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Friday, May 13, 2016

18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Version I? Any Good?

You have been looking at the 18-55mm, yeah, they have one now with VR (vibration reduction) but you've been told by someone that "Aw, kit lenses aren't any good. You need to buy yourself that Canisony 16-24 f/4 with the gold-red ring around it. That's the ticket. You'll get wayyy better pictures that way." I seem to recall Iceman from Top Gun coughing something into his hand that sounded something like "full-kit". Really, that's how I heard it; plus what I actually heard isn't printable in this blog.

But the question is: Can you get good photos with the 18-55mm. Now I have the VR-less 18-55mm V1. And it's performed just fine for me. Yes, a more expensive lens has better glass, but better glass will not help to create better pictures if you're just starting out. I used my kit lens which I got with the Nikon D50 ten years ago to learn the basics of composition and exposure. And can a kit lens produce an image just as well as a more expensive fixed aperture lens? In the hands of a knowledgeable photographer, yes. Because ultimately it is the knowledge that you learn during the course of your photography education that will allow you to use any lens that you put onto your camera to its best potential.

As a matter of fact, I went out walking today with my Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens and photographed these images.

So? Is it the lens or is it the photographer? The kit lens is a starting point from which you utilize the kit lens to progress in photography knowledge. It is an entry point into creating images and like all entry-level kit lenses, it's not the quality of the kit lens that dictates the quality of the image, but what you can create with it. It is the doorway to how you see the world. Learn to use it.

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