Standard Prime Lenses

Prime lenses come with fixed focal lengths of 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 135mm. They are suitable for portraits, street and wedding photography but work well for capturing almost any object including landscapes.

The drawback is that you can’t zoom in or out with prime lenses so you’ll have to walk if you want a close-up or a wider shot of your subject. Another disadvantage is the need to carry around multiple lenses for different focal lengths.

However, if you’re a beginner, then prime lenses are a great choice for starters. You can move onto more specialized lenses once you have mastered taking photos with these. The Sony Zeiss 35mm50mm and the Zeiss Batis 85mm are some great prime lenses you can try out.

Zoom Lenses

You can get a zoom lens in 17-40mm, 24-105mm and 70-200mm focal lengths. While this lens will work well for portraits, wildlife and wedding photography, the results won’t be as sharp as they are with a prime lens.

The Sony FE 70-200mm lens with an f/2.8 aperture is a great example of a versatile zoom lens that lets you shoot in almost any scenario.

Macro Lenses

If you’re really into shooting insects and flowers, and want to capture all the little details down to the fine hair on a spider’s legs, then a macro lens with focal lengths ranging between anything from 50 to 200mm is what you need. This lens lets you magnify an object by 5 times its size and gives you extremely precise details.

Macro lenses don’t fall in everybody’s price range though, and they can’t be used for general photography, so only get one if you are seriously interested in macro photography.

Wide-Angle Lenses

A wide-angle lens will help you capture beautiful landscapes if you’re planning to go on a hike. Great for shooting sunsets, lakes etc. Wide-angle lenses produce better focused images because of the greater depth of field.

They are available in 14mm, 20mm, 21mm, 24mm, 28mm and 35mm. The lower your wide-angle’s focal length is, the more scenery your frame will capture. They tend to cause some distortion in the photos, which is more obvious when you shoot faces, but it can be rectified during post-processing.

Telephoto Lenses

A telephoto lens will be your best companion if you’re heading out to shoot wildlife and nature. It also gets you great shots of the sky if you want to take a photo of the moon or the Milky Way. Telephoto lenses give you focal lengths of 70-300mm, 100-400mm, 300mm, 400mm and 600mm.

These are really expensive lenses so only get one if you plan to take up wildlife/sports/astronomy photography as a hobby or profession. You’ll also require a tripod with this because it weighs quite a lot and you want your camera to be stable when shooting a close-up of a tiger!

Ultra-wide/Fisheye Lenses

Compared to all other lenses, a fisheye lens gives you the widest field of view – to the extent that the straight lines get a curved appearance around the edges. This works for panoramic shots and gives you some great opportunity for abstract photography.

Ultra-wide angle lenses range from 8 to 24mm focal length. Chances are you have often seen them in use as security cameras. You won’t be taking any portraits with this one, and the major distortion it causes means you can only use it in very specific ways.

Conclusion

If you have just bought your new camera, avoid getting too many lenses at once. Start with a basic kit lens and see how it works out. Once you have gained some experience, you can move onto specialized lenses according to the type of photography you’re primarily interested in, whether it is portraits, landscapes, wildlife, astronomy, street, night, abstract or sports photography.