Kit Lenses Aren’t All That Bad

I recently came across a piece by Marco Arment, developer of the popular Instapaper app titled “SLRs aren’t worth it if you’ll only use the kit lens“. In the blog post, Marco wrote:

I’d go further and suggest that you shouldn’t buy an SLR if you only ever plan to use its kit lens or an inexpensive zoom lens. Kit lenses and low-end zooms produce blurry, distorted, drab images — they can look decent on blogs or phones, but the flaws become apparent when you see them on big Retina screens or printed at larger sizes.

While I fully agree with Marco that one should definitely not buy a DSLR if you have no intention of using anything other than the bundled kit lens, I have to disagree with the blanket statement that kit lenses “produce blurry, distorted, drab images”. Not all kit lenses are as bad as he described. Not to start another Nikon vs. Canon war, but from what I’ve heard from their respective users, Canon’s kit lenses are indeed unspectacular. Whether they really produce blurry and distorted images I can’t really comment as I’ve not used them myself.

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