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Thread: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

  1. #1

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    NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Hi Pro's,

    I am a begineer and I love to take portrait photography.

    u can see my pics(u can also provide your suggestions where I need to improve) @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/thilak_d5100/

    Little confused between lens which I can upgrade from my kit lens.

    AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G vs AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G.

    I like the BLUR effect as well as close up shots. With that need I seached and found both the above lens.

    More positive reviews for AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G than AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G.

    Whether the AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G. lens will satisfy my needs can I get good pics in low light situation.

  2. #2
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Hi Thilak,

    Are you wanting the lens for portraiture? if so i would look for something a little longer even the 50mm on a crop sensor giving 75mm is a little short and might make nose's look larger than life. id look for something around 80mm at least for this type of work.

    using any lens wide open is not going to give you the best results and most of my portraits are shot at about f8 most lens's tend to produce their sharpest results between f5.6 and f11. Trying to shoot a portrait a f1.8 is going to give you razor thin depth of field as well and may make your shots look out of focus unless the subject is square on to the camera.

    of course if the lens's arnt for portraiture then ive just wasted a lot of time typing this!!

  3. #3
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Or you have to get really, really close to the subject to offset the distortion caused by the 40 or 50mm lens and this can be most uncomfortable for both the subject and the photographer. The 40 and 50mm lens are good for their intended purposes, macro, candid, product photography (40mm) and still life, low light, candid (50mm) so consider how you plan to use before you choose.

    Longer focal length (100-200mm) would be the better option for portraiture.

  4. #4

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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Thilak: I believe that the D5100 comes with a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, so why do you want a 40 or 50mm lens? I can get that blur with that lens, what you need is practice, as you say that you are a beginner. That means pushing the camera, lens, yourself to the limites along with post production to get what you envision. I looked at your posted flickr images, let me put it this way the young lady probably means something to you, to me nothing, I believe that you can do better once you practice, then it may have something to draw my attention to it, now like most of the others it looks like a snap shot nothing to draw my attention, that is what you want to do is get and keep my attention. This takes practice and a new lens or camera will not help, it means shooting each day if possible on way to and from work, lunch time, evenings, sun, cloud, wind, rain, fog, snow and even freezing rain get the idea. After all this you find out what you like to shoot and how to get the look you want, then you may say to yourself "you know I need better glass, that 24-70 f/2.8 would really step up my work, that is some serious glass", yes it is however to get to that point again practice, practice, practice and more practice then some more again.
    I started to shoot late 2010,saw one image I had taken and started to get serious about my images, that is where I started my practice, practice and more practice. I am going to add a link to my flickr site, I am getting better but I need to learn more and practice.

    Cheers:

    Allan

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/polar_01/

  5. #5

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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Thank you Mark!!! for the suggestion. Len's for portrait only

  6. #6
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Good advice so far. Both lenses you are looking at are not the best for the type of shooting that you are trying to do. The fcal length is too short for this type of work.

    You are definitely playing around with shallow DoF (depth of field) that blurs out areas in front of and behind the subject. A longer lens will work to your advantage here. The most popular professional portrait lens is the f/2.8 70-200mm; but this is used on a full frame camera, so the equivalent focal length range you are looking at on your crop frame camera would be in the range of 45mm - 135mm. You might want to shoot something a bit longer for the closeup shots as well as you want to be shooting far enough back so as to you not casting a shadow over your subject. I have done some closeup work with a borrowed 105mm macro, and that seems to be a reasonable focal length in my experience.

    When I first got my D90, all I had was the kit 18-55mm lens. I added another kit 55-200mm lens a couple of months later. These two lenses were good enough for 95% of my needs (I added an ultra-wide angle 11-16mm and ultra long 80-400mm some time later), but just for specialty shooting.

    The other thing you should do is spend some time looking at your composition. This is something you can work on, regardless of the camera and lens you are using. Look at some images that you like and try to duplicate what the photographer has done compositionally; how the image is framed, etc. This will have a far greater impact on your work than any specific camera body or lens.

  7. #7

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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    Thilak: I believe that the D5100 comes with a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, so why do you want a 40 or 50mm lens? I can get that blur with that lens, what you need is practice, as you say that you are a beginner. That means pushing the camera, lens, yourself to the limites along with post production to get what you envision. .................................however to get to that point again practice, practice, practice and more practice then some more again.
    Cheers:

    Allan
    Hi Thilak,

    Just like they posted, I also find it a little awkward using my 50mm for portraits, altho , it can be done. However, my D5100 kit lens: 18 - 105mm seems ok for headshots/portraits.

    Allan has posted good advice which can apply to beginners like me. Perhaps, you can try it out too., i.e., practice and more............

    Meanwhile, have fun with your D5100..............


  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    I will specifically direct my comments to head and shoulder portraits since that is what I first think of when someone mentions portraits without some sort of modifing term being added such as "environmental" portrait.

    IMO, just about any lens with a equivalent focal length of roughly between about 80-200mm or so (leaning toward the longer focal lengths) can work quite well for portraits. I sometimes use focal lengths of up to 320mm for some types of portraiture. I don't need a lens with a super fast aperture because I don't like paper-thin DOF in which one eye is in focus and the other OOF (although, I don't mind the eyes being in focus and an ear beginning to fall OOF). I like longer focal lengths because I am quite sensitive to the perspective distortion caused by shooting from a close distance. I think that the longer lenses are more flattering to the subjects, especially to female subjects. The longer focal lengths will also be able to knock the background OOF as long as you have enough distance between the subject and the BG.

    Additionally, most often a portrait lens doesn't have to be the absolute sharpest knife in the drawer since many portraits, especially portraits of females incorporate a bit of diffusion/softening in the final product anyway.

    While prime lenses are just fine for portraits, a decent zoom is probably more versatile, especially for on-location portraiture.

