Even though the camera doesn't make the photographer, the lens can make the camera and careful consideration should be given for deciding which lens you should use. The best lenses for beginners depend on what the novice photographer will be shooting. For example, if you want a versatile lens that you can whip out for any occasion; consider the normal 50mm lens. The wide-angle lens is the ideal choice for landscape photography while macro lenses work best for extreme close-up nature photography. Once you figure out what you plan on doing with your camera, you can decide which lens is the best choice for your situation.
For the longest time I only owned one lens and that's a good thing. It's good because technique is more important that what lens is on the camera. But pretty soon I realized there was simply no way of getting those sweeping landscape shots that I aspired to without changing my lenses. I quickly started learning the best lenses for beginners. Here are three great ones.
Normal 50mm Lenses
All photographers -- no matter what their level of experience -- should own a fast 50mm lens. The 50mm lens has a depth of field that most mimics that of the human eye and is the ideal go-to lens that can work for just about any situation. Also called standard 50mm lenses, this lens produces clean, sharp images and is one of the more affordable lenses on the market. The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S Nikkor Lens, Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor lens and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II are three good choices for beginners.
Wide Angle Lenses
For beginners focusing on environmental, landscapes and architectural photography, choose a wide-angle lens. However, how wide is wide enough? A 20mm to 28mm lens should provide a good focal length for most situations. The extremely wide lenses -- such as 14mm or 16mm -- are available, but are generally too expensive and not necessary for beginner photographers. Nikon 20mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor lens and Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM wide angle lens are two good choices for beginners looking for a wide-angle lens. For more advanced landscape folks you'll want to try the 14-24mm Nikor lens, it's big and beautiful.
Defined as photography at 1x magnification and above, macro photography is most often used for extremely close up pictures of insects and flowers. These specialty lenses are not necessary if you are planning on limiting your pictures to portraits or landscapes. However, if you want to get up close and personal with nature, consider the macro lens. There are several macro lenses available on the market and trying to find which one is best for beginners can be a difficult task. When choosing the lens, consider the working distance and focal length. Macro lenses range between 50mm to 200mm. The short focal length lenses are ideal for object photography while the longer focal lengths work better for insect photography. Furthermore, the longer the focal length, the more camera shake you will have to deal with. If you plan on hand shooting the camera via handholding, consider a 100mm macro lens for insect photography. However, if you will be using a tripod, consider a 150mm to 200mm lens.
Just start somewhere and grab the 50mm lens for a few portrait shots. Once you see the beautiful depth of field you'll never go back.