Best Lens for Nikon D5000 Portraits

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The Nikon D5000 is a popular DSLR camera and is one of the best that Nikon has launched. It is a hit among professional photographers and beginners. 

So it is only right that an impressive DSLR like the Nikon D5000 gets attached with an impressive lens too. The best lens for the Nikon D5000 for a portrait can boost the camera’s abilities. 

Our Top Nikon D5000 Portrait Lens Reviews

While selecting the best lens for Nikon D5000 for portraits, we’ve reviewed compact and light lenses with high-resolution sensors and ones that offer a wide range to match the high-quality built-in technology of the D5000. 

Portrait photography requires a specific type of lens, and these lenses below can deliver great results. 

Brand
Best Overall
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8
Best for the Money
Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G
Best Cheap Pick
Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
Product
NIKON NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S Telephoto Zoom...
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard and Medium...
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
Lens Type
Telephoto
Telephoto
Standard
Maximum Focal Length
200 Millimeters
50 Millimeters
50 Millimeters
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8
Product
NIKON NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S Telephoto Zoom...
Lens Type
Telephoto
Maximum Focal Length
200 Millimeters
Rating
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G
Product
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard and Medium...
Lens Type
Telephoto
Maximum Focal Length
50 Millimeters
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
Product
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
Lens Type
Standard
Maximum Focal Length
50 Millimeters
Rating
Price

Best Overall Portrait Lens for Nikon D5000: Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 is a lens that produces clear portraits. It has a quick and silent autofocus system. It also has a silent motor wave, which means you can snap images of your subjects without any noise. 

NIKON NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S Telephoto Zoom...

The overall build of the lens is top-notch. Its barrel is made out of high-quality metal, and it is sealed from external elements such as dirt, dust, and water droplets. 

With a stabilization system, the lens can create images that are sharp and crisp. It can also produce steadier videos especially when the camera is connected to a stabilizer or tripod. 

However, its aperture of f/2.8 is too narrow to use in low light areas, unlike the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G that has a wide aperture. 

Also, it measures 8.66 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches and weighs 3.08 pounds. It is the heaviest and bulkiest lens on the list. 

Because of its weight and size, it is a challenge to carry, unlike the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G that only weighs 6.5 ounces. 

Pros:

  • It has a quiet autofocus system for amazing shots
  • It has a stabilization system that makes up for any camera shakes.  

Cons:

  • The f/2.8 aperture can’t be used in the dark because it is too narrow
  • Very heavy, can be difficult to travel with
NIKON NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S Telephoto Zoom...
  • At 70mm, focus can be achieved as close as 0. 5m from the subject
  • Lens utilizes standard 77mm filter thread
  • Lens offers customizable Function buttons and control ring for versatility

Best Nikon D5000 Portrait Lens for the Money: Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G

The Nikon 20mm f/1.8G is a lens made for portrait and landscape photography. It measures 3.19 x 3.27 x 3.27 inches and weighs 12.5 ounces. It is lighter than the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, making it ideal for travelling. 

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard and Medium...

With its aperture of f/1.8, it can be used in dark areas. It offers an angle view of 94 degrees and it is great for motion capture. 

The lens has a silent and quick autofocus system, so you can capture pictures of live subjects discreetly. Also, it produces portrait shots with soft background blurs. 

The lens has special elements such as Nano Crystals and Aspherical that prevent any unwanted effects like blurs and flares from appearing on your pictures.

Unfortunately, it is not sealed against external elements, a feature that the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens has. This means that the lens needs looking after when it is used outdoors. 

Also, the lens is not well-built because it is made of plastic, so if you accidentally drop it, it may crack or break. 

Pros:

  • The aperture of f/1.8 is wide, ideal for taking videos and images in the dark. 
  • The autofocus feature is accurate, quiet, and very quick. 

Cons:

  • The lens is not weather-sealed, exposing it to external elements will affect its quality. 
  • Since it is made of plastic materials, it is not sturdy enough. 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard and Medium...
  • Standard focal length 50 millimeter lens is effective in a multitude of shooting situations and...
  • Elements/Groups: 7/6, Diaphragm: Blades 8, Filter Thread: Font 58 millimeter. Minimum focusing...
  • An f/1.4 maximum aperture provides clear imaging in low light situations and shallow depth of field

Best Cheap Portrait Lens for Nikon D5000 : Nikon 50mm f/1.8G

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 is a compact and lightweight portrait lens. It has a wide aperture of f/1.8 which means that it can gather enough light to be used in dark areas, unlike the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 that has a narrow aperture. 