    My favorite portrait lens for my crop cameras is the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS but, I did some very decent work when shooting portraits with the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens. The 70-200mm f/4L IS lens provides very smooth bokeh which is a big plus for a portrait lens. My 90mm f/2.8 Tamron Macro also produces creamy bokeh but, the fact that it is a prime makes it not quite as versatile as my zoom. If I had the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ii lens, I am sure that it would be my favorite lens but, the f/4L IS suits me just fine since I usually shoot at apertures of f/4 and smaller...

    IMO, lighting and post processing is more important that the specific type of lens used as long as that lens is long enough to avoid the perspective distortion caused by shooting from a distance too close to the subject.....
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 16th April 2013 at 02:59 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    IMO, just about any lens with a equivalent focal length of between 85-200mm (leaning toward the longer focal lengths) can work quite well for portraits. I don't need a lens with a super fast aperture because I don't like paper-thin DOF in which one eye is in focus and the other OOF (although, I don't mind the eyes being in focus and an ear beginning to fall OOF). I like longer focal lengths because I am quite sensitive to the perspective distortion caused by shooting from a close distance. I think that the longer lenses are more flattering to the subjects, especially to female subjects. The longer focal lengths will also be able to knock the background OOF as long as you have enough distance between the subject and the BG.

    Additionally, most often a portrait lens doesn't have to be the sharpest knife in the drawer since many portraits, especially portraits of females incorporate a bit of diffusion/softening in the final product anyway.

    While prime lenses are just fine for potraits, a decent zoom is probably more versatile

    My favorite portrait lens is the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS but, I did some very decent work when shooting portraits with the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens. The 70-200mm f/4L IS lens provides very smooth bokeh which is a big plus for a portrait lens. My 90mm f/2.8 Tamron Macro also produces creamy bokeh but, the fact that it is a prime makes it not quite as versatile as my zoom. If I had the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ii lens, I am sure that it would be my favorite lens but, the f/4L IS suits me just fine since I usually shoot at apertures of f/4 and smaller...

    IMO, lighting and post processing is more important that the specific type of lens used as long as that lens is long enough to avoid the perspective distortion caused by shooting from a distance too close to the subject.....
    Richard,

    Regarding the 70-200mm and 28-135mm choices, would you say you used those lenses at the longer focal length or did you experiment and use them across their range?

  10. #10

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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Hi Pro's,

    Thank you all for the wonderfull suggestions. It's making me to think before clicking my cam.

    Any once can suggeset me where can I find good details on composition

  11. #11
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Richard,

    Regarding the 70-200mm and 28-135mm choices, would you say you used those lenses at the longer focal length or did you experiment and use them across their range?
    I use the 70-200mm lens pretty well across the range. However, I probably shoot around 100-150mm mostly for formal type portraits and use the longer focal length when I want to catch someone unawares. OTOH, I don't have any hesitation of shooting at 70mm when I cannot get enough camera to subject distance to shoot at a longer focal length. After all, the 70mm on a 1.6x camera is a 112mm equivalent. Lots of photographers really like the 105mm Nikkor for head and shoulders portrait work on a full frame camera.

    I used the 28-135mm pretty well from 100-135mm for head and shoulders but, mine fell off in quality just a bit at the maximum 135mm. I was trying to find some examples of the 28-135mm for portrait work but all that I have really found is photos of dogs shot with that lens. I had a hard drive crash a year or so ago. Most of my images were backed up but, not all of them...

    Here are some examples of portraiture with the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens:
    http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Portraits...0241&k=LXnFVZC
    http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Fashion/b...9808&k=xxGZKk8
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 17th April 2013 at 04:23 AM.

  12. #12
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Richard,

    Thanks for the information and link, you have quite a few closeup headshots. I can see where tha longer focal length comes in handy, maintaining a respectable working distance and maintaining distortion free imagery. I would think the longer focal length works just as well with the pets; they can move very quickly unless distracted or well trained to sit still for portrait work.

  13. #13

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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post

    Here are some examples of portraiture with the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens:
    http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Portraits...0241&k=LXnFVZC
    http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Fashion/b...9808&k=xxGZKk8
    Cool images.

    ( left comments on your galleries. )

  14. #14

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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Thank you for your words. Recently I went for vacation to Malaysia where I was able to explore my photography skills. I have posted the pics in flickr.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/thilak_d5100/

    Kindly check and provide your comments

  15. #15
    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    You have already received some sound advice from the experienced photographers, but if you are still looking down the prime lens route then have a look at the Nikon AF-S 60mm f/2.8 Micro Lens. It has a stella performance from close range to infiniti and is quite reasonably priced. Maybe a bit short for portraiture and sharper than you might need, although for portraits that can be sorted in p.p. The versatility is where the value lies if you don't want a zoom.

  16. #16

    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Hello!

    I actually use my Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G with Nikon D5100 as a all around lens. i made a short movie only with the 40mm and D5100. Hope this helps! Thanks!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZJs_0u14ms

  17. #17
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: NIKKOR 50mm 1.8G vs Micro NIKKOR 40mm 2.8G

    Quote Originally Posted by rtk View Post
    Hi Pro's,

    I am a begineer and I love to take portrait photography.

    u can see my pics(u can also provide your suggestions where I need to improve) @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/thilak_d5100/

    Little confused between lens which I can upgrade from my kit lens.

    AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G vs AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G.

    I like the BLUR effect as well as close up shots. With that need I seached and found both the above lens.

    More positive reviews for AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G than AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G.

    Whether the AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G. lens will satisfy my needs can I get good pics in low light situation.
    Thilak,

    Any camera/lens combination mounted on a tripod will get you reasonably good pics in low light conditions. Are you shooting moving or still objects?

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