Nikon School

Using the kit lens

By : Nikon School Blog   |  30 Jun, 2015  |  99

Let's face it, the 'kit lens' lens generally supplied by manufacturers, is often not given its due credit. It is common belief that if you're shooting mostly with a kit lens, you're not much of a photographer. Is it really so?

Ever wondered why the kit lens is always bundled with DSLRs ? Look at the focal length of the kit lens. The standard kit lens supplied with film SLRs was the 28 – 80mm. This is still the kit lens bundled with most full frame D-SLRs. If you have bought a DX format Nikon DSLR with a kit lens, it will most likely be an 18-55mm. The crop factor with Nikkor DX lenses is 1.5 times. So, the 18-55 is effectively a 27-82.5mm equivalent.

This focal length range is handy for most photographers. At 28mm, you get a useful wide angle, while at 80mm, it works well as a portrait lens. Most photographers, especially the ones starting out, will operate within situations that can be covered by the range of the kit lens. You can shoot landscape, portraits, group shots, and decent close ups.

The kit lens at wide angle

You can use the wider end of the kit lens for landscapes, interiors, group shots or any wide scene. Keep in mind that at the extreme wide angle of the lens, straight lines tend to get curved. It is wise to keep important elements of the frame towards the centre. In case of group photographs, try to avoid keeping people at the extreme edges of the frame to avoid distortion.

The kit lens at the telephoto end

At 55mm, the kit lens gives an effective focal length of around 80mm. Though this is just the threshold of the telephoto range, it s a good focal length to shoot portraits and close ups. Using the kit lens fully zoomed in, you can shoot a portrait without being too close, resulting in a pleasing perspective. At this end, you can capture portraits, frame filling close ups (not macro) of flowers, museum exhibits, etc.

The kit lens as normal

A normal lens is the 50mm, and kit lenses also have a normal setting, somewhere between the two ends of the zoom. In a full frame 28-80mm, this would be 50mm, but in a DX 18-55, the 'normal' position would be around 35mm. This focal length is most suited to portraiture and still life, as at this position the perspective would be closest to normal human vision.

The kit lens cannot be used as a macro lens, and attempts to turn it into a macro using certain third party attachments will always be of compromised quality.

The kit lens does not have wide open apertures, like f/2.8 . To use it in low light, you may have to go for higher ISOs or tripods, or even both.

Even with its limitations, the kit lens is not to be snubbed in any way, as many successful photographers started out with their kit lenses and developed their senses before moving on to 'better' lenses.

With practice, you'll get to know your kit lens more, and will certainly be able to deliver results pleasing enough to give your 'kit lens' the due respect.

Comments (57)

 

Mr. Mohd Shadab

very nice article

Mr. Mohd Shadab

informative article

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Capable lens

Mr. Sanjoy Chowdhury

70-300 is actually a better lens in terms of quality than 18-55 lens

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Good to know

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Good to know

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Good to know

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Good to know

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Good to know

Mr. Abhinava Pandey

good one

Mr. Abhinava Pandey

encouraging

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

superb content

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

good blog

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

excellent

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

helpful information

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

great

Ms. SRABANI MUKHOPADHYAY

thanks for this ... very helpful blog

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

never under estimate the power of a 'kit lense'...

Mr. Debashis Jana

Kit lens is capable too

Mr. Sourav Nandy

18-55mm jindabad

Mr. Pushpendra Yadav

Nice job done. Great.

Mr. SIRJAN MURMU

it is very useful for me

Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

Thank you

Mr. Hardik Oza

thank you very much for sharing useful info and experience

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

nice overview

Mr. Mohan Kumar

its really helps alot

Mr. Dhananjay Sen

good info.

Mr. Bhaskar Nath

good information

Mr. KAUSHIK PURKAIT

misty info

Mr. KAUSHIK PURKAIT

lovlyyy

Mr. Vishal Sanwal

gud

Mr. Juman Jyoti Kalita

very useful article i too want to write a blog but am unable to find the option

Mr. Sethuraj Sivadasan

Kit lenses are just for photography learners. Keeping apart the useful 18-55 mm range, it has severe limitations especially in sharpness and CA. Once you learn photography, it's usage is fulfilled. You might as well gift it for free to a new learner.

Mr. prashanth prabhakaran

I still use a 18-140 kit lens and pretty happy with it so far. Eventually it depends on your needs and why you would want to upgrade. I use it to capture memories and as a hobby now. I'm still a learner and might be some day will take up my skills to the next level, will upgrade the lens only then. But this is totally subjective and depends from person to person.

Ms. deepika kumari gupta

Thnks 4 the info

Mr. Pratul Pal

Prime lenses are always better but kit lenses are enough for beginners.. ..

Mr. Chandan Ganguly

I am still using my D7000 along with 18-105 mm lenses. Using it, I have clicked some great bird photos & also won some awards. It's all about your excellence not the equipment always! I would like to write a blog how to capture stunning images with kit lens. let me know how to write it.

Ms. manjit singh Sandhu

I used Kit lens 18-55@ Nikon D5300 on my Lahaul Spiti tour and took about 1000 photos & the results were spectacular. Just bought nikon D750 yesterday with 50mm f1.8 kit lens which are equally amazing. Got nikor 24-120mm f4 lens along tho & going to leh ladakh this coming sunday.The kit lens on both my cameras give spectacular results & are no way only for begginers.

Mr. Anurag Tomar

nice ...thanks for this info..

Mr. Sandeep Kumar

I have started using 35mm prime lens and difference is huge compared to kit lens.

Mr. kamalluchan gogoi

very helpful

Mr. Parag Jadhav

Very helpful article

Mr. Sandeep Kumar

Better use prime lens.

Mr. shiladitya halder

very informative article abd I also try to take some macro woth macro extension and got vignette at the edge....

Mr. Sandeep Kumar

It would have been better if additional information such as shutter speed, aperture and ISO are provided for the photographs in the article.

Mr. Sandeep Kumar

Thanks for the information.

Mr. Rohit Ajitsariya

But often, the kit lenses have less flexibility (taking into account the range of apertures). On the other hand, people don't notice the fact that the body only price and the kit price of the same camera has very little difference. Therefore, people think that kit lenses are cheap lenses. Also, we also need to highlight the fact that only the lens does not capture an awesome photo. If the lens and the camera were perfect, then what is the use of the photographer!

Mr. Danda Srinivasa Rao

I think so

Mr. Tathagata Bandyapadhyay

if you know how to capture the moment then you can capture it with any lens whether kit lens or pro lens. Difference of result will be obvious. A photographer is one who can work with existing light very well. So if someone is using a kit lens and capturing good shots will definetly be considered as a good photographer..

Mr. Shoumik Kahali

Nice article and amazing pics... Yes...one starts underestimating the kit lenses...but these are great lenses to start learning dslr photography...

Mr. Hrudananda Behera

Above descriptions about kit lens is very useful to all category photographers

Mr. Kaustav Ray

Thanks for the article. Was feeling somewhat guilty of using my kit lense so often :)

Mr. Rohit Nandi

Wonderful thanks for the information

Mr. B V SREEDHAR

I have recently acquired the D750 with the 24-120 4G VR kit lens. With Fx and Dx options, it is in no way limiting my options. In fact I am wondering whether I should carry my other lenses whenever I travel. Even though I am not taking the risk of leaving them behind, their usage has come down drastically.

Mr. Praveen Andrews

A tap on the shoulder to get my gear out and click. Also an inspiration to write a blog for the first time

Mr. somanath sahu

good information about lense

Mr. Raju Kumar

hindi