Farewell to kit lenses

My first DSLR was a Nikon D3000. It came with an 18-55mm kit lens that did not survive a friend’s house party when someone’s two year old took the camera off the table and started smashing it repeatedly against the ground. I watched in horror as my beloved camera equipment was being aggressively destroyed almost in slow motion.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that this two year old knew something I didn’t. She was trying to do me a favor. She was trying to tell me I needed a lens upgrade!

A kit lens is basically a “starter” lens that comes with cameras so you can begin using the camera right away. It’s the cheapest, lowest quality product the camera manufacturer makes which is why it is typically super affordable. That being said, it’s still not horrible. Some of my favorite snapshots came from my “kit lens” era.

I ended up some time later with my first non-kit lens — a 50mm prime with f/1.4 maximum aperture (I think I’m saying that right!). The first time I used it, I was in Encinitas, walking to the Swami’s meditation garden, and decided to do a test shot. The second I clicked the shutter, I knew my kit days were over.

With photography, my goal is to create the images I see in my head and feel in my heart. Better equipment is one element that does have an impact. If a photographer with mediocre equipment can produce decent compositions and the occasional great shot, just imagine what he or she could achieve with something even better.



First non-kit lens capture. Swami’s beach, Encinitas, CA.


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