Best Lens For Nikon D5200 Portraits

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Introduced only late final yr (and already superseded by the recently announced D5300), the 24-Mpix D5200 has a number of improvements over its mid-range predecessor, the sixteen-MPix D5100 model from 2011. Highlights include an improved 39-betoken AF module and 2016-pixel colour-aware metering system, both previously found on the earlier 16-MPix D7000, plus an articulated iii-inch LCD and a new 1080/60/50i movie option.

The headline feature of course was the new 24-Mpix CMOS sensor, a more than or less inevitable addition following the introduction of the entry-level D3200 in 2012 using a sensor with a similar pixel count. What was a surprise was that sensor wasn’t from the aforementioned vendor (run across our review here).

In our tests, the sensor achieved the number i position for APS-C cameras with a DxOMark sensor score of 84 points. Afterward in the twelvemonth, Nikon announced the D7100 featuring a 24-MPix CMOS sensor without anti-aliasing filter. It achieved an almost identical score.

Bearing in mind its target audience, however, the sensor in D5200 retains the usual optical low pass (anti-aliasing) filter, which is used to reduce the effects of moiré – color aliasing and other unsightly artifacts. The inclusion of the filter is specially of import with video capture, where software removal is impractical, but the downside is that information technology also lowers high frequency (fine) detail and image sharpness.

The about intriguing attribute of our lens evaluations with the D5200, of course, are the furnishings on prototype quality and sharpness of the 24-MPix CMOS sensor with the low pass filter in place, especially with regard to filter-less D7100.

Our labs have analyzed the optical quality of almost 130 models from both Nikon and third-party makers. Models range from the extreme ultra-wide DX format Sigma eight-16mm (12-24mm equivalent) f4.5-5.half dozen DC HSM through to the popular full-frame Sigma 50-150mm f/ii.8 EX DC APO OS HSM and across to the, stabilized Nikon AF-Due south Nikkor 600mm f4G ED VR behemoth.

Other new models assessed include the new full-frame Nikon AF-South Nikkor 80-400mm f4.five-five.6G ED VR as well as the recently revamped Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG Bone HSM S telephoto zoom and highly portable Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-four.5G ED. Please notation we’ve non still tested the new loftier-speed Sigma eighteen-35mm f/one.8 in Nikon mountain, as information technology was produced in Canon mount only at beginning, simply it should be available soon and it will be added to our database in due course.

We compared sharpness data between the Nikon D5200 and the older D7000, which featured a similar Sony 16-MPix sensor with low laissez passer filter to that of the D5100. As expected, there was a substantial increase in sharpness (expressed in our graph equally P-MPix), though the corporeality varies from model-to-model, and depends on the design of the lens. Newer lens models are unremarkably re-computed to achieve college resolution, and aren’t necessarily all loftier-grade models, though it’south more likely that modern high-grade lenses will out-perform more modest models. On the all-time performing lenses in our database, the increase in sharpness was around 10% on average over the discontinued sixteen-MPix D7000.

The new 24-MPix sensor in the D5200 offers a dramatic increase in sharpness (measured in P-Mpix) over the older 16-MPix Nikon D7000 with sure high-cease lenses

While the D5200 shows a substantial increase in sharpness levels over the D7000 with a wide-range of lenses, nosotros also compared the same data and lenses with the D7100. The removal of the low pass filter accounts for a further increase in sharpness.

And, it’south not insignificant either, averaging around an 18% increase over the D5200 with the meliorate lenses. Little wonder the new Nikon D5300 will send with same filter-less 24-MPix sensor as the D7100.


Improvements in sharpness of over xviii-percent can be achieved with the D7100 when compared with its predecessor

It may come up as little surprise to followers of our reports to learn that the Sigma 35mm f1.4 HSM Art series lens continues to do out-practice rivals as the best performing prime lens in our database. Nikon’s current AF-Southward Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G is very shut in overall optical quality but the Sigma is far ahead of rival full-frame offerings of the same focal length.

