Nikon portrait lenses

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by Zeferina, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Zeferina

    Zeferina TPF Noob!

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    Just bought a Nikon D3300 with supplied AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5- 5.6G VR ll lens.
    I'm interested (at the present) in portraits, but cannot get this lens to blur backgrounds. I have used Aperture priority at its widest, and ISO 100. Am I doing something wrong?
    I think I need to go for a larger aperture lens, but I desperately need independent help in choosing.
    My budget would be in the £200 area.
    I am a novice at this photography thing!
    Thanks in advance.


     
  2. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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  3. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It won't blue backgrounds like you see a lot of pros doing, but there are ways to improve your results with that lens.

    Shoot at 55mm, as close to your subject as you can be. Have the background far away. And shoot wide open at f/5.6.

    It won't give you creamy bokeh like a 1.8 or other very fast lens will. But you can still blur the background more than you'd think.

    That 50mm lens mentioned above will give you much better results. Many professionals with $5000 camera bodies still use that $200 lens because it's so damn good.
     
  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I hope you don't mind, I took your money and went shopping here:

    Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70–300mm f/4.5–6.3G ED lens - Camera Jungle

    This might be the best choice for portraiture within your budget.

    Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 6.47.26 PM.png

    Use it at or very nearly at the longest focal length.

    I tried to find an 85mm 1.8 G, but they don't have one just now. The 85mm 1.4 D is too much money and not as good as the G.
     
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  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    They have two copies of this lens, which would work, even though it's only 50mm.


    Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 6.54.37 PM.png
     
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  6. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 50mm f/1.8 is a good inexpensive lens for initial portrait photography on a Nikon DX sensor camera like the D3300.
     
  7. OGsPhotography

    OGsPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Try at 55mm @5.6 with your subject about 10 feet from camera and the background at least 50feet. Watch the lighting! My guess is creamy. I might be wrong in that case try background at 300 feet and go from there.

    In close tight shots in low light, gear will playba factor.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The issue is that at the longer focal lengths, the 18-55 lens is only f/5.3 to f/5.6, at SHORT focal lengths like 35mm to 55mm (approximately). SO, at 55mm and wide-open at a mere f/5.6, establishing background blur on most portraits will be difficult. The exception would be as was detailed above, where the subject is placed VERY close to the camera, and the background is quite far behind the subject. On something like a full-length portrait, at 55mm, the camera will need to be quite far away from the person in order to get them all into the frame, so the camera-to-subject distance will create fairly deep depth of field.

    YES, you need a wider-aperture lens; something that keeps you fairly close to the subject will help with creating plenty of background blurring, so the 50mm lens makes a lot of sense; if you went with a slightly longer lens, like an 85mm, you'd be moving back farther in most cases thgan you'd be with the 50mm lens, and would not gain much DOF advantage, as far as establishing a blurred background.

    The 70-300mm lens shown above will create some more blurring, when used at LONGER lengths, like 150mm to 300mm...sheer lens length can create pretty good defocused backgrounds on an APS-C Nikon; I often use the 70-300 VR lens, which is a mere f/4.5 at 70mm, and a mere f/5.6 at 300mm, yet it can blur backgrounds reasonably well.
     
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  9. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    and it's sharper than the 50mm and has better bokeh.
     
  10. cgw

    cgw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 50/1.8g is affordable and works out to around 75mm on your DX body. Another option is the pin-sharp Micro Nikkor 40/2.8g that puts you in the 60mm range. An overlooked lens whose bokeh looks nicer than my 50/1.8g.
     
  11. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The Nikon 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8 is the best portrait lens you can get. Affordable? Nope.

    You'd probably like the 50 1.8G for portraits on your D3300. If you didn't mind standing further back and want that extra shallow depth of field, then the 85 1.8G might interest you.
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    His budget doesn't allow for new fast lens. He needs to find something used, I think.
     

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