New D40 Owner

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by makeupgrl8, May 17, 2010.

  1. makeupgrl8

    makeupgrl8 TPF Noob!

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    I just got a D40 (first DSLR) and I am quite excited to take photos. I am very green to photography and would love advice on the following:

    - Right now I have the 18-55 kit lens. Which others do you recommend? I will be using this for a variety of subjects (portraits, sports, nature, macro- pretty much anything you can think of.

    - Any great books that I shouldn't pass up?

    - What are your favorite photo editing software programs?

    - Anything else you recommend? I have a tripod, memory card and a Nikon D40 for Dummies book :) Filters? Anything?

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. rusty9

    rusty9 TPF Noob!

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    well you can't shoot sports or macro with that lens. for macro, you will need a macro lens or extension tubes. for sports yoou will need a lens with a focal length between 200 and 400
     
  3. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    If you are looking to buy a variety of lenses, you bought the wrong camera. Don't get me wrong, its a nice entry level camera, I shoot one myself. But since that camera dosen't have an auto focus motor in the body, you are stuck buying lenes that have the motor built into it... and that = big $$$. For the price of some of those lenes, you are better off selling what you have and start new with a more middle grade camera body.

    If that isn't an option, I would at least suggest buying the 55-200 lens... as you'll need it for sports. Its not very fast, but under halfway decent lighting, it'll get the job done.

    Its tough for me to say what books to buy. The one that gets the most rave reviews is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. I'm personally not a big fan, but I've been proven an idiot more times than not...so don't take my word for it.

    Photoediting software, I use GIMP.... its free.
     
  4. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Congratulations on your new camera.



    Depending on budget, I think all DSLR owners would benefit at some point from the following (based on what you mentioned for subjects) No particular order:
    • Circular Polarizer - Get a multi coated one, not the cheapest you can find. B+W make a good multi-coated one, Hoya Pro too (slightly harder to clean than the B+W, not sure why). There are likely other favorite brands from other forum members.
    • Speedlight - SB600 or better
    • Rocket air blower, microfiber cloth, lens pen (cleaning supplies)
    Books: I personally think Bryan Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure" and follow up with "Learning to See Creatively". Some sites:
    Photo Editing:
    • Day to day I use ACDSee Pro 3 for organizing, tagging, and 95% of any daily edits.
    • Also have Photoshop Elements for when I need more detailed editing tools or want to create certain photo effects.
    • Nikon NX2 for RAW conversion and editing.
    • Others more specialized (Noise, effects, HDR-High Dynamic Range)
    Lenses. I would work with what you have for now. As you grow and learn you may discover you want to allocate more money to the hobby and so I wouldn't try to build your collection too fast and end up with lenses you want to get rid of. With that said, some decent lenses that will work on your camera, that are not in the pro league/price:
    • Portrait-everyday - Tamron 17-50mm 2.8, Nikon 35mm 1.8, Nikon 50mm 1.4 AF-S
    • Telephoto - a bit more reach - Nikon 55-200 VR, Nikon 70-300 VR (nice step up from the 55-200 for reach and IQ and better Vibration Reduction)
    • Macro - Tamron 90mm macro, Sigma 150mm, Nikon 60mm AF-s or 105 AF-s VR. I really don't have much experience with this, those are some of the favorites I have seen mentioned. Not sure they will all Auto focus on your camera. For true macro work, I think you will be manual focusing anyway.
    Just some quick thoughts. There certainly is more things, those are just a few qucik thoughts, and I purposely stayed away from "pro" type lenses, but would still recommend (Nikon 70-200 2.8) if you had a reason for low-light, sports, etc.

    There are also additinoal filters to consider like a Netrual Density (ND) filter, or graduated ND filters, but again, I tried to only list some basic things to consider. I wouldn't run and buy the first thing you find, check with others on this forum or get recomendations on brands, kits, etc. etc. That will help you avoid buying junk you eventually may get frustrated with and have to replace again later on.

    Welcome to TPF and congrats on your camera!
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    This is neither good, nor totally accurate advice IMO ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑.

    Most of Nikon's lenses have a focus motor in the lens, because the in-the-lens motor focuses faster, and more accurately than the one that's in the camera body.

    Here's another fact. If you buy one of those "more middle grade camera bodies" that does have a focus motor in it. IT DOESN'T GET USED IF THE LENS HAS A MOTOR OF IT'S OWN.

    The D40 is a good camera to start with and which other lenses you might want to get depend on what you take pictures of and your budget.

    Lenses are a more worthwhile investment because they don't depreciate or get replaced as often as camera bodies do.

    A few choices for books would be;
    The 3 book series on digital photography by Scott Kelby. Buy them 1 at a time or you can get the set:
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Scott-Kelbys-Digital-Photography-Volumes/dp/0321678737/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274134887&sr=8-4]Amazon.com: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (9780321678737): Scott Kelby: Books[/ame]

    Bryan Peterson has some good books:

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-Photographs-Digital-Updated/dp/0817463003/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274134974&sr=1-3]Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition)…[/ame]
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Learning-See-Creatively-Composition-Photography/dp/0817441816/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274134974&sr=1-4]Amazon.com: Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color & Composition in Photography (Updated Edition) (9780817441814):…[/ame]
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Portraiture-Creative-People-Photography/dp/0817453911/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274134974&sr=1-7]Amazon.com: Beyond Portraiture: Creative People Photography (9780817453916): Bryan Peterson:…[/ame]

    and an essential book on composition is:

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Photographers-Eye-Composition-Design-Digital/dp/0240809343/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274135088&sr=1-1]Amazon.com: The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos (9780240809342): Michael Freeman: Books[/ame]
     
  6. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    One funny thing that people often don't think about is getting a card reader: it's a lot easier and better battery-wise to download photos to the computer from a card reader than directly from your camera.

    As far as editing software: of course, Photoshop is the gold standard, but it's really expensive. You might look at Photoshop Elements if you don't want to splash out. Don't forget that if you are a student you can get a hefty educational discount ($200 vs. $700).

    Picassa is a free software package for management and limited editing that comes highly recommended by its users-- I've never used it but I know some people who do and really like it.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The educational discount on Photoshop Adobe offers is only on Photoshop CS5 Extended which has a normal retail price of $999.

    The higher education student, Student Edition price for Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended is $199, an 80% discount.

    Adobe Student Editions are exactly the same as the full retail versions.

    https://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/st...OLS-EDU&loc=en_us&view=ols_cat&catID=SPECIALS

    The Student Edition price for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is $99, a savings of 66% (retail is $299).
     
  8. hejeva

    hejeva TPF Noob!

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    For software, I would suggest trying ACDSee Pro 3. It will allow you to manage, organize and do a lot of editing/processing of your photos. In addition you can process your RAW files very quickly and easily.
     

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