Believe it or not, there is only 4 lenses that are needed for a good all round photographer.
- Wide-angle, example 10-20mm
- Macro, at best the 105mm version, but cheaper versions come from 60mm.
- Short telezoom, example 24-105mm, variations of these are 16-35mm, 18-135mm, 55-200mm, etc.
- Long telezoom, example 70-200mm, 80-300mm, 150-400mm.
However, bare in mind that most cameras come with kit lenses. Somewhere in the spectrum of 18-55mm and 24-80mm and that have a optical structure that is good enough to learn and develop from, but fall well short from the pro-images distributed by many veterans in their chosen field.
To tell the difference in quality is by the smallest f.stop number( the smaller the number, the more light will get through the lens), as an example of this, where a quality £600 lens will start at f2.8, a £250 kit lens is more than likely to start at f3.5/f4-f6. The difference in f stops, will determine the speed of the lens. Another tell tale sign is the abbreviations, i.e SSM, APO, USM, HSM.
Some time after becoming more complacent with your equipment, you’ll be drooling over the more quality 2.8, faster lenses that provide a more crisper, vivid production of your valued shot. Take in mind that the larger the number in mm, the more likely your going to need a tripod to prevent blur from shaking.
- DSLR Camera Lens Buying Guide – UPDATED September 2011 (photofocus.com)
- Understanding Focal Length (nikonusa.com)