Q. Can you give me some advice on the following matter?

I cannot find my way through the lens jungle. I have and use with my Canon TLB, three lenses -- a 2.5 28mm Vivitar, the regular Canon 1.8 50mm Canon FD and a Sun auto zoom 4.8, 85-210mm. They weigh a lot and the changing of lenses back and forth is often a nuisance. I also would like to use a wider angle than 28mm.

How do I reduce this load of lenses. How do I choose among the many lens makers so as to avoid the rather high cost of the in-house Canon lenses. Can one say how the Tameron-Soligor-Sigmas-Vivitars, et al compare?

A. There are two problems here. First, what kind of lens system do you need for your own kind of photography?:

When the zoom lenses first appeared on the market, many photographers stayed with fixed-focal-length telephotos. That is no longer the way to go, unless you need a fixed focal length for a specific purpose.

Quality of zoom lenses is at least equal to, and in many cases better than, that of fixed telephotos.

There are a couple of choices:

*Buy two zooms. The first a 28-85mm, and the second an 80-200mm.

*Your second choice is to buy one of the new 35mm-200 lenses.

The first decision gives you a little more versatility and the extra-wide-angle feature. The second gives you the convenience of shooting everything with one lens.

Don't be put off by those who tell you that to use one zoom means carrying the heaviest of all lenses. This is not necessarily so, since the trend is to make these smaller, lighter and more compact. I personally prefer carrying two lenses, since I have two camera bodies to work with.

As to whether you have to use your camera manufacturer's lenses: Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer.

I talked to a good many technical people and there seems to be a civilized difference of opinion. The manufacturers do suggest that their own lenses be used. They feel that since they design the camera system, they know best what lens to use and how it should be made. They also feel that since there are so many high-tech features in today's cameras, and that the lenses are part of those features, they can do the best job.

One representative suggested that too often an independent makes one lens and adapts it to several cameras. This, he said, increases the chances that the lens won't do all it's supposed to.

On the other hand, I spoke to several independent manufacturers' representatives and got a different story: I was told by three that they do not make one lens and change the adapters to fit other cameras. They realize how integrated the camera and lens are, so they provide the exact mount for each brand of camera.

I was informed that several have even purchased the rights to camera manufacturers' patents, and make lenses to conform. So you see, it's not all in sharp focus.

What to do? Your camera store people can help. Take your camera in with you and make sure that the lens fits correctly. Make sure that all contact points between lens and camera match. Make sure that screw heads on the lens don't stick out.

Then try it out and see how it handles. Most stores want to see you satisfied. BOWIE/CROFTON CLUB

Here's a rundown of the April schedule for the Bowie Crofton Camera Club:

On Monday, there will be a competition meeting in the Bowie Community Center, Rte. 450 and Stoneybrook Dr., Bowie. Subject for the evening's competition is "Architecture."

On April 21, John Green will present a program entitled "Nature's Beauty/Aquarius" at the Bowie Library, Rte. 450 and Belair Drive, Bowie.

The program for April 28 will be presented by Dr. Paul Luebke, president of the Photographic Society of America. He will lecture on "Solarization, the Sabbatier Effect."

All of the programs are free and begin at 7:30 p.m. For further information call 464- 8227.