Upgrading from Nikon D40

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by hyg71886, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. hyg71886

    hyg71886 TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone, I am majoring in photojournalism. I bought my Nikon d40 last summer and luved it, however there are a few things that are making me sell it and upgrade.

    1. Lens
    I can't tell you how long i wanted to by a lens with a faster f-stop for fast moving targets (i like nature/city/people shots) and the lens that was a really good price, the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-50mm-Nikkor-Digital-Cameras/dp/B00005LEN4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1239299085&sr=1-2"]Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF[/ame] does not have autofocus. Secondly, all the new lenses that are special designed for the d40 are expensive.

    2. Video
    When i first bought my d40 i thought it did video and gave my gf my digi cam. Sadly i was wrong. I do workout videos on bodyspace.com so this is a nice feature.

    3. Getting deeper in photograpghy
    In the fall I start taking classes strictly for photo. I want to be able to by older lenses that are great but don't have autofocus so i don't have to sell my kidney to pay for it.

    4. I love photograpghy
    I love taking pics of animals, nature, and scenery especially when i travel. I have been stalled in taking pictures however due to the fact that the things i wanna take pics of i can't. I.E. a swopping bird, a running rabit, a dew drop of a flower, etc. Summer is almost here and I want to be able to take these kind of shots and get deeper in to photograpghy

    5. New tech
    There is alot of new tech out now for cameras and the way I see it, I can either due this upgrade now or be back here in a few weeks asking the same thing lol.

    I was looking at the nikon d90 that resently came out. I read some reviews on it and liked what I saw. Would anyone recommend this or another camera? Lens and equipment I'm looking to get with this are as folllows

    Tamron AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4.0

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-50mm-Nikkor-Digital-Cameras/dp/B00005LEN4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1239299085&sr=1-2"]Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF[/ame] or a really good 35mm lens (please recommend)

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-18-200mm-3-5-6-3-Optical-Stabilizer/dp/B000NOSCGM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1239300411&sr=1-1"]Sigma AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS[/ame]

    Tripod-(need recommendation)
    Back back-(need recommendation)

    I am also buying a new laptop, the Asus w90 which I will be using in dual boot one side for photo and video editing(mac os), one side for everything else (win vista ult). I'd greatly apprciate the help everyone.
     
  2. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    Yeah well reading this I thought that the d90 would be your best and most cost effective way to go. You can't go any lower than the 90 with what you want to do.
    The one thing I'm thinking is that the D90 supports all old Nikon AF lenses.. This gets you about as far back as 1997-'98. Alot of the older Nikon lenses are classified as AI and if you want to take advantage of these lenses on a Nikon body you must have a D300 or higher. Since you want to manually focus them its not as big of a deal but they also will not meter on your D90 so thats a heads up for sure.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    You could get the 50mm f/1.4 AFS, it's even faster then the 1.8, better IQ too, and will AF on your D40 or if you don't want to spend $500 on a lens, the 35mm f/1.8 AF-S, which is almost chump change at $200 when you compare prices of other lenses, and will also af on your d40.
     
  4. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don’t know about Nikon cameras specifically, but from what you wrote, I’m just thinking you need to invest in some better lenses.

    If not having video is a big thing, then yes, a D90 would be your best bet. But when you mentioned that you couldn’t take the swooping birds, the running rabbit…that makes me think that your lens doesn’t focus fast enough (as you said, the 1.8 has issues) or doesn’t allow you a wide enough aperture to freeze action (which shouldn’t be the case for the 1.8). You also mentioned the dew on a flower… this is more macro photography and again, you need a lens for this, not a camera.

    Animals usually require a longer focal length lens. Nature and scenery and street / candid people photos usually require a wider angle lens. Two different things.

    If you are upgrading cameras, I’d think about upgrading lenses. I’m not sure that Tamron would be ideal though. Maybe a 24-70mm f/2.8 or a 17-50mm f/2.8 from either Tamron or Sigma would be better suited for you.

    I started with a 22-55mm and a 55-200mm kit style lenses.
    I first bought a good wide angle lense as I also love landscapes, cityscapes and street photos. I just bought a 28-75 and I’m now saving for a 70-200ish lens.

    As for a tripod, Manfrottos are great brands. There have been plenty of threads on tripods in the last week, I’d suggest doing some back post searches. A good Manfrotto would run you about $200-$300.

