50mm 1.8 for D40x?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by epicwelshman, May 15, 2007.

  1. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #1
    So I just got a D40x for graduation, along with some money and gift cards to a photography store in Canads (Black's).

    I was thinking of getting the 50mm. I know it's not AF-S, but how much of a bother would manually focusing it be? I'm looking at a budget of a little over $200 CDN, and the lens is about $180. It's a superb lens, so should I go for it?

    Also, I'd like a protective filter for my 18-55 so i don't have to use the lens cap. They have an Optex skylight filter... is this any good? It's cheap, but if there was a degredation in image quality, I don't want it.
     
  2. D34th macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #2
    If you do not mind manually focusing then the 50mm f/1.8 would be great. I personally enjoy manually focusing because a good shot means much more to you since its not as easy as hitting the shutter. However, there have been rumors that Nikon is updating some of their lenses pretty soon, and a lot of people say they will update their prime lenses (such as the 50mm f/1.8) to AF-S which will enable autofocusing on your D40x. Hopefully, someone with more experience and knowledge will also post, but I think its personal preference about whether or not manually focusing bothers you. Maybe someone will post with more info on the possible lens updates as well.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    For many years everyone had to manually rotate the lens or some other knob to
    focus the camera. It can actually be faster to ue manual focus because you
    don't have to wait for the focus motor.

    As for filters, what matters is the quality of the optical coatings. Poor coating
    degrade contrast. Poor coating really mater most when the sun is in front
    of the camera. Best to buy a good one like Hoya HMC. Even hoys makes
    several grades of filter get HMS or SMC.

    One way to test a filter. look at the reflection of a lamp over your shoulder.
    the cheap filters act lke mirrors the ones with good anti-reflection coating
    make the lamp hard to see.

    Why it matters? Light lets the front element of our lens ad bounces back to
    the subject. A cheap filters sends it right back into the lens. Uncoated
    glass can send back 10% of the light good coating reduce this by more
    than 10 times
     
  4. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502

    shieldyoureyes

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    #4
    I'd advise against trying to manual focus on a D40 with the 50mmf/1.8. I find it rather difficult to do on my D50, because the viewfinder is so small. Its not that I am not used to manual focus lenses...90% of what I shoot is with manual focus cameras.

    Secondly, the 50mm f/1.8 is a cheap lens...and it feels like it. The focus ring is a little difficult to use, and not smooth at all, making it a bad choice for manual focusing.

    If you can save up a little more, I'd recommend something like Sigma's 30mm f/1.4, which will focus on your D40.
     
  5. cutsman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #5
    What about the focus indicator light in the viewfinder? How helpful is that for establishing manual focus?

    I'm considering getting a D40 (would love to get a D50, but they're nearly non-existent in terms of availability now), but would like an affordable and fast AF-S prime...which currently does not exist. Trying to see how feasible MF with the 50mm f1.8 would be for someone new to photography such as myself.

     
  6. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #6
    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    I'm in the same boat as cutsman. I want an affordable fast prime, which the 50mm is. I don't mind manual focusing (sometimes the auto focus gets the wrong thing) but I don't want to get frustrated with the lens and not ever use it.
     
  7. cutsman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #7
    cameracanada.com has the 50mm f/1.8 for $160. They are a brick & mortar store, so you should be able to get Black's to price match. ;)

    How do you like the D40X? Anything you dislike about it?
     
  8. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #8
    I couldn't find the 50mm 1.8 on cameracanada... do you have a link for it? I'd love to save $20... that would be my Hoya UV filter paid for :)

    I love my D40x so much. I wanted the extra megapixels just in case I want any large prints. My parents were buying it for me, so getting the D40 + accessories from them wouldn't have been an option. They were just buying the camera itself, so I figured I wanted the best they were willing to get.

    In terms of operation it's wonderful. I use the programmable function button to change the ISO, so I can do as little menu digging as possible. I have the 18-55 lens and it's great... I love having a wider angle than the 40mm or so of my Sony. I'd prefer that there was a top LCD screen for viewing settings, but it's not a huge deal to press a button to turn the LCD on.

    Overall, I love it.
     
  9. cutsman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #9
    here you go: http://www.cameracanada.com/eNet-cart/product.asp?pid=14105

    So how well does the focus indicator in the view finder work? Have you tried MFing with your 18-55mm?
     
  10. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000

    GeeYouEye

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Location:
    State of Denial
    #10
    I've been disappointed with the 50mm f/1.8D on my D70, and I'm thinking of trading it in and upgrading to the f/1.4. Yes, you get a lot more light than from the kit lens and the cheapie telephoto, but it has a tendency to never be quite enough. The f/1.4 has more iris blades as well, so the defocused regions look better.

    Also, i don't know about the D40x, but the D70's LCD display is crap - don't trust it.
     
  11. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #11
    Unless the D40's viewfinder is significantly better than the D70's (and maybe it is), I would not recommend getting a manual-focus-only lens for your camera. With my D70 I can focus manually; but it can be a frustrating experience since the viewfinder is relatively dark and small (seems to be where Nikon and Canon saved some money with these lower-end SLRs).

    I really wish I could pull the viewfinder off my old K1000 and plop it onto the D70 - that thing was wonderful. :D

    Nikon is also overdue in updating their lenses, and one of the rumors floating around is that the primes will be updated. If you really want a prime, my advice FWIW is to wait and see.
     
  12. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000

    GeeYouEye

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    Dec 9, 2001
    Location:
    State of Denial
    #12
    I tend to agree. Even my uncle's ancient Nikomat has a better viewfinder than the the D70, as does my girlfriend's 30+ year old Nikon 35mm SLR (don't know what model, it's not labeled. all black, with the Nikon name engraved in white on the front of the pentaprism, in their old font). The D200 apparently has a good viewfinder though.
     
  13. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    Apr 6, 2006
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    Nassau, Bahamas
    #13
    Thanks everyone!

    After speaking to a photographer friend, as well as your advice, I've decided not to get the 50mm. Manually focusing at 1.8 would be brutal, and the D40's viewfinder is bright, but small.

    I'm now considering the SB-600 for a flash...
     
  14. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #14
    Manually focusing at f1.8 would be a lot easier than manually focusing at f4. Because of the very shallow depth of field at f1.8 the point of focus would snap in beautifully.

    FJ
     
  15. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #15
    Hmm, still... I'd rather not half-arse it... I think I'll wait for the primes to be updated. I think the flash may be a good addition though, not to mention it looks pretty snazzy and professional :)
     
  16. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #16
    A good dedicated flash unit is generally a good idea, particularly if you are going free-lance. :)

    FJ
     
  17. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #17
    I have the SB-600, and it works very well. I think the main value of the SB-800 is its ability to "command" multiple flash units for some interesting lighting possibilities - but buying those multiple extra flash units adds up. :)
     
  18. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    Apr 6, 2006
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    #18
    While I wish the D40x had a commander flash mode to control the 600 off-camera it doesn't, so I'll suck it up. I'll either wait for off camera until I have a better body (D200 etc.) or I may buy a wireless commander, or just buy an SB-800 for the commander mode. Daily use though, I feel the 600 will suit me just fine.
     
  19. jlcharles macrumors 6502

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    Wenonah, NJ
    #19

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