D40 lens advice.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SOLLERBOY, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. SOLLERBOY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi guys, I'm relatively new to photography but I am in the middle of a college coursework project and i'm finding the D40 18-55 stock to be a bit limiting. I will be using the lens mostly for night photography with long exposures. I also need something I can take with me to New York in February and on my various trips.

    I was looking at the 18-200vr but have heard it's not the sharpest of lenses.
    I also saw the 70-300 but I don't think it's what I need right now.
    I also know there is a 55-200 but I heard (amazon reviews) that it's not very good.

    Can someone who has experience or knows about any of these lenses ( or any others) give me some advice please? Thanks.:)
     
  2. timmyb macrumors 6502

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    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    In what way? The answer to that is the best way to judge what you might need. By the sound of your suggested lenses it's the zoom?
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    Odd that you would say this and then list three f/5.6 lenses. I'd think you'd be looking for something faster
     
  4. SimD macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2008
  5. SOLLERBOY thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 8, 2008
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    UK
    #5
    like I say, I'm new when it comes to this. Basically I need something With a high zoom that works well for night photography. Thanks.
     
  6. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #6
    The truth is that none of those lenses are the best option for night photography. They are slow. If you are going to be using a tripod, then maybe you can get one of those and compensate the small aperture with a long exposure.

    If this is the case, then I'll suggest the 70-300. The 18-200 is also a good lens, specially for trips, but the 70-300 AF-S has quite better image quality in the 70-200 range than the 18-200.

    What is your budget? And also, what is that you find limiting of the 18-55? Too short? Slow?
     
  7. SOLLERBOY thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #7
    budget of about £500-600 but could increase for the right lens.

    The most limiting is the zoom really.
     
  8. DYER macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    Finally something on this forum I can actually answer and be sure about what I am talking about (I am a photographer and do indeed use Nikon :) )

    First off you are right the 18-200 VR really isnt the sharpest of lenses and it has been marred by a series of problems most noteable the AF-S motor packing up and tbh any lens which tries to cover such a massive range is going to have flaws and allthough Nikons effort is not bad it probably isn't the best for you.

    The 55-200 is imo crap. (Look I had one i used it i sold it) Yes it can make good images but there is far too much effor involved not to mention the build is pretty terrible for not exactly a cheap lens.
    The 70-300 VR is a lot better than its predessesor in many ways especially optically where I found it surprisingly good it is a little on the slow end at AF but its not too bad tbh.

    However what I think you may benefit most from is the 16-85mm VR HOWEVER you say that it was too limiting in the 18-55 allthough I think 16-85 isnt it may be for you.
    Right then that bring me to the difficult part.
    It is going to be real difficult finding a single lens as even though all of us photogs want one no camera maker has made one.
    So here is my reccomendation to you.
    First of all by yourself a Nikon 50mm 1.4 AF-S (£250) (the af-s verison is the only one that will autofous)
    It is the 2nd best lens nikon makes for low light. yes there is no zoom but it cannot be beaten other than by the 85mm 1.4 which is the stuff of legend.

    Then I would go to your local camera store and try out the 16-85 VR and see if it does what you want it to. The range allthough it doesnt sound much is actually 24-120 which was the perfect range on 35mm for a lot of people. it is built very well and I use it as a travfel lens when I cba to take along my 17-55 2.8
    Alternatively if you want more telephoto than wideangle you can pick up the 24-120 AF-S VR used for a decent price and that was a good lens as well.

    You are really limited most by the fact you have no AF screw drive motor as there are many bargains to be had on the used market.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    BTW If you want to look at used prices in london check out aperture uk
    grays of westminster and kingsley photographice as well as Fixation (the latter is my dealer of choice) all of them doe great deals on pricing and all of em have service which is second to none.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    The OP says he has a D40. The 50mm f/1.8 will not auto-focus with a D40. He's have to buy the new Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S. It will be out real soon (if not already)
     
  10. DYER macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    as said above ^^ it is out and the cost is £249 inc VAT in the UK where I think the OP is form due to mentioning pounds. Also the 1.4 is much better in low light than the 1.8 its a bigger difference than you may think
     
  11. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #12
    Sounds like a good tripod with a zoom would be the best option here…*if you're doing long exposures anyways, you should spend just as much on the tripod as on the lens.

    Do you know how long you want the zoom to be? 105, 200, 300, 400+? If I were you, I'd start looking into third-party alternatives, although you seem to be pretty worried about optical quality.
     
  12. DYER macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    so what did you end up with or are you still deciding?
     

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