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Standard Lenses (~50mm) A standard lens is the usual lens supplied with an SLR. They are good general purpose lenses having an angle of view close to the human eye. They are sharp, compact and lightweight.

Small "standard" zooms have a range of typically 35-70mm (2x), 28-85mm (3x) or 24-105mm (4x). These zooms often replace the 50mm lens.

A typical compact has a zoom lens with a focal range of 35-100mm.

Wideangle Lenses (<50mm) The natural choice for landscapes, sweeping panoramas and other outdoor scenes, group shots and generally anything requiring strong perspective. In some situations a wideangle might be the only way to capture the entire scene without excluding an important element in the frame. A characteristic of wideangle lenses is a deep depth of field making constant refocusing less critical. Good when you're in a hurry or the subject is moving fast such as photojournalism.

Medium Telephoto Lenses (85-135mm) These lenses are perfect for portraits. Compared to a 50mm lens they isolate the subject from the background more and the increased focal length slightly flattens the image and gives more a natural and flattering perspective. Popular for candid photography.

Long Telephoto Lenses (>135mm) Used for sports, nature or other types of documentary style photography that requires you to be close to the action but cannot be close physically be it dangerous or timid. Like portrait lenses they are great for picking out the subject from the background.
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