What % of DLSR buyers stick with kit lens only?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions
mobi1
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What % of DLSR buyers stick with kit lens only?
Mar 27, 2013

Just inquisitive, is there any statistics available for such scenario?

Hank3152
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Re: What % of DLSR buyers stick with kit lens only?
In reply to mobi1, Mar 27, 2013

mobi1 wrote:

Just inquisitive, is there any statistics available for such scenario?

I doubt if there is any factual way of knowing......even comparing sales ratios of camera kits to optional lenses wouldn't disclose anything concrete.......

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Limburger
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Re: What % of DLSR buyers stick with kit lens only?
In reply to mobi1, Mar 27, 2013

Depends on region, and like Hank says difficult to get to any numbers.

In my country the 15-85 was a 7D kitlens but in North America not available as such, so hard to judge since the definition of kitlens isn't that obvious, already a variable.

I used a 18-55 on 500D for 2,5 years (kitlens). Then I got a 15-85 on the same 500D so now it's an upgrade to the kit. But then I bought a 7D and as said before this was sold as kitlens (amongst others), so did I get  kitlens or not?

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headfirst
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Re: What % of DLSR buyers stick with kit lens only?
In reply to Limburger, Mar 27, 2013

iirc Nikon figures that they sell between 1.5 & 2.0 lenses per body sold & that includes those that are sold as a kit lens.

Given that there are obviously people (incl. me) with many more lenses than that I strongly suspect that at least 50% of DSLR buyers never buy more than the 1 or 2 kit lenses that their body came with ...

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Cailean Gallimore
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Re: What % of DLSR buyers stick with kit lens only?
In reply to headfirst, Mar 27, 2013

I see a lot of tourists with cameras where I live, and I rarely see any of them with anything other than the kit lens that came with their camera. Strangely, I rarely see any of them taking any photographs either. Most of them are just 'wearing' their cameras, in the same way that one wears a hat or a coat...

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Limburger
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Re: What % of DLSR buyers stick with kit lens only?
In reply to Cailean Gallimore, Mar 27, 2013

What most matters is if you're happy with it.

My 15-85 is my walkaround. My 70-200 f4 L is optically better but use it say 20%.

Together a nice combo and reasonably afordable though not for free.

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Guidenet
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Re: What % of DLSR buyers stick with kit lens only?
In reply to Cailean Gallimore, Mar 27, 2013

Cailean Gallimore wrote:

I see a lot of tourists with cameras where I live, and I rarely see any of them with anything other than the kit lens that came with their camera. Strangely, I rarely see any of them taking any photographs either. Most of them are just 'wearing' their cameras, in the same way that one wears a hat or a coat...

I live in Orlando Florida so also see a few tourists and see the same thing. I often wonder why they don't just get a small quality point and shoot. One time, after supper at the top of the Contemporary Hotel, I walked out on the roof deck to look at the Disney Castle and fireworks. There were quite a few tourists up there with their entry level DSLRs and a few bridge and whatnots. The funny part was that everyone had their cameras set to Auto I suppose so their flash was popped up and they were, I guess, trying to light up the Castle and fireworks from a mile or so away.

I asked this one guy if he really thought his pop-up flash was going to brighten up the castle for him. He looked perplexed and kept shooting.

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photosen
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I'd like to know too!
In reply to mobi1, Mar 27, 2013

My guess is the overwhelming majority, as people tend to focus on the camera instead of the lenses.

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Graham Meale
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57.4%
In reply to mobi1, Mar 28, 2013

I also happen to know that 94.3% of people make up statistics as they go along ...

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mgd43
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Re: 57.4%
In reply to Graham Meale, Mar 28, 2013

I live in NYC so I also see lots of tourists with DSLR's. My very unscientific observation is that a large majority, probably 80% or more, only have the 18-55 kit lens. The rest also have a lens in the 55-200 or 70-300 range.

I also see a lot of bridge cameras and P&S's and a few high end compacts. Interestingly, I don't see a lot of tourists shooting with their phones.

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nkistrup
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Kit lens for the large majority, because lens shopping is difficult
In reply to mobi1, Mar 28, 2013

From the perspective of some one getting to take the plunge into the DSLR world, I can understand why a huge majority would go with the kit, following by something versatile like a 18-300.

Thought that selecting a camera would be a major under taking ... WRONG!  It's the lens selection that is the hard part.  How many beginners scoff at the idea of NO ZOOM capability?  And for a much higher price?  Why should they pay much for a 70-200 vs. 70-300?  The later has more focal range.

Look at the Nikon D5200, which is an entry level camera up on Amazon.  For an extra $200 over the cost of the body-only, you get a 18-105 lens that comes with the camera.  What will that $200 get you, if you go lens shopping?

Not everyone comes to DPReview & spends time trying to educate themselves.

Another way to look at your question, is: How many people are really picture-takers, with much bigger budgets, vs. photographers?

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ARShutterbug
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Need more money
In reply to mobi1, Mar 28, 2013

This could be something on which a bankrupt government could spend money that it doesn't have!

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Guidenet
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Re: I'd like to know too!
In reply to photosen, Mar 28, 2013

photosen wrote:

My guess is the overwhelming majority, as people tend to focus on the camera instead of the lenses.

That's true, my friend, but today's kit lens is very good compared to what it has been in the early digital days. Think about Minolta and Sony's 18-70 kit lens. It was horrible as was Canon's 18-55 non-IS. They tended to give all kit lenses a bad name for a while there, especially Canon's as they sold so many of these paper weights.

