Nikon's New D40 - reviews available, list of compatible lenses available

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Clix Pix, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #1
    Reviews of the D40 are available on http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond40/ and also at http://www.imaging-resource.com.

    I ran across a handy listing of the AF-S lenses which are compatible with the new D40 camera body -- more than I had expected, actually!

    AF-S lenses from nikonusa.com website:

    Super Telephoto Lenses
    300mm f/4D ED-IF AF-S Nikkor
    400mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S II Nikkor - REBATE!
    500mm f/4D ED-IF AF-S II Nikkor
    600mm f/4D ED-IF AF-S II Nikkor

    Wide-Angle Zoom Lenses
    17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S Zoom-Nikkor - REBATE!

    Standard Zoom Lenses
    24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S Zoom-Nikkor
    28-70mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S Zoom-Nikkor - REBATE!

    High-Power Zoom Lenses
    70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor - NEW!

    DX Nikkor Lenses for DX Format Digital SLRs
    12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor - REBATE!
    18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor - NEW!
    18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor
    18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor
    17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor - REBATE!
    55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor

    Vibration Reduction (VR) Lenses
    200mm f/2G ED-IF AF-S VR Nikkor
    300mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Nikkor - REBATE!
    24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor - REBATE!
    70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor - REBATE!
    200-400mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor

    Close-Up Lenses
    105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor
    ------------------------------------

    Frankly, I wouldn't want to put a monster of a lens such as the 200mm f/2 VR, the 300mm f/2.8 VR or the 200-400mm VR on that tiny little D40....and I doubt that many people who would be buying the D40 would ever even know what to do with one of those lenses. I note that there is a distinct absence of many of the primes and the wonderful low-light lenses..... I hope that in the future Nikon does something about that, or maybe they just figure that those who have and cherish those lenses will continue to use them on the cameras which can support them.....
     
  2. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #2
    If anything this just shows that Nikon will probably be doing a lot of lens updates soon! I actually welcome this change, not because every AF lens I own is AF-S, but because it means that Nikon has more motivation to switch over to 100% AF-S and possibly additional AF-I lenses.

    I got to play with one on Thursday. All I can say is wow. I've used every Nikon DSLR produced since 1999, and at least tried almost every Canon produced in the past 5 years, and the D40 truly is excellent and proof positive that you don't need to give it all up when you go small. This coming from someone who's spoiled by pro cams and lenses.

    I knew images would be great at low ISO so I focused on high ISO shots at ISO 800, 1600, and 3200 with NR off. All I can say is that Nikon really did a fantastic job this time. So fantastic a job, in fact, that it makes me want to get one. Shame it is kit only in the USA right now. It's a very quiet body in operation from what I could tell.

    And I think I could see myself using it on my 400/2.8 when I feel like going stealth ;)
     
  3. Yakamoto macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Nice list of lens, seeing that this is an entry level D-Slr. I've been shoping around and decided on the D40. This will be my first D-Slr, so I figured I'll ease into it slowly. Along with the kit lens, I believe I'll be going with the 28-70 AF-S Zoom. (nothing fancy yet).
    Here is another link to a very good review (IMO):)
    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/nikon/d40-review/
    My new toy should be ariving just after Xmas. I can't wait.

    EDIT: Removed by Yakamoto.
     
  4. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    #4
    This is a good list of places to buy (and not buy) your cameras from: http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14677

    Expresscamera is on the not buy list.

    I would buy it if it was that price from a reputable dealer, but it's not. The D50 can be found for less than the D40, and is an important option to consider.
     
  5. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #5
    Did you check out the prices they want for SD cards? And spare batteries and rechargers? And the extended warranties? It gives them a lot of "room" to discount on their packages, based on some inflated list prices, and still offer no-name lenses, or less than ideal lenses for any dSLR, much less the D40. I kind of have the feeling that the body-only option will somehow be met with a heavy sales pitch for extras, and if that doesn't dissuade you, then the unfortunate news that they aren't actually available just as bodies at the moment. Plenty of kits, though. They take the Nikon D40 kit lens, and sell them individually, and create their own D40 kits with inferior lenses, or older lenses, until you get up over $799. Then you can get the D70 kit lens... hmmm...

