’m not saying that all of those photographers are bad people or are a scam. Just be mindful and do your research. There is a big difference between youtubers who are talking about photography and pushing gear, and photographers who are running a youtube channel.
In conclusion, do your research before purchasing gear. Seek advise from those who’s work you really admire and who have been around the block a few times. Ask questions and keep asking questions. Don’t settle for short answers. Ask why they recommend something. Know your gear. Learn how it works inside and out so you won’t have to rely on people who may or may not mislead you. As for leaving all of the social media photography groups, that most likely won’t happen. I enjoy helping others too much to do that. In 2018 I challenge you to focus on vision over gear and books over gadgets. Go out and create your magic and share it with the world!
NOTE: All images in this article and on my website were shot with a crop sensor camera or a camera that was produced in the 1980’s, 1970’s or 1950’s.