I recently asked this question:

24-200MM lens for Nikon D850?

I neglected to include my research effort evidence originally, however after being questioned, I first added research evidence via comments, then updated the original question body. Even after all this, and long after accepting an answer, I am receiving downvotes with no explanations.

I am especially confused because a very similar question has been positively received:

What zoom 70-300mm lens should I get for my Nikon D3300?

  • Hmm, negative vote on this too, with no explanation. At this point I can only assume people down vote me due to the fact that I have the highly coveted and hard to find D850, and they don't.
    – ITWorker
    Apr 18, 2018 at 15:43
  • 5
    re: downvotes in Meta: don't worry about it. They don't factor into rep. They have a different connotation than on main. Basically, votes in meta are more like "I agree / I disagree", and are understood to be less consequential than on main. See: Meaning of downvotes in Meta vs. Main sites?
    – scottbb Mod
    Apr 18, 2018 at 16:58

4 Answers 4


I assume the bulk of the downvoting of the question over on main is due to you asking for a list of lenses (and reiterating in the comments that you wanted a list).

By-and-large, list-type questions are not a good fit for Stack Exchange sites (for example: List questions: Community Wiki? on Meta.SE). So while initial objections in the comments to your question were mostly about the apparent "lack of research", fundamentally, a question asking for a list of lenses that can mostly be compiled yourself still sort of comes across as "please do the work for me; I cannot be bothered / I am unable / I am willing to do it myself".

On the issue of the large number of downvotes, unfortunately there is often some initial inertia to the voting of questions, that very rarely gets turned around 180°. Usually, if a question initially gets a large number of downvotes, it's probably best to delete it, and ask in Meta or in chat how the question can be reworked to be a good question. I know, that sucks, but this is the reality we have to work within. :\

  • Understood and upvoted. One of the motivations for me to ask this list question was because I wanted to tap into the resources of people here who may be knowledgeable about lesser known/discontinued lenses, however since the only response that directly answered my question pointed to a well known Nikon lens, I guess there really isn't much other choice.
    – ITWorker
    Apr 18, 2018 at 20:35

The downvote for this Meta seems like someone's trollin' a bit. But, to your other question, I think the negative reception is in the way your question comes off.

In the linked Q, there is an admission of being a beginner and a plea for help - to which people will be sympathetic.

Your question begins with a shopping list of features and doesn't list a single lens that you have already found and are questioning. The feeling I get from the Q is that you are entitled to help from the community.

I'm fairly certain that's not what you meant - but that's what makes it easy to write the question off as an ill-researched, off-topic shopping question.

Things would have probably gone very differently had you said:

So, I'm very new to photography and am trying to find a single lens to cover a huge range because (insert reasons). Ideally, it'd be 24-200mm, full frame, and have some VR because, well, I'm just not as strong as I used to be. The only thing I've found is the Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 - but it's not for full frame! Am I just completely out of luck in this request?

That's how I see it anyway. Part of the question, too, is the fact that you're essentially asking, "Which breed of horse should I use to go from New York to Boston," - to which the answer is, "None. Get a car."

Just about anyone who knows anything about lenses will tell you the range you're looking for comes with a lot of trade-offs and is, in most cases, a bad idea. Your reasons for the request indicate whether or not you've even thought that through. Since you gave no reasons in your post, we can only assume you haven't researched/thought it through - and that goes back to the "no research effort" critique.

You just have to humanize your question a bit, at least, from my perspective.

