There are several popular forms of photography and one of them is portrait photography. From the people taking quick shots on their phones to expensive commercial photoshoots, portraits are always being taken. However, many DSLR photographers face the challenge of finding the perfect lens that can take some stunning portraits.
The reality is, no perfect lens has been designed for portraits. It all depends on different factors that a photographer takes into consideration and the type of portrait they want to take. So, before getting the right camera lens, a photographer has to look for conditions, location, and lighting, as all of them are very important for your lens to take the best portraits.
In this article, we will take a look at a wide range of the best Nikon lenses for portrait photography.
Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8 is an excellent lens for a DX-format (small sensor) camera. It gives you a tight feel similar to the 50mm on a full-frame camera. It’s the only lens included in this list that is specifically intended for DX-format cameras. It has a solid build quality, fast and quiet internal focusing, and is perfect for beginners.
At f/1.8, it allows you to take solid bokeh and sharp images. And, f/1.8 also works well indoors and in low-light situations. The lens features a silent wave motor AF system, but image stabilization is missing.
While it can’t be called a professional lens, it’s capable enough to perform well if being used by the right person. For beginners who are ready to advance their photography skills, this is a good start that will take you into the world of prime lenses.
The Nikon Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II is a super-expensive lens from Nikon. Certainly, anyone would think twice before investing that much money but it pays back with a stunning performance. It produces spectacular images and that appear out of this world.
The lens has a focal length of 200mm which is good for taking full-body portraits, and at f/2 it will deliver results beyond your imagination. It may suit the needs of any type of photographer but action photographers specifically would love to have this lens in their camera bag.
It features an ultrasonic motor based AF system and image stabilization with up to four stops of vibration reduction (VR II).
The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G offers excellent bokeh, value and great autofocus for the users of full-frame Nikon cameras or DX-format cameras. Although this lens is designed for beginners, it can take amazing photos of people, animals, and other subjects if used in right hands.
The lens has a few issues with optical aberration, but the edge to edge sharpness and silent wave motor AF system make it one of the great Nikon lenses for portrait photography. The lens doesn’t offer an image stabilization feature.
People who want a professional quality Nikon lenses for portrait photography at significantly lower prices, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 is for you. It features high-quality optics with fast subject focusing. While an 85mm lens fitted on a DX camera is a bit tight for most at 136mm, those with an FX camera, on the other hand, will get outstanding image quality and fast focusing with this lens.
The lens is durable and has a manual focus override option for situations where it’s difficult for autofocus to find its mark. It doesn’t come with image stabilization.
There are some minor drawbacks as well. The lens has some issues with chromatic aberration and the body is built with plastic. However, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 offers great quality optics and is available at a very reasonable price.
The Nikon 105mm f/2.8G VR is both a portrait and macro lens which is a rarely found specialty. It delivers results with great color and contrast, and amazing sharpness. The lens boasts excellent speed as well. At a very close focusing distance of one foot, it produces incredibly sharp macro shots.
The lens’ autofocus system is based on a silent wave motor and offers image stabilization with up to four stops of shake reduction.
The Nikon 105mm f/2.8G VR is an excellent lens for event photography and does well in low light conditions. At a focal length of 105mm, it takes good portraits, but it’s all about the taste of the photographer.
It’s not the best of the best Nikon lenses for portrait photography, but it surely is a fantastic one. Not only it does it take great portraits, but it’s also capable of producing insanely sharp macros, and it’s not something that you will find in every other lens. And above all, it’s a very pocket-friendly lens for dual-use.
Nikon 135mm f/2 D is another excellent lens on the list that captures stunning images and produces creamy bokeh. At a focal length of 135mm, it may also be used to capture macro shots. It may not be as sharp as some people think but in some cases, there is no other like it, which is its color, contrast, and bokeh. But above all, it has a bottom line feature referred to as defocus control.
Defocus control is an extremely useful feature that enables you to adjust the unfocused areas of an image. It allows the user to adjust the quality of the blur in front or behind the subject, which makes it very easy to shoot amazing portraits with this lens.
Picking the Best Nikon Lenses for Portraits
In this guide we wanted you to know about some unique lenses that could help you capture great portraits and we believe every lens that we included in the list is perfect for your specific set of needs. These are some of the great Nikon lenses for portrait photography and many of them are available at a very reasonable price.