Nikon D40 users Lens help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by D40, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. D40

    D40 TPF Noob!

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    I hope to make this a topic that the D40 users can come to which will help them on lens selection as well as get my lens purchase worked out.

    Well, I had a fun day yesterday:) Woke up bright and early to go get all 4 wisdom teeth pulled out!:) So, I am unable to do much but sit and either watch TV, sleep OR research my next lens purchase:)

    I now have my D40, 18-55mm lens and the SB-600. I will hopefully be purchasing CS3 as my editing program with in the next few weeks and after that my next large purchase (besides a case and batterie and what not) will be a new lens.

    So since I have not barrly moved for the last 26 hours I decided to do some research and then talk to you pros. Here is what I am finding:

    I am not going to be able to buy any Pro lenses, anything over $1000 basically since I do not need anything that nice at this point. I have 2 gripes about the kit lens 1. It is cheaply made and 2. The zoom range is not that great. I really would like more zoom but I also have a gripe about cheaply made lenses like the Nikno 55-200 and 18-135 with the plastic mount ring. That just bothers me and I feel that a good lens is going to have a metal mount ring.

    So I have considered these lens as the are the most common for the D40:

    1. The Nikon 55-200mm lens: Price around $250 complements the 18-55 that I have and give me a great zoom range. The biggest down side is the build quallity.

    2. The Nikon 18-135mm lens: This lens is around $350 and I think would be perfect due to price and abillity but the build quallity is a problem with this lens to me. I read that it is between the 18-55 and 18-70mm lens as far as build quallity, and the plastic mount just bothers me. Pictures are very sharp from what I read which is a plus. If not haveing a metal mount isn't an issue than this is a very good choice.

    3. the Nikon 18-70mm lens: Price $350ish. This lens has the build quallity that I am pleased with for what I can afford. This lens has the metal mount ring, is overall heavier (should mean better made) and has a rubber ring to keep it somewhat weather resistant. Now it is an improvement over the 18-55 in quallity and adds a slight zoom increase and this lens is very tempting to me at this point. Also at 70mm this lens is a stop or so lower than the 55-200 and 18-135 at 70mm so will perform a little better in low light.

    4. The Nikon 24-120mm lens: Price $550-$600ish. A little more pricey but still contains that better build quallity and more zoom. It has the better focus ring unlike the 18-55 and 55-200 which have the focus ring in the front and I do not really like. Now the problem I see with it is you know have a lens starting at 24mm vs 18mm and I think that could be a problem unless you carry your 18-55 around as well. Also for that price you might as well save for the good old 18-200mm lens and get a much more versitile lens. I've heard that this lens may perform better than the 18-200 due to it not covering such a great range but that is all matter of who is reviewing the lens. It does make sence though that that would be true.

    5. The Nikon 18-200mm lens: Price $750. Well what can I say, it is a nice lens. It covers the whole spectrum that most people will need and is built well. Yes it does have lens creep but that is only a problem when using a tripod and pointing it up or down while not holding the zoom ring. My biggest problem with it is the price. It also keeps your from changeing lens all the time which prevents dust from enter the camera.

    So here is what I am thinking, well let me tell you what I shoot first. At my stage I am doing portraits, shooting events that go on locally and I MAY be shooting as an assistant in weddings so I will not need pro equiptment at this point.

    OK, I can get the 18-135 because it has great potention for it's price even though it is not build to my likeing exactly or what may seem more resonable is I can get the 18-70 for the better over all quallity to replace the 18-55 and later I can get the 70-300. I can use the 18-70 for portrait work and weddings and the 70-300 for the oudoor events I will shoot. This would cover a very large range and anly be 2 lens unless I pick up a 50mm price or 85mm prime. Now if I get the 18-135 I will be set longer than if I get the 18-70. I will be wanting more zoom sooner if I pick up the 18-70 vs 18-135. The problem is if I pick up the 18-135 and then desire more zoom I am up the creek because I can either get the 18-200 or the 70-300 both of which over lap the 18-135 whereas the 18-70 and the 70-300 compliment each other?

    ??

    I hope you don't mind this being long and I hope it will help others like me who are in the same perdicament. My first word of advise is to skip the D40 line from the start and at least get the D80 just to keep form the AF-S thing, unless you are a mother and just want a DSLR for family and kids use. I think the camera is great for such a use and do really like mine, i'ts just I would like to take photography further. If you think you may do more than that than save yourself the trouble and get a camera with an AF motor built in.

    Hope this helps.

    ~John
     
  2. Heck

    Heck TPF Noob!

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    Im a D40 noob here and I hear what your saying about the AF-S thing. Seems like you really want to expand and the reason your thinking so hard about a new lens it is because you may feel stuck with the D40. So If I were you I would stop Thinking about a new lens and see if I can sell the D40 and go for a body with a motor in it so you can get a lens that you really want. Fix the problem now before you have a bunch of lenses and a camera you don't really like.
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Keep the 18-55 until you wear it out, it takes good photos. If you take care of it, it should last several years. 3-5 years may bring you a new set of questions and lens needs.

