Why i chose an 18

I’m a great bạn of prime lenses. They are faster và sharper than zooms (at least the zooms that I can afford). Plus, they force me inkhổng lồ being more creative sầu và they bring out my problem-solving side, because they limit me with their fixed focal length. When I travel, I always bring them & paông xã a kit lens just in case. I almost never use it.

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But recently, I was forced to travel light. And I mean, super-light: I was only able to lớn bring one lens attached to lớn my camera body. I love sầu primes & almost always use them – but this time I screwed a kit lens onto my Nikon D7000. The lens is a Nikkor 18-55milimet f/3.5-5.6G & it’s rather crappy when compared khổng lồ my primes. But in this article, I’ll explain why I chose it và why, sometimes, your kit lens may actually be the best choice.

Earlier this month, a friend of mine suggested that I join him on a motorcycle ride lớn Croatia. Of course I said yes! I quickly arranged khổng lồ stay with another friend in Croatia’s capital city (Zagreb), & I immediately started packing as we were due to lớn leave the very next day.

I generally try lớn pachồng as light as I can, at least when it comes lớn clothes. But when it comes to lớn gear: I don’t have sầu much of it, but I carry everything. But not this time. Since I was traveling on a motorcycle, I needed to paông xã my stuff in a backpack. And there was only room for a small camera bag. This meant one camera và one lens. And that lens was the 18-55milimet ƒ/3.5-5.6. I did give sầu it some thought before I made the final decision… But here are the reasons why I think it was a good decision, despite the lens’ flaws.



Probably the most obvious advantage of a kit lens is that it’s versatile. You can capture wide-angle scenes, or zoom in for the details. You can even take pretty decent close-up shots, and via this links you can see plenty of tips and great examples of that.

I spent a couple of days in Zagreb, & I wandered all over the thành phố & out of it. I captured a gorgeous sunphối on Jarun Lake… But also some details & textures I found in the neighborhood where I stayed. And for this I needed different focal lengths – & I got them with the kit lens.

52mm, f/5.6, 1/100s, ISO200


34mm,f/7.1, 1/100s, ISO640


18milimet,f/6.3, 1/100s, ISO100

More freedom

I often like the feeling of being limited by the fixed focal length of a prime lens. But more often than not, when I travel, I also find it frustrating. Sometimes there’s just no room behind you khổng lồ step back và get everything you want in the frame. And the possibility lớn zoom out a bit in situations like this is just perfect. It makes me feel… relaxed & stress-không tính tiền. It gives me the freedom khổng lồ shoot scenes just as I imagine shooting them.

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Of course, a cheap kit lens doesn’t come without its quirks and flaws. Here are some of the challenges I faced, but also how to overcome them (or fix them in post).


Bad low light capabilities

The most obvious disadvantage of a kit lens is that it isn’t really your best frikết thúc in low-light situations. With a maximum aperture of ƒ/5.6 at 55milimet, you can’t bởi vì much if you shoot handheld.

But, there are some situations when you won’t bitterly regret bringing just your 18-55mm lens. For me, these were long exposure shots with a stabilized camera. Considering that I didn’t even have a tripod, “stabilized camera” meant putting it on a large concrete flower pot in the middle of the street. You gotta work with what you’ve got, right?

Another way khổng lồ overcome the poor low-light capability is by using a slower shutter tốc độ and having a really steady h& (or just put your camera down on something). You can also crank up the ISO as much as your camera can handle without getting the photos with too much noise. You can always remove sầu some of the noise in Lightroom later. And just to lớn remind you: shoot raw!


55milimet, f/5.6, 1/80s, ISO640

Lack of sharpness

When compared lớn my 50milimet ƒ/1.8, the kit lens is pretty rubbish when it comes to lớn sharpness. But, I’d been shooting with it for years before I bought my first prime. It can’t be that bad. After all, there are ways khổng lồ get the best out of a kit lens when it comes to lớn sharpness.

It’s important khổng lồ find the sweet spot of the lens. For my 18-55milimet, it’s around ƒ/8. I couldn’t always use this aperture, but for daytime landscapes, cityscapes and capturing details around the đô thị, it worked just fine. Of course, there were situations when I wanted or needed to shoot with a wider aperture. And in these cases, I sharpened the images a bit in Photosiêu thị.

Chromatic aberration and lens distortion

The third problem with a kit lens is the chromatic aberration và lens distortion. However, for me, this was the least of my worries. When I imported my raw files into lớn Lightroom, I fixed these issues with a couple of clicks. As a matter of fact, I have these corrections automatically enabled; I just fine tuned them in a couple of shots.

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The bottom line

If I can choose between a kit and a prime lens, I would almost always choose a prime because of the sharpness & overall better image quality. I kindomain authority surprised myself when I chose to lớn bring only a kit lens. However, I decided that the versatility it provides was more important this time. I found ways khổng lồ overcome the lens’ flaws and ended up with some pretty decent travel shots. I definitely didn’t regret the decision. But who knows, if and when I go lớn Zagreb again, I might take only a prime lens. Just as a thử nghiệm.

Now tell me, if you had lớn choose only one lens to lớn bring with you on a few-day trip, which one would it be?

Chuyên mục: Chia sẻ