Do I Need To Upgrade My Kit Lens?

I join a lot of different photography groups online. Like a lot of them. And I do this so I can see where beginner photographers might be struggling, and try to help them out. Well, a major topic of discussion is always about equipment. Yes, you know I gave you a whole bunch of blog posts about beginner photography equipment, but the fact of the matter is that most beginners are going to purchase an entry level DSLR with a kit lens. And that is totally fine. In fact, I think it’s perfect. And the reason is that the kit lens can allow you to really explore what your camera is capable of, and moreover, it can help you explore what YOU are capable of. Let’s dive into why I think kit lenses are a perfect starting off point.

You Are The Most Important Part Of The Photography Equation

When I first teach a group of beginners, I’m not at all worried about what equipment they have. I teach the fundamentals of photography (how to use the camera, how to meter, how to shoot in manual mode) and then we move onto more important topics. Topics like creativity, point of view, finding your visual voice, and more. I’ve found over the many years of teaching photography that it takes a little while to find that second part, and then to implement the learned fundamentals of the tool (i.e. the camera) to help reinforce the creative vision of the photographer. See, I’m not entirely worried about creating perfectly technically sound images when someone is beginning their journey in photography. It’s more important that they are finding their creative voice, and then we can fine-tune the technical nitty gritty.

When Should I Move Beyond The Kit Lens

These 3 photos are student images taken with kit lenses

Alright, the next section is pretty important. There will come a time when you want to move beyond the kit lens. But that might be years down the line. Will better equipment make a difference. Absolutely…for sure it will. But I think it makes the biggest difference when you are comfortable with you camera, how it works, and how to create the vision of the image you see inside your head. When you feel like the camera and kit lens that you are using is actually holding you back creatively…then it is time to move to your next lens. Or camera. Or both. I used a kit lens up until I really started charging for my photography. Until then, almost everything I wanted to do could be done with my kit lens.

In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when determining when to move beyond a kit lens for photography. Quality and detail are two of the most important factors, as the kit lens isn’t able to capture the same level of detail or sharpness as a more expensive prime or zoom lens. Additionally, creative control is also critical, as the kit lens limits the ability to manipulate depth of field and close-up shots. Overall, it is important to consider the type of photography you wish to do, the expected outcome, and the equipment needed to get you there. Once you have a handle on your gear and when you feel it’s limitations, you’ll know it’s time to invest in the high-quality lenses needed to make your mark.



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I am a professional photographer & photo educator. I’m here to share with you my best (and easiest) tips and tricks for taking amazing photos. I’m sharing years of knowledge as a teaching artist to help you find a way to share your unique point of view with the world. Welcome to The Photo Method.

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