The ‘walk-around’ lens

“Weighing just 7.2 oz., this light and compact standard zoom lens produces clear, high-contrast pictures and videos. Its  approx. 3.1x zoom covers the popular range of 18–55mm, making it a versatile, go-to lens for everything from portraiture to landscapes. It even lets you shoot close-ups just 0.9-ft. from your subject.” — nikonusa.com

The 18-55mm lens is standard issue for any Nikon D3200 that comes out of the box from Walmart, as my camera did. I’m informed it’s known as a ‘kit’ lens, which means pretty much what the term implies — a basic lens designed to produce basic images for photographers of any competency level, from pros to novices.

The 18-55mm Nikkor "kit" lens, attached to my Nikon D3200, with polarizer filter. I’ve been impressed by its versatility for the last few weeks and have used it to shoot a number of assignments. All it needs is a hood, and it honestly might become my go-to glass.

The 18-55mm Nikkor “kit” lens, attached to my Nikon D3200, with polarizer filter. I’ve been impressed by its versatility for the last few weeks and have used it to shoot a number of assignments. All it needs is a hood, and it honestly might become my go-to glass.

I’m not a ‘pro’ but I made a point of advancing to more specialized lenses not long after I bought my Nikon DSLR. The 18-55mm was OK, but I wanted to get my hands on a couple of the more useful primes (a 35mm and a 50mm) with bigger apertures, and on at least one telephoto.  This I did, and though I have been more than pleased with the results from those other lenses, I moved on at the expense of the 18-55mm.

I’ve gone back to using the kit lens on a number of assignments, and though I need to purchase a hood for it, I really can’t say anything bad about this most basic of cheap, plastic lenses. In fact, I’ve been very impressed with it. I’m using it as a kind of wide-angle lens and have liked the results.

It isn’t the fastest of lenses — both of my primes have super wide apertures, making them a great choice for night work — yet I’ve been able to use it in several low-light situations with unexpectedly good results. Its versatility has allowed me to talk myself down from purchasing something new, which is always a good thing. The lens has been attached to my camera for about two weeks now, and I have no plans of removing it any time soon.

I shot this road with the 18-55mm.

I shot this road with the 18-55mm.

Caylea, goofing around as a “juvenile” Bigfoot, photographed with the 18-55mm.

Caylea, goofing around as a “juvenile” Bigfoot, photographed with the 18-55mm.

Though the "kit lens" isn’t the fastest in my bag, it did remarkably well photographing these fireworks on New Years Eve. That’s my father-in-law, Larry Taylor, setting off the show.

Though the “kit lens” isn’t the fastest in my bag, it did remarkably well photographing these fireworks on New Years Eve. That’s my father-in-law, Larry Taylor, setting off the show.

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