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.

  • CanonShooter

    must be a Nikon shooter…

  • Greg Heller

    Although some people had a problem with this – I thought it was hilarious. I only wish I knew how to do the same upgrade for my Nikon lenses

  • hatha

    I love how sh!tty the first picture is

  • GitschlagPhotography

    Lekilt, somehow in the midst of your ad hominem, I believe you missed the whole point.  I certainly don’t agree with Ken Rockwell on everything, but in that one specific quote I posted, I believe he pretty much hit the nail on the head.  People are so worried about the whole idea of “I need to get my hands on better lenses so that I can take better pictures” and they miss the bigger issue: image quality is more about how good the photographer is than anything else.  As long as you know the limits of your camera (e.g. workable ISO ranges) and glass (e.g. workable aperture-ranges), you can do a pro photo shoot with a decent kit lens and still have the images turn out good enough to impress your customers if you know what you’re doing, or you can shell out a couple thousand bucks on a lens that will do pretty much the same job at a wider aperture and with tighter weather-sealing.  I’ve been able to get images with my $150 glass that are pretty much comparable to the shots I get using my $1,500 glass.  The bottom line is, learn how to take good pictures and you won’t have to worry so much about what sort of equipment is in your backpack.  I like Canon products and I have nothing against the L lenses, but there’s glass out there that does the same thing for way less.

  • I can sneeze with my eyes open

    This page isn’t a joke, you guys.  I tried applying this principle to other areas of life.  I poured Lipton into an iron kettle and it came out tasting amazing.  I tried painting that little horsey-thing you see below on the back of my Subaru and, no kidding, it went way faster.

  • Dark Skipper

    Brothers! Sly Canon movement must be stopped! I suggest an alternative.You can build a business! We produce colored rings. And yet …. The reflection of the halo ring can be practiced with polarization capabilities. The market is huge. Who will take the patent to do?

  • Jim Ferreira

    All I can say is WOW!

  • Kwesimemory

    hahahah… i think this really funny.. 

  • Guest

    YOU are a JOKE! ;)

  • Sama

    I just added a red color rubber band to cover the silver ring…………………

  • Hanma_noppo

    555 amazing

  • DJD

    If you don’t get the joke then you shouldn’t be reading this Blog. Plus, the 
    EF-S 18-55 IS II (which I’m pretty sure this is) is actually a pretty good/sharp lens according to test results

  • bitblue

    It does work. When I was young I also painted a red stripe on my old Ford, and the car immediately went faster. Amazing. 

  • GitschlagPhotography

    Yeah, even “cheap” lenses are sharper than expensive ones used to be.  Nine times out of 10, image quality is limited by the skill of the photographer, not the equipment.

  • Bootfans

    Not so funny anymore…please give a fine joke

  • steve

    paint it green you will fit more in your camera bag

  • Denis Kirin

    I have begun with color #f20404, then #ee3a3a and only #ff0607 have given a picture better than mine 24-70L
    I will recolour now a bicycle in colors Ferrari…. I wanted so a long time the car

  • St1gm4t4

    Does it work on Nikkor?
    I tried but no luck…(

  • Crappy Bitches!

    Oh Crap. Lighten up morons. Did you really take this article seriously? SERIOUSLY? 


  • Mark


  • Kimberly Rachelle Ross

    Some people are braniacs with no common sense….so they might be smart and still not get it and may have experience with a camera and L series lens’.

  • Eddie Tomlinson

    This thread is hilarious. Some people really need to get out more.

  • Richard Pearce146

    This is brilliant and I so appreciate this kind of humor. Its a fantastic dig at people who think L lenses will make their pictures better. 

  • Lisopix

    first time on this page and killed myself wit the “L” made at home… the comments are even a bigger killer… keep the jokes coming because life is just as funny as hell…

  • DarkSkipper

     You are a good example of the engineering approach to solving our big problems! I think to do one more step to success! We must try our special bracketing option changed  #ff0607 to #ff0606 and #ff0608!!!

