Kit Lenses Versus Specialty Lenses – What’s The Deal?

When purchasing your new DSLR camera, it is important that you know what you need, and for what purpose you need it. Every single lens camera bought in a kit – whether digital or standard – comes with a ‘Kit Lens’. However, for our eager photographers, this kit lens may not be quite what you’re after – you may need to investigate your options of purchasing a specialty lens.

What is a ‘Kit Lens’? A kit lens is a starter lens sold bundled with a DSLR or SLR camera. It is generally an reasonably inexpensive lens, with basic qualities, but perfect for a beginner photographer. The kit lens you receive most likely will be a zoom lens, ranging from medium wide-angle to mild telephoto. Some higher end or more expensive DLSRs will not come with a kit lens, as they are expected to be bought separetly.

For a photographer looking to capture a specific style of image, a specialty lens may be the way to go. Specialty lenses are typically broken down into five categories – fast, fish-eye, wide, lensbaby and tilt and shift. A brief knowledge of each can assist you in making a decision.

A fast lens enables you to shoot in low light without compromising your shutter speed, and you can shoot extremely shallow depth of field. Many photographers love shooting landscapes and group shots – a wide lens is perfect, giving you the option of capturing a broad image. Effectively, a fish-eye lens is a super wide lens without the geometric correction – meaning that the edges of the image distort to fit the image in. The lensbaby is mounted onto the end of a bellows, allowing you to tilt the lens to change the centre of focus and create a smeared effect. Finally, the element of a tilt and shift lens can be moved side to side and up and down.

So, when you buy your DSLR camera, you need to know whether to purchase purely the body of the camera, or also the kit lens. Kirk’s Cameras in Ringwood are more than happy to advise you, and point you in the right direction, so come in and visit our team!

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