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Would you take your car to a mechanic that doesn’t have metric sockets?

Well, the car we owned last month would not have benefited from metric sockets since the parts were SAE sizes, so there was no point in demanding the mechanic have metric.  That car was serviced at the local Ford dealership.  This month, and going forward, the new car will be serviced at the local Toyota dealership, and I imagine metric sockets will be used.

You can find great images taken with crop bodies, but that’s the exception. A PROFESSIONAL should be using the best equipment he can get.

And let’s not forget the second part of what I said. Lenses and lighting.

In the auto mechanic analogy, I would expect any mechanic to have wrenches, and sockets, just as I would expect any photographer to have a camera.  I would expect professional mechanics to have suitable tools for the service they are offering.  Good tools have better balance, are safer to use, last longer, and generally do a better job.  But most customers would not be able to tell you the relative worth of a Snap-On socket compared to a Hazet, or a Husky, or even a Craftsman.  Many may also not know there is a set of sockets for hand ratchets and a different set for use with impact wrenches.  Most customers won’t care.  Personally, I like mechanics that start nuts and bolts by hand and tighten them with a torque wrench.  It can be a challenge to find mechanics like that.

I hope to keep this fairly brief.  Some professional mechanics only do fluid changes and lubrication.  They need a very limited set of wrenches and few specialized tools.  Others work at shops that can do almost any repair and they need a much wider selection of wrenches as well as many specialized tools.  They need more knowledge as well, be it in their heads or in a set of shop manuals or a computer.  They are all doing a job, and getting paid, so they are professionals.  While I have trusted Speedy Lube to pull the oil drain plug, change oil and filter and get me on the road again, I wouldn’t consider asking them to rebuild my engine.  I’m not sure I would trust that to my local dealer, even.

Photography is a similar thing.  There are people at all different levels.  There is a plethora of equipment available.  Some professionals can handle any assignment, some can handle limited assignments and some are extremely specialized and will be out of their depth if they deviate from that specialization.  And, there are amateurs that are at least as good as the professionals at each level.  We perceive trouble developing when someone is offering a service at a level at which they can’t perform.  That may be due to hardware, or knowledge.  Since even APS-C and four-thirds cameras from several years ago can easily out perform 35 mm film, the problem is probably not the camera.  Sometimes the customer doesn’t do due diligence.  Sometimes the advertising is overly optimistic.   Sometimes the customer is happy, but we think the product is crap.