Opinionated solutions ...
I know it's been a good run and all, but I have to say, I came to the DCRP to learn and share. Simply put, I do not have all the answers ... that's responsibility resides in a much higher authority. I can only try and report on the things I have experienced ... and, hopefully, I successfully share that.
As far as what will impact your photography ... avoiding reliance on the "kit" lens is my best advice. How you do that is your decision.
The short list goes like this:
"Single lens" solutions (not necessarily by price)
1) TAMRON AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)
2) SONY DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3
3) SONY SAL-24105 - 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5
"Twin lens" solutions (medium cost)
1) SONY SAL-1680Z - Carl ZeissŪ Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 & SAL-70300G 70-300mm f4.5-5.6
2) TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) & TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO
The pricier ideas (termed "professional"):
"Twin lens" solution:
SONY SAL-2470Z 24-70mm f2.8 & SAL-70200G - 70-200mm f/2.8 G
The medium cost "Ultra lens bag" - Four lenses
1) TAMRON SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di-II LD (IF) or SONY DT 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 (when available)
2) SONY SAL-1680Z - Carl ZeissŪ Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5
3) TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO
4) TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)
I'm not even going to recommend the lesser lenses ... because, I cannot see why anyone would want to buy a new lens to shoot inferior images, if they can avoid it. Sure you can use them ... then complain about results. My feeling is: Spend the extra couple of hundred and "shoot happy." It's a long road ... and just MY opinion. You are eagerly encouraged to have one of your very own. :D
I know there are cheaper ideas on how to do this ... hell, I've tried them, also. But, to be honest ... you wind tossing away up hundreds of dollars on inferior (non-resellable) lenses trying to acheive results that only can be gotten from a much better optic (which usually is resellable). Oh sure, you can try an beat those pixels into submission with Photoshop or whatever else you use, but the bottom line is ... you should just take better (composed & sharper focused) images, to begin with. :eek:
It really is a lot easier, overall. (Yes, I know that I am avoiding the counter-argument: "Well, how good does the image have to be?" and therein lies the rub. That's the part you figure out for yourself. Welcome to YOUR opinion. LOL :D :p)
A walk on the wild side of the line ...
I lost my objectivity when I got involved in Canon and wound up betrayed. There are others who are not so ... jaundiced ... and would make for a more balanced approach ... based on that ignorance alone. Getting screwed is no fun ... and then watching someone laugh at being ignorant is even worse.
I rather enjoy my experimentation or continued education ... so that is the benefit, but I'm not here to stroke people's egos ... especially people who insist that being WRONG is RIGHT ... or think they are going to benefit siding with a monolithic giant, when that monolith continues to foster a bad idea. Some politics are just poor plans that someone needs to see through. I do not buy into that line of crap and never have.
I try to tell it like it is ... if you don't like hearing it, change the channel. The truth never gets old ... it just is was it is.
BTW: I reserve the right to change my mind. LOL :D