I'm fairly new to the photography and just recently have been looking to buy new lens. My boyfriend bought me a Nikon D3200 last Christmas and I just recently started using it more frequently. The bundle kit came with two kit lenses a 18-55mm lens and a 55-200mm lens. My sister-in-law also gave me a 55-300 lens to try and I LOVE it. I purchased my first 50mm prime lens this week and I'm slowly learning how to use it. I was wanting to purchase a few more lens to improve my photography skill but I have no idea where to begin. When I start looking at the different types of lenses it's a whole different language it seems and quite overwhelming. What type of lens should I purchase next ?

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    Stop! Don't buy new lenses yet. Use the ones you have, and figure out what you like about them and their strengths and weaknesses in different areas, and what types of photography you are really most drawn to. Then, you'll know what you need a new lens for. Buying a lens you don't have a need for is upside-down, and like being turned upside down, likely to dump all the money out of your pockets for no reason. – Please Read My Profile Nov 11 '15 at 13:08
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    For this reason, questions like yours are off-topic on this site. They really can't be answered in a helpful way. – Please Read My Profile Nov 11 '15 at 13:10
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    I do also want to encourage you to look beyond lenses. For the price of a medium-quality lens, you can get a nice basic lighting setup with two radio controlled flashes, softboxes, and stands. If you're interested in portraits, this will be a much bigger bang for the buck than adding another lens. – Please Read My Profile Nov 11 '15 at 13:12
  • Wow, you have lenses for 3-4 years to explore with!! :-) – TFuto Nov 11 '15 at 13:19
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    If you want to buy some new lenses just because it's fun to try and GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) has bitten you, that's cool -- just buy whatever looks neat. But a new lens won't improve your photography skill unless you understand why you need it and how it will let you improve your photos. – Dan Wolfgang Nov 11 '15 at 13:19

The one that lets you obtain results you want which are not possible with gear you already have.

Your current purpose, improving skills, does not require any additional equipment at all, just like improving driving skills would not imply buying a fleet of different cars. Practicing and learning about the craft would be much more effective.

No idea where to begin? Look around for photos you would be proud to have taken yourself. Analyze what makes you like them and try to replicate those traits with the camera and lenses you have. Research what others have written about shooting the kind of subject, or in the kind of environment you're targeting to get ideas for improving your results. Pairing up with someone else interested in similar kind of photography will probably provide positive influence for both of you.

So first, try to identify what kind of photos you are after. Then make your attempts and analyze results to be sure that it really is your equipment holding you back. When you get this far, you'll already have much better understanding what kind of equipment you need to overcome the obstacle.

Sure, there are some genres in photography that will strongly suggest some special equipment. Sometimes it's lenses, sometimes something else, often a combination. Having decent equipment for all niches would be very, very costly. So picking a direction first is essential.

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