This section is particularly of interest for the budding photographers and photography enthusiasts holding a DSLR. Wide variety of lenses are available from various manufacturers all around the world. CANON, Nikon, FujiFilm, Sigma, Tamron are few of the names providing good lenses.
SLR lenses can be classified in 4 categories:
Wide Angle | Tele | Macro | MidRange
SLR lenses are classified according to the nature of photograph to be shot. Lets first see what are the classifications of photography. You want to shoot photos of mountains, sea shore, or capture similar scenic beauty. In this situation you would definitely want to capture most of the area from left to right and top to bottom of the view to be captured in the shot. For these kind of shots we need to use WIDE angle lenses. Details below.
Most often we want to shoot photos of faraway objects like animals in the zoo, bird sitting on branch of a tree, player playing at the center of the ground. In all these cases you are at a long distance from the subject. here you would need a lens that would make appear your subjects closer to the camera. lenses used for this purpose are called TELE lenses.
Often we have come across photos of very small insects shot to the complete detail, big in size. Special lenses are made for this purpose which are quite heavy and expensive and are known as MACRO lenses.
Question may arise "Why cant we shoot the same close photographs of insects with wide/ tele lenses?". Answer to this is that every lens has a minimum focusing distance meaning you can move your camera to close to the insect but will have to keep a minimum distance of separation from the insect. Since wide/tele lenses are not made for this purpose, they usually have a longer minimum focusing distance. MACRO lenses have very less minimum focusing distance which helps to move the camera close to the insect and still have proper focus and sharpness intact.
These are meant to be used when shooting Portraits, Fashion portfolios, photos for advertisements, wedding photography. Lenses are particularly made for the situations where there is not much requirement of zooming in or out, subject remains in reach, space available for photographer to move around, in general a controlled environment. These kind of photography is done both indoor and outdoor .Outdoor scene photographers prefer fast lenses (low aperture value - f number). Lower f number progressively blurs everything behind the model, something very good for outdoor photography as this keeps the object in focus very sharp and eliminates the focus on background elements
Lenses which have zooming power are called zoom lenses. These types of lenses have a zoom ring on the lens which on rotation can zooms in/out the subject. A zoon lens should have a range of number (eg. 18-55mm or 70-200mm or 75-300mm) inscribed on it. This number (focal length) means that the lens can zoom from the first focal length to the last focal length. Usually photos using these lenses are little softer compared to fixed focus lenses. It is advised to check quality reports of lenses on various online forums before purchasing zoom lenses.
Fixed focus lenses are those which don't have zooming power or simply there is no ring to rotate the lens. You cannot zoom in/out standing at one single place. To zoom in you have to move forward and to zoom out you have to step backwards. Every fixed focus lens has one single focal lenght number inscribed on it (eg. 50mm or 85mm or 135mm). fixed lens are expensive as the quality and build is much better than zoom lenses and used mostly by professionals. Fixed focus lenses give sharp photos and indeed better for portrait shoots.
Some good lenses in the canon range are:
50mm f1.8 (price=6000/-), 50mm f1.4 (23000/-), 50mm f1.2 (70000/-), 50mm f1.0 (google for prices), 85mm f1.8 (23000/-), 85mm f1.4 (65000/-), 135mm f2.0 (google for prices).