Support for the Kit Lens

Robert Watcher

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
May 2, 2010
Messages
1,235
Location
El Salvador / Ontario, Canada
If we were just to listen to what is stated on the web - - - the kit lens is simply something that comes with the camera kit and is to be used sparingly (if ever) until a person can afford a prime lens or a fast and expensive f2.8 zoom.

And because of that reasoning, no pro or serious photographer would ever use a kit lens. Right?

Different times it has been assumed that I must be using a "pro" caliber lens with images that I post on the forum. I know because I sometimes get pm's and emails asking what lens I used for a particular shot. My response is invariably that I have taken the shot with the kit lens that came with my camera (if that was the case).

Here is a pic that I selected to prove how useful and valuable a kit lens can be. It is not necessarily the best shot I could take - but a general style of snapshot that many persons might be really proud of if they took it. This shot was taken using the first generation (noisy and loose feeling) 14-42 kit lens that came with my Olympus E-PL1 - when I bought it a couple of years ago.

This is a file that has obviously been processed to look good on the web. And that's how most people who worry about the lens they use, will be displaying their photographs. However I have regularly printed shots taken with the kit lens to 13x19 inch, 20x30 inch and even bigger sizes, and they look even better (a real print always looks better than a web image in my view).

Olympus E-PL1 w 14-42mm kit lens (14mm) : f7.1 @ 1/200'th @ 200 ISO

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Really for anyone holding back because they feel ill-equipped - - why not get out and shoot with your kit lens if that is all you have in a particular focal length range - or if you aren't in a situation where you want to lug around a big lens - or shooting where it is more practical to have a zoom lens instead of one prime or having to change several primes to get what you want. I know there are such people out there :).

Experience and skill with lesser gear can often trump inexperience and the best of gear (there are exceptions of course). Experience and skill comes from shooting - and shooting lots. Not just the shooting though as digital capture also requires experience and skill with processing of the files so they look their best.


---------
 

ean10775

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Messages
1,203
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Real Name
Eric
I too find the 14-42mm lens that comes with the E-PL1 to be an excellent performer. Is it as sharp wide open as one of the Olympus primes? No, its not, but stopped down its as sharp as you'd ever need and the color and contrast of the lens are quite good. Admittedly I don't use mine much, but when I do I certainly don't worry about the images not being good enough.

P3236164 by ericarthur, on Flickr

P3256413 by ericarthur, on Flickr

X100S New Suit by Gariz Black Label by ericarthur, on Flickr
 

jjinh

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jul 6, 2014
Messages
56
My Panasonic 20mm and Olympus 12-40mm lenses were purchased with bodies as part of a kit.... they're pretty awesome kit lenses :)
 

lrlebron

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Apr 8, 2013
Messages
784
Location
Huntsville, AL
Real Name
Luis R. Lebron
The kit lens is one of my favorite lenses. If I know I will be working with good light it is what I put on my E-PM2. It's not as sharp as the primes but it is good enough for a lot of uses.
I recently printed a 16 X 20 of the following image which I took with the kit lens and was very happy with the results.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2012
Messages
1,521
Location
SW England
Real Name
Rob
I kind've don't think of the 20mm as a kit lens, though I understand why it technically could be called one. However I bought a super cheap E-PM2 this year as a second body, but I have been really impressed by the kit 14-42 zoom that came with it.

Rob
 

gardengirl13

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
200
Location
US
I agree! I have the 12-50 kit lens and I love it!! I see no need whatsoever to upgrade. I tried a 25 1.4 for low light stuff, but it was just an awkward FL for me for some reason. While I shot with the 50mm with film 99% of the time for 20+ years! Go figure!

When I switched to M4/3 I needed everything to be light. I had to change my shooting a lot, no long teles etc... I have the 12-50 and the 40-150, neither known to be good lenses, but all my shots are taken with them and people seem to respond well to them. I did get the 9-18 since 12 isn't wide enough for some of my shots, again got it for the filter use over the 7-14, plus the weight difference. It again isn't considered to be that great compared to the 7-14.

Lesson is don't listen to others. I shot great stuff with that cheap canon 50 1.8 and had people argue with me about what lens I used. Yeah, sigh, don't listen to others. If you can use cheaper stuff and make it work all the better! I even won many photo contests with a cheap $300 p&s camera and people couldn't believe that's what was used.
 
Top