Portrait Lens for D70

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by tod_tevebaugh, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. I have been using the D70 for about a year now and love it! The
    lenses I have been using are Sigma lenses that came with the camera
    as a kit and Nikon lenses that came with with an N80 kit. All four of
    the lenses have been okay...but I am wanting to upgrade to a good,
    high quality lens primarily for portrait work. Most portraits will be
    close up head shots, glamour style photos and a few outdoor photos.
    My price range is $500 or less and I am not looking for a specific
    brand...just a good, crisp and fast lens. Any suggestions from those
    of you that are using the D70? Thank you in advance.
  2. Nikon 50 mm 1.8
    Fast and sharp
  3. Ditto what Michal said - that 50mm is $99 at B&H photo. Also, the 60mm Micro ain't too shabby for such either. That's about $365. Either will leave enough room in your budget for a UV and polarizing filter.
  4. I'm not sure about the 50mm f/1.8, but my 50mm f/1.4 has pretty bad bokeh. 85mm on a
    DX sensor isn't too long for portraits, so I'd just go with that - the f/1.8 should be in your
    price range.
  5. Zooms are popular but single focal length lenses still have better over all image quality.
    the trade off is that you have to work a little more.

    Having said that:

    Either the 50mm f/1.8D or 50mm f/1.4D AF-Nikkor is a fine choice. If you want greater
    working distance between you and the model when doing head shots, look at the 85mmf/
    1.8D AF Nikkor (
  6. I recently rented a 60mm f/2.8 D lens for a portrait session. It is
    very, very good. And I intend to buy one.

    The images were very sharp and the lens worked exceptionally
    well with the D70.

    That focal length (60mm) on a digital amounts to about 90mm. It
    was perfect for me.
  7. This is my first time to post on here and I must say...I am impressed with how quick the responses have been and how informative. Thank you all. Now another question (I feel like I should already know the answer, but I am a little dense sometimes and don't completely understand lenses): What causes such a difference in the price of a lens? For example on BH the Nikon Normal AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Autofocus is $270 while the Nikon Normal AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Autofocus Lens is $100. Is it simply the speed of the lens that makes such a difference?
  8. Price difference between 50mm f/1.4 and f/1.8 AFD's (as they have the same optical design) is a function of two things: larger diameter optics and what it takes to hold them and unit volume. The more that are made and sold, the lower the unit production and distribution costs.
  9. The f/1.4 50mm lens is a bit faster, more metal, and perhaps
    better glass...thus the extra cost.

    BUT, for the value, the f/1.8 50mm lens that Nikon sells for under
    a $100 is great deal. Better bang for the buck!
  10. jbq


    85/1.8 for head shots, 50/1.8 for a wider view. The pair of them should fit in your budget. Be sure that the 50/1.8 is wide enough for what you want. Use your existing lenses to get a better feel of what those focal lengths look like on your D70.
  11. i sold my 50/1.4 D after having used in on a D70 for a while. produced ugly bokeh, frequently with double lines. picked up a 50/1.8 instead for the occational use. I'd try that or a 85/1.8 (since the 85/1.4 is out of your price range)
  12. ...or one of two Nikkor zoom lenses:

    1. the 35-105mm f3.5D~ Nikkor --52mm filters, push-pull


    2. the 28-105mm f3.5D~ Nikkor --62mm filters, 2-ring control

    with a zoom, a two-person portrait is easier to handle: any in-between focal length you might need is available in one lens.
  13. Portrait lenses. 35, 50 and 85 primes. For diff heights of person .. Full body, half body or head shots.

    Zooms; 17-55 DX or 18-70 DX, 35-70/2.8

    The 105 DC is far long on digital IMO.
    Tele is good thou you may use the closer focal lengths instead.. Bokeh can be good.
  14. Tod,

    All good suggestions on a D70 "portrait lens" choice. As a long time Nikon user, and a recent D70 buyer, I've had the chance to try the above-mentioned lenses on the digital format for the typical portrait applications.

    The standard 50mm (either 1.8 or 1.4) is good, as is the 85mm f/1.8 AF-D. And the kit lens is also a good choice at its long 70mm FL setting. Anything longer on the D70, such as the 105mm 2.8 AF-D micro, 80-200 2.8 zoom or one of the longer compact zooms like the 70-300, is also good, but these don't suit my style of portraiture (a bit too long and tight for the type of framing I like), and they are heavy and bulky.

    Of all the lenses I have and have been using for years with my 35mm bodies, the Nikkor 60mm 2.8 AF-D micro used on the D70 for general portraiture seems to work the best for me. It's relatively small and compact, it auto-focuses quickly, it's reasonably priced and it is of the highest optical quality. And, if you choose to pursue close-up photography, you will also have an outstanding macro lens for the digital format.

