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The lowly “kit lenses”.

I’m not a fan of kit lenses, rarely did i bought a kit lens alone, habitually they come with the camera. So i was curious and looked in my camera bags and sorted all the kit lenses i have, to my surprise i have more than i thought i owned.

So here they are, i only bought 2 of them alone, the 3 others came with the cameras but didn’t especially wanted them. Starting from the left side: SMC Pentax A-50mm/2.0, Sony 18-55mm OSS for NEX, Canon 18-55mm IS II, 18-55mm IS and 15-85mm IS. The only 2 i bought alone are the Pentax A-50mm/2.0 and the Canon 15-85mm/3.5-5.6 IS which is the kit lens of the 7D. The build quality vary from very good (Pentax 50mm) to very cheap (Canon 18-55mm IS II). BTW only the Pentax is a FF lens.

Sony NEX-3 with 18-55mm OSS, handheld.

They can all deliver some good to very good IQ if you know their limits and stop down the aperture 1 to 2 stop. The one that i use the most often is my Canon 15-85mm because of it’s very good IQ and range, in fact during my last vacations i used that lens for most of my shots.

I would use my Pentax A-50mm/2.0 more often, but since i already have the excellent DA*50-135mm, i use the latter because it’s more versatile. But the Pentax A-50mm is the best of my kit lens when using extension tubes for Macro shots, it delivers very good IQ and can be a good alternative to a Macro lens if you want to save space and weight in your camera bag. Those old 50mm kit lenses are cheap to buy and are worth looking for them, there is a lot of them on the used market.

I wouldn’t trade my best lenses for a kit lens but they can be useful especially if you don’t want to risk damaging your best lenses. So don’t dismiss them and gave them a try.

Canon T3i with 15-85mm IS, tripod.

Pentax K20D with SMC Pentax A-50mm/2.0, Polarizing filter, tripod.

Canon T3i with 15-85mm IS with Polarizing filter, tripod.

Canon T3i with 15-85mm IS, tripod.

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