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Best portrait lens under 500?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by wgilles, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    I have been looking and reading a lot of the lens review forums on here and have been trying to figure out what portrait lens to get. I want to spend under 500 because I don't really do it a whole lot (portraits that is) but I want something for when the time comes.

    I was wondering about the 70-300 VR as a portrait lens? I've seen people use it, but is it really good for portraits?

    I have a 50 1.8 and its nice for head shots, but I just don't like the feel for full body shots.

    Any recommendations would be great!

    EDIT: One more question...I am going to be buying the 105 Micro VR...can I use that things other than Macro?
  2. bigshot


    Aug 17, 2008
    Hollywood, USA
    I'm assuming you're talking about formal portraits shot on a tripod... I use a Tokina 100 2.8 macro for that. It doubles as a great macro lens. It's sharp and fast and has great bokeh. You might want to check it out.
  3. RichNY

    RichNY Guest

    How do you find the wide end of your 18-200 for shooting portraits? Many of my favorite portraits are environmental and shot between 16-35mm on a FF.
  4. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    Well I wasn't sure if I should be shooting portraits with a wide angle lens for the fear of distortion...
  5. I'd consider the 85 1.8 - it's less than 500 brand new.
  6. Zachs


    Feb 25, 2006
    105 1.8 Ais
  7. For portraits you'll love the 85 1.8. But it is more of a head shot type lense unless you are willing to step back from your subject. It is a GREAT lens! I know people who love the 35mm for full body shots indoors.

    I had the 105 at one time (my brother has it at the moment). I used it for sports and portraits, it is a great lens.

  8. AviSys


    Mar 31, 2008
    Placitas, NM
    I agree, wholeheartedly, 70mm equivalent absolute minimum.
  9. rocketliv

    rocketliv Guest

    You've gotta be set up pretty far back to use a 70-300VR. I love the lens for candid outdoor photos but not up close portraits.
  10. Answering your question - Your soon to own 105 VR will be an excellent portrait lens. Use it for portraits before you invest in another lens, I think you will be very pleased. But 100% agree with Justin that the 85 1.8 is a also a great choice.
  11. Tammy 90/2.8 Di Macro... a great macro and portrait glass.
  12. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    Thanks, I will probably get the 105.
  13. ol geezer

    ol geezer

    Sep 29, 2007
    Plano, TX
    The Nikon Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8 is a good choice. Pro glass at a budget price. Very nice boken.
  14. waltny


    Mar 27, 2008
    Reno, NV

    Like to see some portraits and macro shots with that lens. Its on the mid tele range macro radar, one day that is.
  15. Simply put...

    Simply put the 85/1.8 is terrific so is the 60/2.8 AF

    The Tamron 90/2.8 is apparently terrific but I never used it.

    If you are going to go for a 2.8 lens might as well get the Nikon push pull 35-70/2.8 truly a fantastic piece of glass - I had the chance to try one and WOW! For the price you can't go wrong.

    What you want for portrait is to isolate the subject - fast glass will do so, you want the widest aperture possible.
  16. onemorelens


    Jul 3, 2007
    105 Vr

    If you're already set on the 105VR than that's a great choice for portraits! That will cost you all of $0 so well in your budget.
    However I cant let you off that easy:wink: The Sigma 150 macro arguably has better optics than the 105VR and is great for macro and portraits. It also doubles for sports and whenever extra reach is needed. All this for $200 less than the 105VR.
    Dont believe me do the research.
  17. monkay


    Jun 12, 2008
    New Jersey
    these are the two that i'm trying to decide between. i know i'll be more than happy with the optics on both, but the focal length and price are my concerns. will 150 be too long and annoying for portrait work? will i miss the extra reach for macro work if i go with the 105? (sorry, don't mind my off-topicness)
  18. Look for a good used Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D AF. It has much of the quality of the 28-70mm "Beast" but at 35mm it is excellent for full body shots, and the 70mm end is excellent for head shots. Should set you back around $375-400.
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