Choosing the right lens
The camera, any camera, is just a tool in the photographer's toolbox. It is not the camera that makes the image, it is the photographer and her or his vision. Likewise the lens is important. It is the lens that forms the image, so your choice of lens is critical to the successful creation of the picture in your mind.
Wide Angle Lenses
It does seem, sometimes, there is just too much to fit into our camera's viewfinder and not enough room to move back to include more. That's when you need a wide angle lens! It is also when you need a wider angle lens. Today's lenses are nothing short of amazing when you need more in the photo; there are more options now than ever and the quality is better, too!
To be considered "normal", a lens must have magnify the image about the same as the human eye, so that when you look through your camera's viewfinder, the image appears to be the same distance from you as without the camera. Naturally, there is a bit of disagreement about what constitutes "normal", but generally the focal length is close to the diagonal of the format.
Whether you want to spy on your neighbors or get close to wild animals, these are the lenses for you! Just remember, while a telephoto lens can be too big, too heavy and too expensive, it can never be too powerful. After all, you are trying to get a photo of that Eurasian Sparrow on the telephone line across the street.
We used to call them just lenses or fixed focal length lenses, but since most lenses sold for digital cameras today are of the zoom variety, with a variable focal length giving you instant magnification options, we now call them prime lenses. Why do we love them? Let me count the ways...
Ok, so you've got a zoom lens. Did it come in a kit with your camera? Does it cover from 16mm to 400mm? Here's why you might want to take a look at what else is out there and some things you ought to know about your "everything" lens.
Oh, the places you'll go with your own sweet macro! If you thought it was great that Horton could actually hear a Who, just wait until you focus into the depths of nature and see them for yourself! Open your mind to the world of the small!
Perspective Control Lenses
Designed to imitate the movements of the studio cameras from the days when photographic film ruled the Earth, perspective control, or tilt/shift lenses, allow for the correction in camera of converging verticals and the solving of certain other issues. These lenses are used primarily in architectural and product photography, but are also popular with portrait photographers.