Kit lenses are great to start with; I kept mine around for the first couple of years until I finally made the jump into buying my first solo lens. When I first purchased my camera, I had no idea how a DSLR worked and the lens helped me explore all of the different functions my camera could offer. Even though I felt limited, it was a great tool for me to get started and familiarize myself with the camera I’d end up having for almost nine years.
The images above are two of my favorite pictures from when I started concert photography back in 2012. They’re my favorite for a few different reasons:
- The colors are fun and unique
- They’re focused (for the most part)
- The actual pictures are vertical, which is rare for me to have around
Now let’s point out what’s wrong:
- The pictures are soft
- Out of 500-700 pictures I took in both events, only a good seven or ten images actually made the cut.
- Both pictures are heavily edited… as in it took me a very long time to get a decent effect on both pictures.
So even though they’re great to learn and get started, they definitely should not be considered your go-to lens – especially if you’re planning to become a professional concert photographer. Let’s run through these facts more closely; Here are five reasons why you should ditch your kit lens:
1. Poor Low-Light Sensitivity
Even though you can produce passable pictures in a low-light setting, it doesn’t compare to what a prime lens or a zoom lens can do. Non-kit lenses come equipped with a variety of settings that are not only better, but also free you from the limitations that a kit lens would have. Depending on the effect you’re looking for and your technique, you’ll have a need for an improved aperture setting.
2. Slower Auto Focus & MF Difficulty
The biggest issue I ran into was the horribly slow auto focus. At the time, I wasn’t shooting under Manual Mode, so I didn’t care about how difficult it would be to shoot with MF. I was lucky enough that it wasn’t until I upgraded to new lenses that I didn’t know about the ʼThree Song Rule, otherwise I’m sure I would have had less photos at passable quality.
3. More Zoom Equals Softer Images
Newer kit lenses are in much better quality than previous ones, which means that even if you zoom in as much as you can to get a picture, the chances are that the picture will still come out decent. The difference is that instead of getting a crisp image, the result will be a softer one instead; On the bright side, it won’t necessarily come out blurry.
All in all, it’s okay to stick to a kit lens as long as you’re looking to upgrade once you become serious about photography. There are so many more advantages to owning other lenses (which I’ll explain on my next post), so think about these items when you look into upgrading.