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon 899 30 13
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/ane.4G 2199 29 13
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G 690 28 thirteen
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR 2 5899 26 14
Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Nikon 969 25 11
Samyang 85mm f/one.iv Aspherique IF Nikon 328 25 12
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/one.4D IF 1230 24 12
Nikon AF-South DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G 195 24 10
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 100mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon 1840 24 eleven
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZF.2 Nikon 1700 24 12
Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A Nikon 499 24 12
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm F2.8G ED VR 8999 24 13
Sigma 50mm F1.iv EX DG HSM Nikon 499 23 xi
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/ii ZF2 Nikon 1005 23 11
Carl Zeiss Planar T 85mm f/1.iv ZF2 Nikon 1280 23 12
Samyang 35mm F1.4 As UMC Nikon 599 23 nine
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon 1843 23 11
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G 1797 23 11
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/one.4D 329 22 12
Nikon AF-South Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED 2200 22 xi

Every bit far as trends are concerned, the full-frame 85mm models proceed to offering the highest prototype quality, followed by 35mm and 50mm focal lengths. It will be fiddling surprise to learn that these models are relatively simple to design and manufacture with a high-caste of correction for image degrading aberrations.

That said, there are one or 2 anomalies. The high-grade Zeiss 25mm f2 and the Nikon 200mm f/2G ED VR 2 and 400mm f2.8G ED VR models stand-out for their high image quality, as optimally corrected models. Prototype quality like this doesn’t usually come cheap.

We revealed earlier that the 24-MPix sensor is capable of capturing college levels of sharpness with certain lenses over the before 16-MPix sensor in the D5100. But, it’s besides worth noting that the somewhat depression-ish scores overall imply the sensor isn’t particularly efficient. As pure speculation, could this be one of the reasons why Nikon removed the low-laissez passer filter in the D7100 and the new D5300?

All-time Wide Angle Lens (Prime number & Zoom) for D5200:

Best Wide Angle Prime

As a DX format camera, the smaller sensor of the D5200 restricts the field of view of total-frame wide-angle primes, limiting their total potential and making them an expensive pick. Further, like well-nigh other makers, Nikon has yet to offer DX format wide and ultra-wide equivalents. Just, if yous already own one of these models for apply with a total-frame (FX) format camera, or you intend to add together an FX torso in the nigh future, and then these lenses may still be very useful.

Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZF.ii Nikon 1700 24 12
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/one.4G ED 2200 22 eleven
Sigma 20mm F1.8 EX DG ASP RF Nikon 629 20 13
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 21mm f/2.8 ZF2 Nikon 1732 18 9
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2.viii ZF2 Nikon 1005 18 ten
Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D 570 18 10
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* two.8/15 ZF.2 Nikon 2950 17 9
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 18mm f/iii.5 ZF2 Nikon 1395 xvi nine

The best performing lens in our database on the D5200 was the manual focus only Zeiss 25mm f2, with a DxOMark score of 24. Somewhat surprisingly, given the shorter focal length, the sharpest was the Sigma 20mm f/1.eight EX DG.

If brand loyalty isn’t an result, as an equivalent to a 30mm the Sigma is the more than useful in this category, and $629 it’s modestly priced given the vivid f1.8 maximum aperture. Nikon’s AF Nikkor 20mm f2.8D model is a solid performer, given its age, but behave in mind it lacks back up for AF with the D5200.

