Nikon D40

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SC68Cal, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    #1
    I recently purchased a Nikon D40, and all I can say is wow. Even with the not-so-great kit lens the shots are coming out very nice.

    I put it together into a web gallery with Aperture and I'm fairly pleased with the results.
    Temple University Gallery

    Here are a few larger prints

    [​IMG]
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  2. macdaddy121 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Georgia
    #2
    The D40 is a wonderful camera and it will get a lot of people to switch over to the DSLR....however don't forget that capturing a good image lays in the hands of the person taking a picture.....so great job....love the pics.
     
  3. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #3
    Welcome to the world of DSLR :) I'm glad you liked your purchase! You'll be a happy photographer for a long time, even more when you buy some new lenses or accessories! It'll be like Christmas all over again ;)
     
  4. Allstermac macrumors member

    Allstermac

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    Jan 17, 2007
    #4
    I picked up mine before Christmas! Great camera great price! As a newbie to Real photography, this is a great stepping stone and learning tool to ween me into a great system in about years time! I would keep this for camera for everyday photo's, but would want a better setup to do things beyond great:D
    Enjoy the D40... I do!
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    Congratulations on getting into photography, everyone. :)

    It's good that you're getting more into photography, but honestly, there isn't much difference between image quality you're getting now, or the image quality you get from a more expensive Nikon D200 or Nikon D2Xs other than MP. I guess you can crop more or something, but it's not as though a better camera will transform your photos into something better. Like macdaddy121 said, the photographer takes the photos.

    On that note, lenses do make a difference, because you're going to hit a wall in terms of what you can do regarding sharpness, depth of field, reproduction ratio (ie: macro work) and under certain conditions such as shooting in lower light.

    To use a car analogy: (I know it's weird :p) The car you choose isn't an issue if we're talking about which car will take you from Point A to Point B. Driving either a Honda Civic or a Porsche will get you to your destination. I can say the same thing about taking a photograph with a DSLR. Using a better DSLR won't affect the composition of a photo at all, as they're both very capable of taking a photo. You're the one pointing the camera and adjusting the camera settings, so both cameras will "get you there".

    However, if you're NOT talking about getting to your destination, but wanting to do something very specific such as race, then obviously a Porsche is going to get you there faster because it's a better tool for the job, while the Civic isn't (even when the Civic is suped up ;)). They'll both get you to your destination, but if you're looking for speed and a decent time as well, the Civic isn't up for it.

    If you're going to drive through rocky terrain, then obviously a Range Rover will be better for what you're trying to do. Maybe a Civic can do it, but it won't be pretty. I also wouldn't use my kit lens to take macros, just like I wouldn't use a macro lens to take a landscape shot. You can, but you won't get exactly what you want.

    Don't worry about "only" owning a D40 unless the camera itself is actually slowing you down. Some people need to adjust more than just WB, Shutter speed, and Aperture, and would have to dig through menus to adjust metering, AF modes, or to use bracketing. Or what if you need to make massive prints, or you work for a company that needs to do so with your photos? If you're in these situations, then you need to get a new DSLR.

    I own a Nikon D50 which has more controls on the body than the D40, and yet still doesn't have enough control for me. So for me, I can't imagine using a D40 because I have much higher demands than I did before. For you, it may be absolutely perfect, as the extra second it takes for you to change a setting isn't going to annoy you too much. ;)
     
  6. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

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    Feb 14, 2004
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    UK
    #6
    I'm already into photography and have bought a D40. I've also owned a D50 and D80, and can say I prefer the D40 so far over both. It really isn't just a beginner's camera, although I can appreciate how the slightly slower handling may bother more demanding users. A couple of firmware tweaks would really improve this though - e.g. not firing up the LCD when you're tweaking EV compensation with your eye to the viewfinder would be nice (no proximity sensor, a la the 400D, needed, just a bit more thought from the designers!)

    Totally agree. I've seen too many really quite poor shots from D200 owners to prove this, and it helped me steer away from buying one even though I found it lovely to hold (oo-er!).
     
