Entry level headshot lens

Started Sep 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Nexu1
Senior MemberPosts: 1,869
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Re: Entry level headshot lens
In reply to thebasharjobs, Sep 30, 2013

You might be able to find an older lens for cheap if you have a camera that can screwdriver focus.  You could buy a lens and manually focus it but I'm not sure I'd recommend that for a beginner, I hate manual focus, I didn't grow up with it :).

The 85mm f1.8G is THE portrait lens of choice on DX and comes in around $500.  You'll soon find out that the lens is so popular that you'll struggle to find it, even used, for much less than $375-400 (sometimes used on ebay go for $440ish).

If you're really budget limited, and there is nothing wrong if you are, another solid option is the Nikon 55-200 VR, you can find this periodically refurbished from a reputable seller like Adorama for around $115-120 (I just looked but right now it is out of stock).

The keys to getting good headshots are having a focal length of 85mm or longer so you can get close and fill the frame without distortion.  Getting close is critical, it will give you the best detail and will help with depth of field (making the background blur out of focus).  Shoot in A mode with the most wide open aperture your lens can handle (smallest F number).  If possible, setup your subject so the background behind them is somewhat far away.  This will allow the background to fade into a soft blur easier with a 55-200 type lens that can't go down to something like f1.8.

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