best portrait lens for nikon d3400

The successor to the Nikon D3300, the D3400, is considered by some to be one of the best entry-level DSLRs for the money. The D3400 was released in late 2016. Today we review the Best Portrait Lens For Nikon D3400 and the nikon d3400 lenses best buy for your budget.

This camera usually comes with a kit lens, and while the kit lens isn’t terrible, you’ll want to expand the range and capabilities of what’s in front of your camera sensor. These are the six best lenses for the Nikon D3400.

Because this is a beginner DSLR, you’re not going to find an overwhelming slate of features. It has a simple design with minimal fanfare. It does record 1080p HD movies, but this isn’t exactly its strong point. The camera takes great images, and is very easy to use.

The D3400 has great battery life, is small and light, and contains sensor & processor technology found in some of Nikon’s best cameras. The 24.2 megapixel sensor will allow you to make large prints and crop your photos without losing detail.

Best Portrait Lens For Nikon D3400

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX

Focal Length: 35 mm (50 mm equivalent)
Weight: 197 g (6.95 oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 70 x 52.5 mm (2.8″x 2.1″)
Filter Diameter: 52 mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.3 m (0.99 ft)

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On Nikon DX camera bodies, with their 1.5x crop factor sensor size, the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G is equivalent to what is considered to be the most standard focal length, which is 50mm on full-frame (FX) cameras.

Since it is one of the most common lens focal lengths, Nikon had made this lens very simple, compact, lightweight, and quite affordable too. In other words, it’s hard to go wrong with this lens!

At just under $200 brand-new, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G DX is a great lens for anyone who is looking to get a little bit more serious about photography with their D3400, yet is looking to avoid breaking the bank.

This normal lens, compared to the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DX “kit” lens which likely came in the box with your D3400, offers an aperture that is more than two stops brighter, at f/1.8.

This allows you to capture beautiful images even in low light, and it also allows you to capture images with more selective focus, which means blurring the background and foreground, so that emphasis is added to the subject.

The Nikon 35mm f/1.8 exhibits great bokeh | 1/640 f/13 ISO400

Since this is a DX lens, it will not be fully compatible with an FX full-frame Nikon DSLR or Z-series mirrorless camera.

So, if you’re serious enough about photography that you think you might buy an FX full-frame camera sometime in the near future, you might want to avoid this lens, and instead get either the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G, or the FX version of the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G (reviewed here), since both of them are full-frame lenses which will still be compatible with FX bodies.

Of course, the full-frame sensor will make all your focal lengths feel a little bit wider, so remember that.

Nevertheless, if you’re sticking with your D3400 for at least another year or so, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX can be especially useful for capturing portraits, (both full-length and mid-length) as well as any candid journalism type of situation, among many other things.

It’s just a great walk-around lens, whether you want to “keep it simple” for reasons of creative inspiration or for portability; this lens has got you covered!

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DX

Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 DX

Focal Length: 18-300 mm (27-450 mm equivalent)
Weight: 550 g (19.4 oz)
Size (Diameter x Length): 78.5 x 99mm (3.1″ x 3.9″)
Filter Diameter: 67 mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.48 m (1.6 ft)

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Sometimes, the perfect lens is what is known as a superzoom. These types of lenses are great for any situation where you just can’t change lenses, and yet you need the versatility of both wide-angle and telephoto (indeed, super telephoto!) focal lengths.

The Nikon AFS-DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens is one of the best choices of superzooms that are fully compatible and optimized for the Nikon D3400.

Maybe it’s just not practical for you to switch lenses. For example, you might be on a boat with ocean mist spraying on you.

Or, you could just be traveling light and don’t have extra room in your bags for additional lenses.

Whatever the case, a zoom lens that covers almost every useful focal length can be a godsend.

The Nikon 18-300mm allows you to get up close and personal without moving your feet | 1/1000 f/5.6 ISO800 at 210mm

With the Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR superzoom lens, you can go from seeing a wide-angle view to a narrow, close-up, zoomed-in view, just by turning your zoom ring.

