The lens is the most important part of a camera. It is used to place an object in a sharp and clear focus so that the light that is being reflected from an object can stream through the lens and fall on the sensor to create an image.
There are a wide variety of lenses used by photographers with each one of them serving a specific purpose. For instance, the lens used for shooting close ups and the lens used for shooting objects in motion are completely different.
Most mid range to low end cameras have a fixed lens system that cannot be changed.
Professional cameras or high-end cameras, however, make it possible to change the lens. This is done with the help of a lens converter, which is fixed in front of the camera lens. However, not all lens converters can work with all cameras. Also, since the technology keeps changing, it is possible that the latest models of lens converters may not work with your camera which may happen to be an earlier generation camera.
To find out if there is a lens converter available for your camera you need to check out the company from whom which you purchased the camera. If the company is unable to help you then you can try Raynox, Tiffen or Kenko.
You are better off if you own a SLR digital camera. Most of these cameras can support almost all types of lenses. An important fact to note is that different lenses means different focal length. You have to be a good photographer to make suitable adjustments when you change your lens.
There is no use of a camera whose lens system is damaged. This is because the light will not be focused properly and the pictures will either be hazy or overexposed. Another point that you must keep in mind is the cost of the lens. Good lenses cost a small fortune. You must learn to keep them safely. Lenses that get scratched or are damaged by dust or chemicals are of no use.
The best way to prevent damage to your lens is to use a lens shutter. This should always be kept in the closed position when you are not shooting. If you are using multiple lenses then it is best to store the lens in separate pouches. Most pouches come with underlined padding that provides additional protection to the lens. The pouches can be bought from any camera showroom.
Cleaning the lens is an important part of maintaining your lens. While doing so you should avoid touching the lens. Finger pressure can damage the outermost coating of the lens. It can also cause irreparable harm to the lens and the camera. The best is to use a single drop of lens cleaner and clean the lens gently in a circular motion using a soft cloth. You can blow dry the lens also to remove dust.
Lens hoods are extremely handy since they prevent lens flares. They also protect the lens against any damage.