For beginner DSLR users.....why the kit lenses are more than good enough for you

Started Apr 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
Port Royal Dad
Port Royal Dad Senior Member • Posts: 2,714
Some things you failed to recognize???

Firstly let me say that I somewhat agree with your basic premise that folks should learn how to use their gear, and know the limitations, and likewise grasp the basics around exposure, lighting, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc..... before investing in very expensive lenses.

Heck, just look at the on-going craze with chasing the MP bunny, upgrading the camera body at every cycle... anyway...

What you fail to acknowledge are some of the benefits of certain lens' features above what a "kit" lens offers.

  • Better/improved IS ??
  • IQ
  • Lens construction/durability
  • Focus speed (incredibly important in low light shooting)
  • Constant aperture over focal length
  • Ability and techniques to blur backgrounds
  • Shooting in low light situations

When an indivudual discovers their own path for where they want to take their photography (either as an amateur/hobbyist/professional), that's when they begin self-examining their needs, and use that knowledge to select the proper gear....or in this case a lens.  That's why IMHO, the best response to the question, "What lens should I upgrade to?" is answered back with the question, "What type of photography are you into or want to do?"

  • Birds in flight
  • Wildlife
  • Son's football (sitting high up in the stands)
  • Daughter's high school play/recital in a dark auditorium
  • Weddings
  • Concerts/plays
  • Macro, etc, etc

While I do like the few photos you've shown, you fail to recognize a lot of the benefits of having a lens which has capabilities above what a kit lens offers. Plus your shots are examples where shooting conditions are relatively good.  Sure, you can use that kits lens anywhere, all the time. But in other than ideal shooting situations, could you do better with the "right lens" rather than the kit lens? Of course. Does the right lens have to be a $2000 lens? No, not at all.

Botton line, I'm not using a 18-55mm kit lens for a concert at church when the lights are down low.  I'm not using a kit lens at my daughter's graduation ceremony when I sitting in the nose bleed section and I need that extra reach. I'm not using a kit lens at a wedding where flash is prohibited and I need a wide apeture, I'm not using a kit lens at a low light dance performace, where again, flash is prohibited and I need super fast focusing speed.

Assuming that the target photographer knows their gear inside and out and the limitations, you might do well to rephrase your message to where the photographer selects the right tool (aka lens) for the right conditions, and likewise discuss those shooting conditions that are less than ideal, as-well-as those artistic effects better achieved with a long lens and wide apeture.

Regards, Mike

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