Part 1: Overview:
Good lenses are expensive. Even
though I would love to own nothing but high-end, name-brand
lenses, I have two Sigmas in my camera bag. They make excellent
lenses, at a substantially reduced price of its name-brand
I don't subscribe to the notion that you can't get
great pictures unless your lens is made by Zeiss or Nikon. But be
aware of bargain-basement generics: A cheap lens will
defeat an expensive camera body every time.
When I was shooting film, one of my favorite
"over/under" photos (see 50/50
Photography) was taken with a Vivitar 19mm in a
Sea & Sea housing. And my favorite lens for the discontinued
Nikonos was a Sea & Sea 17mm.
But having said that, there is
no substitute for good glass. In an idealized world, I would
buy nothing but fast Nikkor lenses for my Nikon. But since I use
slower lenses due to budgetary reasons, I need to have a good
understanding of basics, so that I
can still get publishable results with the equipment I use (for a
longer explanation, view the "My Equipment"
Part 2: Which Lenses To Use:
Any serious underwater
photographer will soon realize that two types of lenses are
indispensable for successful photography: a
wide-angle lens (preferably a super wide-angle) and a macro lens.