And while there are a lot of different types of lenses appropriate for many different situations and needs, time and time again I find myself primarily relying on three lenses in my bag: a fast general purpose zoom (18-50mm), a macro lens and a telephoto zoom (70-200mm). These three lenses will give you enough versatility to shoot in almost any conditions. Also, these three lenses are available for just about every camera system and lens mount on the market.
The general purpose zoomThis is the lens that sits on my camera the most. For APS-C cameras, something in the 18-50mm range is best… for 35mm format cameras, a 24-70mm will work. This will give you the ability to go fairly wide while also being able to zoom into objects off in the distance. This lens might be your kit lens, but it should preferably be fairly fast (a fixed f/2.8 if possible) to give you greater control over depth of field. It makes a great “walkabout” lens when you aren’t sure what you will be shooting.
|Tamron 17-50 2.8 VC|
|Photo taken with 50 f2.8|
The telephoto zoomThe telephoto zoom should be in the general range of 70-200mm with a maximum aperture of at least f/4 (faster is nice though). This will give you a lot of distance to work with and a very shallow depth of field to bring focus to your subjects. For faster moving objects, the bigger aperture will allow you to shoot at faster shutter speeds which will help capture moving objects (birds, sports) too. This is also an excellent portrait lens as the focal length minimizes distortion and narrows the angle of view to fill the frame with your subject.
|Canon 70-200 f2.8|