Photography

Why you don't want the kit lens - PIP

I want to start out by saying this is my own personal opinion.  Some people say they are glad they got the kit lens, while I was sooooo glad to stop using it when I made my 50mm purchase.  My kit lens hardly ever gets used.  If I do use it, I have to use my speedlite.  So if you get a kit lens, make sure you have either the Light Scoop (nice if you're on a small budget, it's only $25) or a Speedlite (more control, higher power, but more expensive), so that your flash isn't pointed forward and you can bounce it (more pleasing look).  You want to avoid the pop-up flash at all costs. 

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Okay, so take a look at that chart.  This would be some of the different apertures you can shoot at, depending on your lens.  The gray area is the opening in the lens and how much light can pass through.  Quite the difference, isn't it?

The 18-55mm kit lens has a variable aperture of f/3.5-5.6.  What does this mean?  It means that when shooting at 18mm the maximum aperture you can shoot at is f/3.5 while on the 55mm end you can only open up to f/5.6.  Looking at the chart that's not going to let much light in compared to f/2, is it?

When you get fast glass (f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.8, or f/2 for primes - f/2.8 for zooms), you're allowing yourself to use faster shutter speeds (less motion blur/camera shake), keep your ISO down (less grain), and even shallower depth of fields if you wish.

Not to mention you get what you pay for.  The kit lens isn't good quality.  You pay all this money for a nice camera and you get the kit lens?  Primes are faster and sharper.  Usually the more you pay, the higher the quality.  Canon has L series lenses.  These are their professional quality lenses and are all-around better lenses (build quality, sharpness, vignetting, smooth bokeh, SOOC colors).  Nikon has professional grade glass too, except it's not labeled like Canon.  You don't have to spend thousands to have a great lens though.  I currently don't have any professional grade glass (hope to soon though), and I have a lot of high quality photos.  

I LOVE both my 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8 lenses.  Granted the 50mm f/1.8 is known as the thrifty fifty.  Its quality isn't top notch, but it's fast and pretty sharp for its price.  Great value.  I'm planning on upgrading to the 50mm f/1.4 which is mucher better quality, but I highly recommend the 50mm f/1.8.  The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is another great alternative, especially for those with tight spaces.  If you're looking for a good zoom, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 is a great zoom for the price ($500).  A good zoom doesn't come as cheap, as they're more expensive to make - more moving parts.

So in the end, it's obviously up to you whether or not you want the kit lens.  I personally would skip it, especially if you plan on that being your only lens, or the only lens you'll have for a while.   I feel like it would cause more frustration than anything, especially if you plan on using natural light indoors. 

The only kit lens I would consider is the 55-250mm IS.  While it is a variable aperture lens, you'll be using this lens primarily outdoors.  It has IS (which is a must for longer zooms), and even though it doesn't shoot very wide, on the 250mm end it will still give you a pretty shallow depth of field due to the long focal length. (see DOF calculator: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html )  

Re: Why you don't want the kit lens - PIP

  • **bows down to grins**

    You are a wealth of knowledge.  YesYes

  • haha Thanks!  

    I noticed a lot more questions about people buying the kit lens with their cameras...must be the holiday season.

  • Ohh, I'm glad I peeked over here. I've never seen that chart before and it's super helpful!
    The DC Nest. Winers welcome.
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  • Would it be awkward to propose marriage? 

    Seriously, thank you!  I've been having this discussion with my husband about which lenses I should get to go with my new D7000.  This sums it up completely and he's now totally on board for the faster glass.

    Thanks Grins!

  • I'm bookmarking this for future reference. Thanks!
  • This is an awesome post, Grins, per your usual.  :)

    Can I glom onto it with a link?  Here's a thread where there was a bit more discussion about the differences between lenses: http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/forums/thread/44092902.aspx

    image



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    In my camera bag:

    Canon 7D (squeee!)

    Canon 24mm f/1.4L, 17-55mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8

    Canon 430EX-II Speedlite
  • image stina-bear:

    This is an awesome post, Grins, per your usual.  :)

    Can I glom onto it with a link?  Here's a thread where there was a bit more discussion about the differences between lenses: http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/forums/thread/44092902.aspx

    Of course I don't mind! :) I could have gone on and on about lenses, but I had to stop somewhere. LOL

    Someone who is familiar with Nikon can chime in, but for those with the beginner bodies, you'll need to know if your camera body has a built-in autofocus motor or not.  If not, you will need to purchase lenses with built-in autofocus motors (AF-S or AF-I).  The 35mm f/1.8 and the 50mm f/1.4 are the two that seem to be the most recommended for Nikon. 

  • Thank you so much for the post...now if only I can get my husband to understand :)

    So after reading that post I believe I am going to purchase the Canon T2i body and the 50mm f/1.8 lens and the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens.... I hope I'm making the right decision... It's a scary thought.

    If I purchase those from Adorama and I'm unhappy with any of those lens did I read correctly that I can return them within 30 days? 