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens

The lens measures 2.09 x 2.83 x 2.83 inches, and it weighs 6.5 ounces. It is lighter than the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8. It can be used daily, and it can also be used while travelling. 

The lens is equipped with a fast and silent autofocus motor that lets you accurately focus on your subject, even while moving. 

With its Aspherical glass elements, the appearance of flares, ghosting, and chromatic aberration on pictures and videos are minimized. 

Unfortunately, since it does not have image stabilization, unwanted blurs may appear on the results if the camera shakes while taking pictures or shooting videos. 

Also, it does not come with an aperture ring, so it can be difficult to use, especially for those new to photography.  . 

Pros:

  • The aperture is wide and can be used in areas with little to no light. . 
  • It has Aspherical glass elements that can reduce the appearance of distortion, blurs, flares and more. 

Cons:

  • No image stabilization. It needs to be attached to a stabilizer to prevent blurs on images.
  • The lens has no aperture ring. Those who are new may find it difficult to adjust the aperture. 
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
  • Fast, upgraded f/1.8, compact FX format prime lens. The picture angle with 35 millimeter (135)...
  • Focal length 50 millimeter, minimum focus distance 1.48 feet (0.45 meter)
  • Newly developed optical system with aspherical lens element, exclusive Nikon silent wave motor (SWM)

Features to Consider in Portrait Lenses for Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000 lets you use a wide variety of lenses, so it is ideal for portrait photography. The lenses are compatible with the camera’s resolution and functionality to create amazing images. 

However, there are certain features that are important to achieve amazing results. 

Weather-SealedImage StabilizationSpecial Elements
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 YesYesNo
Nikon 20mm f/1.8GNoYesYes
Nikon 50mm f/1.8YesNoYes

Weather-Sealed

If you plan to do photoshoots outside, you need to be ready when the weather changes. It is best to get a lens sealed against water droplets, moisture, dirt, and dust, so you won’t have to worry about a malfunctioning lens. 

If the lens is sealed, it lasts longer. The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 and the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 are weather-sealed. 

Close up shot of a Nikon D5000 lens for shooting portraits

Image Stabilization

One of the major features that the Nikon D5000 camera does not have is image stabilization. This is why it is better to get a lens that has the feature to ensure clear images. 

The feature steadies your focus, and it ensures sharper stills. It also blocks any camera shakes from affecting your images. 

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 and the Nikon 20mm f/1.8G both have the stabilization feature. 

Special Elements

Special elements are additional glass that Nikon adds to the lens to filter out the lighting. This can help prevent chromatic aberration, flares, distortion, and other unwanted effects from ruining your images and videos. 

The special elements let you take sharp pictures despite what the lighting condition is. The Nikon 20mm f/1.8G and the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 are equipped with special elements. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Different Types of Portrait Photography?

Portrait photography comes in 10 different types. They are the traditional portraits, candid portraits, lifestyle portraits, glamour portraits, conceptual portraits, self-portraits, close-up portraits, group portraits, environmental portraits, and pet portraits. 

Can a Portrait Be Full Body?

Portraits can be full-body. However, it involves more work. When you put the full body in your imagery, you need to focus on posing your subject, selecting the right lens, correcting the camera angle, setting things up, and using more light.

Conclusion

Portrait photography is one of the most common types of photography, and getting a lens for it can be overwhelming. 

The best lens for Nikon D5000 has all of the specs and features that you need to capture a great portrait. 

Jared Bauman has spent more than twenty years in the professional photography profession. He founded Bauman Photographers in 2001, which is a wedding and commercial photography studio in San Diego, California. The company has been in business for 20 years, and has a stellar reputation in the community. In 2007, Jared co-founded ShootDotEdit, the premium post production company for professional wedding photographers worldwide. The company has edited millions of images for photographers around the world. Jared has spoken and presented at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Conference 9 years in a row. He has also given several multi-day courses on Creative Live, in addition to two national speaking tours.