  7. jsfpa macrumors regular

    jsfpa

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    Oct 26, 2003
    #7
    I just picked up a D40 yesterday and I'm really impressed. I'm a Canon guy normally. I have a Canon 30D but wanted something small and light to throw in the car so I'd have a camera when a photo op appears. You know what they say, "practice makes perfect" and I need the practice. What a difference in weight and size. The images are great even with the kit lens.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
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    Northern/Central VA
    #8
    Actually, all that proves is that the D200 is too much camera for a lot of people. 90% of the bad shots are poor technique, 10% poor lenses. While there isn't a huge image quality difference for folks doing online pictures or small and medium prints (or probably 98% of users,) there is certainly a difference.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    Show me even ONE Nikon lens so poor that it shows in an image displayed so as to fit on a computer monitor. I'd change those 90% and 98% numbers to 100% Computer screens are very UNdemanding of image quality.

    What matters in photography is being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes "place" can matter to within a few inches and "time" to a fraction of a second. The difference between casual snapshooters and more serious photogrphay is that the more serious type will take great effort to be in the right place at the right time, sometime even going as far as to create the "place" by use of a set with props and lights. Or will wait houors or days for the light to be "right".
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #10
    Um, that was basically my point. About 2% of D200 users *in my experience* print larger than 8x10 with regularity, crop a lot , or otherwise shoot things that are demanding of a higher-resolution camera.

    Crops will certainly show the difference and for me, one of the main advantages the D200 and D2x have over any of the 6MP Nikon bodies is that you can throw away half the image and still get gallery-quality medium-sized (8x10-11x14) prints-- I don't crop for anything other than print sizing very often, but when I do, I'm not worried about the quality of the crop.

    As for lenses, I don't buy crappy lenses, so I can't show one, but I'm assured they're out there- there are whole lines of 3rd party companies who's glass I wouldn't touch. I'm pretty sure you'd see the same issue on some older Nikkors too, and perhaps even some of their consumer lenses. Since everyone primarily evaluates in PS these days it's likely they're seeing it on a computer.
     
  11. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

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    #11
    I'd say technique is far more important than lenses. If you don't have the former, the latter doesn't make any difference and can actually make the photos look worse e.g. someone playing with fast glass who constantly shoots at F2.8 or faster and isn't in control of the depth of field required for the situation.

    There's a member on here who owns thousands of dollars worth of pro glass and camera bodies, and out of all the many shots I've seen of theirs I can honestly say not a single one of them has impressed me enough to think "Whoa, I could never have taken that shot myself".

    However, I've seen lots of photos taken with 350Ds, D50s etc. that have blown me away and I know I couldn't take comparable shots because my technique isn't good enough.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    ZING!

    But yet I'm intrigued about who it is. I actually have a gues as to who you're talking about, but anyway. ;)

    You obviously won't tell (which is smart), but I do agree that for all the pros here who own craploads of great glass and what not, I don't see impressive photos often here. A lot of experienced people here talk big with regards to glass and which camera to own, but these same people aren't showing the goods. That's no offense, because I don't think I'm very good, but with the experience of some people here, I'm surprised about the quality coming from people who own much better glass than I do.

    The best and most consistent producers around here are, in my opinon, VictorM and freebooter, and he was doing most of his amazing photos using a tiny point and shoot. The rest was coming from a Sony DSC-R1. Perfect lens, but a bit of shutter lag will still exist, as it's certainly not as responsive as a DSLR. Now that he has a DSLR (and a Nikon one at that ;)).....wow, I expect a lot of good things.

    I have actually only been into photography for around 12 months, which will surprise some people, and yet I still think I have learned a crapload compard to a lot of people who have been doing it for yaars. I can totally get into a deeep conversation about it, but I think my judgement of a good photo is different from "pros." I'm a bit more lax about it, so something that's not technically perfect can still appear good to me simply because of good timing by the photographer. I don't know. I'm drunk right now.
     
  13. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #13
    Technique and vision are much more important than glass. However that doesn't mean that glass won't make a difference.

    I've said it before on here- and I'll say it again- I've gotten salable prints from less-than-perfect glass (such as the Nikon 80-400mm @400mm) and none of my customers have ever said "Oh, I'd buy that print if it was shot with a 400mm f/2.8!) To them, it's all about the image itself, not the flaws that we as photographers see when looking critically at an image.

    However, for me personally- while I haven't had the exact same subjects/opportunities with my 400/2.8 I prefer the images shot with it by a wide margin. Sure, it focuses significantly faster, gives me about an extra 40m at the beginning and end of each day to shoot wildlife, and gives me more subject separation when I desire it, but even when I shoot it down at the same apertures and with static subjects I prefer the images.

