Photo above is a stock image...no photographer mentioned but free use rights.
Lenses are like potato chips...you can never have just one. Most people I know start off in photography in the same way, they buy a camera with a lens and start shooting. My first DSLR (Nikon D300) came with a 18-200mm lens. I loved it. A single lens allowed me to cover a very broad focal range.
As I got more into photography, I began to see its limitations. I could not open it for low light shooting which forced me to increase the ISO which was not very good on the D300. So I purchased prime lenses which were faster and I dreamed of the NIkkor trinity in the form of the 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200mm F/2.8 lenses. Slowly I bought them all. I added a 85mm, 50mm, 35mm and even an old 28mm.
When we look for lenses we typically aim for a fast lens that is very sharp and are willing to spend a pretty penny to buy it. The truth is that this is no longer such a necessity. If you are into modern DSLR then you already know that their ISO capability has improved a great deal. On top of this you can correct distortion in your post processing on Lightroom. So what is the point of buying a very good lens when you can leverage your software and camera to make up the difference? Aside from bokeh (which can be simulated in post processing as well) there is no real need for a high priced lens.
Film is a bit different in this regard. A faster lens can get you a couple of stops more of light which considering the ISO limitations is a very good thing. In the darkroom there is little that can be done to correct for lens distortion so a good quality lens is a must.
Fortunately you can buy some manual focus, fast prime lenses for very little these days. Most people prefer the autofocus so the manual ones are going for a song. Try moving these lenses onto a DSLR and you get the best of both worlds, a cheap lens and great quality glass...so long as you can overcome the manual focus requirement....
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.