All-time Wide Angle Zoom

Rather than produce DX format primes with short focal lengths, Nikon and rival third-party makers have concentrated their R&D upkeep on zoom models instead. There’s a wide choice available at modest prices, but Nikon’s full-frame AF-South Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8G ED model remains the best option for image quality and sharpness.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED 2000 19 11
Tokina AT-X xi-16 PRO DX Nikon 659 18 9
Tokina AT-X 12-24 AF PRO DX Nikon 400 17 8
Tokina AT-X PRO SD xi-16 F2.8 IF DX 2 Nikon 655 17 9
Sigma 10-20mm F3.v EX DC HSM Nikon 649 16 9
Nikon AF-South DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED 800 15 eight
Tamron SP AF11-18mm F/4.five-5.6 Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Nikon 499 fourteen 7
Sigma 8-16mm DC HSM Nikon 699 thirteen 8
Tamron SP x-24MM F/three.v-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical IF Nikon 499 thirteen 6
Sigma 12-24mm F4.five-5.6 EX DG HSM 2 Nikon 1400 12 6
Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Nikon 840 11 5
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Nikon 479 xi five

More than practical is Tokina’s AT-X 116 (xi-16mm f2.8) PRO DX model. Non merely is this zoom close in IQ overall information technology’s wider and cheaper and every bit constant-discontinuity f2.viii model it’due south only as ‘fast’.

Slightly more modest in price and aspiration is the firm’s AT-Ten 124 (12-24mm f4). As the equivalent to an 18-35mm on a full-frame photographic camera, at $400 its excellent value compared to the residual in the database.

As an own brand lens, Nikon’s AF-S Nikkor x-24mm (16-35mm equivalent) f/iii.five-iv.5G ED is a solid performer and it takes full advantage of the D5200’due south lens correction features (chromatic aberration, distortion and vignetting correction) for in-photographic camera JPEGs, and Raw files with Nikon Raw software solutions.

On a full-camera the 35mm is a moderate broad-angle lens but if you’re new to digital photography it’s worth noting that the 35mm lenses take an equivalent field of view as a 50mm on a DX format trunk like the D5200.

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon 899 30 13
Nikon AF-Southward DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G 195 24 ten
Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A Nikon 499 24 12
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon 1005 23 11
Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC Nikon 599 23 9
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.iv ZF2 Nikon 1843 23 eleven
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/ane.4G 1797 23 xi
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 28mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon 1283 22 12
Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM Nikon 440 21 8
Sigma 28mm F1.8 EX DG ASP Macro Nikon 449 21 12
Nikon AF-Due south DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/ii.8G 280 20 12
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/ane.8G 699 20 10
Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2nd 365 xix eleven
Tokina AT-X M35 PRO DX AF 35mm f/2.eight Macro Nikon 599 18 xi
Nikon AF Nikkor 28mm f/2.8D 280 18 9

Equally we noted before, the Sigma 35mm f1.4 HSM A is the best performer overall with a convincing DxOMark score of 30 points, and the highest Sharpness score of 13P-Mpix. The $1,797 Nikon AF-Southward 35mm f1.4G, while very good, isn’t as sharp overall. And, don’t forget on a DX format body all of the full frame 35mm f1.four lenses are big and heavy (as they projection a larger epitome circle to cover the FX sensor).

Sigma’s revamped DX format 30mm f/i.iv HSM A is a very good performer only Nikon’s DX 35mm f/1.eight is cheaper and lighter, fifty-fifty if it’s not quite as sharp. At $195, it’s accessibly priced and the best value overall.

Traditionally lenses with 85-100mm focal lengths are ideal for portraits and sporting events but every bit the equivalents of 135mm models they may be but a trivial as well long or also narrow for utilize indoors.

Of class outdoors, information technology’s a different matter. The best performer optically on the D5200 is the recently revamped loftier-end AF-S Nikkor 85mm f1.4G, just the newer, cheaper f1.8G model is almost as good and can match it sharpness. It’southward still quite a big lens fifty-fifty if information technology’due south a piddling lighter.

