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Old Dec 4, 2005, 1:07 PM   #1
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I know this question has been asked a million times but what would be the best portrait lens for the Nikon D70s? I am using the lens that came with the camera. It's the Nikon 18-70mm lens. Is this good enough or should I get a different lens?



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Old Dec 5, 2005, 12:04 AM   #2
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The 50 f/1.4 or the 85 f/1.8 are both great options for the D70s. Just depends on what type of working distance you have/want.
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 8:20 AM   #3
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Portrait lens yes, but indoors or outdoors? Face or half portrait? For me the best lens is without doubt the 85mm f1.4 but then the 50mm f1.4 is better indoors. The dof is very critical and this aperture should only be used if the subject is still otherwise you have the wrong portion in focus. For example most focus on the eye and you might find that blurred and the nose clear! It really is that critical with the 1.4 lenses.

I see you are using the "kit" lens which as far as value for money goes is excellent but at f3.5 maximum you will get no bokeh (blurred background) to speak of. Moving up in quality from that and less specific than the two lenses mentioned above you might like to look at the 17/55 f2.8 which I also have and is excellent. In fact there are a number of excellent lenses including the 17/35 f2.8 and the 35mm f2.

On the other hand if you like "soft focus" the 105DC f2is a brilliant lens but highly specific. Most people who seem to buy it use the DC (defocus control) a couple of times and then never go back to it finding it a gimmick. A filter is cheaper and just as useful.



There are of course 3rd party lenses like the Sigma 18/50 f2.8 which is a lot cheaper and might fit the bill but you specifically asked about Nikon lenses
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Old Dec 18, 2005, 3:45 PM   #4
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My vote is for the 85mm f/1.4 for portraits!!
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Old Dec 18, 2005, 5:23 PM   #5
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[align=center]Has anybody come across this particular lens before AIS 105 F2.8 lens and is it [/align]
[align=left]a) Anygood [/align]
[align=left]b) B will it work on my D50[/align]
[align=left][/align]
[align=left]Cheers[/align]
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Old Dec 19, 2005, 2:11 AM   #6
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The AIS lenses will work on your D70 but obviously in manual focus mode. It is a superb lens. The Nikon site will give you all the info you need about compatability.
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Old Jan 2, 2006, 9:07 AM   #7
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cameranserai wrote:
Quote:

I see you are using the "kit" lens which as far as value for money goes is excellent but at f3.5 maximum you will get no bokeh (blurred background) to speak of. Moving up in quality from that and less specific than the two lenses mentioned above you might like to look at the 17/55 f2.8 which I also have and is excellent. In fact there are a number of excellent lenses including the 17/35 f2.8 and the 35mm f2.






why do people think that they need F1.4 to get blurred backgrounds? These shots with my 18-70 kit lens certainly produce blur.
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 8:41 PM   #8
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You're being a bit misleading here. Of course, at close enough distance, almost any lens gives you background blur because the depth of field decreases. However, unless it's Macro work, you're not going to be that close to your subject most of the time. For a full-body portrait you'll find that you won't get much background blur with it, and a faster prime (even the cheap 50/1.8) will yield much nicer results. Fwiw, bokeh is the quality of the blur, not a measure of the amount of the blur.

Andy_Lee wrote:
Quote:
cameranserai wrote:
Quote:

I see you are using the "kit" lens which as far as value for money goes is excellent but at f3.5 maximum you will get no bokeh (blurred background) to speak of. Moving up in quality from that and less specific than the two lenses mentioned above you might like to look at the 17/55 f2.8 which I also have and is excellent. In fact there are a number of excellent lenses including the 17/35 f2.8 and the 35mm f2.






why do people think that they need F1.4 to get blurred backgrounds? These shots with my 18-70 kit lens certainly produce blur.
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Old Jan 5, 2006, 5:39 AM   #9
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Fair point however here is another shot using the same lens this was not shot so close. Just one question how does one quantify the quality of blur?
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Old Jan 5, 2006, 10:59 AM   #10
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True, you can use the kit lens as a portrait lens. However, in this picture, the subject is still relatively close to the lens (nowhere near full-body).in addition, if you use good technique like having the background far away (as opposed to her standing right in front of a wall, say), you will get decent background blur (at 70mm f/4.5). I did not mean to suggest that you can't use the 18-70 for portraits, just that even a cheap prime like the nifty-fifty gives you much more flexibility (being able to stand farther away, group portraits, stopping down to increase sharpness) for portraits, though its bokeh is rather lacking.

As far as how to identify good bokeh, you can read this write-up by the (sometimes controversial) Ken Rockwell:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/bokeh.htm
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