Budget portraits for Nikon DSLRs (constantly updated)

It is very difficult to live without a portrait photographer. But as it turns out, a good portrait lens is expensive.

Budget portraits under Nikon DSLRs

Budget portraits under Nikon DSLRs

On Radozhiva already have article about all Nikon Nikkor original portrait lenses (with fixed focal length from 85 to 200 mm, auto focus for full frame)However, at the cost of a good portrait, you can buy a couple of slaves with a stretcher.

In this article we will discuss inexpensive portraiture. The term 'inexpensive' can often be synonymous with 'used', B.W. Do not be afraid of optics, you just need to be careful when buying. While in Western forums they discuss Otus и Milvus, The photo community in the CIS is trying to raise money to replace whale lenses.

From the Nikon Nikkor native optics, I distinguish the following models:

  1. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkorsell at 180-280 cu
  2. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkorsell at 200-300 cu
  3. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-210mm 1: 4sell at 120-200 cu
  4. Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)sell for about 300 cu
  5. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70mm 1: 2.8sell at 200-300 cu
  6. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70mm 1: 2.8Dsell at 200-300 cu
  7. Nikon AF Nikkor 24-85mm 1: 2.8-4 D IF Aspherical Macro (1: 2)can be found within 300 cu
  8. there was also a list of dark wagons that can use F / 4.5 at their long end (e.g. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5), but they are all very weak for a portrait.

From third-party optics, you can look at:

  1. Yongnuo LENS 100mm 1: 2 (YN100mm F2N, for Nikon), 160 USD new, recommend
  2. Meike 85mm 1: 1.8 AF for Nikon, 170 cu, new, I recommend
  3. Yongnuo YN85mm F1.8 (YN85mm F1.8N), 180 cu new
  4. Tokina 100mm f / 2.8 AT-X M100 AF Pro D Macro
  5. Tamron SP 60mm F / 2 Macro 1: 1 Di II, only under the crop, it’s not very much that it beats fifty dollars
  6. Tamron 90mm f / 2.8 or f / 2.5 MACRO 1: 1 is an entire line of lenses that includes many such solutions. Models 52E, 152E, 172E, 272E, 272E NII
  7. Sigma 90 / 2.8 AF
  8. Sigma AF 180 mm f / 2.8 APO Macro (first, 1990)
  9. SOLIGOR MACRO AF MC 3.5 / 100mm
  10. Rare unusual lenses like Tamron 35-105 / 2.8 AF or Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm 1: 2.8-3.8 MC Auto Focus Zoom JAPAN Ø72mm
  11. A large number of cheap aperture wagons from third-party manufacturers by type Sigma Zoom 28-70mm 1: 2.8 or Tamron SP AF Aspherical XR Di LD [IF] 28-75mm 1: 2.8 Macro A09, or Tokina AT-X PRO 28-80 1: 2.8 Aspherical. 70-75-80 mm of focal length and F / 2.8 are quite suitable for portrait shooting.

Portraits often like to shoot on dark televisions of class 70-210 or 70-300. Such televisions can be bought for a penny, for example, Sigma Auto Focus UC ZOOM 70-210mm 1: 4-5.6 Multi-Coated or Nikon ED AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6D. I will not add such televisions to the lists.

In the comments, you can specify your own lens options, which can more or less cope with portraiture tasks. I will add them to the list only if they satisfy the conditions:

  1. Price used or new in the region of 300 cu
  2. The focal length is strictly greater than 58 mm (if this is a zoom, then it should be able to work in the range> 58 mm)
  3. The maximum relative aperture is equal to or greater than 1: 4 (e.g. F / 2.8, F / 1.8, etc.)
  4. The lens has auto focus

Let's agree that fifty dollars should not be discussed in this thread. With fifty dollars, in fact, a very weak portrait. Every novice photographer has a fifty-kopeck piece as the first or second lens, and, generally speaking, the majority has fifty. With the help of fifty dollars, it is difficult to stand out among the mass of novice photographers.

