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What is the best lens out there to do portraits or people photography from far?
#1
Hello

I have a Nikon D5100/Nikon D40.
I also have a Nikkor 50mm Prime lens which I simply love to use when doing people photography.

But I am hunting for something that allows me to take similar kind of photos as the 50mm prime does but from a far off distance. Maybe a 85mm can help but it's still quite close.

To give you a perspective, I would like to shoot marriages and people involved in the ceremony but from far rather than going upto them and making them pose. I want natural moments.

Cheers
Samy
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#2
85mm will do. I'm using 70-200mm VR2 when it comes to portrait. It give me this tight perspective when it come to portait even wedding photography. Quite expensive but gives me more advantage due its Nano coating which Nikon doing to their lenses. thus preventing flare most of the time when shooting outdoor.
PhotoPlay Photography
What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.
~Eleanor Powell
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#3
(Jun 6, 2013, 15:52)samyshah Wrote: Hello

I have a Nikon D5100/Nikon D40.
I also have a Nikkor 50mm Prime lens which I simply love to use when doing people photography.

But I am hunting for something that allows me to take similar kind of photos as the 50mm prime does but from a far off distance. Maybe a 85mm can help but it's still quite close.

To give you a perspective, I would like to shoot marriages and people involved in the ceremony but from far rather than going upto them and making them pose. I want natural moments.

Cheers
Samy

Have to go with a Zoom rather than prime. Sounds like your situation will vary a lot. you need something that can shoot across a room as well as across a field. Since you have a crop sensor in both you cameras keep in mind you will have a 1.5 crop factor. Without breaking the bank I would suggest a Nikor 55-200 VR f/4.6-5.6 G ED or 70-300 f/4.5-5.6. Either will work with both of your cameras. Price range: $200-$500. There are better choices out there but the price goes up over $1,500.00 rather quickly. Look on Ebay or Craig's list. There are some fairly good lenses available at a reasonable price.
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#4
Thanks for the information.
My current gear does include -
Nikkor 50mm prime
Nikkor 18-55mm
Nikkor 55-200mm

But the Nikkor 55-200mm is not that great compared to a prime lens.
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#5
(Jun 8, 2013, 11:01)samyshah Wrote: Thanks for the information.
My current gear does include -
Nikkor 50mm prime
Nikkor 18-55mm
Nikkor 55-200mm

But the Nikkor 55-200mm is not that great compared to a prime lens.

You may want to go to the 70-300mm
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#6
Yes am thinking of renting a similar lens, trying it out and then deciding if it's worth investing. I guess the 70-300mm could have multiple uses as in one can do portraits + wildlife photography which requires you to be at a distance.
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#7
(Jun 10, 2013, 13:58)samyshah Wrote: Yes am thinking of renting a similar lens, trying it out and then deciding if it's worth investing. I guess the 70-300mm could have multiple uses as in one can do portraits + wildlife photography which requires you to be at a distance.

yes. It's a great lens. I have one I use for daytime sports and pet portraits. Since the max aperture is 5.6 @ 300 mm, Sports under the lights requires a 70-200mm f/2.8. This is also an option but quite pricey. A used Sigma can be had on Ebay for about $700, and the Nikon version with VR for about $1,000. The other disadvantage is it is very heavy (over 4 pounds) and should be used with a monopod.[/i]
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#8
For indoor and use of strobe light when doing portait. Your 55-200mm will do work since you already have strobe lights to help you out and control your lighting. But when you go out and have no artificial light to control your lighting I suggest go for the lens that is fast enough and wide aperture opening to help you more with the lighting problem. Also try to consider not going below 50mm just to help your subject a little bit more of compressed perspective. The closest it is to 100mm or beyond would be great. So people with obsession with their built won't be an issue. Smile
PhotoPlay Photography
What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.
~Eleanor Powell
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#9
(Jun 10, 2013, 06:31)Jimbo9948 Wrote:
(Jun 8, 2013, 11:01)samyshah Wrote: Thanks for the information.
My current gear does include -
Nikkor 50mm prime
Nikkor 18-55mm
Nikkor 55-200mm

But the Nikkor 55-200mm is not that great compared to a prime lens.

