kit lens bad?

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by rabhobbes, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. rabhobbes

    rabhobbes TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    I am thinking about buying a Canon Xti for our company's product photography, is the kit lens with this body adequate, or should I definitely be looking at other lenses? As usual, I've heard conflicting recommendations on using kit lenses vs "upgrading" to another lens. Looking to keep Camera and lens budget between $1100-$1600
    (Catalog, web, and some larger printing possible)
    Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    The kit lens does get a lot of bad publicity. I own it, and it's not really as bad as it's made out to be. I think that part of the problem is that the build quality is not as good as many other lenses...and it's very light, so it feels like a toy in comparison. Remember, it's only a $100 lens...maybe the best $100 zoom lens.

    It is quite capable of taking good photos, especially when the aperture is stopped down to F8 or smaller.
    For catalog photos of still subjects, it should be more than adequate, especially if you use a tripod.

    That being said, for a few hundred dollars more, you could get a much better lens like the Canon 17-85mm IS, or the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8, for example.
     
  3. rabhobbes

    rabhobbes TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!
     
  4. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Will you be doing closeups of small items? If so, you might want to look at a different lens. Most of the kit lenses I've seen do not focus very close at all, and certainly not as close as a macro. You can use closeup lenses, which screw on like filters, but they tend to be a bit wanting in image quality.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Actually, I believe the 18-55 will focus rather close.
     
  6. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    Wouldn't be a terrible scenario to get the kit lens and then pick up another to give you some flexibility.
     
  7. jeeper

    jeeper TPF Noob!

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    The side of the lens says it will focus at .9 ft. (that's 10.8 inches).
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's not macro...but it's pretty good for some close-ups.
     
  9. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    My 28-135 IS says Macro on it but it needs 1.6ft to focus. Whats up with that?
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Camera companies use the word Macro like a catch phrase. Most of them aren't actually macro...which is usually determined by the actual magnification ratio it's capable of. What I call a 'true Macro' lens is capable of 1:1 magnification. That means that the size of the image on the film or sensor, is the actual size of the object.

    Canon has several macro lenses...and Macro is in the title of the lens. I'm sure they put macro on lenses like the 28-135...just for marketing purposes.
     
  11. jeeper

    jeeper TPF Noob!

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    At 135mm & set to minimum focus that probably is pretty close to 1:1. My 100mm Macro focuses at 1.02 feet, so I would imagine that 135mm would need a little extra room.
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think the application and final product would determine the quality of lens you need. I use a kit zoom lens every single day for commercial photography. But understand that it is used to make small, low-res jpeg's for use on the internet. Also it is used at f11 and the edges are always cropped off. There is simply no point in using any more lens than that for the application. No point in putting any wear and tear on a better lens for that., even though I have better lenses right there in the studio.

    If I were shooting products for posters or magazine covers, I would go a different way. Judge the equipment needs by the application.
     

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