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What is a Kit Lens?

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

What is a Kit Lens?

When discussing camera lenses, you may have heard of something called a kit lens. Unlike other lenses that zoom and polarize, this lens doesn’t offer any special effects. Rather, it is simply the lens that comes with most camera kits.

Kit lenses are typically 18-55 mm. And because they come with the camera, they are usually nothing fancy. They will get the job done, but they won’t get you any spectacular results…unless of course, you’re purchasing a very high-end camera.

Read on to find out what else you can expect from your kit lenses.

Low Focus

Kit lenses won’t get you the most focused shots. You may be able to work with them to get crisper, cleaner images, but purchasing a better lens may be more an ideal solution.

They Have Variable Apertures

A variable aperture lens will automatically adjust to your zoom. If you zoom in or out, the aperture will change to ensure the right amount of light is hitting the sensor.

This is a good thing, but it can be confusing to photographers. For instance, you may wonder why your aperture changed for no reason. That’s why it’s best to understand the principle of variable apertures.

A kit lens is not likely to provide you with a wide range of aperture settings. They will generally be between the f/3.5 and f/5.6 range.

They are Made of Cheaper Plastics

Kit lenses are typically made with a cheap, plastic material that differs from the metal used in a high-quality lens. It’s likely you’ll still get a good amount of use out of it, but it will eventually fall apart. It’s also not a good idea to expose your kit lens to rigorous settings as it may not make it through.

Should I Replace My Kit Lens?

This article has said a lot of negative things about kit lenses, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately run out and get a more expensive lens.

A kit lens is good for photographers that are starting out. You can use it to learn how to take good photos and how to control your lens. In fact, if you learn how to take good pictures with your kit lens, it will get you in a better place for taking excellent pictures once you upgrade.

So, while there will come a time when you’ll want to switch your kit lens out for something more high quality, your kit lens will get you off to a great start.

Now that you know what to expect out of your kit lens, you can use it to get the best shots possible. How will you been dealing with your kit lens when you start out with your camera?

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