However if only one can be chosen and no budget restriction, I would definitely get the
1) Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L lens, it is wide enough for most of my application and had a good enough range too. I can even add a 1.4x TC to it to extend the range a bit more.
If I was to recall, you are using a D3100 rite? So you need to be careful when you buy your lens, because for some of the lenses, AF don't work because D3100 didn't have an internal motor built in it and so some of the lens cannot autofocus. It would be good if you do some research into the lens you wanted to buy to ensure that that lens worked, unless you don't mind manual focus.
trying to decide which bandwagon lens to hop on ? lolz
personal favorite focal lengths and primes or zooms are very personal choices that in NO WAY reflect our own preferences because different people enjoy different genres of photography which require different choices of lenses used
FIRST.... just go out and shoot what YOU love shooting with your kit lens ......THEN look around at others' works you aspire to reach to .... and study how it was achieved .... technique ? equipment? technique and equiptment? ... THEN make an educated decision on what you should do or get to get you to that goal.
I could give you the same model of football boots that all the top strikers in EPL, La Liga and Serie A use .... but would that help you perform as well ?
There is no short cut ..... this type of 'data collection' leads you nowhere given your relative newness to this hobby
p/s BUT AH..... IF for example, after a period of time, you have narrowed down and you know you LOVE and are passionate about say Macro photography , deciding WHICH macro lens to purchase for example based on actual results , reviews, output characteristics and specifications for THAT APPLICATION is something worth researching
pp/s Last Advise ..... and this is NOT PERSONAL ... just honest advise from experience ... sooner or later, amongst peers who are into photography , there is nothing more painful or embarassing than carrying around a 'people's choice' piece of equipment when one has little idea or experience how to use it to even half its abilities .... one will also end up under constant pressure to produce the images beyond one's ability and the only people one will end up impressing are those who have little or no clue in appreciating good photography.... AND no shame to share that I WAS NO LESS GUILTY then too of being in this situation myself when I was new to this hobby ..... lol !
Yes, my favorite lens is the lens that meets my needs at the moment.
16-85: Landscape, Indoor, Everyday, and when capturing a shot is very important
50F1.8: Protraits, Low Light, Street Photogrphy, and when I want to travel light, when I feel creative
55-200: Wild life, Sports,
Depding on the objective of the data collection exercise...
1) Everyone has different preference / interests what they like to shoot, versus yours. For me I define what I like to shoot, then I find the lens that meet the needs.
2) Even if the objective is the same, say for everyday walk around lens, everyone has different preference. A sizable number says 35 mm. I prefer a zoom lens say my 16-85 that gives me versatility. For protraits, some prefer 85, I prefer 50.
3) My favorite lens is also a function of budget. As much as I like to own a wide angle lens for landscape, becos of the budget constraints, my favorite landscape lens may be a compromise.
4) The postings may not be conclusive, becos it depds on who post here. If, for eg, a major number of macro shooters post here, you will get a skewed data sample.