Thursday, September 17, 2009
Beyond The Kit Lens
Take full advantage of your SLR investment by adding lenses to your system
As you’re shopping, you might come across different kit options, including some with multiple lenses. It’s common for retailers to put together their own kits, often using third-party lenses rather than those offered by the camera maker. For example, you might find a Canon or Nikon body combined with two Phoenix or similar lenses at about the same price that you’d pay for the manufacturer’s kit with a single lens. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing, you have to remember that in many cases, especially with optics, you get what you pay for. Lesser optical quality compromises your SLR investment, so if you’re looking at one of these alternatives, be sure to do your research on the quality of lenses included with your kit.
As the typical kit lens is a zoom that covers a moderate wide to moderate telephoto focal range, consider these lens options to expand your focal range wider or longer.
Nikon. Nikon also offers the AF-S DX 18-105mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR. The construction is the same as the 18-55mm, but the zoom range is nearly twice that of the standard kit lens. With the same aperture settings and built-in Vibration Reduction, you’ll extend the reach of your images for about $160 more than the 18-55mm. For greater wide-angle options, consider the AF-S DX 10-24mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED, which will give you a 35mm-equivalent range of about 15-36mm for under $850.
Pentax. Pentax offers the smc DA 50-200mm ƒ/4-5.6 ED zoom (about $250) to extend your range to the 35mm-equivalent of 300mm. The lens utilizes an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass lens element for improved image quality, as well as a Quick-Shift Focus System to go from autofocus to manual instantly.
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