When I got my Nikon D5500 a few years ago I included a  kit in the purchase that gave me two VR lenses (18-55) and 55-200) for an excellent price (about $400 Canadian.) There are some reviewers on the Interweb that might fault me for my choice here; the so-called “kit” lenses get slagged for lower build quality and optics compared to the more expensive “prosumer” zooms Nikon makes for its DX model cameras.

I guess I am a bit of a non-critical photographer because if I can get a photo such as the one above with a $150 kit lens I am happy.

Here’s one with the 55-200 telephoto taken last year. I was satisfied with this one as well.

In 35 years, I have owned 3 Nikon SLR camera systems. My early 80s FE featured a “cheap” Nikon series E 50mm lens that served me well. My 2002 era F80 came with a low-end 28-80mm plastic Nikon zoom that took great photos.

Here’s an example of the 28-80 lens at work. It’s a scan from film, but you get the idea.

The D5500 is one of Nikon’s lightest and most compact DSLRs – I got it for that very reason. Even a camera that doesn’t get a lot of travel time should be lightweight as far as I am concerned.

Why would I buy a smaller lightweight camera body and then pair it up with a lens that is 3X as heavy and 4X as costly as the simple kit? It’s not as if the Nikkor kit lenses are real junk. They may be plasticky and less robust but hey..the optics are pretty good. Good enough for me at least.

Since then I’ve added a light and cheap Nikkor ultra wide angle (10-20mm) lens to my kit and I’m happy with all three. They are not great in low light (I need a flash there) but for general purposes, they do the job.

I’d be tempted to take this setup on car trips – but for air travel..Nah. A travel zoom that goes in my pocket is better than a body and three lens bag. At least it is at my age.