Every owner of an interchangeable-lens camera is faced with the pleasant dilemma of picking the most appropriate lenses to buy, then deciding which to use. However, there are no rules to go by; much depends on your personal style and what you already own. To help you decide which lenses to buy and how best to use them, we offer the following.
Normal lenses: Today, many 35mm photographers opt for a short zoom instead of a 50mm, but both have their virtues. If you need a fast, general-purpose lens in the f/1.4-f/2 range for available-light work, nothing can beat a 50mm. Positives: Usually more compact, lighter than a short zoom; often less costly; generally very sharp; provides brighter viewing image. Negatives: No zooming; you must compose by moving the camera.
Short zooms offer framing flexibility, often in a package not much larger than a 50mm lens. A 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 is usually the smallest and least expensive, but a 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 is more useful for shooting interiors, vistas, and cramped quarters because it gets down to 28mm. If you shoot portraits, nature, or sports at close range, consider a compact 35-105mm or a 35-135mm zoom.