    The really sad thing (for unwitting consumers) about all their D40 kits under $800 is that most, if not all, of the lenses won't even work on the camera they're packaging them with. Just compare the list of lenses at the beginning of this thread with the lenses in the kits from $799 on down. Now, wouldn't that be a nice surprise Christmas morning...

    I'm not saying they can't deliver when arm-twisted, and maybe they do offer some folks a "nice" or "honest" experience... but for me, I'd just say be very careful. Very, very careful.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    You'd be as stealth as a "chubby" kid in a neon orange shirt, I think. ;)


    Like you, I held the D40 for the first time around December 4th, and I still don't think it's better than a D50 because it's not that much smaller, and the D50 can do everything that the D40 can do, and a bit easier (even for novices), in my opinion. Anyway, while I think an upgrade to the D50 using this sensor would have been better for everyone, the new D40 was not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. It's not as comfortable as my D50 is, but this is me just being nit-picky. Soooo....um.....it's almost as comfy than the D50, and still way more comfortable than the 400D. ;)

    The "fancy" (ie: friendly?) user menu was actually harder to use even after fiddling with it, but the regular/standard menu system looks fantastic, and the screen, fonts, and overall usefulness of the D40 screen is much better than my D50s screen.

    Now if they could make the price even lower, then I'd consider the D40 an upgrade in many ways. Otherwise, it's more like a "side-grade" or something, where they made several things better, but several things worse.
     
  7. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    Oregon coast
    #7
    Well, I'm assuming you mean the 28-70 2.8 lens in the list above. That could qualify as slightly "fancy." ;) It will overlap the 18-55 kit lens range quite a bit, and be quite a bit heavier.
     
  8. coldrain macrumors regular

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    Dec 20, 2006
    #8
    As you can see from the list, the D40's lens choice is really rather limitted. No low light primes to use... BIG downside!
    No 50mm f1.8!!! That lens is a must for any self respecting Nikon DSLR owner... dirt cheap (around $100), good optics, very nice portrait focal lenght on 1.5x crop factor APS-C.

    No 35mm f2!!!!! That lens is also a must, if you want a lower light lens for indoor use... it is a near standard lens on APS-C... and great to photograph family indoors without needing to use flash.

    No 85mm f1.8!!! There goes to possibility of using one of nikons best lenses, great for portrait use (even on APS-C, it just is now on the longer end of the portrait focal range).

    And that is just a fraction of lenses that you have to miss on the D40... and taht is disregarding all great and affordable 3rd party lenses that rely on the in camera body motor...

    I would definitely go for a D50 instead. Or a Pentax K100D, which offers in camera image stabilization.
     
  9. Yakamoto macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Thanks pdxflint and phatpat,
    I will strongly heed your warnings on that establishment.
    I've bought my last camera from them. A little casio p&s and they did try and upsell me on other package options, but I stood my ground. This time however might be a totally different story now with a D-slr. I'll check on the good list.
     
  10. Yakamoto macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Thats the one.:)
    I'm still new to the glass, so that one did'nt seem too outrageous.
    Plus I don't need a super zoom (tele) just yet.
    I am open to other options though.:D
     
  11. EastCoastFlyer macrumors regular

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    North Florida and Northern Delaware
    #11
    Have to agree with coldrain on this point. Got my 50 1.8 from B&H about 2 weeks ago for my D50. Talk about crisp and fast... would be a shame for someone with your "eye" to be "glass-limited"...
     
  12. coldrain macrumors regular

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    Dec 20, 2006
    #12
    The 28-70 f2.8 is one of Nikon's best lenses... but it is full frame (heavy) and expensive! Did I mention it is expensive? It is a lens for professionals.

    If the Sigma 24-70 f2.8 and Tamron 28-75 f2.8 have internal AF motors (otherwise incompatible to the D40), take a look at those too... they both are great lenses for their price (a 4th of the price of that Nikkor).
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #13
    The 50 mm f/1.8 is OK. It's great for the price, and again, you're not going to get the combination of optical quality + aperture size + price with ANY other lens. On the other hand, they're likely to upgrade the 50 mm f/1.8 and f/1.4 some time next year (right?), unless they don't think that prime lenses are in the category of lenses that a D40 owner would buy, since it doesn't zoom at all (shock! horror!).

