As you've probably know or seen as of three weeks ago I've become the owner of a great Nikon D90 DSLR camera. As a newbie in the field of photography I was just filled with joy and motivation to get out there and snap pictures. As it is with anything you immediately start glancing your eyes on equipment and wondering, "Do I need that? I have to have that in order to take great quality pictures!" "It's going to be an expensive hobby" I told myself laughing the day I got the camera. And boy was I right, great lenses cost money. But is it necessary to have them? That's the question that was lingering at the back of my head. I started looking at the used market for a new lens. Thinking that the kit lens that came with the camera must be terrible and have lots of limitations, I started looking for a new one. Without even having a darn clue what I'm looking at. "What's AF-P? FX? DX? Would that work on my camera? " So last week I see this ad for a Nikon Nikkor 28-105 3.5-4-5D which I read on Ken Rockwell's site that it's a very flexible lens that allows for both macro and regular pictures. Great I'm thinking to myself and it's not a bad price. So I call up the guy and let him know I'm interested in buying it, he tells me to come on over the next morning. I show up with my camera and he takes my lens off and puts his on and lets me try it. Immediately he realizes that I'm totally new to this, the flash pops up as I'm shooting in auto mode. Yeah...embarrassing haha He tells me that I should learn to shoot in manual mode and that that particular lens is great for full frame cameras, not the type that I have. He shows me his camera a D810 Nikon and takes out four different lenses. Lets me try them all, the most expensive one valued at 1500 USD. He tells me that I should be looking for a DX lens for my camera, something like 50 mm or 35 mm. Confused as I'm about what he means he lets me know that I can expect a message from him with the name of lenses that I should look for and what price I should pay at maximum. Obviously the guy knows what he's talking about, he is a professional photographer with his own site and everything so I trust his judgment and empty-handed walk out, but at the same time I'm really happy. He could've easily taken my cash, given me the lens and laughed behind my back. Later that day he sends me a message telling me that if I'm up for it he'd be willing to give me a private lesson on cameras and everything I need to know, "come on by next week during the day and we'll talk". I'd be fool not to jump on this opportunity so I said yes. Fast-forward to last Wednesday and I'm meeting him ouside of his house, I've got my camera and tripod and he got a bag filled with equipment. Not gonna bore you to death, but I spent four hours with this guy. For four hours we talked, he showed me how to shoot in manual, what different lenses do and how I can use flash to my advantage, what to think about in different lighting conditions. Everything from how aperture works to shutter speed and ISO. Now why am I telling you all of this? As he started talking about all of this I started to see the resemblance between his world and my world, instruments more specifically. It helped that he also is a hobby musician so he knew what I was talking about too. Basically most of the rules and way of thinking we use when it comes to musical gear also applies to the world of photography and cameras. The same sort of fools that come into this forum, total beginners that want to sound like their guitar hero, be it SRV, BB King or Yngwie, who are ready to spend big money on the same gear that their idols use and then wonder why they aren't able to achieve that. Those same type of fools exist in the world of photography. For example he was telling me about how I should look at things when it comes to camera lenses and cameras in general. - Don't think that it's the camera/lens that is limiting you from taking a great picture. - Learn how to shoot in manual mode and have total control over your camera, that way you know what to adjust if you take a bad picture so you know how to adjust the settings to fit everything else. - Never buy new fresh of the factory lenses, you'll lose a lot of money that way. Buy second hand, join photography forums and know that people set their prices somewhat higher. - Always negotiate for a lower price, if they won't come down in price just be nice and let it go. Chances are they'll contact you a few days later and come down in price, or something cheaper will pop up. Be patient most of all and don't fall for promises of new technology. People were taking amazing pictures 15-30 years ago with a lot simpler cameras, I should be able to do so as well with mine. And when you're ready for that next step, buy a reliable model that is 10-15 years old. He went on to tell me how Sony has blown up this bubble in the market with their introduction of mirrorless cameras. How they're promoting it and making all sorts of promises and saying that DSLRs are a thing of the past. And a great majority of people who have no clue are falling for it, selling all their DSLR cameras and lenses to pay big money for a technology that is very new and hasn't been tried so much, especially coming from a company that doesn't have the pedigree of Nikon or Canon. So it really resonated with me everything he said. You could switch out the words camera and lens to any type of guitar, amp or pedal and it would ring true about the sort of stuff we talk about on a daily basis on these forums.