You may be looking to upgrade your camera lens, or just started your studio photography business. When you try to make preparations for your sessions, figuring out which are go-to lenses can be doubt. Budgets are limited,and there are few chances to try each type.
Working with the right lenses will ensure amazing photos—which will, in turn, help you win trust from clients and promote your portrait photography business.
Here’s a Quick Start Guide for Nikon users: How to choose the right Nikon lenses for portraits?
Before that, let’s figure out some Basic Information first:
Prime Lens vs. Zoom Lens
Prime Lens & Zoom Lens are the two main types of portrait lenses. Prime lens means it has a fixed focal length, while zoom lens has a wide range of focal lengths for you to choose. So, which is better for portrait shooting?
- 'Better in Low Light Situation’
For studio portraits, prime lens always works better. They do have larger maximum aperture, which makes them much better for low light indoor situation.
- ‘Better Background Blur’
The other aspect of a larger aperture is the greater control it gives you with depth of field. It gives you much shallower depth of field and a nice bokeh — the creamy, out-of-focus background extrudes a clearer subject.
- ‘Fast, Quiet, Expensive’
Focus can be fast and quiet on prime. You only need to consider that prime lenses with large aperture are more expensive, and you’ll have to carry more of them.
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash
You can absolutely take great portraits with a zoom lens, for its’ convenience in terms of being able to change focal length. It gives more potentials to your creation with only one lens. For example, 24-70, 70-200 work awesome for both outdoor and indoor portraits. However, if you work in small studio, you can not make the most of a long focal length. For most occasions in Photography Studio, a 24-70mm lens is enough for indoor portraits.
Photo by Pablo Guerrero on Unsplash
- ‘More Expensive’
Zoom lens can also share a large aperture. But for the reason that they’re more complex to design than a prime, it usually costs more than prime ones.If you decide to buy a long zoom lens with a maximum aperture closer to what you’d get from a prime, It can cost around $1000-$2000. Better, faster zooms at longer lengths can cost several thousands of dollars, but can be merely used in studios
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash
With the above basics in mind, here’s a simple list for reference:
Best Nikon Portrait Lenses
Price＄ (for reference)
AF-S 35mm f/1.4G
Maximum Aperture: f/1.4
Wide Angel for Full-body
AF-S 85mm f/1.4G
Focal Length: 85 mm
M/A focus Mode Switch
AF-S 50mm f/1.8G
Focal Length: 50 mm
Silent Wave Motor
Super Integrated Coating
Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
Sharp, High-resolution Images
Specializes in Bokeh
Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8
AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8
(For Large Studio)
Focal Length: 70-200 mm
Nano Crystal Coat
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G is a wide-angle prime lens, which is perfect for environmental portraits. It is quite, sharp and accurate. If you’d like to take full-frame body, 35mm will have a better performance than 50mm, capturing a larger background and environment. Use a shallow depth of field to separate your subject nicely from your background.
The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G is one of the best portrait lenses ever made. It is smaller and lighter, fast and accurate. The 85mm focal length offers beautiful compressed-look to your model as well as foreground and background blur. It can deal with most indoor situations. It’s perfect, and the only thing you need to consider is the budget.
Nikon 50mm f/1.8G, a fast, single-focal-length lens with normal 50mm focal length. It’s the most classical Nikon portrait lenses, thanks to its extremely cheap price, light weight, and nice performance. Also, 50mm is definitely the equivalent to the human eye, which means a 50mm lens could offer a similar view as the human eye. 50mm f/1.4 is absolutely better, but it will cost too much more! 50mm f/1.8 is always a nice choice for the most photographers.
At f/2.8, the Nikon 24-70mm lens can create brilliant image quality while give you more opportunity to try different focal length and find your best style. Among this series, for example, AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR boasts superior optical performance. It allows Nikon girls & boys to enjoy better resolution and more natural blur characteristics.
This lens is designed for professional and advanced amateur photographers looking to achieve unique images with impressive bokeh. It specializes in bokeh, which moderately changes as the distance from the sharply focused point increases for natural depth that makes near human subjects or still objects appear more three dimensional. You can achieve great, gorgeous pictures with this lens.
For studio portraits, Nikon prime lens of 50mm, 85mm always work awesome, especially those with large aperture (f/1.4), which let more lights through, create beautiful bokeh, express the characteristics of skins and seize more details. But if you consider the budget and versatility, a 24-70mm zoom lens is also a good choice for indoor shooting.
What to know more portrait lense like Canon, Sony, and more other brands? Please Read: What are The Best DSLR Camera Lenses for Portrait Photography? Please share this article and leave a comment in FB group to let us know!
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