Best lenses for bokeh effect

edited March 2012 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
Hi Moose! I just treated myself to the Nikon 3100. I've had compact digital cameras (including a bridge camera) and the pictures have always been good, 'but' they lack the blurred background effect that you can only seem to get with a slr camera hence my purchase this week.

I opted for the kit rather than the camera body as I understand the 18-55mm DX lens is meant to be a good all rounder. I mainly take pictures of my grandchildren and scenery. I'm not into wildlife or anything like that, so I need a lens which will give a lovely soft background and make the pictures of my grandchildren stand out more.

I did have a slr camera 30 years ago, but have forgotten everything I ever picked up from then. Thats what compacts do...they make you lazy and forgetful. :) I am also watching the pennies these days so a reasonabley priced lens would be practical any advice would be very welcome thank you.


  • edited March 2012
    Howdy @balmcake - Without a doubt, I would go for the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G. This is the most affordable prime lens that can autofocus with the Nikon D3100.

    The super bright f/1.8 maximum aperture will allow you to capture some beautiful shots of your grandkids (indoors and outdoors) while blurring the background into buttery soft deliciousness. Lower f-numbers (those between f/1.4 to f/2.8) shorten the depth of field, which reduces the area in focus giving you sharp subjects and blurred backgrounds/foregrounds...also known as bokeh.

    This is a "prime" lens, which means you're fixed at the 35mm focal length. In order to frame a shot, you'll have to get up and mosey around.

    In addition to that, the D3100 has a crop factor of 1.5x, which means the 35mm has a field of view equivalent to a 50mm lens on a film SLR or full frame DSLR (like the D3S). This can feel a little long when shooting indoors or in tight spaces. However, if most of your shots are of 1 to 3 kids at a time you shouldn't have any problems.

    This lens is also really great at capturing scenery, flowers, vegetation, etc...Happy shooting! :)
  • Hi Moose, thanks for getting back to me, I shall certainly look into the suggested lens, there seems to be so many these days and they can be confusing which fit and which work well, I don't mind moving about where possible but I have walking dissabilities so am a little slower these days but I love photography and it's always well worth it when you get that perfect shot where the subject looks as those it's raised above everything else,it just stands out, thanks again.
  • Howdy @balmcake - If you need something with a bit more flexibility, check out the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (see here). This lens will allowing you to go from 17mm to 50mm, while maintaining a low constant aperture of f/2.8. It's a fantastic indoor and outdoor shooter...great for shots of grandkids and family. Happy shooting! :)
Sign In or Register to comment.