    And like coldrain said, the Nikon 28-70 mm f/2.8 is expensive. It's also not much better than the Sigma and Tamrons he mentioned, although it IS optically better, or at least better than the Sigma. The Tamron may actually be the best of the bunch (except for the quality control issues they have with this lens). Will you be able to tell the difference? No. They're ALL very good. If you want to save money in the long run, get a Nikon D50 or D80 and buy a Sigma 24-70 mm f/2.8 or Tamron 28-75 mm f/2.8. These won't work on the D40, but with the money you save by buying one of these non-AFS lenses, you can upgrade to a D80 or maybe a D200. :p

    I own the Sigma 24-70 mm f/2.8 (sharp even at f/2.8) because it's MUCH(!) better built than the Tamron, and if I couldn't use that lens on my D50, I wouldn't have most of my photos. I own more expensive lenses, but that lens is my baby. It is the only lens that I can safely say, "Wow, I really got my money's worth with that lens", since I've used it so much.

    You lose out on a lot of fantastic Nikon and 3rd party lenses if you get the Nikon D40, since most Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina lenses aren't SWM/USM/HSM/whatever. It's something to consider.
     
  14. Clix Pix thread starter macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #14
    The 28-70mm f/2.8 is one of my favorite lenses and I use it on my D200 a lot. I don't think it would be such a good idea to put it on a D40, though, because it is quite heavy. I'd stick to fairly lightweight lenses on the D40, and I suspect that is part of Nikon's intention: they're aiming this small camera at the moving-up-from-a-P&S-first-time-DSLR user who will be perfectly happy with one or two fairly lightweight consumer-level lenses. Another potential target user is the individual who already has other Nikon gear -- D2X, D2Xs, D200 -- who wants a smaller, lighterweight camera for those times when the heavier, larger body and/or lens(es) just isn't convenient. This user, too, is unlikely to stick his or her heavier pro lenses on there. Given the choice between a P&S or the D40, I'd choose the D40. Given the choice between a D200 and a D40, well, of course I'd take the D200!! Having both is tempting.... Doing a "serious" shoot, of course the D200 is in my bag; I can see how it could be very handy, though, in lieu of a P&S, to tuck a D40 and smallish lens in a daypack or messenger bag for toting around everywhere....

    From what I understand from my reading about the new D40, yes, one can still use non- AF-S lenses, it's just that they would need to be manually focused rather than depending on autofocus. Theoretically, then, one could have a 50mm f/1.4 or the 35mm f/2 on that camera. It would be interesting to try it, see how well it works.... Yep, with that tiny 35mm lens on the tiny D40, one would have a very portable setup, indeed!
     
  15. JonMaker macrumors regular

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  16. coldrain macrumors regular

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    Dec 20, 2006
    #16
    You really need to be a full time Nikon fan to on one hand say the D40 is for 1st time DSLR users that want an inexpensive "upgrade" from a point and shoot, and then on the other hand consider using it as manual focus camera.

    Really... it would a a much better idea to get a Canon EOS 350D or 400D with a 35mm f2... that actually DOES auto focus. Or a Nikon D50 or with said 35mm f2. Or a Pentax K100D with 35mm pancake lens (now THAT is compact).

    The D40 is just handicapped in single focal point lens land (and good affordable third party f2.8 zoom lenses land). My advice, avoid it, it will lock you into EXPENSIVE Nikon lenses if you want GOOD lenses, because most third party lenses will not work on it. And then... why again did you buy the cheapest body? There are plenty alternatives to a D40.
     
  17. Clix Pix thread starter macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #17
    Well, having used Nikons for the past 20-odd years, I would say that, yes, I AM a Nikon fan, just as you, Coldrain, are obviously a Canon fan. <shrug> That's what makes the world go 'round: differences! What seems suitable for one person may not be suitable for another. No need to make this a "Nikon vs Canon" thread.