  • Adam Ferrari

    If you didnt realise this was a joke you really need a to be hit with a frying pan over the head. 

  • harry

    Now worth 10x as much!

  • Amanda

    LOL!! Just shared this on my page!!!
    So funny!! <3

  • Guest Who

    TIP:  You point… you shoot! You idiot!!!! LOL :)))

  • inspiromaster

    common guys, lighten up……it was supposed to make u smile and just get it right that you cant make a lens any better than its graded spec by dressing it up……And for those guys swearing !!!!…..take a break or change your jobs….you are stressed!!!!

  • Renierra

    Mom!!! There’s an idiot on this page.. :,(

  • Fuktifinoy

    What you need to do is take an exacto knife and slice the model tag on your camera between the letter and the number.  Then move the “D” to after the number and your lens will fit again.

  • f*cker

    f*ck you all.

  • dezinfectant

    My neighbor is pain in my assholes. 
    I get a window from a glass, he must get a window from a glass. 
    I get a step, he must get a step. 
    I get a SLR, he must get a SLR. 
    I get a Nikon, he cannot beat my awesomeness with his Canon. 
    Great success!

  • Annonymous

    (Said in calm, and not angry voice) You guys are immature. And @Seton, Jesus Christ is worthy of much more respect than to use his name as a stress reliever, curse word, or a way to say “this is pathetic”. I’ll be praying that someday you will come to know him as your personal savior who died for your sins and gave you the breath that you used to curse his name. I’m not up for a debate, but I’m also not going to let my Lord’s name be blasphemed like that. You might walk away from this comment and think I’m  retarded, but you will be judged one day before a just, almighty, holy God and your good will not out weigh your bad. God Bless You All!

  • BobAinsworth

    The same people that don’t think this is funny are the same people that buy a DSLR and are instantly photographers.

  • Ssvdv

    I highly recommend joining a profession photography association and attending LIVE seminars and workshops.  But beware, some of the BEST photographers in the world have a sense of humour and may tell jokes. 

  • Gazboy

    That’s amazing!  It totally worked for me!

  • Bullant70

    Well that’s why makeup was invente for low class-looking
    women. Same as red makeup is for low class-looking
    camera lenses.
    They both can still leave you disappointed.

  • Miller14133

    I am just glad I didnt do it, I am just learning photography! If I  had been doing it for awhile, I would have realized it was a joke, I guess I am a little on the slow side. So much for the web being ” a wealth of GOOD information” LOL!

  • nikki

    Will this work on Nikon lenses too? Or do I need to use a different color? ;)

  • Guest

    Hey if your F**king Chris Rock you best be Female

  • Mc E Mix

    Hey if your F**king Chris Rock you best be Female

  • Vikki Gilmore

    hahahahaha!!! this is AWESOME! I’m totally doing it.

  • HairyKrishner

    It will leave it in the dust: Official Test Setup Parameters: Park Polo & Porsche head to head. Start and warm up both to standard operating temps. Immediately get in Polo, depress clutch, put in 1st gear, rev up to 3k, release eBrake, suddenly release Clutch (clinical term: peel out), have several people on hand to photograph as proof, and there you have it. Polo leaves Porsche in the dust every time!!!

  • BodyMan

    I have an Associate’s Degree in Specialized Technology of Automotive Refinishing and can confirm that Stripes will make it faster, however Flames would make it even faster (so long as they’re vinyls purchased from J.C. Whitney)

  • digic

    this is a nice humor, but remember, if your lens is still under warranty, you will void the warranty if you do this.

  • JP Zajackowski

    ARGH! I JUST bought an L lens! Even though it was on sale for the holidays… If I only new this is how Canon made their L lenses! I’m pretty pissed I paid so much effing money for masking tape and a painted on red ring :/

  • Tim

    For sure I think the people are.

  • Tim

    All you have to do to those Nikon lens is put a red dot on them.