D50 or D70 how to choose & portrait lens?

Started Jan 23, 2006 | Discussions thread
Vetteran Senior Member • Posts: 1,139
Which lens?

In 35mm terms, I believe the accepted ideal portrait focal length is 2X the diagonal of the film (24 x 36 mm) or about 85+mm. Some say that 105mm is best, and for many years 135mm was in favor. It varies with individual portrait, head and shoulder shot, group, etc.

In D50/D70 terms, I would agree that a 50mm would work very well, but a 85mm might be nicer. Certainly, for the money, you cannot beat the 50/1.8. Both Nikhor 85mm lenses are very good, and the f/1.8 is pretty affordable. I think any focal lengths greater than 85mm might result in too much compression of the facial features. Of course, a fast lens (f/1.8 or faster) is preferred, and the 85mms (1.4 and 1.8) have a lot of aperture blades resulting in a very pleasant bokeh.

The newest zooms might be OK too, but it will be very hard to match a decent prime lens regardless of cost.

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