Nikon has apologised to photographers after it controversially suggested ?a photographer is only as good as the kit he uses.?

In a posting on its Facebook page last week, the camera giant claimed: ?A photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses, and a good lens is essential to taking good pictures!?

Nikon then went on to ask photographers about their favourite Nikkor lenses and the situations in which they use them.

Among those incensed by the statement was David Ebanks who wrote in the posting?s comment box: ?What a load of rubbish. If an amateur has the money and goes and buys the best Nikkor equipment, does that mean he?s a great photographer?.?

Patrick J Gannon, a Canon user, insisted that ?it isn?t the equipment? it?s the person using the equipment. Thousands of people out there can?t afford expensive kit, but their drive, know how, patience and talent produce remarkable pictures, not just the equipment they are using?.

Jeff Davis also blasted the claims. He wrote: ?I love my Nikons but I don?t like your statement.?

Others agreed with Nikon?s sentiments, however. Among them René Kabis who wrote: ?A photographer can have all the skill in the world, but needs to start out with good equipment in order to take great pictures.

?Just because you have skills doesn?t mean you can do anything significant with substandard equipment.?

In response to the outcry, Nikon?s US office issued a subsequent Facebook posting which reads: ?We know some of you took offense to the last post, and we apologize, as it was not our aim to insult any of our friends.

?Our statement was meant to be interpreted that the right equipment can help you capture amazing images.

?We appreciate the passion you have for photography and your gear, and know that a great picture is possible anytime and anywhere.?

A spokesman for Nikon Europe told Amateur Photographer that it had nothing further to add.