What one or two lenses are a must have?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Alicia, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. Alicia

    Alicia TPF Noob!

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    I'm going to buy a D40X in the next week or two. I am interested in taking pic's of pregnant women while pregnant, in labor, babies, and my own children and family. I really want to do some striking poses, black and white and more, some nude, some clothed......anyway, mostly of people not that I won't shoot a landscape every now and then or want some beautiful outside shots.

    What lens or lenses would you want if you were me? (Not too expensive) and any other equipment to accomplish this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I shoot and love Nikons but if this is what you really want to do then DO NOT buy a D40!

    You need fast wide angle lenses and a medium telephoto which are fast!

    The D40 is a fine camera from all accounts but does not handle the lenses you are going to need. The D80 does. If you are set on the D40 look into this http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/300490-USA/Nikon_2147_17_55mm_f_2_8G_ED_IF_AF_S.html

    I think that you will find that the D80 will be the less expensive option when you take into account the lenses you will need.
     
  3. Alicia

    Alicia TPF Noob!

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    Is this the consesus? I need D80? Why? And I will save in the long run how? And what about this package? Is this the right lense or do I need something else? This is about the MAX I can spend. Would I need anythign else like a flash? If this is not the right lens the which one do I need? I don't have alot of $$! Thanks for taking a look!

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/494367-REG/Nikon__D80_SLR_Digital_Camera.html
     
  4. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The D40 restricts your choice of lenses, unless you don't mind loosing auto-focus on the fast prime (non-zoom) lenses that will suit your style of photography. IMHO a D80 and a 50mm f/1.8 or a 35mm f/2.0 will most suit your needs. The D80 with the 50mm should set you back less that $1,000. The D40 is inexpensive due in part to it's limited features. Second to it's cheapened build quality. It still can make a great image in capable hands. The D40 with the 18-55 kit lens is only about $500, but the kit lens will give you disappointing results for the type of work you wish to do IMO. To have auto focusing capability in a f/2.8 zoom lens, I would recommend a 24-70mm AF-S f/2.8, but that will set you back about another $1,700. This puts the price of a D40 up over $2,300 to do the the work you want to simi-pro levels. The D80 with the normal 50mm will give you better image quality, higher resolution at a lower price. You can then add lenses as your style and scope expand. As you get into your craft, external lighting will most likely be on your shopping list as well. In the long run, the D80 is a better initial investment that will permit you to grow and expand to higher levels in the future.
     
  5. Hill202

    Hill202 TPF Noob!

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    I'm having the same issues. I have a D40 and if I want a faster lens then I have to get an AFS lens which is more expensive. If I had it to do over I would get the D80, and I still may.
     
  6. Alicia

    Alicia TPF Noob!

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    This may seem like a really stupid question, but can you tell me what the differences are between a fixed mm lens like "50 mm" and something that is "28-105 mm". What exactly do these numbers mean to me? And why would I want a fixed mm when I could have a range?

    I'm looking at the D80's now trying to price them. I assume I need a memory card which brings the price up. Do I need a flash or anything else?
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree the D40 will limit you lens choice. So this will make the most suggestes lens here the 50mm 1.8 not a good choice for you.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/247091-USA/Nikon_2137_Normal_AF_Nikkor_50mm.html
     
  8. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    Alicia to answer your question about 50mm versus say an 18-125, 55 millimeter means it stays at a certain zoom in this case 55mm, you cant zoom in or out at all, to make the subject bigger and smaller you have to either get closer to the subject or get farther away, where with 18 to 125 mm you can zoom in and out right from the camera lens without moving, so you can make the subject bigger or smaller without moving at all. I just realized i explained this really poorly but i hope it helps.
     
  9. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

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    to add to Photogincollege, A prime lens, like the 50mm, will allow f/1.8 (or 1.4) depending on which you get. This will give the faster shutter speeds and shallower DOF.
     
  10. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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    I'd in general recomend a D80. It has a built in AF motor, where as the D40 doesn't.

    Where lenses are concerned, I'd get a wideangle zoom and a moderate tele zoom. Me personally, I bought a 50mm lense last month and have not used another lense at all since then.

    The quality of the optics for a prime lense are usually better than that of a zoom lense. The only thing one has to worry about is the fact that you can't zoom. This will give great practise in positioning your self to get the shot you want, insted of just zooming in/out. When you zoom, more things than just "getting closer" to your subject happens. The wider angle you have the more of a "3D" feel you get to the photo. You allso get more distance between subjects. With a tele lense, things are more packed togehter, and you loose that "3D" feel..

    The best thing when choosing a lense, is finding out what you want to shoot. Then choose a lense that works well with that type of photography. If you like landscapes, a wide angle would be a good choise. For portraits a lense between 50- and 100mm would be good. (Lots of people like 80mm). For sports, or wildlife a tele lense or tele zoom would be good 70-200mm or greater.

    This is my experiance at least.
     
  11. Alicia

    Alicia TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so from what I understand by these responses the 50mm is recommended over a zoom because of picture quality? A zoom will possibly distort a bit? And since all my pics are going to be of people relatively close up then I should stick with the lens that will give the best shot close up?

    Now in some cases, especially taking a pic of a women IN LABOR I may have to be across the room and zooming in so she isn't disturbed by the photo taking. Same for my children who I like to catch in a more natural pose. When I go close up they just look at me and smile. So I would like to surprise them. I'm assuming I would want a zoom lens for this. What one would you recommend?

    Thanks so much guys!
     
  12. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a bit of a different approach than a lot of people, since I am not a fanatic about prime lenses. I own some, I like them, but in situations like you are talking about (delivery room where things are extremely transient) they are just not as versatile.

    A bit of background. I own a couple of D80's and one D40. I purchased the D40 after the D80's to use as a "second body" for myself, to use when shooting my D80 with a long lens. The I chose the D40 because it was very light (second camera around the neck all day can be wearing), and because the lens limitations don't bother me (since my main camera is the D80). Generally, when I do a walk around, I use a 105 AF-S VR Macro on the D40 and a long zoom on the D80, while my wife shoots a 18-200 VR on her D80, so we get pretty good coverage... I also own one of the 1.8 50mm prime lenses that so many people are ga-ga about, although I rarely ever use it unless I am shooting portraits.

    While I am happy with the D40 in its roll as a "second body", I would not recommend buying one for someone who wants to get serious about photography (neither the D40 or D40x), not only because of the lens limitations but also because it has no depth of field preview, nor exposure bracketing mode. It also does not have wireless flash commander mode, and the "three point" autofocus system doesn't lend its self very well to tracking things like flying birds.

    The D40 has wonderful image quality, and is a great DSLR for the point-n-shoot crowd, but I think that most enthusiasts will quickly outgrow the camera, and therefore I don't recommend them to people who are looking to get their first DSLR.
     

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