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  #1  
Old 01/09/2008, 07:37 AM
NeveSSL NeveSSL is offline
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Nikon D40... what would be a step-up from stock lens?

Hi all!

I am considering a Nikon D40 and I was wondering if the stock lens would be good? What would be a good step up from there and would it be worth it to go to it immediately?

I know this may be a bit vague... just know if I don't get a D40 or similar, I'll have to get a point and shoot due to budget. With that being said, this will have to be a good "overall" lens, which I would suspect the stock lens should be to some extent.

Any help is much appreciated!

Thanks!

Brandon
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  #2  
Old 01/09/2008, 07:41 AM
Phyl Phyl is offline
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If you wanted GREAT glass, the 17-55 is an excellent choice. If you want consumer grade and one all around lens you could get the 18-200. That lens covers the gammut, is reasonably priced and would be a fine choice.

That won't fit your need for Macro though, should you desire. Then you'd need a dedicated macro lens (105 without VR is an excellent choice).
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  #3  
Old 01/09/2008, 10:20 AM
reefman13 reefman13 is offline
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I have the VR18-200mm lens, the 78-400, and the 17-55. All three are great lenses. I would have to say, that best value for $$$ is the VR (profesional grade) 18-200mm lens. The other thing about all of these lenses, is that they are made with metal, opposed to the package lenses that are made with plastic.

HTH
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  #4  
Old 01/09/2008, 10:38 AM
NeveSSL NeveSSL is offline
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Thanks for the replies, guys. Those lenses are definitely future prospects. How about some $100 to $200 lenses? I know thats almost like buying a 1/2 gallon tank (IE, I WILL upgrade later) but its all I can do right now.

I've got a feeling its probably like most other things... cheap glass will pretty much be cheap glass... but I thought I'd ask anyway... every once in a while a diamond is found for the price of emeralds.

Thanks!

Brandon
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Batteries are the most dramatic object. Other things stop working or they break, but batteries die. They're either working or they're dead. Thats a crappy life. --Demitri Martin
  #5  
Old 01/09/2008, 11:02 AM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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if the kit lens for the D40 is the 18-50 I would suggest getting the 18-70 instead as it's reported to be sharper and gives you a bit more reach. The 18-135 is also worth considering.
the 55-200 is the lowest price VR lense available on the market, not top notch image quality but affordable. so maybe just go with the 18-50 as it'll come as kit lense for a small plus over the price of hte body only. if you hait to switch lenses then you should wait and get the 18-200 VR as suggested before.
Unfortunately the D40 will not autofocus with non AFS lenses so you cannot consider the fast and very good quality still affordable (300-400USD) Tamron and Sigma 17-50 and 18-50 2.8 lenses.
this is the price yo upay when saving on the body as even the 50mm 1.8 which is very sharp and very cheap will not focus on it and you find yourself having to buy more expensive glass.
I would suggest trying to find a used and in good condition D50 which will not suffer from those limitation and be a bit cheaper in addition to be the best in handling noise at high ISO as well as allowing you to invest in other cheaper lense options.
  #6  
Old 01/09/2008, 12:00 PM
NeveSSL NeveSSL is offline
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Wow... lots to think about.

What does the D40 have that the D50 does not? I'm betting possibly pixel count, but thats not a huge huge deal. Important, but not everything.

Does the D50 have the motor on the camera is why it would autofocus more lenses?

Thats exactly the kind of input I need at this point. Thanks!

Also, needless to say I'm a complete photography n00b, so if anyone has any recommended reads on dslrs, that would be awesome.

Brandon
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  #7  
Old 01/09/2008, 01:45 PM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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Well the D40 is still in production AFAIK the D50 has been discontinued.
Never held a D50 but I guess the D40 would be more compact.
The D50 will autofocus with more lenses and is famous for low noise performance at high ISO.
The D50 70 70s 80 200 and 300 all have a built in motor to autofocus with lenses that do not have a built in motor (non AFS)
Tough choice for sure and lense choice would be even harder as you can switch bodies every few years but you are stuck with your lenses for longer time.
Reefman
the 18-200 is not professional grade.
It does have a metal mount but infortunately is made of less resistant plastic than other pro lenses.It is better built than the other kit lenses though.
mine broke open after falling from around 45 cm, many other users suffered with it braking after minor falls. also it is reported to be just a bit soft wide open and at the edges and suffers from distortions at the wide side. all 18-200Vr do or will creep from 30-120mm for some this is a major no no for others including me it not that serious.
Still it is a very capable lens and does provide very nice pictures if used correctly. it's main advantage is in being a one lens solution. VR is just great and the difference is really clear when one assesses the percentage of blurred shots when using a non VR lens.

Last edited by maroun.c; 01/09/2008 at 01:51 PM.
  #8  
Old 01/10/2008, 04:59 AM
NeveSSL NeveSSL is offline
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Thanks again, maroun.c.

I am very seriously considering the D50. It bothers me not having as many autofocus choices with the D40. At the same time, it may not bother me as I advance and become better at photography.

I think I'm going to google a side by side comparison of the two.

I need to do so much more research before I make a decision... heh...

Thanks for all of your guys help!

