Good starter kit

Started May 26, 2014 | User reviews thread
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DaPonti Contributing Member • Posts: 532
Good starter kit

This may be helpful to those who wonder whether they should buy the kit lens when buying a first camera. I'm comparing it mostly to the Sony DT 16-50 which I've been using now for a couple of months and in my opinion there's nothing wrong with starting with the kit lens.

Note that I use my camera for photos only so I can't comment about video usage.


  • Versatile (useful range)
  • Quite good once stopped down if you sharpen a bit, especially at the wide end
  • Good control of flare
  • Very light, pairs well with small bodies
  • Focus is fine. Not super fast or silent, but not particularly slow or hunting either.
  • Good magnification ratio allows you to take close-up shots
  • Build quality is actually good enough: mine looked like new after a year, despite being exposed to dust, sea water sprays and a few small hits.
  • Real cheap in kit: if you resell it for 50$ once you know what you need, that's about what you paid for it in the first place. So, no loss.


  • Not good for low-light as it needs to be stopped down about twice for best performance
  • Tele end not really good
  • Manual focus ring "shakes", making precise focusing more difficult than on higher end lenses (I had the same complaint about the 50mm f/1.8)

Personally I think it's great value for money and if you need just one lens I'd rather have a "OK" kit lens with a usable zoom range than a good prime. The biggest issue is the long end, especially at night, but I barely ever shot at 55mm with it once I got the 55-300mm (actually, I would have preferred it to be 16-35 than 18-55). A few sample pictures below:

Close minimal focus distance and fairly good details

Light enough to work with a cheap tripod

You either get selective focus or sharpness but hardly both. I think it's good enough for full screen viewing though

 DaPonti's gear list:DaPonti's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5 Sony SLT-A58 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Sony DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R +3 more
Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II
Zoom lens • Sony/Minolta Alpha • SAL18552
Announced: Feb 20, 2013
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