Nikon AF-Southward Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G 2199 29 13
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G 690 28 13
Sigma 85mm F1.four EX DG HSM Nikon 969 25 eleven
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherique IF Nikon 328 25 12
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF 1230 24 12
Sigma 50mm F1.four EX DG HSM Nikon 499 23 11
Carl Zeiss Planar T 85mm f/one.4 ZF2 Nikon 1280 23 12
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D 329 22 12
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G 448 21 xi
Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Nikon 499 21 x
Nikon AF-Due south NIKKOR 50mm f/ane.8G 219 21 11
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D 460 21 12
Tamron SP 90mm F/2.viii Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD Nikon 749 21 10
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 50mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon 1280 20 12
Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO Nikon 460 20 nine
Tamron SP AF 60mm F/two Di Ii LD [IF] MACRO Nikon 499 xx 11
Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D 460 20 10
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D 134 xviii 11
Carl Zeiss Planar T 50mm f/i.4 ZF2 Nikon 725 xviii 10
Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR 500 16 9

Every bit the equivalent to a 75mm, Sigma’s full-frame 50mm f1.4 EX HSM is the best performing model at this focal length but at $499 the old Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4D and its replacement the AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.4G are both cheaper.

Just bear in mind, like all AF-D models, the D5200 lacks back up for AF, that’south if information technology can still be found new on dealer’southward shelves. In that location are no such concerns with the ultrasonic motor institute on the AF-S models, simply the focal length comes up a niggling ‘brusque’ on APS-C bodies for portraits.

Intriguingly, equally the equivalent to a 90mm, Nikon’s new total-frame AF-Southward Nikkor 58mm f1.4G model doubles upwardly as an effective portrait lens on DX cameras. Nosotros haven’t seen 1 to test it, just it will exist added to the database equally soon equally we can.

Equally we’ve seen with the primes, a number of zoom models accept also seen their sharpness levels increase with the D5200 over its predecessor. At the top of the rankings, the upgraded Sigma fifty-150mm f/ii.eight EX DC APO HSM is the all-time performing zoom model in our database, regardless of focal length.

This is followed closely by the current total-frame AF-Southward Nikkor seventy-200mm f/ii.8G ED VR Ii and new Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD with a DxOMark score of 21 points. Both these models are the equivalent to a 105-300mm on the D5200, so at that place’s a instance to consider those over the DX-format only Sigma fifty-150mm, merely neither are cheap exactly. As a ‘standard’ zoom, the Sigma 17-50mm (26-77mm) f2.8 EX DC OS HSM stands out for its balance of toll versus operation. Information technology may not possess the pro-level build of the Nikon AF-South 17-55mm f2.8G IF-ED, but it’s stabilized, has an ultrasonic-blazon AF motor and is both sharper and cheaper.

Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO Bone HSM Nikon 999 22 14
Nikon AF-Southward NIKKOR lxx-200mm f/ii.8G ED VR Ii 2699 21 12
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Nikon 1699 21 13
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR 1399 20 11
Sigma 17-50mm F2.viii EX DC OS HSM Nikon 669 19 12
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II Nikon 949 19 ten
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR fourteen-24mm f/2.8G ED 2000 nineteen 11
Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Nikon 1299 19 9
Sigma 120-300mm F2.viii DG Os HSM South Nikon 3599 nineteen 13
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/two.8G ED 1800 18 10
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Macro HSM Nikon 419 18 9
Sigma lxx-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM Nikon 1699 18 ten
Tokina AT-10 11-xvi PRO DX Nikon 659 18 nine
Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.eight Di Ii XR VC LD Aspherical IF Nikon 649 eighteen 11
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO Os HSM C Nikon 499 18 8
Nikon AF-South NIKKOR eighteen-35mm f/3.v-4.5G ED 750 18 8
Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED 1329 17 8
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.viii XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Nikon 459 17 10
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM Nikon 899 17 11
Tokina AT-10 16-28 F2.viii PRO FX Nikon 849 17 9

If you take a Nikon D5200 and a favorite lens, we would very much similar to hear from you. Please go out a annotate below, stating what lens information technology is and why you like it.