As much as I like photography, I also hate it, especially when things break. For example:
- In the past three years, I had two Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lenses break on me for the same reason: a zoom barrel design flaw that resulted in my being unable to rotate the zoom ring due to a loose screw. Both times, I unsuccessfully attempted a manual repair, only to destroy them beyond hope.
- Of late, my first good Canon EF mount lens, the Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical, has developed a worn flex cable. In other words, I get the dreaded Err99 every 60-100 shots or so. If only I had known about Tamron’s spotty quality control…
- Lastly, my Canon EOS 20D needed its shutter release mechanism replaced, which thankfully is an easy fix if you know how to solder and willing to open up what effectively is a fancy computer.
Worst of all, the money I lost on those three subpar zoom lenses (~$1100) could have been used to get something of significantly higher quality [like the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM]. It goes to show you get what you pay for.
On a related note, a friend asked me yesterday which camera, namely a dSLR, is a good one to invest in as a gateway into photography. I implore you all to do the following:
- Buy a used dSLR and/or one that is within your means. A new Canon EOS 60D without a lens will set you back $900, whereas a used Canon Rebel XSi [which I think has one of the better Canon APS-C sensors made to date] with a kit lens can be had for less than $400.
- If you want an affordable lens of good quality, go for a fixed focal length prime lens. Consider how for the price of a Canon EF-S 17-85mm, you can get a Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM that has significantly better optics and is not prone to zoom barrel design flaws.
- Use the damn camera, and if necessary, learn how to take better pictures. After all, what good is an expensive tool if you cannot properly utilize it?
Which reminds me: I really should get around to teaching my parents how to master a dSLR, especially if they plan on taking many pictures during their travels.