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Thread: Upgrading from Kit Lens?

  1. #1

    Default Upgrading from Kit Lens?

    Hi,

    Should you be thinking of upgrading from your kit lens, here are just some thoughts from my experience regarding this which I thought of sharing. I am just a beginner but I hope this may help those who are wondering about it. Hopefully it will address the issues of "do I need a better lens?" and "which lens is the best for me?".

    From my limited experience, an effective way is to know how to push the lens to its limit, working about with the aperture and iso settings etc...when this is done, one will be able to come to a more informed decision of what one really want instead of what one thinks he wants.

    Of course, these are just my own thoughts and are not guidelines; we all have different thinking and approach. At the end of the day, it is still up to one to make a decision.

    For those who are already passed this stage, do bear with such a thread!

    Omnia Causa Fiunt: Why use this?

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Upgrading from Kit Lens?

    Interesting post you have there and I'm also a Nikon kit lens user who takes mainly landscapes so I can quite identify with your situation . The only thing I don't like about the kit lens is its sharpness (even after pp), it just seems so lacking when I compare my photos with those posted by those pro photographers here using pro lenses. I read about hyperfocal distance but can't really figure it out. Most of the time I use F8 or F11 when shooting a landscape shot and definitely a tripod and shutter release for my night shots. I wonder does anyone have any tips on achieving the maximum sharpness for this lens or any optimum settings?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Upgrading from Kit Lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by iosephos View Post
    Hi,


    For those who are already passed this stage, do bear with such a thread!

    Omnia Causa Fiunt: Why use this?

    Cheers
    Yes I have passed this stage and so should you.I have left a comment in your march 2012 blog titled Hope.

  4. #4
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading from Kit Lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by mds80 View Post
    Interesting post you have there and I'm also a Nikon kit lens user who takes mainly landscapes so I can quite identify with your situation . The only thing I don't like about the kit lens is its sharpness (even after pp), it just seems so lacking when I compare my photos with those posted by those pro photographers here using pro lenses. I read about hyperfocal distance but can't really figure it out. Most of the time I use F8 or F11 when shooting a landscape shot and definitely a tripod and shutter release for my night shots. I wonder does anyone have any tips on achieving the maximum sharpness for this lens or any optimum settings?
    In the end, you need to get the exposure right, the tripod needs to be stable, and and you need to know what you are doing. How you set up your tripod/camera matters, the right use of remote shutter, even down to how you leave you strap when shooting on a windy day on a tripod. And know that there is NO optimum settings. It all depends on the conditions and what you are trying to achieve in your shot.

    Shot using an old Nikon Kit lens 18-55 non-VR... with an equally old D40x on a thirty dollar tripod, Velbon CX570



    Last edited by daredevil123; 27th March 2012 at 02:07 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Upgrading from Kit Lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by mds80 View Post
    I wonder does anyone have any tips on achieving the maximum sharpness for this lens or any optimum settings?
    I wonder if you ever read a review?

    Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR - Review / Test Report - Analysis

    f/8 seems the sweet spot for that lens.
    Alpha

  6. #6

    Default Re: Upgrading from Kit Lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by mds80 View Post
    Interesting post you have there and I'm also a Nikon kit lens user who takes mainly landscapes so I can quite identify with your situation . The only thing I don't like about the kit lens is its sharpness (even after pp), it just seems so lacking when I compare my photos with those posted by those pro photographers here using pro lenses. I read about hyperfocal distance but can't really figure it out. Most of the time I use F8 or F11 when shooting a landscape shot and definitely a tripod and shutter release for my night shots. I wonder does anyone have any tips on achieving the maximum sharpness for this lens or any optimum settings?
    A lot of this is just pixel peeping.
    Unless you print big like A1, A0 (even with this, the viewing distance is further) or have a monitor that is 4800x3600 res and the size of 60", a lot of that lens level sharpness is moot.
    Though it can be satisfying in itself to peep at 100% and know that you got the sharpest shot that was possible with the equipment at hand.
    "Pro" photographers also have "pro-level" techniques and work ethic. (ie. wake early; use a tripod; MLU ; DOF control; composition; PP), not just pro lens.


    At f8-f11, most lenses should already be very sharp. The other things within control are focus for enough DOF, ISO (ie. not high) and perhaps using a tripod on timer release to prevent camera/hand shake.
    Last edited by pinholecam; 27th March 2012 at 02:13 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Upgrading from Kit Lens?

    Thanks for all the advice . And yes I have been reading plenty of lens and camera reviews. I guess it's like most people say, it's about using the right settings for the right situation.

  8. #8

    Default

    Importantly you keep shooting and have fun.

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