A kit lens refers to the 18-55 mm lens that comes bundled with a camera.
It is for this reason that beginners use kit lenses pretty often when trying to improve their photography skills.
So, if you’re into photography, read through this article as we will get to know kit lenses in detail.
Alright, let’s get started.
What is a Kit Lens and What Makes it Different from Other Lenses?
Basically, any lens that comes bundled with a camera is called a kit lens. However, as noted above, people mostly mean the 18-55 mm lens when they say kit lens.
That is because it is the most commonly used and it is affordable.
Obviously, it is made cheaply so you cannot expect the quality to be great, but for beginners, this is more than enough. You will not be getting high-quality photos with this, but it will provide a way for you to get used to using a DSLR.
Nonetheless, when shopping for a DSLR, you will find some models that come bundled with high-quality lenses that can produce professional quality images. They are technically kit lenses as well.
Why are Kit Lenses Called Starter Lenses?
Kit lenses are considered starter lenses because of a few reasons. The first reason is that they come with your (first) camera, so in most instances, these are the first lenses anyone ever uses.
Kit lenses also have a variable aperture.
To put it in simple words, how wide the aperture can open is directly related to how zoomed in the lens is. If the zoomed in subject is at a far distance, the aperture is wider and if the subject is zoomed in is near the photographer, the aperture closes.
This can be somewhat confusing for someone who is just beginning to learn photography and camera settings and features.
Take note though that other lenses will be different from this and will not have a “variable aperture phenomenon.” So, you will have to take this thing into account as long as you are using a kit lens to take photos.
There are also a few things to look after for, and they are:
Kit lenses are not that sharp, so the end result would not be crisp and clean like a professional image.
They are made from plastic instead of metal like those of the expensive, high-end lenses. This is why they are cheap, and they are deliberately made this way by manufacturers because there is so much competition, so they try to keep their camera’s price down by using inexpensive plastic materials.
Although they are not that great in terms of quality, that does not mean they will fall apart immediately. You can still take photos and use it adequately.
In short, it will not be able to withstand prolonged use as it is not designed to be durable.
Why is a Kit Lens Great for Beginners?
Just because it is inexpensive and does not take high-resolution images does not mean it is useless.
In fact, it is great for starting photographers since this can be the tool that can teach you how to take good photos.
You can learn how to use the camera and the lens, as well as how to use your subject to get great photos. Remember, any good photographer makes the best of what they have.
Think of the kit lens as a two-in-one tool: 18 mm and 55 mm.
Kit lenses have some useful features too, like image stabilizers, which are also known as vibration reduction on some camera models. This feature allows you to take photos at a slower shutter speed, and this is especially great for taking images in low light.
Usually, the trajectory of lenses after the kit lens starts with a 50 mm prime lens. It is definitely better than a kit lens, and it is also affordable.