Benefits of Cheap Kit Lenses: 05. You’ll learn what you need
It’s always better to buy lenses you KNOW you need, not lenses you THINK you need!
That’s why it’s wise to start out with the basic kit lens and get a feel for what it can do and what it can’t.
You might find that what you actually need to take your photography to the next level is not a top-quality pro-spec kit lens, for example, but a super-wideangle zoom or a telephoto.
Benefits of Cheap Kit Lenses: 06. Low cost doesn’t always mean low-tech
Don’t be fooled by the price of cheap kit lenses! For a start, they’re made in huge numbers so there are big economies of scale.
Part of the higher cost of more advanced lenses is due to the fact the demand is lower and fewer are made.
And don’t assume that kit lenses always get the cheapest or oldest technology.
This is where makers often try out their latest and best innovations – like Canon’s STM autofocus motors for smoother, quieter video footage, or Nikon’s latest retracting lens design to save both weight and space.
Panasonic, Olympus and Sony have all introduced compact camera style ‘power zooms’ so that their kit lenses are small enough to do justice to their latest super-compact bodies.
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You can use the money you save by sticking with a cheap kit lens to buy accessories which can extend your photography so many other ways.
A good tripod will dramatically extend the range of conditions you can shoot in and the kinds of photography you can tackle, and an external flashgun will let you achieve lighting effects you can’t create with ambient light alone.
Investing in the right computer software can improve the quality of your pictures and inspire you with new creative ideas – DxO Optics Pro will correct lens distortion, chromatic aberration and corner shading and make your modest kit lens look like professional glass, while the Google Nik Collection offers an almost limitless array of photo effects and ideas.
The money you save one fancy lens could pay for two, three or even all four of these!
Benefits of Cheap Kit Lenses: 08. Bigger isn’t always better
Cheap kit lenses may have a relatively limited zoom range, but longer-range zooms don’t necessarily give you the advantages you might expect.
A superzoom lens will give you much more flexibility, but at a cost – and not just financially.
The overall optical quality is likely to be worse, with more distortion and often a loss of sharpness at full zoom. Longer zoom ranges mean more complexity, more compromises and more weight.
You’ll be walking around all day with a much heavier camera/lens combination on the off-chance you need the extra focal length. There is an alternative!
Stick with your regular 3x kit lens and get an inexpensive telephoto zoom to go with it. That way, you can leave it at home (or in your bag) when you know you won’t need it.
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