1) Sony Alpha SAL (DT) 18-55mm F3.5-5.6
When fully extended to 55mm (zoomed), I noticed that the Sony & Canon’s units extended the most while the Nikkor’s physical zoom ratio is slightly less than Canon. Sony has the longest zoom here. At fully zoomed, Nikkor’s unit is still the tallest here. Another interesting find, at the fully zoomed position, the Nikkor’s extended portion are very filmsy to the touch while Canon & Sony’s units are much more refined in this area. On the design wise, Canon has the most “Professional” layout while Sony adopted the “No-Frills” and minimalistic design – carried over from the Konica-Minolta legacy. And while Nikon & Canon added the chromed-color silver ring near the zoom ring to give the “Pro” look, Sony retains its matted silver ring, also another trace from the predecessor. The Sony unit probably has the worst rear lens cap here (above).
Canon’s lens designers gave priority to the cosmetics rather the material used. Canon’s kit lens was “Very Professional Looking”, but sadly, “Toy-like” when handled. The buttons layout are nice, but not really friendly to use. Try shooting then use your left hand fingers and try to fumble with the switch, you will find that somehow the “touch” is not there and something is not really right here. But back to the looks department, Canon beats Nikon and Sony hands down in this area.
Nikon is clearly the winner on ease-of-use here.
A kit lens may be the cheapest consumer-grade lens the manufacturer made to package with DSLRs, to sell their DSLRs. But being the lowest form of life on the lens range does not mean having to perform badly too. Read the individual reviews you will realize each of these lenses has their great characteristics.
For me, a lens must perform well, handles well and produce reasonabley average-quality photos. Not a lens with nice design or professionally crafted.
My pick for the overall Winner is Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR!
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