Fisheye vs. magnifying lenses

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I am new to this having just received my first slr camera for Christmas. (Nikon D40X with the 18-55 mm lens) Although I was once into photography in a big way, the "Polaroid camera" was hi tech at that time so let's just say I know nothing. I want to photograph insects and my bank balance, both of which are very tiny, and I am wondering what I should be buying as far as lenses go. I have been doing some searching on ebay and other camera shops and I am not sure what the difference between the stackable "magnifying" lenses (1+, 2+, 3+, 4+ & 10+) and the fisheye lenses is. I know the fisheye will distort/round the edges of the images and so I think I should be using the stackable lenses, but they seem rather ... mickey mouse to me. Is there no lens like a zoom lens that will give me an image of a grasshopper that fills the view finder and which I can adjust just like a zoom lens and which will use the auto focus?

(An aside here: How do people with glasses manage with the view finder on an SLR? I find it limits my filed of vision when looking through the viewfinder with my glasses on but without them the image is blurry (of course) so I just have to trust that the AF is working right.)

Also, I would alike to purchase a zoom lens to photograph wild animals and because my bank balance is so tiny I was looking at the Phoenix lenses for around $300 - $400 for 650mm - 2600mm. I realize the quality cannot be comparable to the maker's lenses but the $5,000 - 10,000 difference in price makes me think it is the only solution if I want to photograph wild animals.


Your help and advice is greatly appreciated.
 

Val

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Fisheye is wide-angle lens. If you want insects, you need a dedicated macro lens for best results.
 

digital flower

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(An aside here: How do people with glasses manage with the view finder on an SLR? I find it limits my filed of vision when looking through the viewfinder with my glasses on but without them the image is blurry (of course) so I just have to trust that the AF is working right.)

I don't wear glasses but you may want to try the diopter adjustment to see if that helps. There is also this for the D40:

Nikon DK-21M Magnifying Eyepiece.

Again I am not speaking from experience.
 

Joves

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If you dont have a stigmatism then the diopter adjustment will work, unless your eyes are out of its range. They do make magnifiers that slip on your view finder but, keep in mind that your field of view is affected.
I wouldnt purchase a lense like that for a zoom for wild life. My suggestion is do what I do and, save for it. As an example the 70-300 VR nikor is around $700. Or there are off brand lenses like Tamron and, Sigma they are good quality at a better price. I have Tamrons 28-300mm XR Di it is a great walking around lense that didnt cost so much. Also tax refunds are great for such things. :wink:
 

Sideburns

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phoenix is pretty junk.
You don't NEED 650 - 2 bagillion mm lenses for wildlife...
If you can get near a 400mm, you'll be good for most occasions.

Also, if you wanna fill your viewfinder with the subject, the Canon 100mm Macro is right up your alley.
 

Mav

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EditFast, for a low cost macro setup, get yourself a $100 50mm f/1.8D lens, and then a Kenko 12mm extension tube, or a whole set of three tubes for about $175. You'll have to manually focus, but it's pretty common to have to manually focus in macro photography anyways. The cheapest macro lens that will autofocus on the D40 is the 105mm AF-S VR which isn't cheap, but does full 1:1 macro. You can also get a dedicated macro lens used for around $250-300, like the 55 (or is it 60mm) f/2.8 Nikkor macro. Try www.keh.com for used stuff.

For wildlife, I'd start off with the $500 Nikkor 70-300VR which is also AF-S so you'll have autofocus. For more reach than that, you're talking a lot more money.
 
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WOW! Thank you all for the helpful responses. Sorry for the delay in replying. I guess I need to read up some more on Macro lenses before jumping in, but your help has pointed me in the right direction.

When looking for the "Nikkor 70-300VR" that Mav recommended I came across this lens new for $96 on Ebay.ca. However, it seems obvious that this is a fake out of Hong Kong (No warranty card) but the reviews are good, aside from one naysayer who may know what he is talking about, but when you consider the price maybe it is worth it.) How would you feel about this? Do you think the quality would be "fake"?
 

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For $96 it sounds like the very basic "70-300G" lens, like this one. The 70-300VR has only been on the market for about a year, and even used I haven't seem them going for less than about $400 US.
 
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Also, if you wanna fill your viewfinder with the subject, the Canon 100mm Macro is right up your alley.
My understanding is that since I have a Nikon I have to buy Nikon lenses or a third party lens compatible with Nikon. Is this Canon 100mm Macro compatible with Nikon? Will it work?
 

ScottS

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My understanding is that since I have a Nikon I have to buy Nikon lenses or a third party lens compatible with Nikon. Is this Canon 100mm Macro compatible with Nikon? Will it work?

Nope but Nikon has a 105mm that's just as good as the Canon equivalent.
 

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