  • Understood and upvoted. I have tried to be more humanized in my responses, yet I got downvoted again, with no explanation as of this writing, any idea why (also note that the question itself was net positive voted, even though it is clearly an opinion question)?: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/98142/…
    – ITWorker
    Apr 18, 2018 at 20:27
  • Also note that in the answer with the most upvotes (3), the first word itself is "imho"...how can it be any more apparent that this question is ripe for opinion, and why does it have so many upvotes (both the question and the answers, especially one that starts with imho)?
    – ITWorker
    Apr 18, 2018 at 20:42
  • 1
    @ITWorker - the OP is asking, essentially, what composition elements are in play to make this image interesting. Whether or not the photo is interesting IS opinion - but listing which elements are being used is not. The answer you refer to says "I'd say that we could see a use of negative space (with the shadowed walls) and a bit of the rule of the thirds, with the wall and stairs top contours." - so, this answer IS listing some hard fact that others have found useful. Michael's answer is later to the game, but further expands on this.
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 18, 2018 at 20:52
  • @ITWorker - your answer of "it looks organized and well composed" doesn't really solve the question of "What composition elements are being used". We know it's well composed. The question is how.
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 18, 2018 at 20:53
  • "We know it's well composed." You see, that is an opinion. The question never asked, "what composition elements are being used" as you claim, in fact the question asker asks us why HE/SHE finds it interesting. That makes no sense to me, and clearly asking for opinions. Rule of thirds, contrast, etc. are mentioned, but who is to say "organization" (part of my answer) does not fall within the realms of "etc." ?
    – ITWorker
    Apr 18, 2018 at 21:04
  • 1
    @ITWorker - The question title is literally "What kind of Composition used here in this pic?" and the main clause in the question is "I was wondering what kind of composition rules was used in this pic". The primary clause in your answer is "I'm voting to close" - something a person probably dv'ed you for. Yes, sometimes people use dv'es to signal disagreement. While not the intended use of the functionality, it does happen.
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 18, 2018 at 21:12
  • "The question never asked, "what composition elements are being used" as you claim..." That's pretty much what the original title means. "What kind of composition... "
    – Michael C
    Apr 18, 2018 at 21:17
  • @ITWorker - Comparing your initial Q to the photo comp Q is unnecessary. Point is, your initial Q came off as entitled, un-researched, and most importantly, didn't sit well with people. Photo Comp Q may be opinion related, and might not be on-topic, but it sat better with people. Instead of trying to find a logic to explain why Photo Comp should be downvoted (which is what it appears you are trying to do), I encourage you to rework your Q to attract more of the volunteers that participate here to share a response.
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 18, 2018 at 21:18
  • @Corey I don't see anywhere in the question where it is mentioned it is a photo comp question. In fact it says it is from the internet. As it stands right now, this question to me appears to be a question like any other on photo SE and therefore needs to undergo the same filters that my question went through. Also, downvoting with no explanation just causes confusion.
    – ITWorker
    Apr 18, 2018 at 21:22
  • @ITWorker - I'm using the abbreviated "Photo Comp" for "Photo Composition". I'm not sure how you are missing it - the question's title, paragraph, and tags all point to it's intent. And the filters of which you speak don't exist. There's simply a community and each person's individual actions. Hang around awhile and you may see trends - but you'll also see things that'll surprise you. I agree with you that DV'ing should come with an explanation - but it's unrealistic to expect it.
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 18, 2018 at 21:29
  • Your insistence on having the photo composition question downvoted because it doesn't sit right with the way you think things should work is a nonsense path to walk. I have tried to fill you in on the reasons that your question was ill-received. I advised how you could potentially fix it. Take that advice or leave it. But I'm no longer going down this "what about-ism" path with you.
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 18, 2018 at 21:31
  • @Corey Photo comp to me means "photo competition" of which I am aware there exists a weekly one on this site. And of course I didn't mean to pick on you to explain/compare my question to this "photo comp" question, it just so happened your answer's comment area was a good place to do this since it was relevant. Anyway I appreciate your thoughts.
    – ITWorker
    Apr 18, 2018 at 21:35
  • Oh and it's amusing that you think it's a nonsense path to walk for me to downvote based on what I think. Isn't that what basically any conscious human action implies? Thought -> Action? (i.e. everyone else not counting trolls who downvote) I think that question clearly violates the SE policy of opinon questions therefore I downvoted it to be closed, simple as that.
    – ITWorker
    Apr 18, 2018 at 21:40

I didn't downvote, but it seems to me the biggest issue with your question was that it came off mainly as a request for a product recommendation, which is expressly off-topic at all Stack Exchange communities.

There were also additional details revealed in comments, both to the question and to some of the answers, that you never bothered to edit into the original question. Since comments at SE are transitory and can be deleted by a moderator at any time, anything that needs to be permanent needs to be included in a question (or answer).

  • Understood about the additional information. Regarding the recommendations however, as I clearly stated in the question, I was not looking for recommendations/what's best for my D850, rather I just a list of valid lenses for my criteria. In my mind a recommendation implies validity, along with opinion on top of it as to whether that valid option is a good idea (subjective), whereas I was just looking for validity (objective).
    – ITWorker
    Apr 18, 2018 at 20:31

A list of lenses that match a given criteria is even harder for Stack Exchange to deal with than a single shopping question. In the extremely unlikely chance you get a comprehensive list, what happens when a month later, one of those lenses is no longer made, or a new lens enters the market? There's no real incentive to do the thankless chore of updating and maintaining that list. So, it just sits there, increasing the amount of outdated information on the Internet and decreasing the value of the site.

There's another thing too — you wonder in a comment to another meta answer why vaguely-titled, open-ended, and highly subjective What kind of Compositional Elements are used in this pic? got a positive response, when your question didn't. That's easy, and actually a good insight because there is a connection:

Many of us really enjoy talking about photography ­— the art and science of taking pictures. This is frequently drowned out on the internet in general (and on this site in particular) by people asking, basically, which camera to buy or which lens to buy, over and over and over. So — for better or worse — over time, we've developed a tendency to be more forgiving with the photo questions and much less forgiving with gear questions, especially ones of the form of "find me a list of all matches for this criteria" or "what is best for me?".

Add me to the "I didn't downvote, but...." list of responders here. It's awesome that you took the time to make a meta post about this. I do encourage you to stick around and especially to ask any questions about making photographs which you may have. It's not that all gear questions are off-topic, but imagine if Stack Exchange were primarily "Which languages use list comprehension?" and "what library should I use"?

  • Thanks, I guess I just need to get used to things more in this stack community.
    – ITWorker
    Apr 23, 2018 at 18:33

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