    In the end, I don't just want to give my customers pleasing images to hang on their walls- I want to give them the best representation of a subject or scene that I possibly can.
     
  14. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

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    UK
    #14
    Just to be clear: I'm not trying to be bitchy, just making a valid point from my own observations. I don't think it's wise to spend $3000 on your first DSLR because the chances are you won't see where the money's gone in your photos, but if you have the cash and it makes you happy then that's fine with me (cross-referencing another thread here).

    It's like people buying Yamaha R1s, squeezing into one piece Dainese leathers and thinking it immediately turns them into Valentino Rossi (sorry, I'm into bikes too). Sometimes it takes someone on lesser machinery to jolt you into the reality that you're not as good as you think (this isn't autobiographical by the way!).

    I'm far more impressed by great photos taken on cheaper gear - it actually makes me excited sometimes as I think "I can really learn something here - if I get off my arse maybe I can create something like this", rather than seeing another mediocre snap taken with some F/1.2 600mm megabucks lens ;)

    I'm not drunk, but am listening to 80s synth-pop, so what do I know :eek:
     
  15. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

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    #15
    Having owned both, I think it's actually quicker to change metering and AF modes on the D40 than the D50 due to it's shooting info screen and "my menu" system. A small firmware tweak to change how the rear "i" button works would speed this up even more. It's a great handling little DSLR (e.g. you can control the shooting mode, AE lock and command dial using just your right thumb, without moving your hand), and if you haven't got loads of non AF-S/HSM lenses you need to use I highly recommend checking it out.
     
  16. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

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    UK
    #16
    Completely agree with and understand what you're saying here. I've had people praise shots I've taken, and all I can see in them are flaws!

    You really can get obsessive about photo quality, and improving them that last few percent can cost an awful lot of money in "flawless" lenses or time taken in post processing.
     
  17. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #18
    I can't speak for others, but I'm *very* protective of my intellectual property.

    In the US, copyright registration and laws are interesting, and a pre-published work has a different standing than a published one, and is registered differently. That means twice as much work and twice the fees if you have to register stuff you've published (like posting here) and stuff that's unpublished.

    Also, the US Congress keeps trying to redefine copyright for photographers with online images and I'm not going to risk my future revenues and ability to protect my work just because some group of lobbyists got the Congress to pass an inane law making it trivial to steal images and use them without paying for them (thankfully it died in committee last session, but like most lobbyist ideas, it'll come back.)

    Some galleries and art sales outlets require online exclusivity for images they'll represent.

    I've been talking to an art buyer this week, and I'm even considering going back on my personal policy of not producing limited editions if I can get the right gallery representation because it's potentially a better business decision.

    Anyway, that's why you won't see many images from me on line- it's a function of how I run my business.

    It's difficult to step back and look at the big picture (no pun intended.) While I'm normally pretty good about which images of mine will sell the best, I'm sometimes amazed at ones that don't sell or ones that sell exceptionally well because I'm looking at point spots or "issues" that someone who wants to hang it on their wall isn't hunting for.

    I also think there's a factor in getting that last few percent right that shows in how you deal with folks in relation to your work. I've done the "box of 100 mats with bags and backing board" thing for art fairs. My margins were *great* and my sales were fine, but I didn't feel I was giving my customers the best product I could. The pictures were all archival and hinge mounted, so the buyers weren't getting ripped off, but it wasn't the best I could do and it bugged me. Granted, most of my buyers at this point aren't really fine art aficionados, they just like my pictures enough to pay hard-earned money for them to hang on their walls. But because I'm not at the low end of the pricing spectrum, I feel an obligation to try to narrow that last few percent, no matter if it's shooting the picture or matting it at the end.

    I think it's good to be your own worst critic, so long as you can still see the bigger view. I about had a heart attack the other night showing some proofs to an art buyer until I realized the uneven lighting on the corner of a print was from the light filtering through his wine glass! :eek:
     
  19. SC68Cal thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 23, 2006
    #19
    Everyone realizes that you don't need to register your work with the Copyright office to obtain copyright? Right?

    There are just certain benefits of doing so......
     
  20. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #20
    Yes, but then you'll only be able to claim actual damages, not punitive ones, you may not be able to recover legal fees and if there's a serious similarity to someone else's photo you'll be fighting upstream. It may also help with downstream legislation like that which just almost got passed last session. It may also help with proving that the losses you just took on that 600/4 is because you're really running a business not just collecting write-offs on toys.
     

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