best lens for portraits nikon d3400

Nikon D3400 is a digital SLR camera and a quite famous one too. With economic price and a broad range of features, this camera has been talking of a town for fairly some time. And we all know that when it comes to digital cameras, Nikon is the force to be reckoned with. So if you have recently purchased a Nikon D3400 or owner of it then congratulations, you’ve selected one of the best cameras in the market. Now that you’ve got hold of this amazing device, you would want to utilize it to the fullest extent, and to do that you will have to select the most appropriate camera lenses that could work for a given situation. In this article today, we are going to take a look at some of the Best Lens For Portraits Nikon D3400 options for various types of photography. Since this camera is capable of capturing moments of most of the kind of events, you will also get a variety of lenses that go hand to hand with it.

You can select from zoom, prime, telephoto, portrait, wide-angle lenses, attach them into the camera and just dive into the world of representative photography.

This guide will help you in choosing the correct lens in regards to your subject matter, the location of your shooting, your budget, mobility along with various other factors. The selection of lens will also depend on whether you are shooting a video or simply capturing the photos.

Focal length, autofocus, resolution, weight, connectivity, and some other things will also play a vital role in the assertion of most suited camera lenses. So hold your cameras and get into this list of best lenses for Nikon D3400 so that you can store the most memorable moments of your life.

best lens for portraits nikon d3400

1. NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G

nikkor 35mm f/1.4 prime lens

A classic portrait lens from NIKKOR. The NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G is great for portraiture, and at f/1.4 the sharpness is hard to beat. Many customers reported great details and depth in shadows on their images.

The focusing is fast and this lens is a great option for full frame cameras like the Nikon D750 or D850.

Available on Adorama →

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative starting out, try the NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G.

2. Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art

sigma 35mm art f1.4 lens

An ideal lens for portraits. The Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art is a versatile, and extremely high quality lens for full frame Nikon DSLRs. At a maximum aperture of F1.4 this lens can capture vast depth and add intriguing bokeh to your portraits.

3. Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4

zeiss milvus 35mm f1.4 lens for portraits

One of the sharpest and most high quality 35mm lenses available. The Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 is fast lens that produces creamy bokeh. At this quality, flares and ghosting are almost non-existent so you can create picture perfect portraits.

4. NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

nikkor 50mm nikon lens

Another popular choice for portraits is the 50mm lens. Nikon’s NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G is a great choice for the price. Also made for full frame Nikon DSLRs, this lens performs great for street fashion, family photos, and more.

5. NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

nikkor 50mm f1.4 nikon lens

If you want a sharper version of the lens above, the NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G is your choice. Many customers reported a dramatic difference in quality from the 1.8 and a noticeable increase in bokeh quality.

6. NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E

nikon nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens

One of the most versatile lenses on the list, this is a great portrait lens for Nikon. The NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E allows you to take crisp photos at 2.8 throughout the entire zoom range. That means you can get portraits at 2.8 fully zoomed in at 200mm.

This lens is more costly that most on the list, but if you are capturing things like action sports, runway events, or auto racing, this is a great choice.

7. Tamron 70-200mm F/2.8

tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 lens

A cheaper alternative to the NIKKOR 70-200mm, the Tamron 70-200mm F/2.8 is also a great choice for portrait photographers. Users reported great quality and sharpness regardless of the zoom. In addition to action sports photography, this lens works great for concerts and sporting events.

8. Tamron 85mm F/1.8

tamron 85mm 1.8

A cheaper choice for an 85mm lens. The Tamron 85mm F/1.8 is reported to have attractive bokeh and sharp/accurate focusing. Almost all user reviews mentioned how sharp this lens was for the price. For under $800, this is one of the best deals you can find for a high quality 85mm portrait lens.

9. NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G

nikkor 85mm lens for nikon

The 85 is a popular choice for portraits. The NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G works great when doing lifestyle photos and for event photography. The fast aperture will help you capture sharp portraits and photos no matter the situation or pace.

10. NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G

nikkor 85mm f1.4 lens

If you want an even sharper 85mm lens, the NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G is the one. It will cost you though. Going from f/1.8 to f/1.4 will cost you over $1000 more! According to customer reviews across the web though, it is worth it.

This lens is even sharper than the 1.8 and can provide greater quality at greater speeds. For advanced and commercial portrait photographers, this is a fantastic choice.

11. Sigma 135mm f/1.8

sigma 135mm portrait lens

To wrap this roundup of portrait lenses for Nikon up, I wanted to find a unique lens that could help you achieve even more intrigue in your portraits and photos of people. The Sigma 135mm f/1.8 is an awesome lens for what it can help you do.

This distance allows you to create some real separation from your subject and the background. Not to mention the bokeh is unlike most other lenses you’ve tried.

BONUS: ZEISS Milvus 25mm f/1.4

zeiss milvus 25mm f/1.4 lens

An impressive wide angle lens from Zeiss. While this focal length can cause a little distortion, it can also produce some stunningly sharp portraits with interesting depth. Take a look at these 25mm portraits. The ZEISS Milvus 25mm f/1.4 is a great lens for sharp, high quality portraits and lifestyle photos.

How to Buy a Digital Camera

1. Determine what you need

A mistake I see some digital camera buyers making is that they get sucked into buying cameras that are beyond what they really need. Some questions to ask yourself before you go shopping:

  • What do you need the camera for?
  • What type of photography will you be doing? (portraits, landscapes, macro, sports)
  • What conditions will you be largely photographing in? (indoors, outdoors, low light, bright light)
  • Will you largely stay in auto mode or do you want to learn the art of photography?
  • What experience level do you have with cameras?
  • What type of features are you looking for? (long zoom, image stabilization, large LCD display etc)
  • How important is size and portability to you?
  • What is your budget?