We write our thoughts in the comments. Thanks for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 211, on the topic: Budget portraits under Nikon DSLRs (constantly updated)

  • Michael

    You can still consider 18-70 Nikon. Sharp, with excellent color. At the long end on the open f4.5, the subject stands out quite well. The cost is up to 100 green.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Then Nikon 35-135 / 3.5-4.5 at 135 4.5 generally tears the background. But, as I have pointed out, these are very portraitured portraits.

  • Alexander Gvozd

    I have three lenses for portrait shooting: Nikon 85mm f / 1.8G AF-S, Nikon 80-200mm f / 2.8 ED AF MKI and Pentacon 135mm f / 2.8 (black, Pre-set with 15 petals). So, in my opinion, the best Pentacon is 135mm, then Nikon 80-200mm and only in third place I have Nikon 85mm.

  • Artem

    Can SOLIGOR MACRO AF MC 3.5 / 100mm be attributed to such lenses?
    Price ~ 200-250 $
    http://allegro.pl/ShowItem2.php?item=6251411557

    • Jury

      This lens can be used to make portraits - it is suitable in terms of parameters, but in practice, Nikon 85 1,8AF gives a much better result. I had such a lens, bought it for $ 100, and sold it for them, it makes no sense to buy it more expensive, tk. strong disappointment will be comprehended as soon as you pick it up. Flowers work well

      • Artem

        Yes, it’s clear that 85 Nikon is better)
        I joined the search for the sake of interest, found a suitable one according to the parameters, but did not know how it was in the picture.
        Thanks for the reply.
        I use it myself for portraits of 80-200 MK III. Sometimes situationally 28-105 D Nikon)

        • Yuriy

          I wouldn’t remove my 80-200 MK2 from the camera, if not for the weight :). Good lens for portraits. And MK3 is also more convenient to use.

          • Artem

            Exactly)))
            Maybe later I will switch to 70-200, but for the D700 I still have enough.
            Progress does not stand still)

  • Andrey_i

    I have a Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX Macro and a budget TV set of 100-200 / 4,5 (there isn’t such a Nikon) instead of portraiture. In principle, probably any long makrik is quite suitable for portraits. Sigma bought for about $ 150, a TV set for $ 24, including shipping from the United States.
    I rarely take portraits and it’s quite easy to live without a portrait, so there are enough of them.

  • Peter Sh.

    It would be very useful for both amateurs and even reporters if our portrait painters shared their secrets about the world and the production of a portrait in general.

    What backgrounds do you use, what spotlights / lights. How to make sure that a person does not get tired and do not blush from flashes and bridal umbrellas. That would not turn the face to stone at the expense of "three". So that the eyes do not look in different directions (or do I have one such phenomenon, from crooked hands?).
    That would be reflected in the appearance of plizir, and not longing for "when it will all end."
    Etc.

  • Bugije

    The most budget option Kaleinar 5-n 100 / 2.8
    The picture is good!

  • Timur

    I will join the Lynx. Nikkor 28-105 3.5-4.5 at a price of $ 200-250 for 70 mm or more takes portraits quite nicely.

  • Alexander

    Nikon 100mm / 2.8 Series E, came out to me cheaper than $ 100 a convenient little addition to any zoom, I often hang on Sony nex, and get 150mm to Nikon D3 c 28-70. I stood on the Sony A7 for a long time, and after the Canon Fd 85 / 1.8 it didn’t get any worse, I don’t feel the lack of aperture of 1,8-2 (at least for the portrait). Yes, it’s slightly chromatic at 2.8, but quite harsh, in general, completely agree with the test on this resource, as well as with Ken Rockwell.

  • andrei2911

    Tamron 70-200 f / 2.8 is awesome glass. At times better than the native Nikon. Sharp as a Nikkor 85mm f / 1.8. With cool patterns and colors. It is not clear why it is not on the list.

    • Peter Sh.

