A Mounting Controversy Examined

A Mounting Controversy Examined

As most of our regular readers know, there is more than one kind of lens. New photographers may not consider it, but they need to think through their choices before they pay their money. Here are some considerations.

Leave aside the optical performance of various lenses in between manufacturers. You can rest assured that in each major maker’s lens lineup there will be an equivalent of their rival’s lens. If not right now, then as soon as the design department can go out in the Ginza and buy one and pull it apart. I have no idea if they employ ninjas for this or just send the office girl round with the credit card.

Consider, in your chosen brand, what you will be doing with your photography. If you say ” Oh, anything…” like you do at a cocktail party, you will be served with and Oh Anything lens. If you specify a particular genre, subject, or task, you will get closer to a result.  Now don’t be ashamed to consider an Oh Anything lens because that might be exactly what will be the best compromise for you. If you elect to take a camera body with a kit lens, this is likely to be what you get.


But look at the back of the lens – at the mounting. If you get a camera from one of the major players you may be offered one with a plastic mounting bayonet or a metal one. The plastic one will come at a lower price, but will also be a lighter weight.

You may be frightened by the plastic – seeing it as a friable substance that will fracture on you. So it might, if you are the sort of person who runs into walls with your camera held out in front of you, or goes to family parties that end up sirens and arrests. If you are an adventurer you might opt to pay the extra and take a lens with a metal mount.

But think – your car has crumple zones front and rear to protect you from harm in the event of crashes – they deflect the forces that would otherwise transit through to you and crumple you up. The plastic lens bayonet may be doing that for the camera as well. Lose a lens, but don’t lose a camera.

Also – if you are a person who will never take that lens off in the life of the machine, you really do not have to worry about wear and tear of plastic surfaces.

Status? Prestige? Professional appearance? You must make these judgements yourself…

Note: the lenses featured are standard Canon EF mounts for their small-frame cameras. Both solid performers. The 18-135 focal length is becoming the standard go-to for a lot of work.


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