Nikon D40: Questions, New to Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Takymoto, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. Takymoto

    Takymoto TPF Noob!

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    Alright, So I'm going to be purchasing a refurbished Nikon D40 within the month. I chose Nikon as a have a few friends with them, one being a photographer, and they swear by them. I've used his d60 and d80 and have loved both of them.

    Being as this camera will be for recreational use; vacations, car shows I attend, family,etc, I don't want to spend the prices on the d60/80 so I've chosen the d40. Seems like a very well put together entry level SLR.

    Now my question for you guys is:
    >Should I get the complete camera and spend the money for the body plus the lens nikon supplies?
    >Or Should I just purchase the body and get a nice all around lens (aftermarket)

    And if you guys think I should just purchase the body and lens separate, what is a good all around lens for an entry level guy like myself? I want to keep the cost down as I'm no photographer and don't plan on becoming one, beyond taking nice pictures for myself.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    as you said, your using it for recreational use... the kit 18-55 lens will be fine.. its when you start getting into other stuff that you need to get other lens'
     
  3. Takymoto

    Takymoto TPF Noob!

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    I was wondering because I can get a nikon d40 body for around $250-260, where as the camera with the nikon lens would be around $375-400.

    Would it be to my advantage to upgrade lens right away? and spend the extra money on a nicer lens?
     
  4. lockwood81

    lockwood81 TPF Noob!

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    I would say yes, it doesn't take long to get frustrated with the kit lens.
    Just my opinion....
     
  5. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    i would say NO.. because a decent walk around lens straight from nikon is going to cost you at LEAST $150 and thats for the 18-55mm lens to buy it alone.. so if you go pay 250 for the body.. and 150 for the 18-55 your at $400... which would be the same as buying the body and lens... BUT, if are going that route cause you dont want to buy the 18-55, your next possibility is 18-70 which is $400...

    the 18-55 kit lens really isnt a bad lens at all... i have a few lens and I use the kit all the time.. and the pics turn out just fine...
     
  6. passerby

    passerby TPF Noob!

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    As Chrisburke said above the kit 18-55 lens is very good lens. I have not had any dissappointing result so far. If I were to do professional work now I will not hesitate to use the kitlens. Once you have the object in focus with the right exposure and composition you will have sharp photos.

    The secret of successfull shot is, by -------------?
    I am not telling you, you got learn it yourself, it's fun.
     
  7. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The kit lens may be cheaply built with liberal use of plastics, but the optics are great. Pick up a D40 with the kit lens, plus maybe an SB-400 flash for the indoor stuff you mentioned, and you won't be disappointed.
     
  8. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    I definitely second that for the choices you could make to suit your needs as you state them. I would normally use the 18-55mm kit lens even on other Nikon bodies besides the D40 until I got my ATF (so far) Nikon lens.

    For walkaround use, my big time ATF lense is the Nikon 18-200 mm F/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF DX VR Lens. $750, yeah, I know, expensive, but it replaces a lot of other lenses I could use, so not much more than the cost of any other 2 - 3 lenses it would replace. That one lens still costs a little less than the combined value of three other lens options - the 18-55mm AF VR, and the 55-200mm AF VR, and the 18-135mm AF VR that it can replace, and do anything the other 3 lenses can do.

    And I like the range without having to make lens changes. It is pretty much the first lens I put on a camera body when I take it out to use it.

    I also have a nifty 50, but my next task is finding zoom lenses that are faster than 3.5, but don't want to spend a ton of money to get a 2.8 aperture over 3.5 that this one has.

    Might have to go outside of Nikon lenses to keep doing that affordable.
     
  9. Takymoto

    Takymoto TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone, you've definitely have answered my question!
     
  10. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    As a kit lens owner and (sadly) user, I have to say I regret my choice. Though my setup is Pentax, all of the kit lenses are pretty much the same, particularly in their disappointing maximum apertures (as slow as f/5.6 on the long end). While this is not a problem in bright sunshine, if "taking nice pictures for yourself" includes shooting indoors or in other low light situations, you will struggle without resorting to the on-camera flash, which is something you don't want to do. I just got my camera out for a test and found that the most usable exposure I could get with the lighting in my room at f/5.6 is 1/30 at ISO 3200. I'm not sure if that quite registers, but suffice it to say that those setting will result in an underwhelming shot every time.

    Unfortunately, the reason so many of us use kit glass is the cost: The kit lens sells for $109, while the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 is $377. Similar glass with the Nikon logo is more still. If you can stomach it, you will be much less inhibited by your lens (from f/5.6 to f/2.8 on the long end is a huge difference). Ultimately, only you can decide if the extra functionality is worth it to you. It's a big expense. If your goal is to just take simple snapshots, you probably want the kit lens. If you want more versatility, especially indoors or under low-light conditions, along with improved image quality, it's going to cost you.

    Getting a flash, like epp_b mentioned, is another good option to add light to a slow lens in a low light setting. Lenses that will work on automatic modes with your camera are not inepensive, however, and require an additional learning curve.

    As a college student with a serious lack of funds, I understand pretty well the tradeoff between performance and price (just ask about my strobe setup). Unfortunately, there are some places where it's pretty tough to cut corners, and lenses is one of them.
     
  11. Takymoto

    Takymoto TPF Noob!

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    I've been using a 4 year old canon point and shoot and I'm ready to upgrade cameras. I payed $250 for that camera and I know that the extra 100 or so I will be spending on the d40 will be well worth it. Like I said I'm not going into photography just looking for some clear pictures of memories. I think the d40 will allow me to accomplish that goal.
     
  12. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    For this purpose, it sounds like the kit lens is the best way to spend your money.
     

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