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closed as not constructive by AJ Finch, John Cavan, mattdm, rfusca Jul 18 '12 at 13:52

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

to take portfolios?? I think you mean Portraits.. – vivek_jonam Jul 18 '12 at 10:09
I find questions asked in all caps get the best answers – Dreamager Jul 21 '12 at 13:29

What country are you in? - this may greatly affect advice given in this price range.
Please be as specific as possible re intended use. Studio, catwalk, street, low light, school, own use, ... . Do you mind not being able to use auto-focus or must it autofocus.

You specify a $200 budget.
This is an extremely low budget for any lens of quality.
The D3200 lacks an in-body Af motor so will only AF with IS lenses.
You can use most Nikon mount lenses in manual focus mode.
MF can be very acceptable or totally unacceptable depending on your requirements.

I'll assume you are in the US - but if elsewhere this answer will be reasonably relevant.,1&fullscreen=true&av=5,5&fl=50,55&vis=VisualiserSharpnessMTF,VisualiserSharpnessMTF&stack=horizontal&&config=LensReviewConfiguration.xml%3F2

Go to ebay and set search to 'nikon lens'
Click the "buy it now" tab,
set "items per page" to 200 (at bottom of page),
click search button and then select last page. More may then be offered.
Use bottom and page page number tabs and the previous/next page arrows [<-][->] at top right of page to navigate to a page where the prices are about $300
and then start moving down in price looking at lenses.
If using Chome use Chrome search (Ctrl-F) to search for NEW. This will highlight all instances of new. (Other browsers may vary in command used)

Here's where we are - viewing Nikon lenses in descending order of prices, tsrating above your range, able to see if new or not.

Working down towards your price range will show you what you may be able to stretch to, how what $200 compares to spending a little more etc.

Regardless of where you actually buy, and regardless of country, this gives you an excellent comparison of open market prices and the range of prices and relative values.

If actually buying on ebay all the usual warnings apply. Look at buyer reputation, number of sales, whether protection and returns available etc.


Best quality per $

The best new lens you can but for <= $200 is the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G prime.
Nikon say:

  • Remarkably lightweight and compact 50mm standard lens. Boasts a fast maximum aperture of f/1.8 that is ideal for low-light situations or when shallow depth of field is required, and contributes to a bright viewfinder image. The re-designed optical construction features an aspherical lens element for superior image quality and Nikon’s exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM) delivers whisper-quiet operation. Great value for money, this is a superb additional lens for photographers on a budget.

4 user reviews here

Photo samples here

The 50mm becomes ~= 75mm on your D3200 - OKish for portraits.
Longer better maybe BUT less flexible generally.

Over budget, more flexibility, less quality optically.

For $600 for the new version or around $300 on ebay for the older but about as good non IS version you can get a Nikon 24-85mm VR AF-S NIKKOR G, FX & DX . It's f/3.5-4.5 so 2 stops slower that the f/1.8 50mm Prime.

Ken Rockwell review

He concludes

  • This is the one. Buy it; I did!

    I prefer it to the 24-120, 24-85 2.8-4, and 28-105 that I know you are shopping for since I was, too.

    It's as sharp as my worn-out 28-85 AF, has more distortion, is much smaller, has a wider zoom range and focuses closer, faster and easier. If I were on a budget I'd look for a used 28-85 here instead for about $150 over any of the other current new lenses.

    When the 24-120VR. starts shipping, probably at twice the price, it may or may not be better. I actually will use the VR since I often shoot in the dark without a tripod.

    Get a 67 -> 77mm step-up ring and make believe this lens has a 77mm filter size for compatibility with the other pro lenses.

It will NOT be as good as the 50mm Prime BUT wull be much more useful overall.

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There is very little information to go on I think you are going to have trouble getting a respectable answer. You can not go far wrong with the 50mm 1.8G Lens. Check it out on Google.

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