Best portrait and bokeh lens for Nikon D3200?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Olivia Green, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Olivia Green

    Olivia Green TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking at a cheap lens for portrait images for my Nikon D3200. I checked out the Nikon 50mm 1.8 but it seems there's no autofocus compatibility. Which other lenses are great for portrait and autofocus fine on Nikon D3200?


     
  2. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are several versions of the 50 1.8.

    Nikon | Imaging Products | Lens Compatibility - Nikon D3200 "This camera supports autofocus with AF-S and AF-I CPU lenses only. AF-S lenses have names beginning with AF-S, AF-I lenses names beginning with AF-I. Autofocus is not supported with other autofocus (AF) lenses".
     
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  3. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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  4. pixmedic

    pixmedic I am the Lord thy Mod Staff Member Supporting Member

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    85mm 1.8G would be my #1 pick. #2 would be the 50mm f1.8G.
    any "G" lens will autofocus on your camera.
     
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  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What is your budget? How cheap does it need to be? I think the AF-S 50mm 1.8G is about as cheap as they come, especially a used one in very good condition.

    Personally, I would not choose a 50mm for portraiture anyway, but something longer. The AF-S 85mm 1.8G is an excellent choice, and you can grab a nice used example for much less than the price of new.
     
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  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would agree with pixmedic--The 85 mm F1.8 G series lens is a decent lens for Bokeh. The 50 mm F1.8 G series WILL auto focus on the D 3200. The word cheap is kind of tricky, since to me a $400 lens is cheap, since I have bought lenses that cost me $4000 or so over the years.
     
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  7. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    don't mollycoddle them.
    a $400 85mm f/1.8G is definitely inexpensive. I woudn't call it cheap...but it's terrific value for money.
    I sold mine when I got my 105mm f/1.4E (now that's yowza)
     
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  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    It's cheap in today's parlance.I have owned over 100 Nikkor lenses, and have been a Nikon shooter for 36 years. I'll tell you why it's a cheap lens. It's got a polycarbonate barrel. It's made in China to save Nikon manufacturing costs, it has a cheap, 7-bladed diaphragm, to save manufacturing costs, whereas the older 85/1.8, the low-cost model of its era, had a better, 9-bladed diaphragm. It has a 10-year life expectancy symbol right on the barrel. It focuses somewhat slowly for an AF-S lens. It doesn't even have an Infinity focus stop. The build quality is cheap. The filter thread is 67mm, and it's plastic. It's not a high-end lens. it has an absolutely $hi++y focus distance scale on it, inexcusable for a lens to be used for portraiture or studio work. This is a new-era, cheap, Chinese Nikkor lens. The saving grace is that the lens is sharp and has very minimal, if any, chromatic aberration. As a longtime Nikkor lens buyer and user, this is a cheap lens, in many ways, well below the standard of Nikkors made in the 70's,80's90's,and even the first decade of the 2000's.

    But if you say it's not cheap, well, that's an opinion,and you're entitled to that opinion. I'm comparing it to Nikkor lenses from an historical perspective, not Sigmas or Tamrons. THe word "Cheap" has come to mean inexpensive, not just shoddy, but I'm not interested in debating semantics...I'm just recommending this 85/1.8 G because the OP has a D3xxx body, and that requires an AF-S lens, and this is one of the lower-cost AF-S bokeh-producing primes Nikon offers, using the word "bokeh" as the OP intends the word to be used...as in highly-defocused background, and not the quality of the blur.

    Your beloved 105mm f/1.4 is an expensive, high-quality lens. The 200/2 VR is a high-quality, expensive lens. The 70-200mm AF-S E-series zoom is an expensive, high-quality lens.
     
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  9. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I had the 85mm 1.8D and it flared and ghosted like crazy. I sold it and got the G.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk
     
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  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I bought an 85/1.8 AF-D back in the early 2000's and used it on the Nikon D1. It was adequately sharp, but suffered from a LOT of purple birefringence on high-contrast things against bright areas...tree branches, telephone wires, bright highlights on the surface of water,on various types of scenes, it showed pretty significant purple fringing. I ended up giving the lens to my host on a week-long stay in Canada. Owned it for less than three months before I decided I did not want to keep it.

    The 85mm f/1.4 AF-D, the one nicknamed The Cream Machine, is a very different lens; superior bokeh, and wonderful lens drawing style...superior for portraiture...plenty of built-in edge fall-off in intensity and sharpness had the effect of sort of making the central subject areas really stand out at the widest three f/stops. A lens that really put a visual impression on its images. Superb bokeh characteristics. I bought it used for $500, and had it for about 13 years or so, great lens, sold it for $650 about two years ago. A GREAT investment. It's now being shot on a mirrorless,non-Nikon system near Seattle. This lens has some built-in "flaws" that lead to outstanding people photos.

    The 85/1.8 G is brutally sharp. One of _the_ sharpest lenses under $4,000,according to the DxO Mark lens tests. But, the bokeh is hard-edged and not pretty. But sharp across the FX frame, even almost wide-open. For $400, if a person wants a sharp, flare-resistant, non-fringing lens, this is a good $400 buy. It's not a an especially "pretty" imager. But it can throw backgrounds out of focus to a high degree. This lens is as sharp as the much more-expensive 85mm f/1.4 AF-S G model. But the f/1.4 lens has smoother background rendering,and is for people who want the best 85 Nikon makes. Realistically though...the 1.8 model is perfectly fine for many people.

    The difference is in the finer details and the lens drawing characteristics...there's $3 "Three Buck Chuck" wine sold at Trader Joe's grocery stores. And there are $50 of California,Oregon,and French wines that are better-quality wines. But at the end of the meal, one is just as giddy from the $3 bottle as from the $50 bottle, right?
     
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  11. Olivia Green

    Olivia Green TPF Noob!

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  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    No...it will not autofocus.

    Your camera needs and AF-S lens..the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-S G lens is the one you want...the "G-series" lenses have an in-lens focusing motor, which is what your camera type needs to be able to do autofocusing.
     
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