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how far does the kit lens take you
Old 09-15-2008, 03:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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As the title says. How far does the kit lens take you when it comes to shooting models? And where does it fall short? is it worth getting a better lens with the same focal lengths? what is the next step up if you stay with lenses from the camera manufacturer? what is the next step up if you look at 3rd party lenses?

and shouldn't there be a fixed thread on these sort of questions?
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Re: how far does the kit lens take you
Old 09-15-2008, 11:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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One of the most respected shooters on this site is JimmyD and he seems to shoot quite a bit with the Canon 28-135 lens.

Most of the time when I see people bitching about lens quality there seems to be other issues involved. Maybe another way to put it is that most of the time any shortcomings are mostly "user error". Unless you've got money to burn learn to use the gear you have to its maximum potential. Then you'll truly be ready to move up when the time is right.
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Re: how far does the kit lens take you
Old 09-16-2008, 12:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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In some cases the "kit" lens can take you far, it is certainly a good starting point since you have already paid for it in the price of the camera but there is also a lot to be said for upgrading your lenses as you can afford to.

A prime case in point is my experience. I bought a Canon EOS 20D and got the Canon 28-105mm F3.5-4.5 lens to use as a portrait and general purpose lens but I wanted something more and better and I felt I was at a point where I would benefit from it.

After a lot of research I bought the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 XRDI lens and oh what a difference it has made. It is one thing to look at reviews and specs and SQF data but when you can actually see a difference and improvement in the quality of your photos from one lens to another that is when you know that you have spent your money wisely.

The answer to your question is that yes, a kit lens will get you started and take good photos but there will probably come a time when you want more and that will be the time to think about upgrading. Good luck.
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Re: how far does the kit lens take you
Old 09-16-2008, 07:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That Tamron is a great lens for sure.

I would also say that another good lens a fast 50mm prime. The are well built a just let a ton of line in. The thing I don't like about the kit lens is that they the maximum shift f-stop. That can cause you problem especially when you are in a manual setting.

Just my 2˘.
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Re: how far does the kit lens take you
Old 09-17-2008, 02:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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my problem is when I compare pictures taken with my kit lens with pictures taken with my Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 the pics from the kit lens look dull, uninspiring. Might be just me not being able to make use of the shorter focal lengths, I'm not sure.
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Re: how far does the kit lens take you
Old 09-18-2008, 01:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerKr View Post
As the title says. How far does the kit lens ........and shouldn't there be a fixed thread on these sort of questions?
Now what fun would that be for us old timers?

My advice is to ONLY buy a Lens from the Camera Body manufacturer, I learned the hard way, when I was young, now I would never waste two seconds even looking at them.

Just as there is a reason a 2-door Kia costs less than a 2-door Honda, a Tameron will save you plenty over a Canon lens, my advice would be to dump it over on the Fred Miranda site and if you can't afford a new premium brand lens, you can pick up a decent used one there as well...

CHEERS!
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Re: how far does the kit lens take you
Old 09-18-2008, 02:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerKr View Post
my problem is when I compare pictures taken with my kit lens with pictures taken with my Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 the pics from the kit lens look dull, uninspiring. Might be just me not being able to make use of the shorter focal lengths, I'm not sure.
As you compare images take note of the f-stop used. Sometimes the cheaper glass will give some good pics, but only from say f8, or f11, etc.
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Re: how far does the kit lens take you
Old 09-25-2008, 03:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenD View Post
Now what fun would that be for us old timers?
yeah, I keep forgetting how much you guys love answering my dumb questions
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Re: how far does the kit lens take you
Old 09-26-2008, 09:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My Olympus 14-45 f/3.5-5.6, 40-150 f/3.5-4.5, and 35mm f/3.5 macro lenses are great and I use all three equally. That said I'd like to have a faster standard and tele zoom, but the funds aren't there at the moment. So I'll just maximize what I have.

JW
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Re: how far does the kit lens take you
Old 10-03-2008, 01:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_L_Brown View Post
One of the most respected shooters on this site is JimmyD and he seems to shoot quite a bit with the Canon 28-135 lens.
Thanks for the kind words, David. And you're right, I often use my Canon 28-135 IS USM. It's my all-purpose utility lens. For the money--a bit over $400--I think it's the best, most versatile, non "L" lens Canon makes. It's also pretty damn sharp and ruggedly built! I've shot a bunch of times with the 24-105 f/4 IS "L" (the 28-135's upscale cousin) and, frankly, I didn't see that much difference in the images.

Sure, I'd love to have some expensive "L" glass. Buying a 70-200 f/2.8 IS "L" is definitely on my To Buy list as is the 135 f/2 "L" prime. (The ultimate, small format portrait lens, IMO.) I could also use a high-end wide angle. But ya know what? It seems every time I turn around there's more stuff I need to buy: from lighting to grip to video gear to computer stuff to expendables to whatever. So, where I'm at now, if I need something for a specific job, e.g., better glass, I rent it. I'm trying to stay more focused on earning rather than spending. If I absolutely need something to earn, I'll buy it. If not, I make do with what I have. After all, no one's gonna bail me out if my finances hit the fan. And it seems they hit that fan often enough!

For those with plenty of FU money, I say buy the best glass... if you're a Canon user, buy Canon glass. In fact, I'd recommend spending on glass before spending on the latest and greatest body. Oh yeah, buy lighting as well. It doesn't have to be the most expensive lighting... just good quality stuff that keeps color temp, has adjustable output, and recycles fast. And BTW, if you're mostly shooting portraits or glamour, you don't need a really powerful light source. Anything over 500ws or 800ws is a waste of watt seconds for most of what you'll ever shoot. If you need more lighting power for a specific shoot, rent it. (Assuming you live somewhere where you can do that.)
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