    As for back backs, the best suggest is going into a well equipped store, with your gear, and try them out. I’m thinking a Tamrac Adventurer 9 back back as it can fit a lot of gear and a laptop and has space for a lunch, wallet etc.. http://www.tamrac.com/5549.htm Another one I have seen recommended is the Lowepro CompuTrekker AW. Only fits camera equipment and laptop, its has been said to be a great bag. http://products.lowepro.com/product/CompuTrekker-AW,1924.htm
     
  5. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    A new camera is not going to help you take these shots, the D40 is more than capable of them. I took the three below last weekend, generally I wouldn't post them as they are not really good shots (but they do show how good I am at slopey horizons), but they do show that the D40 is capable of following and focusing on fast-moving wildlife.

    If you look at the latest range of lenses from Nikon and Sigma/Tamron etc you will find that many of them now have the focus motor built in and they don't cost that much more than the new non-motored lenses.

    If you were looking at used lenses then things are different, but if you want new lenses I would suggest you buy the lens you want now and learn to get the best out of your existing camera before considering an upgrade.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  6. hyg71886

    hyg71886 TPF Noob!

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    Those are sum great shoots, did u use the lens n hr sig? If there are good lenses for a decent price that I can buy instead of upgrading then I'm open for suggest. Like I said I am still very much a beginner and the reason for the upgrade is to open up my lense option to a wide array and still be able to auto focus wither it's built in the lense or not
     
  7. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I used that lens, it is not a "good" lens but it is capable of reasonable shots, at $150 it is a great lens to buy to learn on, by the time you have figured out its faults you will probably have figured out exactly what lens you really want. And don't forget, any lens you buy for your D40 will work on your D90 or whatever if you do upgrade later.

    The biggest problem with my lens is Chromatic Aberration, that is the purple fringe around the bird's bill in the bottom shot, I will correct that in Photoshop before I print.
     
  8. hyg71886

    hyg71886 TPF Noob!

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    What lenses would yall recommend I get for now for my purposes?
     
  9. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    If you can, the Nikon 70-300 VR, about $550 in the stores, it will produce MUCH better image quality than my images above.

    Otherwise, buy the best you can afford and learn to get the best out of it, over the next several years you will be able to upgrade and what you learned on the cheaper lenses will be incredibly beneficial.

    And if you want video for the web, just buy a point-n-shoot for that, I have a $89 Kodak C813 that will produce video good enough for web use.
     
  10. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    Is video really important? If its not, then a D80 (which can be found for half the price of the D90 used) or even a D70 would suit you fine. As for lenses, a Tamron 17-50 2.8 or Sigma 18-50 2.8 would probably be better choices, unless you are planning to upgrade to FF soon. As for a telephoto, I would steer clear of superzooms like the Sigma 18-200. The focal length may look appealing, but there are major sacrifices in IQ and speed.

    If you want a fast focusing lens that can "freezes motion" well, then your best lens would be the Nikon 80-200mm F2.8 AF-S. However, this lens costs easily over $1K. Your next best choice would be the 80-200mm 2.8 AF-D, which doesn't AF as quickly but is optically the same, and can be had for around $650 used if you shop well. If the 80-200 is too pricy and too short, the next best choice would be the 70-300mm VR, however this lens has poorer optical quality, poorer build quality, and is slower (hence, its not as good at "freezing motion"). That doesn't mean it won't work for you though.
     
  11. Defy

    Defy TPF Noob!

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    i was in the same boat for a while (until i gave my d60 to my wife and upgraded)

    But a good cheap set up is:
    D40/60
    Nikkor 18-55mm VR kit lens
    Nikkor 55-200mm VR lens (about 150ish used)
    Nikkor 35mm 1.8 (200 new!)

    So for about 350ish more than what you have you could have a good fast prime, reach plus a good normal lens.

    The only thing bad about those is they are all DX so if you upgrade to D3 or the D700 you will have to re-buy.
     
  12. hyg71886

    hyg71886 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the recommendations I'm gonna try the Nikkor 55-200mm VR lens (about 150ish used)
    Nikkor 35mm 1.8 (200 new!)

    How does the d80 stack up to the d90 in terms of features? The video capability isnt a deal breaker
     

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