    Thanks so much of all your help..I dont even own a DSLR yet and you all have been so much of a help!

     

     

  • I agree with most of this, but I still think the kit lens is useful to get.  I have a Nikon D90 and the 18-105mm is actually a pretty good lens, considering it is a kit lens.  When I first started out in photography I didn't understand the idea of 'no zoom' for a fixed focal length.  Plus I wasn't prepared to spend $500 on a fast mid-range zoom.  Using my zoom helped me learn which focal length I preferred, and gave me some wiggle room when learning to shoot outdoors.

    After a few months when I understand ap/ss/ISO and in general more about photography I purchased a 50mm.  It was especially great indoors, but I still preferred my kit lens for outdoors while photographing my children.  It wasn't until several months later than I got my mid-range zoom.  Of course now I prefer primes.

    I just think for the price, and the particular Nikon kit lens that came with my body, I was really happy with the combo initially.  I still put my kit lens on every now and then when I need the focal length. 

  • image Sally J:

    I agree with most of this, but I still think the kit lens is useful to get.  I have a Nikon D90 and the 18-105mm is actually a pretty good lens, considering it is a kit lens.  When I first started out in photography I didn't understand the idea of 'no zoom' for a fixed focal length.  Plus I wasn't prepared to spend $500 on a fast mid-range zoom.  Using my zoom helped me learn which focal length I preferred, and gave me some wiggle room when learning to shoot outdoors.

    After a few months when I understand ap/ss/ISO and in general more about photography I purchased a 50mm.  It was especially great indoors, but I still preferred my kit lens for outdoors while photographing my children.  It wasn't until several months later than I got my mid-range zoom.  Of course now I prefer primes.

    I just think for the price, and the particular Nikon kit lens that came with my body, I was really happy with the combo initially.  I still put my kit lens on every now and then when I need the focal length. 

    I agree with this.  You said it more eloquently than I would have though.   I still put my kit lens on if I am wanting a variable focal length (halloween) or if  I am letting my sister borrow my camera (drunken sorority party).  :D

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  • image r9stedt:
    image Sally J:

    I agree with most of this, but I still think the kit lens is useful to get.  I have a Nikon D90 and the 18-105mm is actually a pretty good lens, considering it is a kit lens.  When I first started out in photography I didn't understand the idea of 'no zoom' for a fixed focal length.  Plus I wasn't prepared to spend $500 on a fast mid-range zoom.  Using my zoom helped me learn which focal length I preferred, and gave me some wiggle room when learning to shoot outdoors.

    After a few months when I understand ap/ss/ISO and in general more about photography I purchased a 50mm.  It was especially great indoors, but I still preferred my kit lens for outdoors while photographing my children.  It wasn't until several months later than I got my mid-range zoom.  Of course now I prefer primes.

    I just think for the price, and the particular Nikon kit lens that came with my body, I was really happy with the combo initially.  I still put my kit lens on every now and then when I need the focal length. 

    I agree with this.  You said it more eloquently than I would have though.   I still put my kit lens on if I am wanting a variable focal length (halloween) or if  I am letting my sister borrow my camera (drunken sorority party).  :D

    ...And I agree with this, but if you go on to read my post you'll see I said that if you have other lenses then I can see the point of the kit :)....but not as your only lens.  It's not an indoor lens.  Not unless you like using a flash for pretty much every photo.  Like I said though, this is my personal opinion.  The kit lens collects dust at my house.  

  • image grinsandgiggles:

    ...And I agree with this, but if you go on to read my post you'll see I said that if you have other lenses then I can see the point of the kit :)....but not as your only lens.  It's not an indoor lens.  Not unless you like using a flash for pretty much every photo.  Like I said though, this is my personal opinion.  The kit lens collects dust at my house.  

    Not even my 35mm 1.8 is a good inside lens.  My house is like a cave, so unless I want to bump up the ISOs so high, it is hard to expose correctly.  

    Darn old houses for all their beauty but horrible lighting!!  

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  • Great post, Grins!  And funny enough, I've been working on posting all my 75% written posts I have (I've got a lot of tutorials, etc. I'm working on) & just posted my view on the kit lens.  I think it's, uh, pretty damn close to your assessment. =D
  • image afwells:
    Great post, Grins!  And funny enough, I've been working on posting all my 75% written posts I have (I've got a lot of tutorials, etc. I'm working on) & just posted my view on the kit lens.  I think it's, uh, pretty damn close to your assessment. =D

    That's great!  I should have just linked to your post. ;) 

  • image grinsandgiggles:

    image afwells:
    Great post, Grins!  And funny enough, I've been working on posting all my 75% written posts I have (I've got a lot of tutorials, etc. I'm working on) & just posted my view on the kit lens.  I think it's, uh, pretty damn close to your assessment. =D

    That's great!  I should have just linked to your post. ;) 

    Well I think I posted it long after your post here!  ;)  It's just another typical "Grins-Wells say exactly the same thing and may or may not be the same person" post. 

  • this is awesome! your such a wealth of knowledge. I heart you.
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