Daniel Schaefer has a great article on the differences between the three main classes of lenses: Scene, Subject and Detail. He outlines their strengths and weaknesses, and provides some beautiful examples of each. I particularly like his conclusion:
The beauty of the tools we use as photographers is the range that they offer, and the way that we can take advantage of our equipment working both in and outside of the box. For every example I’ve put above, there will always be artists who use their gear in ways far beyond the traditional, making work that contradicts what has come before it, keeping the artistry of our craft fresh and alive.
In the end, no matter the glass, camera, film or file, photography will always be about the final image.