I want to buy a dSLR+lens for outdoor portraits - equipment advice please

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by location, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. location

    location TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hello everyone,

    I've always been interested in photography and have used dSLRs but never owned one. I'd like to buy one for a very specific primary purpose: To shoot outdoor portraits with models in daylight. I'd like recommendation on an affordable setup for this. This is a purely amateur endeavor.

    So far I am looking at buying the body of a Nikon D5100, a 50mm or 85mm lens, and a good general purpose lens. Or would a telephoto lens be adequate for general purpose and portraits? I understand the lens that comes with the body isn't particularly good. Is this true? Feel free to make equipment suggestions. I'd like an affordable setup (under $1,000). I understand the lens is the most important piece.

    I would also appreciate recommendations on books or guides to read about shooting models outdoors.

    Thanks!


     
  2. Solarflare

    Solarflare No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,898
    Likes Received:
    394
    I'm only a newbie, but from what I could gather, you have figured it already out quite nicely.

    You can get the D5100 (a) without lens (b) with 18-55mm [3x zoom] (c) with 18-110mm [6x zoom].

    Personally I choose the 18-55mm because its a nice lightweight general purpose lens for pretty much anything. In certain configuration it apparently even can "compete with the best of them", I read yesterday from some poster here (specifically 24-50mm and on higher f-numbers).

    In your shoes I would get the D5100 with 18-55mm VR DX as kit, and the 85mm VR DX as portrait lens.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    45,748
    Likes Received:
    14,781
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    While I'm not intimately familiar with the D5100, from what I've seen it is a very capable camera. I would get it with a kit lens for the added versatility and consider either one or both of the other two you mentioned. The 50mm in either 1.4 or 1.8 versions would be good groups or full body shoots where you want some of the background (remember, that will act like a 75mm on your DX body) and the 85 in either 1.4 or 1.8 which will act like a 130mm would be good for bust shots. Check out Craig's List for the lenses to save money.

    Don't forget lighting however. Just because you want to work outside does NOT mean that you don't need lighting. At a minimum you'll need one good speedlight and a large reflector (as well as remote triggers and a few other odds & ends).
     
  4. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    4,054
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I would pass on the 85/3.5. It's primarily a macro lens and, should you ever decide to move to FX, will not work. And Nikon doesn't even make an 18-110.

    I would go for the D5100 with the 18-55, and pick up the 50mm F/1.8G and Sigma 70-200/2.8II. If you're looking to save weight and size, though, I would go with the 85/1.8 D or G version. You won't get much reach on that one, though.

    Mark
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Mamiya 645af and a small ton of portra 160. Put their backs to the sun, meter for the shadows, and shoot wide open. Instant amazing.
     
  6. jake337

    jake337 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    1,241
    Location:
    minnesota
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I like 85mm and up outdoors as long as you have the room.

    180mm f2.8 ais
    [​IMG]



    85mm f1.4 af-d
    [​IMG]
     
  7. location

    location TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Are there any example shots?

    Would the 50mm allow me to take shots like the one below?

    I love the 180mm shot. This is what I want to do. Would the 70-200mm allow me to take anything close to this?
     
  8. location

    location TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thanks, I am open to buying used. I will check CL. To be honest, I am too much of an amateur to also buying lighting so I probably won't at this stage. I've been using photoshop etc for years so that will help with editing.
     
  9. morganza

    morganza TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    5
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The kiddo one looks good and adorable.
     
  10. Rockadile

    Rockadile TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    1
    Nikon D5100 + Nikon 50mm 1.8G = $870~

    Nikon D5100 + Nikon 85mm 1.8G = $1150~
     
  11. location

    location TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You have a nice setup in your sig. Do you have a photo gallery I can look at, labeled with the different lenses?

    General question: Are there any site where I can look at shots sorted by LENS?
     
  12. Rockadile

    Rockadile TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    1

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

best outdoor portrait lens for nikon d5100