Beware of Marketing: Professional, Really?

  Posted in Uncategorized on

  by Chris

Whilst diving deep in the depths of the internet, I came accross this article:

http://tamron-usa.com/lenses/learning_center/jason_schneider/wedding/wedding.asp

From the deginning, the reader MUST understand that this is a promotional article on a manufacturer’s website, and take all he reads therein with a grain of salt (or more). The article proposes that the Tami 18-250 is the only lens a wedding photographer would ever need, except maybe occasionally a ultra-wide Tami 11-18 (do they still make those?). The article directly states that this is a professional lens which produces professional results.

The first question you must ask, o reader, is: “What does professional mean?” Aside from the “what defines a profession” argument, the general understanding of professional is somethins which is up to generally high industry standards; that is, much better than the common layman or peon could manage on his own. A professional product or service is usually one which is produced or performed by a person who is paid to do it and does what he does on a regular basis. The final product or service is (supposed to be) high quality, usually meeting some standard of excellence.

With this in mind, one considers then the proposition of this ppost: that the Tami 18-250 is a professional one-size-fits-all lens, which professionals use to capture professional images. First, an examination of the images from the wedding (the best of the best, the ones Tamron wants you to see and covet). Though a few of the images are fairly decent as far as composition is concerned, the simple fact is: NONE of these images even look remotely professional! THey all look like snapshots! Particularly telling is the phrase where the author of this article tells how he decided he didn’t need his hotshoe flash, and instead opted for his pop-up! The images certain look like it…

The first picture, of the bride and groom in the limo, is clearly shot with pop-up flash. The harsh shadows (especially around her chin) kill this picture. The lighting is flat, uncreative, and simple unemotive. And, it is clear that this image was shot with a pretty narrow aperture lens (and, there’s a girl in the back window ~! Not to be picky, but this is supposed to be professional!). The picture of the crowns is sharp but boring. No creativity there! Pop-up flash to the rescue! Then the images of the ceremony… a wee bit of cropping could help them some… but worst perhaps is 1. the lack of any sort of background blur and 2. the lighting! The industry standard for these shots are images whose backgrounds fade out of focus into a pleasing blur (apertures of 2.8 on the zooms, usually 1.4 or even 1.2 on the primes). These shots completely show the utter lack of real pfofessional competency of this lens! Then the lighting: the bridwe and bridesmaids have large highlight blowouts on their arms and faces! This is not only unflattering for the subject, but speaks very poorly of the photographer. Maybe if he had used the hotshoe flash afterall…

The point of this article seems to be to lure unsuspecting amateurs into buying this lens. Clearly, it is geared towards the amateur who doesn;t wish to be bothered with lens changes or that pesky hotshoe flash thingie. “Buy this lens and you’ll have professional photos!” The article closes with an invitation to “Just look at the pictures!”. I did. I wasn’t impressed.

You don’t need a one lens fits all lens. (Unless it’s a 50mm 1.4!) You need the right lens for the job. In this case, lenses (about five of them!). My point in my article about this article is: never take shortcuts! This is a shortcut lens, and will give you short cut results. If you choose the quick and easy path, as Vader did… you will never acheive your full potential in photography, or in life. Excellent results demand hard work, for which there is no substitute.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *