DO WONDERS WITH YOUR KIT LENS!

October 11, 2013

We all think photography is an expensive hobby … but I personally feel “It depends”. Here’s how:

It's relative depending on what type of photographs you are taking and what you use. But for starters, you don't need to own a studio or a Nikon D800E to learn.

I bought my first camera 2 Yrs back (2011), it was a Nikon D3100, priced at roughly 30K Indian Rupees with the kit lens (18-55 VR).

If your only lens is a kit lens, does that mean you should go out and buy a better one straight away? No it doesn’t – no matter what anyone says, or how much you lust after expensive glass, your kit lens is a great lens to get started with. If you’re in a position where you can’t afford to buy another lens, or you simply just don’t know which one to buy, don’t sweat it. You’ll be surprised at just what you can do with your kit lens once you know how to get the best out of it.

Getting the Best out of your Kit Lens

So, how do you get the best out of a kit lens? My approach is to think of the lens as two lenses in one. If you have a kit lens of typical focal length, 18-55mm, then treat it as an 18mm and 55mm lens in one. The 18mm is a moderate wide-angle that is great for landscapes, architecture and environmental portraiture. The 55mm end is a short telephoto lens ideal for compressing perspective and taking portraits or closing in on details.

That doesn’t mean you can’t use the in-between focal lengths, and there are times when you can’t avoid it, but by sticking with the shortest and longest focal lengths you will learn how those focal lengths behave. Lenses are the ‘eye’ of your camera system and your photos will improve as you learn the characteristics of each focal length.

Some kit lenses also have another useful feature – an Image Stabilizer (Canon’s term, Nikon uses Vibration Reduction and some lucky camera owners have it built into their camera bodies). An Image Stabilizer lets you take photos at slower shutter speeds than would otherwise be possible. So, theoretically, you could hand-hold the camera, set the focal length of the lens to 18mm, and take a photo without camera shake at 1/4 or even 1/2 second. That’s awesome in low light and lets you explore the creative potential of taking photos in the evening or at night.

I had my doubts in the beginning—whether an expensive lens would make my photos better, whether getting lights will help, whether working with a bigger space will make it more awesome. Sure, they definitely make a difference, but as a beginner with barely trained eyes, there was a lot to be learnt with just the kit lens. All there is to do is to experiment and photograph a lot. (18-55mm is a pretty good range!)

Here are some sample shots from my gallery. All are taken with my 18-55 VR kit lens:

Landscape:

 

Dusk..!!- The last stint of the Sun

 

Sunset at Rameshwaram

Rohan Mishra Photography

 Camera Nikon D3300 with standard 18-55 VR kit lens Rohan Mishra Photography

 Camera Nikon D3300 with standard 18-55 VR kit lens Rohan Mishra Photography

 Camera Nikon D3300 with standard 18-55 VR kit lens Rohan Mishra Photography

 Camera Nikon D3300 with standard 18-55 VR kit lens Rohan Mishra Photography

 Camera Nikon D3300 with standard 18-55 VR kit lens

 Camera Nikon D3300 with standard 18-55 VR kit lens Rohan Mishra Photography

 Camera Nikon D3300 with standard 18-55 VR kit lens Rohan Mishra Photography

 Camera Nikon D3300 with standard 18-55 VR kit lens Rohan Mishra Photography

 Camera Nikon D3300 with standard 18-55 VR kit lens

Close-up!

 

Rose

Street Photography

 

Following his own path!

 

 

 

Step In My Shoes.

If you're not trying for 'studio' looks, a 50mm F/1.4 could be a good investment too. It costs around 30K Indian rupees. There's a beautiful depth of field when the aperture is opened wide, giving beautiful bokeh (blurs) in the background. But I found the 35mm F/1.8 AFS (For crop sensors) a better choice for my overall needs considering the Field of view, the low light capturing capabilities, beautiful depth of field when the aperture is opened wide, giving beautiful bokeh (blurs) and most importantly the price: Just 13K Indian Rupees.

Here are some sample shots from my gallery. All are taken with my 35mm F/1.8 lens:

 

Stop

 

Pentax K1000

 

Mirrored

 

Under the umbrella Post-processing wise, there's usually a photo-processing software that comes with the camera you purchase. If you want to move on to Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, Capture One, or other programs, you are definitely encouraged to experiment. But to begin with, your kit one is probably more than good enough.

Happy Clicking!
 

 


Rohan Mishra Photography- Creative Weddings and lifestyle photoshoots.

Subscribe
RSS
Archive