One college photography teacher recently banned 18-55mm kit lenses from her classes. You read that right – not recommended against them, not suggested alternatives, but completely forbid her students to use them in her classes. As you can imagine, this has sparked outrage in the photo community. And as you can probably guess – I’d have something to say about it, too.
Are you looking for an affordable but also electronic macro lens? Or maybe you have an old kit lens, that’s just sitting around, collecting dust since your last upgrade?
Well, then read on, because in this article I am going to share one cool hack that will allow you too transform almost any kit or standard zoom lens into a capable macro lens!
And I am not talking about reversing the lens or mounting it on extension tubes, we’re actually going to convert the lens for good. And it’s incredibly simple.
If you’re shooting the night sky with a consumer DSLR and a kit lens, you may wonder if you can make them impressive enough. Well, of course, you can. In this video, Michael Ver Sprill aka Milky Way Mike will share with you some tips and tricks for making sharp and stunning images of the Milky Way even with a crop sensor camera and a kit lens.
I’m a great fan of prime lenses. They are faster and sharper than zooms (at least the zooms that I can afford). Plus, they force me into being more creative and they bring out my problem-solving side, because they limit me with their fixed focal length. When I travel, I always bring them and pack a kit lens just in case. I almost never use it.
But recently, I was forced to travel light. And I mean, super-light: I was only able to bring one lens attached to my camera body. I love primes and almost always use them – but this time I screwed a kit lens onto my Nikon D7000. The lens is a Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G and it’s rather crappy when compared to my primes. But in this article, I’ll explain why I chose it and why, sometimes, your kit lens may actually be the best choice.
I am in no way a professional photographer: my gear includes a Nikon D5200 body, with the Nikkor 18-55mm VR II kit lens, the Nikkor 55-300mm VR zoom lens, and the latest addition, the Nikkor 50mm 1.4G prime lens. My favorite combo is still the Nikon D5200 body + Nikkor 18-55mm VR II – no offense to the other lenses. The reason why I decided to write this article is because I have seen a lot of newbies considering the kit lens as just a piece of glass with no merits at all. That is not entirely true – it’s one of the best lenses to start with, and with the right technique you can achieve a lot with the so-called kit lens!
Now that you know more about your mechanics and attributes of your kit lens, the time has come to look at the creative use of the wee plastic beasty and we’ll start with macro first, this is by far the longest of the three Kit Lens Masterclass articles so grab a cold drink and some snacks.
In Part 1 we looked at the potential issues and problems relating to kit lenses, now tis the time to turn our attention to the terrific upsides of owning and using the cheap as chips but under-rated kit lens, this section will be the shortest not because there are problems I want to skirt around but because there positives are easily explained.
So your kit lens is rubbish, you know this for a certainty because numerous photo blogs and camera test sites have told you so. It’s been confirmed repeatedly by a wide array of couch based photo experts on all the forums of great repute and finally the first shots you have taken with it seem to be less than fully impressive. Besides that, there was this nice guy in the camera shop told you that you’d really need a better more expensive lens if you were going to get even half serious about your photography.
Don’t worry most kit lenses are not brilliant when measured or assessed in any empirical way, but realistically your kit lens was almost a freebie so what have you got to moan about. In any case, without meaning to insult anyone, most kit lenses are capable of better results than most photographers are capable of delivering.
Typically, DSLR cameras aren’t really ever about fashion over form. Almost every high-end model out there comes in a bulky black, various buttons surrounding an LCD screen, and an interface that just assumes you know exactly what you’re doing. And then there’s the Pentax K-S1, a mid-range DSLR camera that’s set to come in colors as vibrant as the entirety of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Yesterday, I posted an article about Instagram, and it talked about the new generation of photographers growing up today with smartphones. If it wasn’t for smartphones, many of those people probably wouldn’t have ever gotten into photography, and the minimal touch screen interfaces they’ve been accustomed to are all that they probably know when it comes to using a camera. For older generations, that’s the equivalent of using a disposable or a compact point-and-shoot. With Pentax’s new K-S1, Ricoh attempts to build a bridge that fills that learning gap and draws younger photographers closer to the DSLR world.
There was an article recently here in DIYP about 5 reasons why you should own at least one prime lens, I strongly agree to this. I normally tell the new photographers that the next lens they should buy is a prime lens. Here is the thing though, after buying a prime lens make sure not to sell your kit lens too fast. Here are my 6 reasons why you should keep your kit lens. I am a Nikon shooter, so expect Nikon examples, but everything here is true for Canon too).