I want a por­trait prime lens, but some­one sug­gested get­ting a macro in­stead, such as the Sigma 105mm f/2.8. Is this good ad­vice?

NPhoto - - Nikopedia -

Chris says… There is a lot of sense in this sug­ges­tion as a macro lens can of­ten dou­ble as a por­trait lens, giv­ing you two use­ful primes in one.

A por­trait lens typ­i­cally has an ef­fec­tive fo­cal length of around 100mm. That means us­ing a 100mm lens on a full­frame cam­era, or a 60mm or 70mm one on a DX APS-C cam­era, like your D300s. This an­gle of view is great for por­trai­ture as it avoids the fa­cial dis­tor­tion given by wider lenses, but doesn’t force you to be too far from you sub­ject. A por­trait lens also needs a wide max­i­mum aper­ture to blur back­grounds, but most macro lenses give you a max­i­mum aper­ture of f/2.8, which is more than ad­e­quate.

The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM is a su­perb macro lens, and a firm favourite in re­cent group tests. The fo­cal length is a touch too long for por­traits, but fine should you up­grade to full-frame. For a shorter macro, I’d rec­om­mend the Nikon 60mm f/2.8D, which I per­son­ally use.

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