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Thread: AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

  1. #1

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    AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    Hi Everybody,

    May I inquire if the Nikkor AF 50mm 1.8D lens can be used as a portrait lens like an 85mm lens?

    Read this Nikkor AF 50MM 1.8D lens on a DX cam is equivalent to 75mm.
    Most portrait lens recommendations point to the 85mm lens as the best portrait lens.

    Thanks in advance for any info.

    Vic Nimitz

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    Of course it can; it can be used as a portrait lens on a FX as well. There is no magic rule regarding what focal length to use. Longer lenses tend to give more flattering looking results (less distortion of facial features), which is why they are used.

    The 85mm recommendation for a portrait lens tends to be on an FX, but again there are no rules stating which lens to use. I personally prefer longer lenses, but have done portraits with shorter lenses too.

  3. #3

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    Re: AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Of course it can; it can be used as a portrait lens on a FX as well. There is no magic rule regarding what focal length to use. Longer lenses tend to give more flattering looking results (less distortion of facial features), which is why they are used.

    The 85mm recommendation for a portrait lens tends to be on an FX, but again there are no rules stating which lens to use. I personally prefer longer lenses, but have done portraits with shorter lenses too.
    Thank you kind Sir.

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    Just checked the last two portraits I have taken on a FX camera one was at 95mm the other was at 112mm. So I like Manfred either prefer the look a slightly longer focal length lens gives or just don't like getting to close to the subject - mind you if the perfume was particularly alluring I could well revert to a wide angle close up shot and to hell with the photography. (Sorry I am dreaming again)

  5. #5

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    Re: AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post

    just don't like getting to close to the subject - mind you if the perfume was particularly alluring I could well revert to a wide angle close up shot and to hell with the photography. (Sorry I am dreaming again)
    Thanks for the tip.

    Hmmm..........., yes. I'd dream that too.....

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    Quote Originally Posted by nimitzbenedicto View Post
    Thanks for the tip.

    Hmmm..........., yes. I'd dream that too.....
    Victor just a word of caution - dreaming is fine but if you are not dreaming and misjudge your exposure I understand it can be far more expensive than photography.

    A 50mm lens on a DX should be safe enough.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 29th July 2013 at 04:25 AM.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    Victor just a word of caution - dreaming is fine but if you are not dreaming and misjudge your exposure I understand it can be far more expensive than photography.
    Like most excellent humor, it takes a moment to get this. Well played, sir.

    Personally, I prefer lenses either considerably longer or considerably shorter than 85mm. My Canon EF 20mm f2.8 USM (32mm on 1.6x crop) is ideal for environmental portraits. Any wider, and the distortion starts to get a little crazy. For full-body or head-and-shoulders shots, I like my Canon EF 100mm f2.0 USM (160mm on 1.6x crop). It's razor-sharp right down to f2.0. While a 1.6x crop 50mm lens should be good enough, quite a few photogs advocate lenses at or above 200mm for portraits.

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    Re: AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    Hi Victor,

    A good “portrait lens” keeps you out of the face of your subject. Any lens can be a good portrait lens, depending on the amount of garlic consumed by you and/or your subject and the size of your “studio”.

    The 50mm will do just fine.

    I think the best portrait I ever shot was done with a 200mm lens. My subject was unaware of me capturing an image of her.
    Or at least she pretended to be unaware

  9. #9

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    Re: AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Hi Victor,

    A good “portrait lens” keeps you out of the face of your subject. Any lens can be a good portrait lens, depending on the amount of garlic consumed by you and/or your subject and the size of your “studio”.

    The 50mm will do just fine.

    I think the best portrait I ever shot was done with a 200mm lens. My subject was unaware of me capturing an image of her.
    Or at least she pretended to be unaware
    Thanks Andre for the encouraging advice.

    Will test 50mm ( after a good gargle. ) for portraits.

  10. #10
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    One thing that is seldom approached when talking about portrait lenses is the bokeh (subjective quality of the look of the out of focus areas of the image) produced by the various lenses. When shooting in a studio with a background (unless it is wrinkled muslin) the bokeh really doesn't matter that greatly. However, when shooting outdoors, the look of the out of focus background can sometimes be distracting unless it is creamy smooth...

    The Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens (I don't know about the Nikon equivalent) has a five bladed aperture which doesn't provide a particularly smooth bokeh. Lenses with more blades usually provide smoother bokeh. The Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lenses go one step further. In addition to an aperture consisting of more blades, the blades are rounded. This produces a very creamy smooth out of focus background which separates the subject from the background but, doesn't detract from the subject...

    AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    Virtually any lens can work for portraits. Wider lenses are better for environment portraits. I am with Lex in that I don't really like going much wider than 20mm on a crop camera and 35mm or so on a full frame camera when shooting people. The 35mm focal length was my favorite length for environmental portraits when I shot with 35mm film. However, I do like longer lenses for head and shoulder portraits because the distance you shoot from with a longer lens tends to produce less distortion.

    That is the whole secret of focal lengths for portraits - the distance you shoot from. Shooting with a 17mm lens and a 200mm lens will produce the exact same amount of distortion - IF the image is shot from the same distance and if the image is cropped so that the image from the 17mm lens shows the same coverage as the image from the longer lens. However - we usually shoot from closer and closer distances as we use wider and wider focal lengths; producing greater and greater distortion.

  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: AF 50mm F1.8D = 75mm on DX cam. can be Portrait lens on DX?

    Just a word of caution here - and I know this doesn't apply to Victor because he shoots with a D300 (I checked).

    To anyone with the 'lower echelon' of Nikon cameras:
    You need to be aware that the 50/1.8 AF D relies on a camera body focus motor and so will not Auto-Focus on; D40, D60, D3000/3100/3200 or D5000/5100/5200 models, which don't have the necessary motor.
    (NB I may have missed an earlier model or two)

    There is now a 50/1.8 AF-S G lens for those models though, the lens itself has the (USM) focus motor in.

    Good general advice above, btw.

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