Most photographers know that skill usually matters more than the camera brand, but it’s a different story when it comes to camera lenses. A poor lens can and will affect all of your photos regardless of skill level or camera body, but name-brand products can easily cost twice as much as aftermarket kits. So how do you find the best balance of quality and cost? Read on to find out:
About OEM and Aftermarket Lenses
Even though original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products feature a brand logo and are typically high-quality, most parent companies only design the lens and then outsource the actual production. Aftermarket manufacturers can later take advantage of these initial designs and release them under various aftermarket monikers such as Tamron, Quantaray, or Sigma.
Deconstructing the Cost Differences
The major differences between aftermarket and OEM lenses typically boil down to the quality of individual components used in production. Manufacturers tend to overdesign their products anyways, so an aftermarket part of like fit, cost, and quality will generally perform as well under normal shooting conditions, albeit with a lower life expectancy. And of course, a premium aftermarket manufacturer such as Zeiss will generally perform better than even OEM lenses.
What to Buy
If you’re a frequent photographer and you plan to use a certain lens on a regular basis, then it’s perfectly worthwhile to invest in a quality OEM lens. However, if you’re looking for a specialty lens for rare occasions, then it might be worthwhile to save on an aftermarket lens and put the savings towards a new camera body or another lens. Most manufacturers produce both gems and lemons, so be sure to look up product reviews beforehand.
Whether you’re looking for a camera lenses, bodies, or some accessories to make your life a little easier, we here at Camera Land are here to help. We’ve been providing New York City with a wide selection of camera supplies and hunting optics since 1957. Take a look at our online specials and call (646) 789-4830 for more information.