lens advice Nikon D300s


TPF Noob!
Jan 13, 2016
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hey everyone. so I just got some insurance money from broken equipment and now have about 600-700$ (minus the new camera body i have to buy) to spend on whatever.

important details....

I have a Nikon D300s (its about 4-5 years old now I guess)... 18-55mm, 35mm 1.8, and 55-200mm, I also have a speed light (sb-600 i believe, i rarely use it).

I tend to shoot mostly portraiture, toddlers/children/newborn occasionally. and I use it when traveling. Generally natural light, though I just got a new light kit.... and my indoor area for shooting is rather small.

i have wanted the 50mm 1.4 and the 85mm for a LONG time but it has been so long since I have been even able to consider buying a new lens I thought I'd ask you awesome people for opinions and suggestions before I buy.

I also share my lenses with my mom who will be getting a new nikon d3300 out of the insurance money since it was my hand-me-down d60 that broke.

at the moment on bhphoto I can get the new camera with kit lens for my mom, the 85mm and the 50mm for just over the amount I have to play with.
50 is a very nice portrait length on you and you mams camera. 85 mm is nice but very long. Try your 55-200mm at 85 and see would it suit your style of portraits.
Nikon 50mm 1.4G is actually not as sharp as the Nikon 50mm 1.8G so I wouldn't bother with it.
Get the 50mm 1.8G
Love the 85mm 1.8G, used to own it and cant wait to get it back.
Another option is the Sigma 17-50mm 2.8
Another is getting a used Sigma or Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 these are amazing portrait and general use lenses.

BTW I love the D3300, would choose it over the old D300s
I would NOT spend the extra for the Nikon 50mm f/1./4 AF-S G lens...I did not...I bought the 50/1.8 AF-S G instead. It is an adequate 50mm lens. The 85mm f/1.8 AF-S G lens is really an *****amazingly***** sharp lens. It's bitingly sharp, but on a crop-sensor camera, it's mostly a "tight headshot" type of lens at close ranges, but it is a classic medium telephoto lens length on a DX sensor Nikon, with a roughly 127mm "full-frame" field of view equivalent, so it's a lot like the old 135mm lens length from the film era, but the slightly shorter 127mm angle of view makes it a little bit more handy.

The 85/1.8 AF-S G Nikkor is the best lens under $400 that performs close to the $4,000 lenses. It is around the fourth-best lens DxO Mark has tested on Nikon 36-MP cameras...it is an incredibly good performer and it really is one of the best prime lenses a person can buy. It's part of the new f/1.8 G-series Nikkor magic series.

For working in a confined space, the 50mm f/1.8 AF-S lens is going to be the easier lens to use for most subjects, and the 85mm is going to really, really come into its own at about 25 feet to 200 feet or more in terms of distance. What the 85mm brings is *****astoundingly high***** sharpness, even at f/2.2, across the frame, low color fringing, high contrast, and a very fast f/1.8 max aperture; in a word, what the new 85/1.8 allow you to do is to "shoot loose, crop later", with BETTER image quality than you might ever have expected, so that brings this lens in many ways into a more-useful territory for low-light, marginal-light, and walkabout uses where the idea is to get a reallllllllllly sharp, crisp capture, and to then be able to crop-in on a 24-megapixel image.

And speaking of 24-megapixel images...the newer 24MP baby Nikons have higher technical image quality than the now aged D300 or D300s had. These newer sensors are simply better. The D3xxx and D5xxx might not seem as nice body-wise as a D300s....but the sensor image is better in every single metric.

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