Four Reasons You Should Use (and Love) Your Camera’s Stock Lens
Need an incentive to love your stock lens? Break down some of the benefits of sticking with your camera’s stock zoom lens.
I’d like to preface this article by saying one thing. Wanting to, and using, a wide array of unique and different lenses is always ideal over sticking to one lens for all your video and filmmaking needs. I’ve spent years shooting on a variety of lenses (and cameras, for that matter) and have found that preferences and needs change shot by shot, project by project, and day by day.
That being said, I’ve recently come to a revelation of sorts, and have an alternative title for this article:
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Stock Lens.
Hang with me here, because I’ve been on the other side of this (in the past) and felt that rocking a stock lens on your DSLR or mirrorless camera was a faux pas worthy offense. However, over the years (and as I’ve jumped from one camera to another), I’ve often found that stock lenses might not be so bad after all — for the right people and situations.
So, say you’re a filmmaker just starting out. Or a videographer looking to run-and-gun a wedding. Or even a video producer on a minimal budget, but in still need of a wide range of coverage. Here are five reasons you should stop worrying about it and learn to love (and properly use) your stock lens.
A True Match For Your Sensor
This means more than the simple fact that a stock lens is at least going to fit onto your camera. For many starting out, the concept of sensor sizes might not mean much. But if you’re piecemealing together your rig and don’t think to check if your EF-mount lens will work on your Micro Four Thirds camera, you’re out of luck unless you have an adapter.
Even then, you’re looking to mix and match lenses to sensors that they may not be ideal for. When you’re working with a stock lens — especially if you’re new to the camera or its sensor size — having a trusted, true match for your camera’s sensor will help get you started out on the right foot.
Solid Range of Coverage
Most stock lenses these days are zoom lenses. On a full frame camera like a Canon 5D, the stock lens option will usually be something like a 35mm to 70mm (or a 35mm to 100mm, or something close to those ranges). This is important because it means that when you’re starting out, you’ll have a full range of focal lengths to utilize. From the micro for wides, to the macro for close-ups, to literally everything in between, you’ll be able to zoom in and out as you shoot (if that’s your style).
If you’re someone like me and work on some crazy and hectic shoots, where you might not have time to carry and switch between several lenses for every shot, having a versatile lens ready to go in any situation is highly ideal.
Stock lenses can lack in terms of sharp, fast apertures and shallow depths of field (which you typically find with fixed prime lenses). But, you make up for that with run-and-gun control and solid tools for working in documentary and unreliable environments.
Rent Only When You Need Extra Support
Perhaps the biggest reason I learned to love a stock lens is simply because it’s the safest investment. But, it’s also not the only one I’ll ever have to make. Yes, you can get some nifty fifty lenses for very affordable prices. But, if you’re not utilizing a whole kit of primes on every shoot, it might not be wise to invest in lenses that you can always rent as needed.
With a stock lens as your main, go-to option, you can rest assured you’ll have solid coverage at the go. Then, you’ll also be ready to bring on extra support — project by project — as needed.
Cover image by welcomia.
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