Photography Tip - which lens do I use?

These are 3 of my own lenses, how do I choose which one to shoot with?My photography students often ask me, "which lens should I use?"  To me that question does not make much sense because there is usually no question about which lens to use.  Plus, without a lot more information, the question cannot even be answered.  The real problem is that many people start by asking which lens, or which settings should I use instead of starting with, what is the subject?  That is the question that needs to be asked first and answering it makes which lens to use usually pretty obvious.

Once you determine your subject, then simply choose the lens that fits that subject within the framing you want.  If you want to photograph some friends in your living room, it does not make much sense to use a 70-200mm lens does it as you will not be able to fit everyone in the frame.  Likewise, if you want to photograph a mountain top in the distance, using a 17-50mm lens does not make much sense as you will hardly even be able to see the intended subject in the frame.  

So what your subject is, and how much of your subject you want to get in the frame, dictates which lens you should shoot with.