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A guide to buying lens digital cameras

When it comes to buying a lens for your digital camera, it's advisable to test out a few of those available before making your choice. Generally, the better quality lenses tend to be more expensive so it may be worth splashing out now to save money later. However, that all depends on your priorities: there's a lens for every type of subject in digital photography, from macro to fish-eye, and the choice can sometimes be overwhelming. Here's a guide to those lenses you're most likely to need.

General purpose lens

The most convenient type of lens for most photographers is a medium-zoom or 'walkabout' lens - so named because it can adapt to several different subjects. For example, a 24-105mm lens will allow you to zoom in on a subject at its closest range (105mm) or zoom out and get a more wide angle perspective (24mm). This means that you won't have to change lenses and will be able to get into position quickly if the situation calls for it.

Telephoto zoom lens

These lenses tend to be more expensive and niche than medium-zoom ones but they're nonetheless sought after by almost every photo enthusiast. Their zoom range can vary from 100-800mm, and allows the photographer to get a close up photo of his subject without having to be in physical proximity. These lenses are ideal for wildlife and sport photography, and the images they produce can be sold on several online photography stock sites.

Wide angle and fish-eye lenses

Photographers who are particularly creative will almost certainly be drawn to wide-angle lenses, which range from 8-20mm and can create wildly imaginative images as they exaggerate the perspective of the subject. For example, a dog looking into a wide angle lens at 10mm will appear as if he's eyeballing you. Fish-eye lenses carry this effect to an extreme, creating an almost 'edge of the world' type perspective.

Macro lenses

Have you ever wanted to take super close-up images of insects or flowers that you may have seen in nature magazines? Get a macro lens, which is usually a prime lens (fixed to one zoom range such as 60mm or 100mm), and which allows you to fill the camera frame with a creature as tiny as a fly or an ant. The good news is that a macro lens is one of those photography products that won't cost you a fortune but which will - if you get the images right - bring you much enjoyment.

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