Get the best from a kit lens

Tip Getting The Best From A Kit Lens - kit-lens-wide

A standard 18-55mm kit lens is a versatile zoom range for everyday photography, allowing you to photograph everything from landscapes to close-ups. Set the lens to around 30mm to get a view that's similar to normal human vision; this gives a natural look to your pictures, and allows viewers to concentrate on the subject of your photo rather than being distracted by the effects of a very wide or a very long lens.

Composing your picture

Tip Getting The Best From A Kit Lens - kit-lens-wide-02

If you're using the lens at the widest setting, try and find something interesting to use as a foreground detail, otherwise pictures can look a little empty. Take a few steps forward so that your foreground subject fills enough of the picture too. For portraits, stand farther away and zoom in to create more flattering results. Use the largest aperture available for your lens to help separate the subject from the background.



Your camera will automatically focus on the closest subject in the frame. If you need to change the composition, half-press the shutter release until the subject appears sharp. Keep your finger on the button to lock the focus, and then recompose.

Smooth-textured subjects are difficult for the camera to focus on, so try aiming at another subject at a similar distance, locking the focus and then recomposing. If you are too close to the subject for the camera to focus, move back and try again.

Sharper shots

A man holding the camera with a right hand and a viewfinder close to his face and using left hand to support the lens from underneath.
A man holding a camera and looking at the LCD screen, tucking his elbows in and using his left hand to support the lens.

For sharp shots, hold the camera with your right hand and use your left hand to support the lens from underneath. Activate the Image Stabilizer if available, tuck your elbows into your sides and roll your finger onto the shutter release rather than stabbing it. Also, make sure the front of your lens is free of dust and smears – a lens brush, hand blower and optical microfibre cloth in your camera bag will help keep your kit lens spotless.

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