      Buy our elephants! (from)

      • andrei2911

        Do you have something to object objectively?

        • Peter Sh.

          Already all objected in the comments to the article on the Nikon 70-200 f / 2.8 VR.

          • andrei2911

            And what was objected there, except for transitions to personalities and incorrect information, when a person mixed up the models, i.e. wrote about the shortcomings of a completely different glass? Specifically, according to Tamron, the 70-200 f / 2.8 of the latest version has something to say?

            • andrei2911

              Ahahah! So you wrote it, confusing the Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro with the new model. Now I understand ... XD

              • anonym

                The Tamron 70-200 is heavier, darker, more expensive and with more distortion than the Nikkor 85 / 1.8G, and most importantly, it is NOT a PORTRAIT!

                Oh yes, the Tamronov quality floats from one copy to another ... Miracles do not happen ...

              • andrei2911

                Ah, of course, he's not a "portraitist." Why do you think so? Do you even know the definition of a portrait lens? And it does not matter at all whether it is a zoom or not. With distortion - have you come up with it now? And about the quality from one copy to another - have you been holding the latest models of the top SP series from Tamron for a long time? All these things have long since sunk into oblivion ...

            • anonym

              Well, at least this can be said -

              • andrei2911

                What does the old macro model have to do with it? Look here.

          • andrei2911

            Ahahah! So you wrote it, confusing the Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro with the new model. Now I understand ... XD

            • Peter Sh.

              How did you get the idea that I had mixed up something with something?

              But it doesn’t matter. You like this lens, very good. Just great. I speak without irony and sarcasm.

              • anonym

                I looked at the photo. I don't like portraits from telephoto cameras. everything is somehow rectangular, flat. and this tamron is so noisy in general, like my whale 18-55. but at 50 F / 1.8G I like bokeh - everything is even, without noise

              • andrei2911

                To an anonymous person - don't look right there.

  • Pastor

    How many options and how many disputes, a very interesting topic. You can immediately cut down the second one with a limitation of 2 thousand bucks - there, too, you can argue which is better - elks, zeiss or nikkors)
    Personally, I often shoot portraits at 50 mm. It is enough to look at a selection of photos of 50 1.2 liters to understand that fifty dollars, even on ff, goes well for portraits. In general, for me, different glasses can be used for portraits - there would be a desire. I shoot with dark 70-300 portraits, and 40 2.8, and 500 mm too - you can always achieve an interesting result. But if we take a classic portrait, then of the options proposed by Arkady I am for 85 1.8. If there is an opportunity to take it more expensive, then it is best to take 70-200 2.8 from Tamron or Nikon (or Canon). For me, the convenience of the zoom is much more useful than the slightly higher aperture of the fixes.

  • zivert

    Nikon AF Nikkor 75-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6 Somehow on occasion I had to shoot portraits. Suddenly, it dawned very dignified. Price from 100 to 150 bucks. By the way, the colors are excellent. And the iron is not killed. The background washes beautifully.

  • Nicholas

    Hello, what about sigma 105 mm f / 2.8 dg ex macro os hsm?
    It is worth considering as a portrait on a crop?

    • Nicholas

      I ask for help in comparison with the Nikon AF-S 85mm 1.8G.
      I can’t decide ...

      • anonym

        A macro lens is not a portrait lens! It has a low aperture: f2.8 is only when focusing at infinity! And at a short distance, even 4-5,6 can be ... Excessive sharpness is a minus for a portrait - then you are tortured to paint over defects. More weight, slower autofocus are frequent companions of macro lenses.

        Nikkor AF-S 85mm 1.8G is a high-quality and very inexpensive portrait lens with some drawbacks. Sharp picture, quite pleasant bokeh, quite fast focusing motor.
        Cons - chromatite! The frames are boring by default. We need a “fun” development in warm colors and a little post-processing in Photoshop. But, only super-expensive lenses are cooler than this glass: Nikkor 1.4 85 mm and Otus 1.4 85 mm.

