What can be done using a 18-55mm lens?

  • I have a Canon EOS 1000D with 18-55mm kit lens (entry level, as many say). Whenever I go out for a shoot, I always end up feeling handicapped because of the limited zoom range.

    Most of my friends keep suggesting I get a 'good lens' sometime. I agree on the need for a long range lens, but I am not quite ready to quit on this lens just because of the zoom range. And I am also sure that good photography would still be possible with an 18-55mm lens.

    I have tried shooting flowers, close-range portraits, still-life and I liked the photos it gave.

    I need pointers about where this lens is most useful. How can I make it work wonders ?

    It won't work _wonders_ in anything. The list of what it _will do_ is longer then the list of what it won't do though. The zoom range and a "good lens" are two separate things. Good photography is absolutely possible, just not miracles!

    Not with the kit lens atleast, but I'd suggest you to brush up your photography skills with it for sure so that when you move onto upgrading to a newer lens, you understand the difference and make it work wonders!

    In English: "The 18-55mm lens can also be used as a macro lens with the addition of macro extension tubes."

    I wouldn't look to us for inspiration. Try browsing 500px or other similar sites. If you truly aren't inspired, look for a new hobby. Your equipment matters very little, but passion and desire do.

  • What can be done using a 18-55mm lens? I have a Canon EOS 1000D with 18-55mm kit lens.
    I agree on the need for a long range lens, but I am not quite ready to quit on this lens just because of the zoom range. I have tried shooting flowers, close-range portraits, still-life and I liked the photos it gave.

    I need pointers about where this lens is most useful. How can I make it work wonders ?

    All text in blue <- like this, is linked to images - whether or not thumbnails are provided.
    Thumbnails are not live linked.

    All these things can be done with your kit lens:

    • Learn to minimise depth of field in a given situation (max aperture, max zoom, foot zoom to fit) to see how much background defocusing you can achieve. Not an ideal lens for this but results will please you. Try selecting between two objects in mid distance but at different distances. Can you get pleasing differentiation.

    • Set lens to minimum aperture. Use tripod or place camera on a wall etc. Take photos at night of street lights etc. Note halo/coma effect. What photos can you [produce using this.

    • "Through the bars": Find some "bars" - birdcage etc, put front lens element almost touching bars
      (as close as possible). Experiment with what you can achieve.
      Can you make the bars vanish? How can you use this ability?
      Larger version of "through the bars" here / thumbnail below:

      This was taken through cage bars. Can you see them? enter image description here
      That used a 50 mm f1.8. What can you achieve?
      This photo was taken through a heavy mesh as seen here at f6.3.

    enter image description here

    In both cases this is achieved by placing the lens front element as close to the bars or mesh as you can manage so that they are well inside one focal-length of the lens centre and so are dispersed rather than focused. Your kit lens can achieve this same result allowing to to produce pictures of apparently uncaged beasties or birds or ... .

    • Super Macro: Do you have ANY other lenses. Using even an old lens from another camera that does not fit your mount, set spare lens to "wide open", invert so front elements of it and yours are adjacent and almost touching. Maybe tape together. Now point at something small and very close and well lit. Note massive macro effect possible. Experiment with focal length setting on each lens.

    • Set to small aperture, low ISO. Tripod or brace and photograph falling water and fountains.

    • Set to small aperture and low ISO and use flash. Photograph fountains that have streams of drops or blobs of water in the air. Experiment with flash level and ISO. Be amazed.
      Like this fountain shot - f/6.3 at 200mm, but your lens can do similarenter image description here This used no flash. Add flash and use a smaller aperture and the background will darken or even vanish - jewels of water on "satin background."

    • Small aperture, low ISO, exposure compensation up. Photograph people when standing close to them looking slightly downwards with large area of roomlight lit carpet etc behind them. ie camera sees target lit by flash plus even carpet etc area behind in distance and not well lit by flash. Play with exposure until person is well lit for a nice portait but background drops away to almost blackness - even in a well lit room - and no photoshopping.

    • Do you have rear curtain flash? Experiment at night with people with lanterns and flashing lights etc.

    • Fun shots like this hair and water shot do not need special lenses etc - just lots of patience.
      (It took about 12 trials to get this right.)

      enter image description here

    • Silhouettes - bright background, dark foreground, expose for bright. Even higher contrast than this can be easily achieved.

    • Lie on the ground like this, stand on chairs, climb trees, move in close,
      lean out of windows and trains
      Maybe like this - BUT carefully! ! enter image description here
      find interesting angles.
      None of these need special lenses but all add interest. This or this or this or this or this or this or this or this or this or you get the idea enter image description here

    etc - the aircraft is actually at 100 or so feet above the ground,
    can be done with the kit lens.

    enter image description here

    17mm - Ham it up.
    "Oh Mater ..."

    enter image description here

    Link to this answer: bit.ly/18-55kitlens

    examples are helpful. i get the idea..

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM