How to Increase the Performance of Your Canon Kit Lens

This is your standard kit lens that comes with most entry-level DSLRs from Canon. It does an okay job for most things, but here’s how to make it better.

Here’s a list of things you’ll need:

Step 1: Use masking tape to cover up the lens around the silver ring:

Step 2: Paint the silver ring with red paint

You’re done! Enjoy your new high-def L lens. You can also add a lens hood for added effect:

Here’s a before and after comparison of how your photos will look:

You can also view, download, and share this amazing tutorial as a single image.

About the author: Nicolaj Ma is an artist based in Denmark. You can view his work over on DeviantArt.

  • Dave

    You spit when you talk, don’t you?

  • Jono Kwok

    bahaha, hang some weights on it for further added effect. love this article.

  • Lame

    I see you’re just as clever and insightful as the rest of them.

  • Joaquim Herrera

     HAHAHAHAHA….very very goood!!! lol

  • Lame

    Oh, stop it @7866115b3aeefc2dded74e4526dcf114:disqus , you’re hurting my feelings. Good job, champ, you’ve won the “I’m a lot smarter than I look” contest. 

  • SztupY

    Wow! My cheap 50mm/1.8 lens became an f1.4 instantly with this trick!

  • Lame

    No, @ebadac9923d7697346f27074511cf10a:disqus , I simply said I don’t think it’s very funny, and I said why I feel that way. Why are you acting so defensive? Do you feel threatened? Did your mother not hold you enough?

  • Susan

    Love this!  If you can’t laugh at it then you really take things WAY too seriously!  What is really funny is that my Facebook feed has had this link posted all over the place today.  I clicked actually thinking it was a real tip blog and then I had a good laugh.  Just laugh and enjoy folks!

  • Angel

    The fact that some people are getting upset and taking this serious is really just kind of sad.. Yes, painting a red rim onto your lens makes in magically transform into an L-Series lens. >__> Get a sense of humour! 

  • Scientist

    Ok, it’s obvious that you morons can’t handle awesomeness. In
    order to understand how this improves picture quality you need to know the
    science of light. Silver surface reflects all light rays. So the light
    reflected from the silver ring enters the lens as stray light reduces the quality
    of image. A red surface absorbs all colors except red. The reflected red light
    rays are closest to the usually invisible infrared spectrum and bring those
    rays too into visible spectrum enhancing picture quality. So the joke is on
    those who are laughing at 10TimesOne. And shame on Canon for deliberately
    putting a silver ring on kit lenses so that you can charge more for your L

  • Superdaddy73

    Damn I LOVE Stupid people….  Good joke. Hell sometimes i think is true though.

  • Ilikekittens

    Look through the thread at your posts, you are not as innocent as you imply.  You did ask two questions and one of which is only answerable by insulting you and the other I did answer.  An answer you didn’t like and took personally. 

    I don’t see where I acted defensively and no your shallow comments did not threaten me.  You bashing things you don’t understand for being witless are interesting and your comment about my mother will give me a nice coffee conversation this evening.  Do you always find the need to attack what you don’t understand or agree with?

  • David

    You’re going to convert your Nikon to Hinduism?

  • Dave


  • David

    You feel that when I point out your hypocrisy, that is some sort of “wrath”?  Nice attempt to play the victim card.

    The point is, friend, you made that condescending statement in the same breath as your derision of others for making condescending statements.

    You’re the one here who has his feelings hurt, and the only reason is that you came here full of bluster, proclaiming this post “lame” and trying to decide for everyone that it isn’t funny, and people called you on it.  You start sh*t, then get upset when people throw it back at you.

    Deadly accurate?  You confuse opinion for fact.

  • EricG

    Only if you use RED paint

  • Ems

    This is hilarious lol and I am a photographer. You haters need to lighten up.

  • Troll10Timesone

    Dude it took u 5 min…u are not serious……get the hell out of here……… u are the funniest person i have seen in a long time…..Ray william need to make a joke out of u….

    and Nicolaj Ma….brilliant bro……made my day…….

  • EricG

    This is a fantastic idea.
    Do you think it would also work for a 55-250 lens?
    If so, I’m sure that everyone here would love to see detailed instructions on how to do the same thing on the 55-250.

  • Turntherock

    Not only did this JOKE article make me laugh on so many levels, but coming to your comment made me laugh so hard I think a little bit of wee came out! I think I’m going to go and watch an episode of An Idiot Abroad now, followed by a dose of the movie Idiocracy. 

  • Anonymous

    hehe bugger I spent all that $$ On L series lenses and I could have just done this hehe

  • McDiesels

    I like this upgrade.  do you have any chart shots with the lens before/after.  i am interested to see the resolution numbers.  Did the build quality go up after applying the red paint?  I hope so, otherwise, why the red stripe.

  • Justin Javellana

     Going to do that to my EF-S 10-22. :)

  • gotaclue

    This was very funny.  There were people who didn’t think it was a joke.  There were people who wanted the joke explained to them because they didn’t get it.  All the more funny.  Here is the joke for those of you who don’t get it.  People like to be surprised.  People like things to not happen the way they expect.  When I read the article, I thought it was silly that someone would go through the trouble to paint a lens.  I thought it was even funnier that they wouldn’t even do a good job with it.  that was a pretty poor masking job after all.  I thought it was hilarious that the lens was able to change the amount of noise from the sensor.  I thought it was hilarious that the contrast improved greatly and the bokeh was stunning from a lens of such a small maximum aperture. I was curious to try to figure out what actual lens was used to take the second photo.  My analysis concludes it was photoshopped to add a f2.8 look, and that it was a well done article.  My hats off to you!

  • Mantis

    I nominate 10TimesOne,as the official PetaPixel Dumbass of the Week.

  • Drinox

    I did mine in just 5 seconds.  a red rubber band did the trick … and woooosh, my photos are now perfect !

    have a break, life is short … :)

  • Seriesrover

    Its not a joke at all.  I just painted by 15-85 mm white and added a red ring.  Not only have I confirmed its sharper, but I’m able to use it as a telephoto lens too.

  • Mrmoose1971

    Chris Rock is gay? who knew?

  • Mike N

    Reading the original article and all the comments thus far was like watching a comedic version of Inception. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.

  • Jrphotoguy

    Actually, it is all psychosomatic, if you believe it will work , it will. I had no red paint and Walmart was closed so I used ‘orange’ instead,but I did it in the dark so it would be hard to see that it was not really red. It worked perfectly!!! 

  • i was masturbating…

    my dick hurts 

  • Carlos Hernandez

    Very entertaining!

  • Lyvon

    Got one today with a red ring…. 900$. May be I should have waited..LOL

  • Green Diary

    Asshole, Why dont you just paint a Micky Mouse on it and shoot.. Its will show you the animated version too..

  • Geoff


  • Master Photographer

    I painted a Micky Mouse on mine and the image quality improved 10 fold!!!

  • LMAO

    This comments in this thread are gold !!!! I think I have never commented on any page on internet ever but this page goes down in history for me … lol.

  • gg

     Lame, You are the funniest around here. Any chance You are working in show business?

  • trololol

    You mad bro?

  • omadds

    You know it really annoys me when people take before and after comparison shots but they change the angle…I am fuming about this and am even thinking of reporting this to internet authorities.  This is just now funny regardless of if it was intended as a joke or not.   SHAME, SHAME, SHAME…on ya hinchy

  • omadds

    sorry, now is not now, it is not.

  • Greg Johnson

    Just think what would happen if you use SILVER paint!

  • Mark Broadhurst

    i tried the red ring with little success, but then masked the glass and sprayed the whole lens white – the difference is incredible and everything appears much closer.

  • newbie

    Ok, I don’t get it, what does the red lining around the lens means?
    I mean I’m new to cameras.
    Is it like a ‘carbon fibre sticker on your car’s hood’ effect?’

  • Snoopytas

    The problem with the joke is that it used Canon. Canon users (obviously from a lot of the posts above) do not have a sense of humor.

  • gemon

    hahaha 5 minutes? no wonder you said this

  • 10TimesOne is Dumbass

    You’re fucking dumb, 10TimesOne. Go suck a dick.

  • EricG

    Yep – the red ring indicates a Luxury series lens (usually identified by an “L” in the name.
    These are the best quality lenses made by Canon.

  • Lame is a Lameass

    Lame is a fucking lameass troll.

  • EricG

    Not true. There are plenty of humourless devotees of other camera brands as well.
    I’ve generally found Canon users to have a great sense of humour.
    Especially when I take a swig from my 24-70 L-Series drinking cup which looks exactly like a real lens. :-)