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Portrait Lens for D70

Tod Tevebaugh , Jun 08, 2005; 11:28 a.m.

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.


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Michael Bradtke , Jun 08, 2005; 11:33 a.m.

Nikon 50 mm 1.8 Fast and sharp

Christopher Appoldt , Jun 08, 2005; 11:38 a.m.

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.

Dmitriy Kostyuchenko , Jun 08, 2005; 11:39 a.m.

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.

Ellis Vener , Jun 08, 2005; 11:44 a.m.

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 (

BW Combs , Jun 08, 2005; 12:00 p.m.

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.

Tod Tevebaugh , Jun 08, 2005; 12:01 p.m.

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?

Craig Bridge , Jun 08, 2005; 12:36 p.m.

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.

BW Combs , Jun 08, 2005; 12:56 p.m.

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!

Jean-Baptiste Queru , Jun 08, 2005; 01:49 p.m.

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.

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