Being new to photography is HARD! There’s a lot of education involved. There’s also a lot of money that will have to be spent. Let’s start with the education.
The learning process of photography is endless. There is always SOMETHING to learn. The basics have taken me an entire year and I know full well that the ‘basics’ will never be mastered. The basics are ever changing and not basic at all. The only constants in photography are the definitions. Aperture will always be aperture, ISO will always be ISO. Application of the definitions is immeasurable.
Now let’s talk about the money. Many more experienced Nikonistas seem to not understand why it is a a newbie (like myself) would consider a third party lens. Here’s the truth:
1. At this stage of the game, I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing. What I THINK I know, is only enough to keep me out of trouble. (For example, I’m not stupid enough to photograph a wedding)
2. I don’t make enough money from photography to justify my purchases.
3. Making photography related purchases is VERY STRESSFUL FOR A NEWBIE. I often read reviews where posters write about ‘bad copies’ of a lens and this is an area where I feel I need supervision. For example. I’ve spent the last week continuously researching two lenses that I’ve ordered and I’m scared STILL scared to death. Who’s going to check out my lenses for me? Yes, I’m purchasing them from a reputable dealer (shout out to Frank at Adorama who gets all the money I spend), but what if I have bad copies? How would I know? Is the Nikon label completely free of making bad copies? For newbies purchasing lenses is the equivalent of purchasing a car and later learning to drive…..if it’s a crappy car, you may not know for a while. In a nutshell, I purchase third party lenses because it’s cheaper to take a loss on a third-party lens than it is a Nikkor. Also, if my skill level with photography was a bit different, perhaps my answer would be different.