        Tip: Take Nikkor AF-S 85mm 1.8G and save for full frame! For only in this way can he be revealed!

        • anonym

          well, for f2.8 to turn into f4, you should probably photograph something the size of a matchbox at least, not a portrait

      • Andrei

        excellent male portrait + macro + telephoto

  • anonym

    Here is a selection of the top 85s and one macro (for comparison)

  • Vitaliy U

    I don’t understand some people here ... Are you reading the title of the article? It says in black and white: the choice of a budget (!!!) portrait lens for Nikon DSLRs. Reading the opinions and advice of the author, the size of the "budget" becomes clear. Maximum 300 $. Well, tell us, or rather show me where you can buy 85 1,8G, Tamron 70-200 2,8, etc. , up to (!) $ 300? And if the budget, as such, is not important, then a lot of other glass can be added to the discussion. For af / mf I can say that it's all a matter of taste. The same Arkady, in his reviews of the MF glasses, shows plenty of portrait shots that were shot both during staging and during reporting. Old MF lenses have the same “pattern” (in other words, optical distortion), which is not even a trace in modern, optically ideal lenses. And a portrait without a “drawing” can be shot on an iPhone (as it was already written here) - everything is clear, sharp, juicy, add blur / bokeh to the FS and it's in the bag ... It's not sad, but there is a lot of such “creativity” on the net. By themselves, AF lenses are more convenient (!) In work (!), While Mf lenses have more interesting picture. I always have an old Rokkor 58 1,4 (for a crop) in my bag with me, and at the same time 80-200 2,8 is wound on the camera. The frames made by this Rokkor, with a wonderful portrait zoom of 80-200, I cannot get, just as I cannot achieve in post-processing. Everything has the right to life, my IMHO.

  • ALi

    I use 85 1.8g on the crop (d3200), I'm very happy. If we compare the D with the G version, then the old 85ka (IMHO) is none, on full-height portraits, I can count everything on the G version of the cilia :) on the D version the dregs ... maybe on FF somehow everything looks different.
    I don't even know about the budget, for me 350 dollars for the sake of such quality is not money. Another thing is 85 1.4 ... .. but for me, an amateur who is not engaged in commercial filming, 1.8 is enough for the eyes.

    • Andrei

      Why on a full-growth portrait of cilia count?

      • Vitaliy U

        And don’t tell me! (All of these were petting, the planars were in the firebox!) And even better, an example with “cilia”.

      • ALi

        if you are a pro and you take pictures of people in the studio and then print on large-format sizes (billboards, advertisement in a store, gloss), I think you need to see the cilia. and for ordinary mortals, the principle is not necessary. although I think that 24 megapixels is cool, and let them say that it is noisy, and someone costs six megapixels.

        • Andrei

          I still don’t understand. if we enlarge the picture to view the cilia, then this is not a growth portrait.

          • KalekseyG

            I can even say more, this is not even a portrait, but a photo for an ophthalmologist (dermatologist) for a consultation - how to anoint me to ... ...

            • Denis

              examples of photos in the studio. where there is no sharpness (software?) and the portrait was a success. I just think that with a loss of sharpness there will still be other problems that are striking even without an increase in the monitor. only of course the speech about the photo is not a face full screen

              • Lynx

                Google "monocle" or "Sally Mann"

              • KalekseyG

                eyes and google open

              • Denis

                Yes, no doubt

    • Vitaliy U

      I don’t know where you are from, but here is the price in my Ukraine http://price.ua/nikon/nikon_85mm_f_1_8g_af-s_nikkor/catc435t9m360742.html(1$-25гр for today, +/-)

      • ALi

        recently saw an alder for 8500 UAH. bu, he took for 10 000 UAH. new

        • Vitaliy U

          10000 is it hopping? Or 8500? See the table of contents for the article. Maybe we’ll discuss it again (and there are many of them there)) http://m.ua/desc/carl-zeiss-makro-planar-t–2-100/

          • ALi

            Vitaly calm down, I just made it clear that it’s better to overpay a little, and be happy. and you bother me with your zeis. 8500 UAH = 340 dollars where 300 there and 340))

            • Vitaliy U

              Hey, dear. You do not indicate here who and how to behave.