You may want to go to the 70-300mm

I have the nikon 55-200 n love it...good for portraits.
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#10
(Jun 6, 2013, 15:52)samyshah Wrote: Hello

I have a Nikon D5100/Nikon D40.
I also have a Nikkor 50mm Prime lens which I simply love to use when doing people photography.

But I am hunting for something that allows me to take similar kind of photos as the 50mm prime does but from a far off distance. Maybe a 85mm can help but it's still quite close.

To give you a perspective, I would like to shoot marriages and people involved in the ceremony but from far rather than going upto them and making them pose. I want natural moments.

Cheers
Samy

Samy;

I don't know where on this blue planet you are, but here in the states, the D40 is considered to be only slightly above a point-and-shoot.

You've got to define better what you want to do, because nothing will do it all perfectly.

Portraits? Where you have full control of the situation, especially in terms of lighting?

Wedding formals? Where you *may* have access to additional light? And full control of the subjects?

Or wedding ceremonies? Where you have to deal with being further away from the subjects and have little to no control of the light?

Wedding receptions? Where you have your flash always at the ready?

Until you actually figure out what you want, you're not going to find the right gear/techniques.

Without a well defined goal, everything is just wandering about. And not getting anywhere.
Valley of the Sun, Arizona
D2Xs, D200's, D100's, LightRoom, CS-CC
2HowardsPhoto.biz
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#11
(Sep 9, 2013, 15:50)Wall-E Wrote: Without a well defined goal, everything is just wandering about. And not getting anywhere.

That is so true, I have been "wandering about" trying to decide which lens to get, my problem is money, I am trying to find a lens that will do everything and it doesnt exist.

I have an EOS 40D/18-55mm combo and have finally decided on the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens, its around £1000 but I am hoping it will do most of what I want, mainly outdoor/landscape/sports type shots.

I would have thought that for weddings you would want something around the 28-200mm range?

Regards, Al
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#12
I love my 28 - 300 mm. Only lens I have and it does all I need and more. Oh that's Canon.
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#13
The closest you get to a lens that does everything in the Nikon range is either a 18-200mm, or the more expensive 18-300mm. Neither can compete with prime lenses for sharpness or maximum aperture size, but if you want convenience they can't be beat. If I'm going somewhere where I don't want to take multiple lenses (e.g. foreign holiday), then I simply put on my 18-200mm and off I go.
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#14
Hi I have only just joined this forum and in my intro I admitted I do not know what I am doing BUT

I have had a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 and had some great results and then yesterday got an used Nikkor 80 200 f2.8 the later 1997 on but before the AFS and VR paid £460 and is like new WHAT A FANTASTIC THING THIS IS could be just what you require, people did use 200mm zoom before VR with some great results so it may be worth taking a look. Remember your local camera shop will let you try it if they only have the VR or VRII then try with the VR OFF
(Jun 6, 2013, 15:52)samyshah Wrote: Hello

I have a Nikon D5100/Nikon D40.
I also have a Nikkor 50mm Prime lens which I simply love to use when doing people photography.

But I am hunting for something that allows me to take similar kind of photos as the 50mm prime does but from a far off distance. Maybe a 85mm can help but it's still quite close.

To give you a perspective, I would like to shoot marriages and people involved in the ceremony but from far rather than going upto them and making them pose. I want natural moments.

Cheers
Samy

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#15
The Nikor 80-200mm is a classic lens which I considered getting recently, because its a fraction of the price of the current Nikor 70-200mm. However, after reading A LOT of reviews and comparisons, I opted for a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, which only cost me £650 brand new. I made this choice because this lens is a similar price to the old 80-200mm (which is still available new), has OS (the equivalent of VR), and weighs less than the 80-200mm. So far, I think its an astonishing lens for the price and would recommend it.
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#16
New members - Welcome to the forum! Nice to have you here!
Barbara - Life is what you make of it!
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#17
I find that my Sony 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 does a great job for this sort of work. You can hover around on the fringes of the action virtually unnoticed where you can get some great candid shots without getting in peoples faces and making them uneasy and self conscious. I guess any similar lens from other makers will reap the same benefits.
Happy Shooting people!

Regards
Keith
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