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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    9,560

    Cool 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!

    BLAM !


    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.).
    1. TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)(about $400)
    2. TAMRON SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)(about $350)
    3. SONY DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 (about $700)
    4. 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:

    1. take that "kit lens" and put it somewhere,
    2. just FORGET where you left it and
    3. now, go take some much better colored and sharper shots with ANY one of the other three lenses listed above,
    4. 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.
    Don Schap - 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.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Looks like the 24-105 has been updated and is no longer a DT lens?

    http://www.alphamountworld.com/revie...mm-lens-review

    Would you also recommend and add the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 to the list? Seems about on par at least with the 24-105mm.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    nice alternatives but those cost more than the body of the a200/300
    i think the kit-lens is fine for basic farting around personally.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    1,161
    I have said it before, and will add it again, you really can't go wrong by adding the Tamron 70-300 to your gear, I think almost all of us here have it, it is "cheap" and performs VERY well. A handy lens to have around. Don I let a Minolta 24-105 in exc. condition slip away from me for "only" $300.00 it is on my watch list to buy "someday" any comment on the 28-105 as there seems to be more of them available then the 24-105's
    Sony A700_____________Minolta AF 50mm. F/1.7
    Minolta AF 70-210mm F/3.5-4.5 Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR DiII LD Asp. [IF]
    Tamron SP AF 70-200mm. F/2.8 DI LD [IF] Macro
    Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2
    Tokina AF 28-70mm F/3.5-4.5
    Tokina AF AT-X 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6
    http://flickr.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Quote Originally Posted by Elisha82 View Post
    nice alternatives but those cost more than the body of the a200/300
    i think the kit-lens is fine for basic farting around personally.
    Quote Originally Posted by seanhoxx View Post
    I have said it before, and will add it again, you really can't go wrong by adding the Tamron 70-300 to your gear, I think almost all of us here have it, it is "cheap" and performs VERY well. A handy lens to have around. Don I let a Minolta 24-105 in exc. condition slip away from me for "only" $300.00 it is on my watch list to buy "someday" any comment on the 28-105 as there seems to be more of them available then the 24-105's
    If you're going to stay with the kit lens, that's fine. But I would highly recommend a flash unit to go with it. The camera body really is only half the ingredients necessary for a good picture. The lens is equally important. A flash will allow you to use the kit lens in doors and for those low light shots, since aperture wise, it's pretty dim (slow). A flash will also result in much sharper pictures (I was extremely surprised when I got my new flash).

    Sean's right, the Tamron 70-300 works really well with the kit lens and won't break the bank that's for sure..... It'll allow for a much greater reach in your pictures!

    But again, sticker shock is something we all must overcome. Good glass lasts forever..... camera bodies come and go.....
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    i got myself the Minolta 50mm F1.7 RS yesterday and am very pleased with it. and i heard you about the external flash. the built in one casts shadows on the hit lens with or without the hood sometimes.
    the Sony flashes are too rich for my blood. anyone have an opinion of the Sigma 530?
    it can be had new for $250 CAD and is supposed to be fully compatible in all modes.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Red face Guys guys guys ... forget the camera body

    Look, I'm not trying to be a "smart-A**", here ... but I don't care if they GAVE you the A300 for free and said, "go take pictures." Get rid of that crappy "kit lens" and shoot responsibly. If you are going to all the trouble to use a DSLR, then use reasonably good glass ... and not a coke-bottle bottom!

    Sheesh!

    I just feel really bad trying to try and assist someone to improving their images, when the main part of their image problems is that almost retarded lens. If SONY would take the time to improve it (and they won't, because they want to sell the higher-end ones.), that would be one thing ... but no matter how well you think you are shooting ... it doesn't matter, because your images could be so much better ... if you would just make the upgrade.

    Sorry, I have been at this too long to sit here and lie to you. I just will not do it. It's real personal, bordering on ETHICS!

    I have loaned out my own personal lenses to keep people from using that rediculous excuse for glass. How committed do I have to be before people catch on. If you feel a need to whine about the cost, fine ... but the truth is the truth. It may be hard to swallow and just know that you have a huge fan club of "low glass prices" behind you.

    Bottom Line: FORGET THE BODY ... it's irrrelevent ... CONCENTRATE ON THE GLASS.

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    Parrot at 100% crop (NOT the same image as above)
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    Just commit to getting results you can love ... not complain about.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-20-2008 at 07:59 AM.
    Don Schap - 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.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    i understand that glass is more important than the body.
    but almost 99% of DSLR shooters PP anyway. basically most of you are not impressed with the original shot and try improving it with PP before posting it.

    i posted a pic somewhere and people that replied to the thread asked me why i didn't sharpen before posting it.

    so since software can most times make a decent picture better, i don't understand the need for lenses that cost more than $500 in my personal opinion.
    the more you are willing to pay, the more the manufacturer will jack up prices and i'm not about to support that mentality.
    i would rather buy used glass.
    and comparing the kit lens with a $500 lens is no comparison.
    i agree the kit lens is a poor excuse for a lens but i'm not trying to win the Pulitzer or print anything larger than 8x10 and CS3 and Lightroom improve the output of my images anyway.
    i am constantly hunting for older Minolta/Sigma/Tamron glasses however.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
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    This is getting tedious ... you really need to re-exam your priorities in your photography. Do NOT justify the cost of a lens based on how much you happened to pay for the body you went and attached it to. They truly are independent of one another.

    So if I toss you a $1300 Carl Zeiss beauty ... and you place it on a A200 (Cheapest SONY DSLR available), I can almost guarantee the shot you take will likely FAR exceed one using the crappy "kit lens" mounted on an A700 or any other high-end body that SONY produces.

    It's not a fair comparison, even at equal price levels ... the "kit lens" should probably be discarded as soon as you decide to improve your photography with a better lens. I was hoping that you were at that point by asking for "how to improve" your photography. The replacement lens is the first step ... anything else you buy is a mistake, until that one upgrade is completed.

    I contend that the "kit lens" should never be used as an alternative and you would be better off having "lost it" and being FORCED to replace it. (Back over it with your car or something ... and then tell the spouse you need to replace it.) Like I stated, you are not being fair in asking (actually bothering is a more appropriate word, in regards to the using the "kit lens") others to assist you with suggestions for improving your photography unless you commit to improving the BASIC lens you do your business with.

    First thing to do -> lose the kit lens and don't look back. Get rid of that lame excuse for a BAD shot.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-20-2008 at 08:05 AM.
    Don Schap - 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.

    flickr & Sdi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Cool 28-75mm f/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by dr4gon View Post
    Would you also recommend and add the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 to the list? Seems about on par at least with the 24-105mm.
    Unfortunately, my experience with at least three 28-75mm f/2.8 lenses has been that they tend to front focus, just like the SIGMA 10-20mm f/4-5.6 does. I, personally, have had two repaired, as I sit here. 4-6 weeks lost, on each. The third one I mentioned was returned to vendor, by the purchasing photographer, without replacement. As such and with the necessary repair involved, I will NOT recommend that particular lens to people. It's a great range, but basically unreliable out-of-the-box.



    It is great AFTER the repair, though. You just need to buffer your use with a 4-6 week unusable period, while the manufacturer runs it back through adjustment and calibration.

    I have yet to hear or experience the same problem out of the 17-50mm f/2.8 lens ... so it gets my vote. I have had two and they have been great.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-27-2008 at 06:09 PM.
    Don Schap - 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.

    flickr & Sdi

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