Just spent 20 hours making a (sort of) decision


TPF Noob!
Dec 10, 2007
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Having just spent way more time that I should have... I have now finally decided (well, not finally) that the Nikon D40x is the camera that I want, and I think I would like the Nikon 18-200mm VR lens to go with it.

I am fully aware that the lens cost more that the camera, but I have about $1300 to dedicate to this project and I am hoping to take great landscape pictures and maybe an occasional wildlife. Also, I have a grandchild in the oven and hope to photograph every second of his/her life. I have been told that the lens is more crucial than the camera itself.

I, like everyone else, I am sure, believe that I have an eye for photography and have not, since 30 years ago, had a SLR, so the lens loyalty is not there.

I welcome any and all comments (including those telling me what a jerk I am).

What to buy and where to buy would be helpful.
I would say don't buy the D40, because later you can not get the good lenses to autofocus.
The d50 or D80 is a great buy though.

If you're going to get either of the D40s though....Just get the regular one. No point is spending that much more on a camera that doesn't give you anything extra. The resolution makes no difference to be honest...and the pics from a D40 are about the same as teh X.
Oh and don't feel bad about spending more on the lenses than the body. That is actually the sensible approach.
Oh, and almost all good lenses cost more t than a body. Unless you have a D3 or 1D...
I would also agree with Sideburns that unless you just have your heart set on a D40x, I would get the D50 or D80.

When you go to buy lenses for the D40x, you will find that you are limited in the number of lenses available that will autofocus, and the lenses that do work are more expensive, simply because they are built to work with this camera.

Spend $300-400 more on the body now, or spend $300-500 more per lens to get ones that will autofocus with your camera.
I agree with the above two. If you are wanting to photograph a new grandchild then you'll have a blast with the 50mm f1.8 which won't autofocus on the D40x. The 50 is just too much fun, too nice, and too cheap to not own and you'll never keep up with the baby manually focusing once he/she starts moving around.

I'd pick up a D50 (can still be found in stock certain places) or spring for a new D80 if possible.
that is a good combo - I have owned and used both that body and that lens. The lens is a very good all around lens if you are looking to have only 1 lens. Something to keep in mind though, the pop up flash on the camera is worthless with this lens because it is so long - you will have a half round shadow on the bottom of your photo. So you will need to buy a flash too for most indoor shots with this lens. The SB400 flash is about the same [as the pop up flash [it is a very basic flash with no adjustments to worry about] on the D40 but it is up [taller] a bit, and the head tilts up so you get a bonus of being able to bounce the flash a bit.

[guys not everyone wants to pretend to be a pro photog or is going to buy a bag of lenses.... some people just want to step up into a basic dslr. read his post again................]
Go pentax then. You get more bang for your buck. My dad has a 18-200 and it is a great all around lens that he rarely takes off. Sure there are faster lenses, and it would be great to own them, but with it's wide range 18-200 is very versatile. Also pentax has anti shake built into it's body, so you don't have to buy expensive anti shake lenses.
The Pentax is a good camera, but I believe that once you buy the camera, you are locked into the system. The Pentax and Sony systems are much more limited that either Nikon or Canon. If you have read many of my posts, I'm a Nikon guy from the 1960's. So, I'm a Nikon snob, can't be helped. The D40 is OK, but if you can find a D50 still on the shelf, buy it instead. I think it's a better camera and should be the same price, maybe cheaper. Some other discontinued bodies to consider, D100, D70s, and I am sure the D200 will be phased out soon. The D80 as already mentioned is a fine camera. If you have your heart set on the D40, it will give you great images, but the body has limitations due to it's price point. IMHO, if I had $1300 to spend, I would get the D80 and a 50mm f/1.4 or 1/8. Then save for that other lens while you learn your camera and are amazed at your new DSLR.

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