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:
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