Prior to that most SLR's kit lens was a 50 f/2 or f/1.8 prime and it usually was very good like today's kit lens. Many learned on those old prime lenses and kept them. I think today's kit can be a keeper for many, especially the better kits like Nikon's 18-105 VR and possibly Canon's new 18-135 STM. They are good enough to build an APS-C kit around, I believe, especially with the better dim light charactoristics of most new cameras.

I think it's probably ok to concentrate on the body these days as it's hard to err on the glass initially. I'd love to see the slightly better cameras like the Nikon D7100 or Canon 70D be available with a kit 35 f/1.8 instead of the traditional 18-55 zoom, but it probably wouldn't sell well to the masses.

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mobi1
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Re: I'd like to know too!
In reply to Guidenet, Mar 28, 2013

I think when people decide they want a different lens they get shocked by the high price of lenses.

Same happened with me. I bought DSLR because it was quite cheap (with kit lens) and didn't realize that unlike other cameras, body and lens are two separate bits.

Then when trying to buying lens, the high price of zooms puts me off 

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MaxCh
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Re: What % of DLSR buyers stick with kit lens only?
In reply to mobi1, Mar 28, 2013

I assume it is a very small minority of DLSR users.

I've been shooting with my t3i rebel for the past 2 years using the kit lens in AUTO (yes, in AUTO) and I am very happy with 80%-90% of my pictures. I think the quality is amazing. I used my t3i three times in Disney/Universal and could not be happier. I know using manual mode could improve my pictures but it seemed too risky.

Another reason to sticking with the kit lens is the obvious cost of the lens. And do not forget the weight of some lens.

Additionally, very few people want to bother with changing the lenses.

Personally, I recently started using manual mode more often. It certainly improved my pictures as I am starting to get more serious about photography. I also bought 50mm 1.4 and 70-300mm and I am considering upgrading to 15-85mm. However, I honestly think I could live without them.

I disagree that P&S are as good as DLSRs. I've used 5 or 6 P&S and none came close to my t3i. Maybe some high-end P&S are as good...

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mgd43
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Re: I'd like to know too!
In reply to mobi1, Mar 28, 2013

I think that three kinds of people buy DSLR's. First there are pros who make their living with a camera. Second are serious (for lack of a better word) hobbyists. Third are casual photographers who want a "good" camera for family and vacation pictures. The casual photographer's needs can often be met with just the kit 18-55. These people, I assume, account for the large majority of those who just get the kit lens.

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baloo_buc
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Re: I'd like to know too!
In reply to mobi1, Mar 28, 2013
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AnthonyL
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Re: 57.4%
In reply to Graham Meale, Mar 28, 2013

Graham Meale wrote:

I also happen to know that 94.3% of people make up statistics as they go along ...

And the other 9.2% lie.

I was going to go for 28.75% but I can't find my research to back that up.

However as a hobbyist I've used the Canon kit 18-55 IS, and 55-250 IS for the past 3 years and have only just added the 50mm 1.8 (also kit I guess) and the 10-22mm to extend and complement the range. The 18-55 and 55-250 still get most of the work

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GreenMountainGirl
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Re: I'd like to know too!
In reply to Guidenet, Mar 28, 2013

Guidenet wrote:

Prior to that most SLR's kit lens was a 50 f/2 or f/1.8 prime and it usually was very good like today's kit lens. Many learned on those old prime lenses and kept them. I think today's kit can be a keeper for many, especially the better kits like Nikon's 18-105 VR and possibly Canon's new 18-135 STM. They are good enough to build an APS-C kit around, I believe, especially with the better dim light charactoristics of most new cameras.

Hi Craig!

Yes, when I purchased my camera (first DSLR) I did concentrate on the camera more than the lenses.  But my motivation was to get a camera to grow into, not out of.

Recently I have been investigating what lenses I should buy to make my lens collection better, and realized that the 18-105 "kit" lens IS a good lens.  Probably many who buy their cameras with "kit" lenses are using them (as I have) as "training wheels"!  However, some people never take them off and progress to the next level...  If they are happy, that's great.

What you said about building an APS-C kit around these lenses is what I have decided is the best way to proceed.  Do you think that the 35mm f/1.8 would be a good addition, or would it be better to use the 18-105 at 35mm at least for a while first?

Regards!

Susan

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joejack951
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Re: What % of DLSR buyers stick with kit lens only?
In reply to MaxCh, Mar 28, 2013

MaxCh wrote:

I assume it is a very small minority of DLSR users.

I've been shooting with my t3i rebel for the past 2 years using the kit lens in AUTO (yes, in AUTO) and I am very happy with 80%-90% of my pictures. I think the quality is amazing. I used my t3i three times in Disney/Universal and could not be happier. I know using manual mode could improve my pictures but it seemed too risky.

I would wager that the vast majority of DSLR users, including professionals, use some sort of auto-exposure mode. However, there's a big difference between that and shooting in "green" mode on an entry level DSLR (note that higher end models don't even offer that option).

For instance, the auto-exposure mode I use most is auto-ISO, where I set the aperture and shutter speed for photo and let the camera adjust ISO accordingly for proper exposure. The odd thing about this auto-exposure mode is that I need to set my exposure mode to "manual" to use it. That gives me control of aperture and shutter speed, versus controlling only one of those in aperture or shutter priority. The "auto" bit is the variable ISO. Even though it's an auto-exposure mode, I can override the camera's judgement by using exposure compensation when necessary.

Canon handles things a bit differently than Nikon in this respect, most notably by not having functional exposure compensation. It may not even apply for Nikon's entry level bodies for all I know. I do know my P7700 compact won't let me shoot the same way that I do with the D3S and D300S even though it has auto-ISO and manual modes. For some strange reason it wants to fix the ISO at base ISO when I select those options.

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