    • KalekseyG

      another maniac, a lover of reaping the increase. if you already chose a full-length portrait, then choose a pose-background-bokeh-color-lighting so that the photo looks solid, without magnification. Poking into the increase buttons is a habit from soap dishes. what eyelashes if there is no composition, it’s not interesting to look at the photo, it remains only to examine small details and admire the technique ((((((((

  • ALi

    Well, maybe not growth, but close to that. Photographed in a medium-resolution on-camera jeep, if I had set it in high resolution, I think there would be more details. aperture 2.8, iso 360

    • zengarden

      1) the eyes are out of focus
      2) jpeg artifacts ate all the detail

      • ALi

        1. Eyes in sharpness
        2. I don’t take pennies for a photo so that later with a rabbi they’ll get bogged down

        • Denis

          2. I saw pictures from the wedding only once, 35 tyr fell off like. where there is overexposure, where on the contrary, the colors are wound, they were photographed immediately in JPEG without any processing. One 24-105 lens was used, even the background is nowhere blurred) but the customers were delighted. Why bother with RAWs?

  • ALi

    and more

  • ALi

    As you can see, sharpness is at the level, even on an entry-level balcony reflex mirror, and by an amateur photographer. buy and don’t bother. better spent on the lens than on the carcass

    • KalekseyG

      it’s better to spend time on the rule of thirds, and then money on a mega-sharp-mega-expensive lens.

      • Denis

        the camera needs only 3 focus points

        • KalekseyG

          the photographer must have two hands, not two sticks from the well ... ..

      • Lynx

        it is better to go to more sane teachers than those who pray for the rather unnecessary rule of thirds.

        • KalekseyG

          it doesn’t need to be prayed for, but sometimes it’s worth observing for decency, the empty frame from the left edge of which the girl is standing with is the main thing in the sharpness of the lens

          • Lynx

            everything is normal with the frame.

            • Anonymous # 2

              But I’ll support Comrade Caleksei, the shot is still strange. It was necessary either to capture a portrait that was being portrayed by a larger one, or to compose the frame in another way, observing the mentioned rule of thirds.

              • Peter Sh.

                I recommend reading books by internationally recognized masters of photography.
                Or fine arts manuals.
                This is not a void, it is called a negative space.

                Photography is the art of self-expression. And at the very least, you need to have the tact not to write any garbage about the work of others.
                If you see this song differently, go ahead. And we'll see.

            • andrey ali

              LYNX OF PROTECTION AGAINST THE EYE) FROM NON-SHARPNESS AND FROM ANY UNDERPOSITION

              • Lynx

                A. “Generation exam”!
                Evil eyes. Z….
                No more questions.

              • KalekseyG

                "UNDOEXPOSURE"

    • Peter Sh.

      Very good photo, especially for an amateur photographer.

      • KalekseyG

        as an amateur and commented

      • KalekseyG

        Do you even sleep?

  • Peter Sh.

    That's right. One important detail, no one ever comes to posters to focus on eyelashes. And on A4 format, cilia need to be examined with a magnifier or a microscope. In all kinds of iPads, on the Internet, no one will bother with approximations either.

    From this we can conclude that sharpness is needed only for those who are looking at the photo on the monitor, on a 1: 1 scale, worrying about the sharpness of their photographic equipment.

    • Vitaliy U

      one hundred%! Sharpness in a portrait is needed only by photo janitors.

      • ALi

        you think first, then write.

        • Lynx

          there you go.

    • ALi

      you’ll look, muddy photos are good, and sharp ones are bad, I correctly understood your conclusion

      • Denis

        not really. photographer takes pictures, not a camera)

  • Peter Sh.

