Help with a portrait lens?

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Jul 9, 2008
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Guys/Girls,

I am looking to pick up a new/used lens for shooting portraits both indoor and outdoor. I am only working with a budget of $750 so used is most certainly an option. Right now I have a 18-55VR and 55-300VR ( I think!).

So what would you recommend?

Thanks,
Jonny
 
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Jul 28, 2008
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Chicago, IL
If you had a $150 more you could look into a 85mm 1.4 or a 135mm 2

Both are fantastic portrait lenses. 85mm 1.8 would also prove a strong lens
 
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Nikkor 105 1.8 AIS on the DX format(24-36). For as long as I can remember the Nikkor 105 AIS has been considered "the" lens for heads. On my D2H the 85 1.4 AIS was really nice. With my D3 for me its a little short for tight head shots.

Gregory
 
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Thank you everyone for your guidance. :smile: After consideration I think the Doc was the first to call it - an 85/1.4. I think this would be perfect for me. Especially my bank account!

Where would you suggest I find this lens used?

Thank you again guys/girls,

Jonny
 
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Try www.keh.com .Talk to Arthur, Will or Ken there all really good guys. and very helpfull. Plus they have a very conservative rating system. And 14 day return policy

Best of Luck

Gregory
 
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Nevermind. My budget decided that for me already!

Thanks,
Jonny
 
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I have a 18-55VR and 55-300VR ( I think!).

Hi, Jonny. My guess is you have an 18-55vr and a 55-200vr. They are nice kit lenses. My son bought the same pair with his d60, and I'm very impressed with their sharpness, speed of focus, image stabilization, and color rendering.

I am looking to pick up a new/used lens for shooting portraits both indoor and outdoor. I am only working with a budget of $750 so used is most certainly an option.

That begs the question, what kind of portraits? On your DX camera, 70-105mm works well for headshots and head&shoulder, 40-60mm is great for half body, and 24-35mm is excellent for full body and environmental portraits. The common element is that fast glass works best for portraits, as it allows you to throw the background out of focus, lending a sense of 3D to the picture, as I hope this sample demonstrates.

87015560.gif
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Given your budget, a good solution might be to add the 35/2 and the 85/1.8 to your kit. They're fast, sharp, colorful, and between them, will handle every type of portrait. Jmho.
 
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I'm not seeing where you can find an 85mm f/1.4 within your budget. Frank's recommendation is sound, as are some of the other suggestions that do come in under $750.

I know that internet sites like this gush over very thin DOF portraits, where the eyes are sharp but the nose and ears are oof. In the real world, where folks will look at your prints, more portraits are shot in the f/5.6 to f/8 range, where the whole head, or even entire person is in focus. Backdrops which look out of focus are often used to give a soft background.
 
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Hi, Jonny. My guess is you have an 18-55vr and a 55-200vr. They are nice kit lenses. My son bought the same pair with his d60, and I'm very impressed with their sharpness, speed of focus, image stabilization, and color rendering.



That begs the question, what kind of portraits? On your DX camera, 70-105mm works well for headshots and head&shoulder, 40-60mm is great for half body, and 24-35mm is excellent for full body and environmental portraits. The common element is that fast glass works best for portraits, as it allows you to throw the background out of focus, lending a sense of 3D to the picture, as I hope this sample demonstrates.

87015560.gif
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Given your budget, a good solution might be to add the 35/2 and the 85/1.8 to your kit. They're fast, sharp, colorful, and between them, will handle every type of portrait. Jmho.


Frank - perfect, thank you very much :smile: I will follow your advice as apparently you know what you're doing!

Thank you everyone for taking the time to respond. It is greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Jonny
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
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Belgium
The 85mm 1.4 is fantastic. But you've not yet mentioned what camero body you have. This lens will only autofocus on bodys with a built in focus motor: D50/D70/D80/D200/D300/D700/D3.
 
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If you can find a 85mm f/1.4 for $750, go for it. Otherwise, there's nothing wrong with the 85mm f/1.8 either.
 

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