Ask yourself these questions before you go to buy a camera and you’ll be in a much better position to make a decision when you see what’s on offer. You’ll probably find the sales person asks you this question anyway – so to have thought about it before hand will help them help you get the right digital camera.

2. Megapixels are NOT everything

One of the features that you’ll see used to sell digital cameras is how many megapixels a digital camera has.

When I first got into digital photography, a few years back, the megapixel rating of cameras was actually quite important as most cameras were at the lower end of today’s modern day range and even a 1 megapixel increase was significant.

These days, with most new cameras coming out with at least 5 megapixels, it isn’t so crucial. In fact at the upper end of the range it can actually be a disadvantage to have images that are so large that they take up enormous amounts of space on memory cards and computers.

One of the main questions to ask when it comes to megapixels is ‘Will you be printing shots’? If so – how large will you be going with them? If you’re only printing images at a normal size then anything over 4 or so megapixels will be fine. If you’re going to start blowing your images up you might want to pay the extra money for something at the upper end of what’s on offer today.

3. Keep in mind the ‘extras’


Keep in mind as you look at cameras that the price quoted may not be the final outlay that you need to make as there are a variety of other extras that you might want (or need) to fork out for including:

  • Camera Case
  • Memory Cards
  • Spare Batteries/Recharger
  • Lenses (if you are getting a DSLR)
  • Filters (and other lens attachments)
  • Tripods/Monopods
  • External Flashes
  • Reflectors

Some retailers will bundle such extras with cameras or will at least give a discount when buying more than one item at once. Keep in mind though that what they offer in bundles might not meet you needs. For example it’s common to get a 16 or 32 megabyte memory card with cameras – however these days you’ll probably want something at least of 500 megabytes (if not a gigabyte or two).

4. Do you already own any potentially compatible gear?

Talking of extra gear – one way to save yourself some cash is if you have accessories from previous digital cameras that are compatible with your new one.

For example memory cards, batteries, lenses (remember that many film camera lenses are actually compatible with digital SLRs from the same manufacturers), flashes, filters etc.

5. DSLR or Point and Shoot?

Dslr-Point-And-ShootWhile digital SLRs are getting more affordable they are not for everyone. Keep in mind that they are usually bigger, heavier, harder to keep clean (if you’re changing lenses) and can be more complicated to operate than point and shoot. Of course there are some upsides also.

If you’re trying to make a decision between a point and shoot and DSLR you might want to read my previous posts titled Should you buy a DSLR or a Point and Shoot Digital Camera? and it’s companion piece How to Choose a DSLR.

6. Optical Zooms are King

Not all ‘zooms’ are created equal.

When you’re looking at different models of digital cameras you’ll often hear their zooms talked about in two ways. Firstly there’s the ‘optical zoom’ and then there’s the ‘digital zoom’.

I would highly recommend that you only take into consideration the ‘optical zoom’ when making a decision about which camera to buy. Digital zooms simply enlarge the pixels in your shot which does make your subject look bigger, but it also makes it look more pixelated and your picture ‘noisier’ (like when you go up close to your TV).

If you’re looking for a zoom lens make sure it’s an optical zoom (most modern cameras have them of at least 3x in length – ie they’ll make your subject three times as big – with an increasing array of ‘super zooms’ coming onto the market at up to 12x Optical Zoom).

7. Read reviews

Before buying a digital camera take the time to do a little research. Don’t JUST rely upon the advice of the helpful sales person (who may or may not know anything about cameras and who may or may not have sales incentives for the camera they are recommending).

Read some reviews in digital camera magazines or online to help you narrow down the field. There are some great websites around that give expert and user reviews on virtually every camera on the market – use this wonderful and free resource.

A little self promotion here – one such site is my Digital Photography Blog which is a site that collates the reviews of many sites from around the web. To use it best enter the camera’s model name that you’re looking for a review on in the search feature in the top right side bar. It’ll give you a link to a central page that has information on the camera as well as links to any reviews published online on that camera from around the web.

8. Hands On Experience

Photo by erinmariepage

Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a handful of cameras head into your local digital camera shop and ask to see and play with them. There’s nothing like having the camera in your hands to work out whether it suits your needs.

When I shop for a camera I generally use the web to find reviews, then I head into a street in my city with 4 camera shops side by side and I go from shop to shop asking for recommendations and seeing the cameras live in the flash. In doing this I generally find the same camera or two are recommended in most shops and I get to see them demonstrated by different people (this gives a more well rounded demo). I also get to play with it and get a feel for which one I could see myself using.

9. Negotiate

After you’ve selected the right digital camera for you it’s time to find the best price.

Once again, I generally start online (on a site like our store) and do some searches to find the most competitive prices on the models I’m interested in. With these in hand I’m in a good position to be able to negotiate in person with local stores and/or with online stores. I generally find that retail stores will negotiate on price and will often throw in freebies. Online stores are more difficult – most bigger ones don’t give you the ability to negotiate but smaller ones often will if you email them.

Don’t forget to ask for free or discounted bonuses including camera cases, memory cards, extra batteries, filters, free prints, cases etc. I even know of a couple of stores that offer camera lessons that you can ask to be included. Some stores will also consider giving you a trade in on older gear.

I generally do negotiating from home on the phone and only go into a store to pick up the camera after a price is agreed upon.

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