Five Sensational Prime Lenses for Nikon Portrait Photographers on a Budget

These prime lenses are perfect for portrait photography and they’re wallet friendly too!

Good quality prime lenses at affordable prices have not always been easy to come by. But now, you can get some truly fantastic primes that really won’t break the bank. Normally, you associate cheaper things in life with lesser quality, but that’s not the case here. If you’re a Nikon shooter and have been looking at lenses for portraits that won’t suck your bank account dry, this roundup is for you.

Razor sharp, gorgeous colors, blazing fast autofocus speeds, great build quality – all of those traits sound like they belong to lenses that cost upwards of four figures, don’t they? What if I told you that you can get lenses with all of those great characteristics, and more, for under $650! Does it sound too good to be true? Well believe it, because all of the prime lenses listed below are under $650, and they are perfect for budding portrait photographers and even pros simply because they perform miracles. Check out five of our favorite, affordable prime portrait lenses for Nikon below.

 

Nikon 35mm F1.8 G ED

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Pretty darn sharp for an f1.8 lens
  • Lightweight design and build
  • Fast to focus
  • Nice bokeh

Cons

  • Still a bit too expensive for our tastes (at the time of review)

Buy now ($476.95): Amazon

 

Nikon 50mm F1.8 G

 

prime lensesHere are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Produces nice bokeh
  • Nice color rendition, particularly skin tones
  • Sharp images even when shot wide open

Cons

  • This lens does stutter occasionally during focusing

Buy now ($176.95): Amazon

 

senior portrait photography

Pro tip: Becoming a successful portrait photographer is no easy task, and learning the ropes can be very tricky if you don’t have a mentor, or previous training. Fortunately, there are courses and tutorials out there that can set you on the path to success. This complete portrait photography tutorial will teach you about financials, marketing, contracts, and how to set up a successful studio. The best part is that you can get all of this for just $79!

 

Nikon 85mm F1.8 G

 

prime lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Very sharp wide open
  • Incredibly fast to focus
  • Great overall build quality
  • Bokeh to die for

Cons

  • Skin tones did seem to be a little warm on some Nikon cameras

Buy now ($426.95): Amazon

 

Tamron 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Super sharp
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Consistently accurate focusing
  • Very close focusing abilities
  • Weather sealing
  • Fast focusing abilities

Cons

  • Makes weird noises when focusing and with the VC enabled, almost like an old school 386 computer…yes, before the Pentium processor

Buy now ($649): Amazon

 

Pro Tip: One of the best things you can do for your lenses is cleaning them frequently. There is nothing worse than getting to a shoot only to see dirt and grime all over the front element of your lens, and it can honestly be a little embarrassing if you have to clean the glass in front of your client. It can also be a pain to have to spend time in post removing dust spots from your images. You should always have a basic lens cleaning kit so that you can clean your glass before you leave the house, and so you can clean it if needed when on location.

 

Rokinon 135mm F2 ED UMC

 

prime lensesHere are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Stunning image quality on every front
  • Very precise focusing ring

Cons

  • Kind of big, but that’s natural for a lens like this
  • Rokinon needs a new exterior. I’d pay extra for metal for sure

Buy now ($499): Amazon