    Hm... I've got Nikon's teeny 45mm "pancake" lens -- hee, hee, wouldn't that look cute on the D40? Now there's a thought.... LOL!

    As I have stated before I think the target audience for this particular camera is going to either be those who want something very simple and yet who want a DSLR and those who already have more sophisticated, heavier and larger gear who just want a small DSLR to toss into a bag for those times when they cannot or choose not to take along their larger camera and len(ses). The reasons for choosing the D40 are going to be very different in each situation. My hunch is that some would buy the D40 and maybe one additional lens on it and that's as far as they'd go. Someone else who already has experience with DSLRs and who happens to have other lenses might want to play around with some of their lenses on the D40....

    That said, yes, the prospective buyer of any new camera does have to assess where he or she is potentially going to go with photography. A friend recently asked me for suggestions and help with choosing her first DSLR. This person has already had some experience in shooting film SLRs and has a couple of older Nikon lenses. She is anticipating purchasing additional lenses in the future and wants the option of being able to pick up older lenses at less cost than new ones. She and I will probably be going out shooting together and it would be nice if on occasion she could use one of my lenses, too.

    My recommendation for her? NOT the D40, as that clearly would not meet her needs. Instead I suggested the D50, D70s or D80. Budgetary constraints ruled out the D200 and after she considered everything, for various reasons she decided to go with the D50 rather than the D80. So far she is very pleased with her choice and I think that it's the right one for her now at this particular time.

    I have seen on Nikon Cafe where some people who already have other Nikon DSLRs -- the D2X, D2Xs or the D200 -- have picked up a D40 for the convenience of having a smaller, lighter camera with them at all times. It is these people who are likely to experiment with putting their 35mm f/2 or their 50mm f/1.4 on the D40. One guy even showed us a photo of his 200mm f/2 on the D40! (Or should I say, the D40 on the 200mm f2!) Now that was a sight....
     
  18. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #18
    coldrain, I suppose you haven't considered the fact that it's at the point where most of Nikon's low light primes are due for their periodic upgrade?

    Nikon has spent some of 2006 shutting down production of some of their lenses, particularly fast manual focus primes, in favor of some new stuff, but the number of new lenses is not great, particularly considering that some were just direct replacements. Several key low light lenses (28 1.4 and 85/1.4) have been increasingly rare, and I feel that they are going to be updated along with severa of the other higher volume lenses that they probably have a stockpile of.
    Within the next 6 months I expect to see a slew of updated primes and possibly even some new models for the affordable low light group.
     
  19. Clix Pix thread starter macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #19
    Clearly Coldrain hasn't considered anything about Nikon's future lenses as he is quite obviously fixated on Canon....
     
  20. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #20
    If and when Nikon comes with 50mm f1.8/1.4, 35mm f2.0, 85mm f1.8 and so on lenses, THEN it will make more sense to drop the in camera motor. As of now, it does not.
    And the 85mm f1.4 is not very well loved by some because of its lesser optical performance compared to the f1.8, and its high price. That may well be a reason Nikon stopped production of it. A 85mm f1.4 is not a logical partner to a D40 by any means anyway. As you know, lens lines are only upgraded slowly (a few models a year). At which point the new ones are hard to come by for months. So no, I would not recommend the D40 to many. Until 3rd party manufacturers come with internal motor lenses for Nikon in big numbers. Till then, if you prefer Nikon, go for a D50 if you value small and light.
     
  21. Clix Pix thread starter macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #21
    Coldrain, obviously you have never used the "cream machine" (aka 85mm f/1.4)...... "Lesser optical performance?" You've got to be joking!!
     
  22. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #22
    85mm f1.4 Nikkor:
    From http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/nikkor_85_14/index.htm .
    That is for a lens that costs 1200$.

    85mm f1.8 Nikkor:
    From http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/nikkor_85_18/index.htm .
    That is for its 480$ sibbling!

    The f1.8 simply outperforms the expensive f1.4.

    And if you really need the extra aperture, you should consider getting a Canon on the side.
    85mm f1.2 Canon L (old mk I model:)
    Now THAT is a dream lens.
     
