Benefits of Cheap Kit Lenses: 03. Cheaper filters
Lens filters are still really useful, even in the digital age, but the bigger the size, the more they cost.
Basic kit lenses have smaller filter rings than super-zooms or pro-quality fixed-aperture zooms, so you could save money in ways you never expected.
A Hoya Pro1 circular polariser costs £60/$58 in the smaller kit lens size but £110/$100 in the 77mm fitting needed for the f/2.8 Canon and Nikon pro lenses above.
Be aware that there is one drawback to kit lenses with filters, however – many kit lenses have front elements which rotate as the lens focuses.
It saves money but it makes it harder to use filters which need to be rotated to specific angles.
Benefits of Cheap Kit Lenses: 04. Close focus capability
Kit lenses are designed to be as versatile as possible and may be better than you think in areas you hadn’t expected – namely close-focusing capability.
Both the Canon and Nikon kit lenses mentioned above focus considerably closer than their professional equivalents.
The Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 has a minimum focus distance of 0.28m and the Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 can focus right down to 0.25m.
The minimum focus distance doesn’t change as you zoom, so the trick is to use the maximum zoom setting for close-ups to make objects as big as possible.
Neither kit lens will give you true macro capability, but both are capable of filling the frame with surprisingly small objects.
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