I am planning to buy AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED lens for Nikon D3400. Can we take a good portrait from this lens, can we blur the background?

  • I'm unclear on your wording. Are you asking in general if this lens is good for portraits, or specifically if it is good for a particular style of portrait with a highly-blurred background? – mattdm Mar 30 '17 at 14:26
  • Actually i ordered online D3400 with dual kit lens one with 18-55mm & other 70-300mm. So i'm asking if i can take portrait with blurring background or not with 70-300 mm lens. – Akash Shrestha Mar 30 '17 at 14:28
  • Maybe you should have asked this question before ordering? :-) – Philip Kendall Mar 30 '17 at 14:48
  • Yes i should have. But this is my first dslr camera so i didn't get much idea about the lenses. @PhilipKendall – Akash Shrestha Mar 30 '17 at 14:56
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    Possible duplicate of How can I get dramatic shallow DOF with a kit lens? – mattdm Mar 30 '17 at 15:13


"Blurring" the background involves playing with the depth of field. Although I personally do not "favour" 70-300 for portraits, you can obviously "blur" the backgrounds using a aperture range of 4.5-6.3.

Good portrait not only means having great, expensive lenses in your kit. Sometimes, they do mean composing the portrait neatly and beautifully. I have seen people taking commendable portraits using a kit 18-55 lens.

I personally favour prime lenses for portraits. They pictorial quality the produce is awesome. For a good start, 35mm or 50mm primes in the budget ranges would be sufficient.



Such a lens is not perfect for portrait applications, but will do the job in most cases. It will certainly be a cost-effective option. You can find some exmaple images with blurred background in this review: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/70-300mm-vr-afp.htm.

In fact, the blurring effect can be achieved with almost any telephoto lens. To increase background blurring, you should shoot from further away at longer focal length and make sure that the background is far away from the model.

There are a few cases where this lens will be limited in its usefulness:

1) If you want to shoot not just portraits but also upper body or full body photos. In this case a focal length of 70mm (for APS-C format) may be too long and you may want to go down to 55mm.

2) If you want to take pictures in dim light, for example inside and without flash. In this case you might want a higher-aperture lens. Those are, however, often much more expensive and much heavier.

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    To increase background blurring you should shoot with your subject as close as possible and the background as far away as possible. Putting your subject further away increases the depth of field and decreases the relative distance between your subject and the background. For more, please see this answer. – Michael C Mar 30 '17 at 9:37
  • Michael, what you are saying is not wrong, but assumes pictures are taken at the same focal length, while I assumed that the size of the object should stay the same. In this case, the effect from longer local length is stronger, so that the background will be more blurred in a portrait taken from further away. – Roman Mar 30 '17 at 16:53

yes it can work for head shots and for upper body but for full body and group shots it is impractical to stand so far away from subject.

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