  23. Spectrum macrumors 6502a

    Spectrum

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    #23
    I think many SLR owners only ever buy the one lens (e.g. the kit). With cheap Nikons, I think this used to be the 28-80G. Thus the 18-55 fits the bill.

    If they buy a second lens, I think they tend to buy a tele zoom (70-300mm). That equates to the phenomenally cheap 55-200 DX <$200 now, I hear.

    If they want more zoom/quality, the 70-300mm VR is just released, and is very good.

    The D40 also shoots at ISO3200 for when you really need it. (This will look like how ISO400 does on a compact digicam.) so aperture is not AS important as it used to be, when with film, the only option would have been to load a new roll of expensive high ISO film.

    Yes, I want new primes (with circular aperture blades, less CA and AFS please). But I'm a serious hobbyist. I'd wager that most are not.
     
  24. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #24
    I've used both the 1.4 and 1.8. The 1.4 wins hands down. I do think it could use an update and a nice optical tweak never hurts.

    What I'm saying is that since the 28 and 85 1.4s are specialty items and have significantly lower production figures, the stock has been depleted if they're being phased out for new lenses.

    I also take issue with your definition of lens lines being updated only a few a year. The last several major shifts in lens compatibility moved quickly- AI in 1977, AI-S in the early 80's, AF some time later, only when less important features (D chips, internal AF motors) that didn't affect widespread compatibility (or that did impact compatibility with older cameras, allowing time for users to upgrade) did they slowly phase things in. Now that the need is there, they're preparing for the next major shift.

    I also take issue with the statement you made about the 85/1.4 not being a logical partner for the D40. Just because someone of your mind might not use it doesn't mean everyone else can't. I'd love to pair them, seeing as the D40 performs very well in low light from what I've been able to tell. I'd be perfectly happy pairing it with my 200 f/2 VR, or my 400 f/2.8 AFS if the situation called for its capabilities. Lots of people, not just beginners, will be buying the D40.
     
  25. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #25
    Amateur review from a Canon user.

    I went into my local camera store today to get lens filters and had a chance to play with this camera.

    I like how light the camera was, however I didn't like the feel of the build quality when compared to other Nikon cameras I have looked at / played with. The tactile feel of the buttons had a somewhat cheap feel, and some of them were loose feeling IMHO. I first attributed this to it being a floor model, but the salesman said that this camera was only on the floor for about 6 days, as their original floor model was no longer available (not sure why exactly). I would not say it is any better feeling (in quality) than the Canon 300 / 400d in this department at all. I still find Nikon menu systems confusing, but that is most likely because I am coming from the Canon world, and don't hold this against Nikon one bit. :)

    The Images I took, and viewed on their in store computer were quite impressive overall, and I do like the quality of the Kit lens much more-so than I do my 30d (thanks Canon :rolleyes: ) . The focus was reasonably quick, and I didn't have much of an issue with it hunting for focus, until I tried capturing images of moving cars during this overcast day. (they let me take it outside for some quick shots). This issue may have been more to do with the headlights on the cars confusing the AF, however I didn't have this issue with the 400d I looked at today, using it's inferior kit lens.

    I disagree wit what the reviewer on dpreview.com stated about the image quality of the 350d V.s the D40. I find the images from the Canon much more crisp from the 350d than I do on the D40, granted the canon does have a megapixel advantage in that comparison. I agree that you wouldn't see much difference when you go to print with these images (due to limitations of consumer printers), however the web images show a much cleaner image coming from the 8mp Canon (again my own opinion).

    I would love to see an objective comparison of this camera with the older 6mp Canon 300d. I honestly think the Nikon would win hands down in a 6mp to 6mp comparison, but don't feel that the D40 has an image quality advantage over the 350d.

    Overall, I would have to say I would recommend this camera to someone that is used to the Nikon feature set, or finds the menu system easy enough for them to use. Images ended up being fairly crisp overall, and I was impressed with the abilities of the lens. I am also recommending this camera to a friend that is looking to get his first DSLR. It is a great camera for the price, and I feel that they will get more out of it than he will the sony he is looking at.

    Cheers,

    840quadra
     

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