    Understand that unless you already know photo shop it may take you a year or two to Fully learn CS3.
     
  4. D40

    D40 TPF Noob!

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    Heck: I see what you are saying. I am leaning towards towards the 18-70 and 70-300mm. That will do me for a while and will allow me to learn. Then I can just buy the body of my new camera and I will already have ok glass. See I would really like to get the D200 but will not be able to offord that for a long time so I figure no point in buying the D80 now when I really want the D200. The D40 should get me learning. With the 18-70 and 70-300 I should be able to cover everything I will be shooting. If things go well and I am able to start shooting and really making money I will be able to get the D200. The 18-70 will make an ok portrait/ assistant wedding lens and the 70-300 will allow me to shoot at the oudoor events I attend.

    Mike E: You are right about the learning, but I am going to get it for $200 with my student ID. So I figure I would be crazy not to get it:)
     
  5. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

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    I have owned the D40 since about March and I agree with you about getting the D80. I hope to have one sometime next year. I too have been thinking a lot about a lens. I would look at the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSM macro. It will cost around 900.00, and so far I have read some great reviews. I believe it is a fairly new lens for Sigma.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I see little sense in doubling up your focus ranges. The 18-70 is NOT an upgrade to the 18-55. They are both kit lenses, both great for the money, and the 18-70 slightly better build quality. In fact the 18-55 is better than than the 18-70 in distortion vignetting and sharpness over the entire range, it is only worse with CA numbers. I see little sense in going the 18-70. As for the potential upgrade future upgrade to 70-300, if you really miss that 55-70mm range then you're probably overrelying on zoom. In a short distance like a room or a garden outside they are separated literally only by a step, and the 70-300 would make a better portrait lens than the 18-70, the telephoto range gives a more flattering look usually.

    The 18-135 is a much better option. It's the same crap all over (well actually that 18-55 is rather sharp and not that crap at all), but it has the same poor build quality, and even worse CA and vignetting figures, but at least it covers a huge range which is great if you don't want to change lenses.

    The 18-200 is poor. It has a very long range but that's it. It has worse sharpness CA vignetting and massive distortion at the wide angle compared to the above listed much cheaper lenses. It suffers from lens creep, but at least it has VR, thank god too I mean there must be something in this to even remotely justify the cost.

    The 24-120 has somewhat better build quality like the 18-70, but again falls down on sharpness. The biggest problem with this is the range though. 24-120 sounds good till it's mounted on a digital body. This would be great on a film camera, but on the Nikon D40 the lens would need to be complimented by the 18-55 for wide angle. Since you already have this it's not such a bad choice for average day to day all round shooting.

    The 55-200mm has the same build quality as the 18-55 if I recall. But hey look at what you're spending. If you're after some decent build quality at that price you won't get a zoom lens. This is consumer prices, and nearly all consumer lenses have their quirks. The 18-70 and 24-120 are probably some of the better ones but they will still creep if shaken, break if hit hard enough, and probably not survive a trip to an active volcano, but the zoom lenses that would cost $1500+

    Give the numbers I'd lean towards the 55-200 or the 24-120 as the only options for an upgrade.

    /EDIT: I own the 18-70, have used the 18-55, 18-135, and the 70-300, and the rest of the numbers and opinions are based on some technical reviews I have seen. Some of the better ones are available at www.photozone.de
     
  7. D40

    D40 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Garbz, I really like your answere. What would your opinion be about going to a D80 which would reduce this lens problem? I just think you have good advice and if you think I should keep the D40 I will look at that 55-200. I would like to get some Primes as I hear they are great but they dont make AF-S primes:)
     
  8. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

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    D40,

    That is exactly what I did with some advice from here. I bought the 50mm 1.8 prime and it was well worth it. Of course I knew it was going to be manual focus on the D40 but I still went for it. I just can't believe the quality it has for a little over a hundred dollars. I say get the prime at some point even if you still have the D40. It took me a little while to get the hang of focusing correctly, but what is interesting is I'm starting too really like manual focus. Just a little hint, that I didn't find out till later, if you look into your viewfinder and on the bottom left there will be a green dot that will appear when you are focused correctly. This could help you till you get a hang of the manual focus. The 50mm prime is great for portraits and I love the f1.8, very fast piece of glass. I shot some pictures at my sister's wedding and I loved being able to shoot with no flash, was able to get some interesting shots with little light. The depth of field is great too.
     
  9. D40

    D40 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks sound great! I also hear the 85mm f/1.8 is good to. Where did you get yours?
     
  10. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

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  11. D40

    D40 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I do need to get one of those:) That is not as hard of a decision as to what zoom lens to get:)
     
  12. lilmorecowbell

    lilmorecowbell TPF Noob!

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    Richard, I just bought the 50mm 1.8 yesterday for my d40x and brought it home to realize that I have to manually focus... bummer. In what mode does that little green light come on? Manual? That's what I am trying to learn to shoot.
     

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