    Add in order to avoid.
    Of course, sharpness in photography is needed. But 99% in the absence thereof, the photographer is to blame.
    Nowadays, they learned to make all the techniques sharp. Therefore, you should not waste your precious time on these empty experiences.

    • ALi

      I agree. I'm going to sleep.

  • ALi

    Dear users of the site, let's move away from the topic of photo-shredding, and stick to the topic of the branch, who knows a good portrait portrait of up to $ 300 with autofocus, which was not mentioned here

    • anonym

      I think, besides b \ y 85 1.8 different suits (d, g, non-d) portrait painters and no. In the appendage 80-200 first. You can also shoot the rest, but this is not portraiture.
      Once again we confirm the theses of Arkady:
      "A good portrait lens is expensive."
      и
      "For the cost of a good portrait photographer, you can buy a couple of slaves with stretchers."

    • anonym

      "It is difficult to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if it is not there"

      • anonym

        only one who does not know that she is not there will find a black cat in a dark room

  • anonym

    see, here's the thing. you can shoot portraits with absolutely any lens. dark, zoom, cheap. (we will not consider the genius of the photographer!) but a truly magical picture can be obtained only with the help of high-aperture optics with good drawing. unfortunately, many do not understand this. excessive sharpness is needed only for deep post-processing. so that there is a margin when editing. well, or for “clients” who don't know much about photography. for these they shoot at f13.

    • Nick

      This is what is interesting: does a portrait photo always need a blurred background? For one model, no doubt about it, but what if this is a group photo of 50 people? then there is a risk that the faces behind the standing people will be blurred ... or is a group photo of 50 people not a portrait genre anymore?

      • KalekseyG

        this is a landscape))))))

      • Vitaliy U

        Back in 1986, in a photo club, I was taught that they begin to shoot a portrait with f8, lenses from 105mm-200mm. And the background will blur and the portrait will be in the depth of field all (!). Since then, nothing has changed in the photo business ... except for the photographic technique.

        • Peter Sh.

          See studio portraits of Soviet film actors. There is clearly not f / 8. Rather, they shot it in the open.

          • Vitaliy U

            It seems to you.

        • Anton

          Everything was taught correctly. The background should not be blurred into snot, it just needs to be unobtrusive. It is now fashionable to remove a hole on the postcard, and so that not the slightest chance of finding out what's in the background. At f8, on a long focus, the background will be perfectly separated from the model, there will be both volume and subject, and not just the model in the air.

    • Vitaliy U

      Well, what apertures should you shoot in the studio, for example? And the background does not matter there, and the “pattern” of the glass is no longer important ... LIGHT !!! And nothing but light.

  • Alexey

    And this
    https://radojuva.com.ua/2012/04/tamron-af-28-75mm-f2-8-nikon/
    Why not listed?

    • Valery A.

      For $ 300 he got out (new), and how the portraiture will cause controversy.

  • Michael

    But this can be considered a portrait painter https://goo.gl/photos/zm6CCymNj5AhR1NU8
    Gathered for 2 pm. The budget is generally cheap.

    • Vitaliy U

      Nikon 50 1.8 was free? The picture is excellent, no doubt, but half a pity.

      • Michael

        That's the trick that the poltykiyk was bought on a fotik with broken glass as spare parts (300 UAH) + 100 UAH Jupiter-11 + a tube of superglue with which I connected them (... otherwise everyone says we'll tie it with tape, ... the 21st century is in the yard!;))

    • anonym

      And from Nikon's whale 18-55 can this be done?

      • nelson

        There are examples on the net.

    • Eng

      I didn’t understand a bit, did he remain autofocus or not?

      • nelson

        Konecheo autofocus, but one. MDF = 2m. The focus of the focus on the poltiynik is small and I gathered everything so that there was infinity. But in principle, he got a telephoto on the crop. On the FF is a normal portrait. Examples you highlighted.

  • anonym

    so for af all this was done

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