Beginner with Nikon D40

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Instaworthy, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. Instaworthy

    Instaworthy TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,
    I have an old Nikon D40 (probably 10 years old) but it still seems to work great. I want to be able to take great photos of my son so I'm wondering what the best lenses are for indoor portrait photos? I love pinteresty photoshoots to capture milestones so I'd like to be able to do some of those things at home on my own. Any other advice on how to capture great portrait photos for a beginner (lighting, editing etc) would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hello and welcome!

    Is your son a youngster? Are you envisioning candid portraits as he is preoccupied, or can you pose him?

    You did not mention a flash, so is that a possibility? Without knowing your budget, your experience level, or your exact intentions, it is going to be difficult to know what to tell you.

    What lens(es) do you have now? What is your experience, either with that camera or in total?
     
  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I googled pinterest to try to find out what is "pinteresty". I still don't know. Please explain.
     
  4. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    50mm f/1.8 G
     
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  5. Instaworthy

    Instaworthy TPF Noob!

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    LOL! Sorry Pinterest is an app to find ideas and inspiration. What I meant by "pinteresty" is just fun photos shoot she with props and fun themes. If you can picture the elaborate new born photos people take these days, that's more of what I am invisioning. My son is about to turn 1 so I wanted to do a fun themed photo shoot for his 1st birthday.
     
  6. JohnnyWrench

    JohnnyWrench No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    50 mm might be a bit tight on that camera. I'd suggest the 35 f/1.8 G DX. It's inexpensive like the 50 suggested above. Maybe rent both and see which one fits your needs best.
     
  7. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I suggest the 35mm f/1.8 DX lens and a flash that you can use on camera and off camera. Or at a minimum a flash where the flash head tilts and swivels. Having better artificial lighting opens up many new doors in terms of creativity. I still have my D40X.

    I would even say buy a decent flash before the 35mm f/1.8 DX lens!!! Even with I am guessing a kit lens. Flash opens up a lot or opportunities.
     
  8. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    O.K., thank you!

    I've seen those photographs. IMO, the main things you need are appropriate props (the baskets, for instance) and flat, even light. You could get that light by bouncing your flash off the ceiling. Get an inexpensive "speedlight" with a swivel head, and bounce the light off the ceiling or any nearby wall, providing they are painted white.
     
  9. Dave442

    Dave442 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with the 35mm f/1.8 G DX lens. It works good indoors with small children. I would start with that and then when you want to do the tighter portrait shots then add the 50mm f/1.8 G lens.

    As noted above, add a speedlight (flash) now that can bounce light off the ceiling (the swivel head). The Nikon models, and some third party flash units have infrared focus assist that can help the D40 camera focus in low light (I prefer this over the light built into the camera body).

    With the D40 I would get out out Auto mode so that you can select the focus point you want, that usually gives the best results with still subjects - I think the D40 only has three focus points and the center one probably works best indoors (low light).
     
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  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Solid,solid advice from Dave on this. I agree, the 35mm f/1.8 G-series DX-Nikkor is inexpensive, since it covers the smaller DX-sized sensors, and is made as an affordable prime lens. No, it is not 'perfect', but it is quite,quite decent, and the D40 is a 6-MP camera (I'm familiar with the D40, have a few thousand shots on the ex-wife's D40 under my belt) that does not demand uber-high-quality optics to make great pictures.

    The 50mm AF-S G f/1.8 model lens is quite good, more costly than the 35mm DX model, yet is still affordable. Narrower in its angle of view than the 35mm lens, a 50mm lens will be nice for tighter shots.
     
  11. snowbear

    snowbear Big Furball Supporting Member

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    Welcome aboard. The D40 is a decent beginner's camera - I had mine for about 10 years.
     
  12. Instaworthy

    Instaworthy TPF Noob!

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    Hi and thank you! Yes my son will be 1 very shortly. Ideally I'd like to do posed still shots, but would love to know the right equipment to have as he continues to move more and more! I don't necessarily have a budget in mind but Aside form a photography course I took 15 years ago I am
    Very very new so I would hope to experiment a little before I invest too much.

    Right now I have a 55mm and 200mm lenses and yes a flash is an option. I don't have one and but definitely willing to get one if that helps!
     

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