As a professional photographer, you definitely need a couple of lenses and you will acquire more with time. When you purchase a good lens, you will not only be able to capture some really nice photos with it but it can last you for decades and even longer than your digital camera body.
In fact, most lenses don't come cheap and every professional photographer understands this. Most photographers won't mind spending thousands of dollars on lenses in their later years. However, when they are just getting started, they mostly spend their first lens money buying kit lens with their DSLR i.e. the lens with interchangeable lenses.
There is a reason why most new photographers spend on kit lenses, it is because they are not as expensive as other lenses. They are made to help you get started and you can buy other lenses with higher quality as your needs grow.
Is Kit lens Bad?
Definitely not! They may be cheap but not as bad as you think. A kit lens is a very good way to get started. Don't worry about what everyone with expensive glass is saying about the kit lens, you can do some pretty good jobs with them.
If you currently can't afford those expensive lenses or you are confused with which one to buy, I will recommend that you stick to your current kit lens. You will be surprised how much you can achieve with them.
Benefit of Kit Lens
Despite what you may have heard about the kit lens, they have a lot of benefits. Most manufacturers such as Canon and Nikon understand that these lenses are for amateurs and so the features are basic but will help you achieve a lot.
Most kit lenses have a very useful focal length. Both Canon and Nikon have an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 which have grown popular over the years, a lot of other kit lenses coming up nowadays have longer focal lengths. The benefit is that it gives amateurs a good way to get started on both wide-angle and short zoom photography.
You can use the wide-angle when you are shooting landscapes or for travel photography. On the other hand, you can use the longer ends to product nice portraits with awesome background compression and fewer distortions.
Things are definitely looking up for kit lens users recently, most of newer Canon kit lenses come with Canon's Image Stabilization. With this technology, your kit lens is now a bit more useful especially in darker conditions by allowing for better hand-held images at slower shutter speeds.
Another good advantage of kit lenses is that it will help you to learn how to be a professional photographer. There is absolutely no need rushing to buy those expensive glasses when you have not mastered kit lenses. It is a kind of a rite of passage for every professional photographer. You can learn a lot about using your lens for various conditions when you start with kit lens.
Other Reasons to Why Kit Lenses Are Better Than You Think include:
- You can own it without spending too much
- You can use them to shoot sharp images
- They are light weight
- They are extremely versatile
- It is easy to maintain them
- It will make you a better photographer
Best Way to Use Your Kit Lens
You can always get the best from your kit lens if you are willing to put in a little more work. There is one way to go about it; think of your kit lens as two lenses in one. For instance, if your kit lens has a typical focal length 18-55mm, you should treat it as a 18mm and 55mm lens in one.
Since 18mm is a moderate wide-angle, it is perfect for landscapes, environmental, and architecture portraiture. On the other hand, 55mm is a short telephoto lens that is great for compressing perspective and getting the tiniest details.
Note you can also use the in-between focal lengths. However, you can easily master how focal lengths work by using the longest and shortest focal lengths. The more you master how focal lengths work, the more your photography will improve.
Remember that I mentioned above that most of newer Canon kit lenses come with Image Stabilizer, the same as Vibration Reduction functionality in Nikon. You can use this technology to take great photos at slower shutter speeds than would otherwise be possible. This means you can use them handheld and take a photo without camera shake at 1/4 or even 1/2 second.
Problems With Kit Lenses
Despite the numerous advantages that come with kit lenses, there are also some shortcomings. However, you should not allow these shortcomings to deter you from the benefits.
Some of these shortcomings include:
Autofocus: Kit lenses have slower and noisier autofocus than expensive lenses. If you think you can't deal with this shortcoming, you should consider upgrading your lens.
Aperture: Unfortunately, kit lenses don't have a very wide maximum aperture. This is because they have a small body which cannot contain a very wide aperture. If the body is to be increased, the cost will definitely jump. Manufacturers left it that way to maintain the affordable cost.
Build Quality: If you work with your camera a lot, you definitely need a camera with a better build quality, otherwise, stick to your kit lens. Most expensive lenses come with metal bodies, metal mounts and weatherproofing.
If you are just getting started, there is no reason rushing into expensive lenses. Use your kit lenses until you master how focal lengths work. This will make you a better photographer and get you ready for expensive lenses.