Bustin' on the "kit lens" Going CHEAP will not get 'er done!
Okay ... this is simply an opinion and you know what they say about those ...
Many people, as you might expect, buy their camera with a $100 "kit lens" in it. I mean, it just makes sense to get a "convenience" package, when you are buying a new camera body and not having lenses at home to support it. Fine. What's in the box?
Well, dear friends, gather round, and grab a beer
because, what I'm about to tell you is a little hard to hear.
In your photography, the nefarious "kit lens" is a "bottom of the barrel" optical solution and it is not pretty down there. It is a plastic lens construct that has a rather poor contrast level to it and also tends to wash out your colors. Sounds like bleach, huh? Well, optically, that's effectively what it is.
Don, Don ... what's the solution?
NEVER USE IT, AGAIN!
It just stands to reason that if you went to all the trouble to go to the Camera Store or online buy a good DSLR, you wanted to get better than "average" images out of it, otherwise, you would have punted and bought a much smaller Point & Shoot camera. Plus, you owe it to yourself to see this improvement.
Everyone is asking: "What single improvement can I make that will give me the best imaging I can start with?"
FIRST AND FOREMOST -> Better Glass!!
It doesn't matter if you are holding the best DSLR camera body money can buy ... if you are shooting through the bottom of a pickle jar!
Two or three currently available lenses immediately come to my mind that will, without fail, provide the most "bang for the buck" in this "kit lens" range (not price range ... $100 just cannot offer anything that is a "new, zoom lens" ... if you are "cash-strapped", you bought the wrong kind of camera, plain and simple.).
- TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)(about $400)
- TAMRON SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)(about $350)
- SONY DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 (about $700)
- SONY 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5 (about $460)
(Go ahead and click on anyone of these lens links ... I really am trying to help, here. )
These lenses are just about the best friend you'll have to improve your basic shot. They are relatively "bright" (lot's o light gets in) and are very sharp to focus. If you do not see the difference between ANY of these and the "kits lens" ... take a few more images, because you cannot be looking very close.
Of course, it is most evident when you actually view your captures on a video monitor, not the back of the camera's LCD panel. To use the LCD, you need to FULLY understand how it works and many new users just haven't had the time to figure it out, yet.
I recommend you do several side-by-side shots, using both the "kit lens" and one of these (above listed) "better" ones, then:
- take that "kit lens" and put it somewhere,
- just FORGET where you left it and
- now, go take some much better colored and sharper shots with ANY one of the other three lenses listed above,
- finally, let that new DSLR (you know ... the one that you had to do all that whining and carrying on, and your spouse finally "caved" and allowed you get. Yeah, that one!) do what you bought it for.
In summation: Do not bother arguing or considering that there is a "cheaper" alternative ... other than scoring someone's old Minolta lens on ebay. Honestly, this is it and if you are really interested in a solid, optical improvement in your photography, you now know what it is.
Get your better lens & go TAKE THE SHOT!
Last edited by DonSchap; 02-20-2009 at 08:09 PM.
- BFA, Digital Photography
A Photographer Is Forever
Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.