Featured image by Jem Sahagun.
When I finally zeroed in on the Sony a6000 as my first camera, I feared it would just sit in my closet, or take me forever to learn photography. So I went with the body plus two kit lenses, as opposed to the body with more sophisticated lenses, to start. Figured I’d keep my costs down and minimize any possible regret.
And I’m glad I made that decision. ‘Cause guess what?
- My camera pretty much sat in my closet for a year, and
- I’m still learning this whole photography thing
I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning, really.
Anyway, during my six or so months as an active beginner, I developed a sincere fondness for the 16-55mm kit lens. I know lot of people rag on this lens, but honestly, it’s a good lens for what it is.
Would I buy it separately? No.
As part of a kit, sure. The 16-55mm comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a Sony lens (power zoom, Optical Steady Shot, and variable aperture) without the high cost. Same goes for the other Sony a6000 kit lens, the 55-210mm f4.5-6.3, minus the power zoom. But that’s another story for another day.
Alright, so what’s my point here?
Well, it’s one thing to study photography. Quite another to practice it in the field. No one says this, but
being a photographer is more than the fundamentals. It’s also understanding your camera’s controls & features, then bringing it all together during your photoshoots.
Trust me, it’s A LOT.
The combination of the 16-55mm’s features, size, and cost, plus the fact that it came with the camera body itself, made it easier and far more forgiving for me to practice and learn.
I mean, breaking my lens would’ve been my worst mistake starting out. And if I broke my 16-55mm, I could easily replace it. And if I could easily replace it, then I wouldn’t be so stressed about making mistakes with it.
And I made PLENTY.
If you’ve ever tried to snap several architectural shots at varying exposures while a security guard’s getting ready to call the cops ’cause you’re taking photos of private property, on private property, without permission (which you never got because you didn’t realize you had to). Well, it’s frustrating as hell.
Before I even got to that point, I had to learn how to control my camera, combine all the technical elements in just the right way, and sense how it would come together before the light changed or my subject moved out of frame. My god it was nerve racking.
Thank goodness these experiences happened with my kit lens, first. All the newbie frustrations, mistakes, and eff-ups didn’t hit so hard or effect me so much. Which somehow sped my learning, and built my confidence enough to finally buy my first prime.