I am still using my kit lens, Nikon 18-55mm (3.5-5.6) a lot lately. Why in the world would I use such a cheap piece of crap for? Well, it is not a crap piece but it was cheap. It was free with my camera five years ago. Also, consider the auto focus doesn’t even work anymore.
I like the lens. I do not do professional work with it but I use it for personal stuff. Things like making vlogs, just running around and maybe doing a time lapse or two.
I believe it is part of marketing strategies to give people the kit lens but trash it often to get people to think they need to buy the Nikon trinity. Let me be clear: photos are not made by people; they are made by people.
3 reason I use the Nikon Kit lens
Let’s face it, the glass here is very light. There is no metal in it and it does not weight much. In fact, I think the Black Rapid that I use to carry the Nikon DSLR actually outweighs this lens.
It is not a huge deal but my shoulder thanks me at the end of the day for it. There is no need to carry a heavy F/2.8 lens when I won’t need the superior glass in most cases.
When I have an assistant, it would not matter. However, when I just traveling for the weekend; I do not have one. I have to carry my own gear. I am not a mirrorless wimp but no need to have 20 pounds dragging on my hip either.
The Nikon Kit Lens has great color rendering. It is not perfect but it is great for most things. I find that about 80% of my shooting with it are quite good. It is good enough that I could take it right to the internet (Facebook, Flickr, etc) without spending some time doing Lightroom treatment.
The colors with it are deep. The image pop more than they do with some of my pricy glass in fact. It is quite good for when I am doing for HDR Photography for example.
There is also minimal distortion on the edges to deal it. A lot of lens that shoot at the wide end, there is major issue with this. The Nikon kit lens does not have this problem, surprising.
I find that 80% of the images that I shoot are between 18mm and 55mm. It is rare that I need the 10mm for a shot on the streets and that I need 300mm for a shot at the bar. If 55mm is not close enough, God has given me feet, after all.
I spend years just using a 35mm (E-series) manual lens on the streets for personal shooting. I just do not see a need to carry the Nikon 70-200mm (2.8) VRII to do street photography. I guess that is just me.
The only downside to using the Nikon Kit kens on the streets that I see is it lacks the markings of focal lengths. You have to just guess. This is mainly an issue when doing Vlogs.
Saying NO to Gear whoring
I have always told people at events to not even think of getting a new lens until they have used their Nikon kit lens for at least a year. Everything you need to learn the fundamentals of photography, you can learn using the 18-55mm. The only real exception is learning very narrow depth of field.
People use the “I can’t do ______ with this” as an excuse to buy a new lens often. Don’t worry, Nikon loves you buying new lens every other week. The problem is no matter how many lens you buy, you will still be the crappy photographer without the fundamentals of photography down.
Look at this way, I have $3,000 lens in my bag including the Nikon 24-70mm and Nikon 16-35mm but I have the Nikon kit lens mounted on my camera for when I am doing personal stuff. It is lighter, great colors, and it works. Plus, if I break it; I am out nothing.