Portrait Lens for the D5300

lushpc591lushpc591 Posts: 3Member
edited July 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I recently bought the D5300 with the 18-140mm lens. What lens would you recommend for portrait on a budget of $600?

Comments

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,353Moderator
    50mm (1.4 or 1.8) can be used on a DX, but in my opinion it is too short so I would go for the 85mm f1.8.
    Always learning.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    85 f1.8g. Don't think there is a better option under $600. Might be able to find a refurbished or used 105 f2.8 near $600...that is what I use.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited July 2014
    There are better options than the 85mm 1.8G, but you will pay more than twice the price. It is nearly as good optically as my 85mm 1.4G at f/2.0 or more. It is just built less sturdily and does not go as wide.

    Go for it!

    My second choice would be the 50mm 1.4G which I have, but it is a distant second choice.

    If you can stretch your budget and want to approach "fantastic", buy the 105 2.0DC, the little brother to my 135.
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I know people use their 50 primes but I just don't see it. Good results seem so much easier achieved with a little longer lens. At 50 mm is when you start to get some bokeh in my experience. At 105 it is very easy...shoot f2.8 and it turns out pretty perfect 99% of the time.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    I totally agree with those that have recommended the 85 1.8G. It truly is a great portrait lens at a price that is just superb. Get it and call it a day.

    Happy shopping and shooting....
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited July 2014
    That is a good point. You will need to 20 or more feet away for a full body shot.
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,353Moderator
    Yebbut 50 is too short for face shots - faces get pulled out of shape. You can stand further away with an 85, but you can't get closer with a 50. YMMV.
    Always learning.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I am by no means the go to person on portraits but 50 for portraits doesn't do it for me. I even looked on Flickr at 50 mm shots. There is just something about them that isn't wowing. Bokeh is just so so. Lots of pictures seemed to be right in the persons face and then had lots of background seperation to get much of anything. Just not my style. I shoot my 17-55 at 55 and still dont get spectacular results (I know it isn't 1.4 or 1.8). Never had any desire for a 50 lens.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,369Member
    If 50mm is too short and 85mm too long on a DX body you could try the 60mm f2.8 AF-D Micro or the 60mm AF-S f2.8 Micro. Of course, you won't be able to shoot at f1.4 or f2 but most people don't anyway.
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    I think your choices are pretty clear.

    50mm (either Nikon 50mm 1.8 or 1.4G, or Sigma EX 50 1.4)
    60mm 2.8 Micro Nikon
    85mm (Nikon 1.8G)

    I personally think the 85mm serves you the best. It's probably the best lens of the bunch, plenty of speed, and though it's a little long, in reality shooting portraits at an equiv of 130mm is just fine (see all the people recommending the 135mm F2 DC).


  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    I don't know... on a crop-sensor camera, 85mm is awfully long. To do full head and torso shots requires you to stand almost across the room. For someone just starting out, it may be a little tough to handle. I might consider the Sigma 50mm/1.4 EX DG HSM... the *old* version. It's a very good lens, fairly sharp wide open, and has nice bokeh and it's only $400 on Amazon.
    I agree, the Sigma 50mm 1.4 would be a pretty nice option for you, save you $200 and maybe pickup the 85mm maybe a bit down the road. The beauty with both of these lenses is that if you ever move up to a FF body, these lenses will suit you very well.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I didn't check what camera they were coming from. Of course another variable is what type of portraits. Indoors over 50 is probably long. Outside I always shoot my 105. I guess it isn't just which lens for portraits because it depends on the type of portraits. You can take portraits with any lens. If the person wasn't moving and I had great lighting and enough room I would honestly shoot my 300 f4...I love the bokeh on it and I think it has an amazing look. However I tried a couple shots of my daughter and it went awful. Did ok with my 17-55, but it was almost always pegged at 55 and got awesome results with my 105 as always. I just haven't ever been disappointed with my 105...shoot it wide open and has vr. F2.8 on it literally makes it a portraits for dummies lens...it is almost fool proof. This is all in my experience though and not for everyone.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,353Moderator
    edited July 2014
    @PitchBlack (without malice): I'm not unaware of the difference between crop sensor and FF when it comes to apparent focal lengths, and I am quoting directly from my experience of both. I know you have your own experience, but I've learned a few wrinkles in my 35 years of photography too. The accepted focal lengths for portraiture on film were always around 85 on up to 135 and that still holds good (obviously 135mm on FX is 90mm on DX). Shooting even full length with an 85 (135) has advantages - you are not 'in the subjects face' which most people (especially amateurs) shooting portraits of strangers (and most strangers) prefer. On balance one thing is certain though - the perspective of a shot taken with an 85 (135-ish) is far more pleasant than the more exaggerated perspective of faces taken at 50 (75). Heck you have often mentioned that you shoot models with a 200-400 sometimes!

    No, most 'western' face shapes look better above 60 (90). IMO.

    For example - 50mm 1.4G face:

    Sally 4

    A little further back:

    untitled
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I think your choices are pretty clear.

    50mm (either Nikon 50mm 1.8 or 1.4G, or Sigma EX 50 1.4)
    60mm 2.8 Micro Nikon
    85mm (Nikon 1.8G)

    I personally think the 85mm serves you the best. It's probably the best lens of the bunch, plenty of speed, and though it's a little long, in reality shooting portraits at an equiv of 130mm is just fine (see all the people recommending the 135mm F2 DC).


    I agree, it will be just fine -awesome in fact. I like the focal length. But if you buy an 85 (equivalent to my 135), you will rarely be able to use it indoors.

    It is why I have a 50, 85 and 135. I don't really like the 50 for portraits, but sometimes it is the only practical indoor solution.

    As a general rule, I go as long as I possibly can given the environment. Eventually, I will buy the new 400 2.8 for portraits and maybe the 200mm 2.0.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited July 2014
    For portrait on DX I use the 50mm AIS, the 35-70F2.8 AFD, and my sigma 150 F2.8.
    There is the tamron 60mm F2.0 that I was keen on for portraits..
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 394Member
    edited July 2014
    I've used the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S on a 10MP DX body for 4 years and am quite happy with it. Not a pro though. Just shooting my 40+ yr old better half, indoors at an indoor personal distance. At this age, tight crop, high-detail is not flattering. So subject does matter. I shoot at f/1.4, and the softness and bokeh it gives me the right look.

    To counter that, a 105 macro would probably be too tight, too sharp. I think I read that the 60mm macro has that sharpness issue as well. If you've ever spent time in Photoshop brushing out skin imperfections, this level of detail on a 24MP image is not necessarily a good thing.

    Having said that, the 85mm f/1.8 AF-S didn't exist, and I may have opted for that instead. When doing outdoor portraits with a zoom, I find the 70mm range is nice (so that's FF equivalent of 105mm). It improves the geometry of the face as spraynpray demonstrates.

    If you're going for a hard light, b/w, low key, or after the wrinkles in distinguished faces, then ignore the above.
    Post edited by KnockKnock on
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,353Moderator
    I recently bought the D5300 with the 18-140mm lens. What lens would you recommend for portrait on a budget of $600?
    You know what? Just set your 18-140 at 50-85 and test it out. I expect you will end up with it at 60-70 as the best range for what you need. If you then want a faster lens, you can get a 60 f2.8 micro (within budget) or lay out some heavy cash on a 24-70 or 70-200 f2.8 later.

    Personally, I think it makes most sense to shoot what you've got as it is a fine lens which just lacks the wide open aperture (you will hardly notice the difference).
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited July 2014
    the 18-140 at 140mm is not too bad for portrait...
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

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