    Granted, the 60 micro is not as fast as the standard 50 or 85, but I feel it's fast enough for the type of general portraiture I do. I really like the super sharp results, though others may want a little less sharpness for their portraits.

    Good luck with your choice.
  15. All of the above mentioned lenses are good but I might also suggest that you take a look at the 24-120 vr. It is a very sharp lens. Atleast my sample is.
  16. As a portrait lens I will go with the Nikkor 35-70mm F/2.8 and with the 50mm F/1.4 As you can see in the first shot: Sharr as bean taken with fully open aperture with the 35-70mm lens. In the second attachment: Sarah, she was made with the 50mm F/1.4 at the max (1.4), aperture. By the way, for the shots the lenses above was connected to Nikon D1 digital camera.
  17. Sarah with the Nikkor 50mm F/1.4
  18. Just the topic i was looking to start: D70 set to Portrait mode, 60mm/2.8 micro, No
    lens filter, SB800 set to i-ttl, with diffuser dome on. (30 pix in jpeg Fine-Medium, 30 in
    Subject: Prom night portraits: indoor and outdoor shots (@ 7PM) of my son & his

    "The envelop, please" ...

    1. Composition: Varying the working distance, the 90mm focal length was perfect for
    full length, waist up, shoulder up, and close ups of both together and as singles.

    2. Picture quality: The micro's attributes worked great on all shots but the closeups:
    every adolescent skin blemish looked like a mini erupting volcano on their faces. This lens
    is too critical for all but the most perfect looking of Gods creatures, and only for those
    totally comfortable with and not self critical of their appearance. Now, How many of those
    do you know? Everyone will find some fault when they view portraits taken with this lens,
    and immediately call their Plastic surgeons.

    ** 3. The biggest disappointment was the clownlike kodachrome misrepresentation
    of natural red facial tones. Q: Did Nikon's PORTRAIT SETTING transform naturally colored
    cheeks, red lips, and red facial blemishes into glowing, bleeding, clown makeup? The
    indoor pix were much worse that the outdoor pix.

    I planned on using (my "default-for everything" custom curve), "Point & Shoot" 4.1, in
    flexi P mode, and will be regretting this costly mistake for quite sometime unless
    someone in the group can recc a fix? .....

    Q: Is there a Picture project/ Capture/Photshop software cure to turn my son
    & girlfriend back into adorable kids?
    Q: Is their an installable D70 Custom curve tweaked for portraits shot in
    diffused, soft light ? Is there One to use post processing?

    I haven't the heart to show them the pix and her parents are eagerly awaitng their CD
    copy... Thanks to all for your sugg's!

    PS: SB800 w/ dome: perfect indoor/outdoor exposures from 2'-16' . Very
    soft, & flattering light quality!
  19. Stephen email me a copy and I'll see what I can do. No promises but if you like I'll email you back the steps.
  20. The 105mm f/2 DC (~150mm on ccd) is not too long for digital portraiture! In fact, using a telephoto for portraits will dramatically improve your results- telephoto compression generally makes your portraits more elegant and uniform. Additionally, large noses (like mine) are not as prominent as they are w/ a 50mm or 80mm lens.
    The 105mm DC is one of the finest primes Nikon has ever made, and the image quality (and build quality- hammered metal, not cheesy plastic like the 50mm and 80mm lenses) of this lens places it far above the 50mm's and 80mm's for both portraiture and daily use. I have the 80mm f/1.8 (sold my 50mm 1.4) and its nice, but simply falls short of the 105 in terms of contrast, sharpness, and color rendition. And it's only 20mm shorter than the 105. I love and prefer the 135mm DC and use it exclusively for portraiture (and many other applications) on my 35mm/digital format cameras, and next to the 135mm f/2 DC, according to Bjorn Rorslet, the 105mm is even better:
    The difference in price between the 85mm f/1.8 and the 105mm f/2 DC becomes neglegable with careful perusal of used markets (I got mine for ~$420, under your limit).
    I hope you seriously consider the 105 DC... You'll love it...
  21. Jeri, Ijust had to play a bit with Sarah's picture (BTW my youngest's name is Sarah).
  22. Do not get the 50mm f/1.8D. I have had mine for 2 years and now the aperature blades have oil on them and it won't closed down properly.

    Waste of money.
  23. jbq


    Even assuming that oil on the blades a general problem (it's not) and and it's not fixable (it is), I would still buy just about any f/1.8 lens comparable in price, sharpness, size and weight to the 50/1.8 in a blink of an eye. In an 85/1.4 failed after 20 years, many people wouldn't be entirely surprised, and yet it'd still cost you less to buy a 50/1.8 every other year during the same period.
  24. Kevin's experience, though unfortunate, seems to be pretty rare and unusual for this lens (no matter how many threads he posts it on...)

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