I’ve been hearing a lot of misconceptions about how better/more expensive lenses will make you a better photographer. Lenses and cameras are no more than pans and stoves in a chef’s kitchen. Equipments are merely tools, people make photographs and cook delicious foods. You can spend $2,000 on an expensive lens and still get unsatisfying photographs or you can use the ones you already own and really learn how to use it and make stunning photos.
Lenses are huge investments. There are three major things I look for in a good lens. 1) aperture, 2) sharpness and 3) how fast it focuses. If you shoot a lot in low-light, for example, wedding receptions, indoor events, and nightlife, you’d want a lens with a large maximum aperture, f/2.8 for zoom lenses and at least f/1.8 for prime (non-zoom) lenses, it’ll let more light into your camera, allowing you to use a fast enough shutter speed to prevent motion blur. Sharpness is really important. I never get enough of it. In a fast-moving environment, for example the reception where people are dancing, I use auto focus and it needs to focus fast. I can’t afford to delay an extra one second and the possibility of losing an important shot.
My favorite lens is the Nikon 85mm f/1.8. It’s a prime lens, which means I use my feet to “zoom”. It’s great for portraits. it has almost no lens distortion, it’s extremely sharp, focuses fairly fast.