Of course, it won’t be as sharp at every single focal length as a prime lens at that same focal length, however, it is still impressively sharp, believe it or not, and is capable of very high-quality results.

The VR image stabilization feature will also help you get sharp images even when your shutter speed is a bit too slow when shooting hand-held.

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G FX

Focal Length: 85 mm (127.5 mm equivalent)
Weight: 351.3 g (12.39 oz.)
Size (Diameter x Length): 80 x 73 mm (3.1″ x 2.9″)
Filter Diameter: 67 mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.8 m (2.6 ft)

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If you’re really into portrait photography or another type of telephoto photography where shallow depth of field (blurry backgrounds) and fast shutter speeds are very useful, then you should definitely consider the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 G (FX) lens.

This lens when mounted on the Nikon D3400, will roughly equal a 120mm or 135mm lens mounted on a full-frame camera, making it an ideal lens for achieving that extra bit of background blur and “reach” compared to a 35mm or 50mm lens.

For example, the Nikon 85mm is fantastic for head-shots on DX camera bodies such as the Nikon D3400.

The relatively telephoto focal length allows you to photograph subjects from a comfortable distance, and avoid facial distortions to the nose or forehead, while still feeling close to the subject overall.

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G has been one of my favorite investments, on both DX and FX cameras actually, and it has been used heavily on both types of bodies for all types of photography.

It’s very sharp, the autofocus is very reliable, and overall it’s actually built extremely durable, despite its plastic exterior. Mine has survived plenty of abuse and still takes great pictures!

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G

Focal Length: 50 mm (75 mm equivalent)
Weight: 185 g (6.6 oz.)
Size (Diameter x Length): 72 x 52.5 mm (2.8″ x 2.1″)
Filter Diameter: 58 mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.45 m (1.5 ft)

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The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens is the all-around standard focal length lens for full-frame cameras, so on the Nikon D3400‘s DX format sensor, it will be approximately equivalent to 75mm.

This focal length is quite useful for medium-close portraits, from full-body to chest-up distances, making it just as useful a lens as the aforementioned Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX.

Deciding between this lens and the  35mm f/1.8 DX is, really, just a matter of personal preference.

If you like to give your subjects just a little bit more distance, then get this 50mm.

If you prefer to get a little bit closer to your subjects, for more intimate feeling images, then consider a 35mm prime instead. Both styles of photography can result in beautiful imagery!

Beautiful subject separation can be achieved with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 | 1/640 f/1.8 ISO100

This lens also has the benefit of being future-proof for those photographers who might be eyeing an FX full-frame camera body. Although if you love this lens’ slight telephoto angle of view, you might find yourself wanting an 85mm prime if you get an FX camera anyways.

Again, consider your own personal shooting style, and decide based on how close you like to be to your subjects, or how much “reach” you’d like to have in your lens.

Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 DX

Focal Length: 10-20 mm (15-30 mm equivalent)
Weight: 227 g (8 oz.)
Size (Diameter x Length): 77 x 73 mm (3.03″ x 2.87″)
Filter Diameter: 72 mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.22 m (0.7 ft)

The Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens is far from a “standard” zoom range, with its 10-20mm focal range that classifies as truly “ultra-wide”.

This makes it a perfect Nikon wide angle lens for capturing stunning landscape imagery, or any scenic, wide-angle view, indoors or outdoors.

I particularly appreciate this lens for how surprisingly compact and affordable, yet incredibly sharp it is.

It’s also worth mentioning that when shot at the wide end, you can create some intense images where the viewer feels immersed in the shot, like in the example below.

The Nikon 10-20mm is a fun lens that offers a truly unique perspective | 1/30 f/5.6 ISO1400

Compared to a full-frame equivalent lens, especially one with a very fast aperture, this 10-20mm DX lens is absolutely tiny and certainly one of the most portable options on the market, including both DSLR and mirrorless options!

If you like to travel, or photograph landscapes or any other sort of “scapes”, and you already have a medium range lens such as the 18-55mm DX kit lens, or the 35mm f/1.8 DX, the Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR DX is a perfect wide-angle complement to your camera bag.

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