Brandon
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Batteries are the most dramatic object. Other things stop working or they break, but batteries die. They're either working or they're dead. Thats a crappy life. --Demitri Martin
  #9  
Old 01/10/2008, 06:15 AM
KurtsReef KurtsReef is offline
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The D40 is a point and shoot camera you can change lenses on.

That is not my experience, what I have read. Never held or used one.

There are plenty of used DSLR's on the market. If your going with Nikon then look at the D100, its not too big and has excellent photo quality. Used lenses are also available...

VR does not equal professional grade lens. Plenty of lenses are made with vibration reduction, that is a feature of many lenses and not a sign of professional quality. The glass and materials used in producing the lens and available apertures are what matters. With Nikon and Canon your best zoom lenses (a zoom lens is any lens you can change the focal length with) will have a constant large aperture and would be listed like this:

28-70mm f/2.8
70-200mm f/2.8

The consumer grade glass has to change aperture as you change the focal length, the more you "zoom in" the less wide open your aperture can be which means you need more light. Those lenses will be listed like this:

18-200mm f/3.2-5.6 or something similar

A great place to pick up used equipment is either on photography forums from posters, Craigslist, or a great retailer is KEH (www.keh.com) out of Atlanta Ga, large selection and pretty good prices. You can pick up most of their used "Bargain" rated lenses that will be in very good shape.

hope that helps.
  #10  
Old 01/10/2008, 07:05 AM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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Check out Dpreview for a very good review of whatever camera you want.
follow this link
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sidebyside.asp

to a page on Dpreview where you can select the cameras you are interested in and have a direct side by side comparison.
The D40 is still a good camera choice which provides very nice straight out of the camera very good pictures. so it has the advantage of cutting down on the amount of PP you need to do for yoru pictures. study your lens needs and see if there are such lenses which have built in focusing motors and maybe then you would decide to get the D40 as it's prics and size are hard to beat.
For me I still have my D70s and am happy with its size as I like a bigger and heavier camera. I even added a vertical grip with two batteries to make it heavier as I feel it helps balancing the camera better with heavier lenses.
Study your choices and most importantly go to a camera store and hold whatever camera you think of buying and see if you like how it fits in your hand and if you like the buttons display the menu... the D40 is also bad in that the you have to scroll through the menus to reach some of the frequently needed options.
Bottom line each camera has its pros and cons and its best to know them in advance then to regret your purchase later on.
  #11  
Old 01/10/2008, 07:25 AM
NeveSSL NeveSSL is offline
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Point and shoot with exchangeable lenses sounds about perfect for me.

I am definitely still considering used, but I can't go too far over the top with the budget. A used D50 is looking pretty nice right now, but I'm only beginning to look and will research quite a bit more before making a decision.

Thanks for the explaination on focal points. What do you mean by "VR does not equal professional grade lens."?

I need to go read an FAQ on lenses I do believe.

Thanks for the reply!

Brandon
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Batteries are the most dramatic object. Other things stop working or they break, but batteries die. They're either working or they're dead. Thats a crappy life. --Demitri Martin
  #12  
Old 01/10/2008, 07:28 AM
NeveSSL NeveSSL is offline
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Awesome... thanks for the solid advice, maroun.c.

I'll see if I can find a local camera store and try some stuff out. I've been reading quite a bit on DPReview, but hadn't found the comparison yet.

Thanks to all who have replied!

Brandon
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Batteries are the most dramatic object. Other things stop working or they break, but batteries die. They're either working or they're dead. Thats a crappy life. --Demitri Martin
  #13  
Old 01/10/2008, 09:49 AM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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I believe he meant that being a VR lens does not imply being a professional quality lens. Pro Quality relies more on professional grade glass, wider constant aperture, better lens built. on the other hand this does not mean that all VR lenses are not pro quality (ex 70-200VR or 80-400VR both are pro quality lenses)
What do you mean by point and shoot with variable lenses? D40 and D50 and all the others from the same series are DSLR cameras even if not pro ones but they are not point and shoot cameras.
  #14  
Old 01/10/2008, 01:47 PM
KurtsReef KurtsReef is offline
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Nikon does not put anything in the name of their pro glass, it does have a gold band around the end of the lens. So you would just see 85mm f/1.4

I am not a Canon shooter, but think when you hear them refer to "L" glass that is the Canon pro line and the L is in the name of the lens. 85mm f/1.2L


Yes, I was simply stating that a lens that is VR is not necessarily professional quality. As Mauroun stated it has to do with materials used and not a feature such as vibration reduction. So seeing something like 28-200 f/3.2-5.6 VR does not indicate it is a pro lens.

Worry more about the lens your going to buy than the camera body.

For an inexpensive but pretty good lens, the kit lens that came with the D70 (18-70 I think was the focal length of the lens) although a bit loose in its control has some very good image quality. What I mean by loose is that if you aim the camera straight down it more than likely will zoom out on you and not stay where you had it sitting and when changing the focal length you feel some play in the lens.
  #15  
Old 01/10/2008, 07:23 PM
jccash jccash is offline
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>the D40 is also bad in that the you have to scroll through the menus to reach some of the frequently needed options. <

The D40 has an option so you can custom the menus to get to the options you need faster.
  #16  
Old 01/11/2008, 10:32 AM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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Still this does not beat having a button on the camera to just press and rotate the wheel to get what you want. the main problem is trying to see the menu when it's sunny and you're on a hurry.
 

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