D40? Or...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gamerz, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. gamerz macrumors 6502

    gamerz

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    Oct 2, 2006
    #1
    Hello,

    So its been a good year or so that I have been interested in getting more into digital photography. Up to now, I have been doing photography mostly as a hobby, and want to continue it as a hobby, but at a higher level. Currently, I use a 7.2mp Point and shoot. It has been a good camera, but as I progressed it became more and more limiting. After a few months of research, I decided that I should buy an SLR, the Nikon D40 to be exact. While browsing some photography forums and such, lots of comments about the D40 have made me turn away from it a bit, or at least reconsider what I am doing. The main thing that put me off was the lack of on board auto-focus motor. This might concern me... I do have an old Nikon SLR somewhere in storage, with some old lenses that I might want to use.

    Moving on. If I do decide with the D40... I found what I believe to be a good deal at bhphotovideo.com. Here it is:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/471716-REG/Nikon_25420_D40_SLR_Digital_Camera.html

    Nikon D40 with 18-55mm lens (Would I want another lens? if so what one?)

    Accessories
    4GB SD card
    Softcase bag (I might not need... could just use a backpack)
    Extended 2 year warranty (just in case)

    Thats roughly $650 with a new D40



    Now, if I was not to get the D40... what should I get? I want to stay away from used cameras, unless they are refurbished by the company that produces them.

    Thank-you very much!
     
  2. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #2
    Your old lenses (assuming they have auto focus capabilities to some extent) will be MF-only on the D40.

    Its not a bad camera (some people I very much respect rave about it) but its definitely a beginner camera and I find it too small for my hands.
     
  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #3
    The questions you have to ask yourself are (a) what lenses do you have and are they either as good as the kit lens or more desirable for some feature, such as aperture and (b) will you want to get a lens that isn't AF-S in the near future. If the answer to either of those means using AF-D lenses and autofocus is important to you, then you'll want to get a D80 or D300 unless the difference in body prices is more than getting one particular AF-S lens.

    B&H is a reputable dealer, I'd have no hesitations about ordering from them.

    I couldn't tell you why you'd want more lenses, as I don't know what you'd shoot under what conditions. Some people have one lens, some people have tens of thousands of dollars worth of lenses, some people are in-between.
     
  4. zeesa macrumors member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    #4
    Hello!

    I am a beginner myself and purchased a d40 about 6-months ago and LOVE it. I love it because of its size, price, capabilities, and it's easy to understand and learn from. I too went from a point and shoot to an slr and this was perfect as the next step for me. I absolutely love it and I'm sure in the future I'll get a bigger camera but for now I am happy! Oh and I have the 18-55 and 55-200 lens.. I feel that they both fit my needs as of now.

    Good luck!

    Julie
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #5
    I guess you already know about the D40's major limitation -- that it can't use many of the best Nikon lenses.

    Yes the 18-55mm lens is a good deal. Use that for a while before deciding what to get next.

    A lot depends on what other Nikon lenses you have. If buying a D80 would allow you to use them then the total cost could be lower if you bought the D80. It depends on if you already own some quality glass
     
  6. gamerz thread starter macrumors 6502

    gamerz

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    #6
    Yeah... I'll try and dig out my old lenses and SLR and see what I have.
     
  7. Ish macrumors 68000

    Ish

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    #7
    I don't know what your budget is, but I've just been looking along the same lines as you. I've been to the shop and handled all the relevant cameras for comparison and found the D40/x/60 body by far the most comfortable. The D80 is a great camera but I have small hands and it feels a bit of a brick. I know I'd tend to leave it at home. I think I'll do much better work with a camera that feels like an extension of my hands than one which is technically better but to me feels awkward.

    Out of those choices, and after asking advice on this forum, I shall go for the D60 because it is available with an image-stabilised (VR) kit lens. I don't know if it's the same everywhere, but in the UK the D40 doesn't seem to be available body-only so I'd have to buy it with the (non VR) kit lens.
     
  8. gamerz thread starter macrumors 6502

    gamerz

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    #8
    My preferable budget is under $800 canadian including taxes and accessories... I will be willing to go over if it is worth the extra money.

    Anyways, went digging around the house and found some of my old lenses. Here they are:

    BTW, im not really sure what the "3-5.6" numbers and such means :eek:

    Nikkor AF 28-80mm 1: 3- 5.6

    Vivitar 28-200mm 1: 3.5- 5.3... This one didn't say anything about being AF

    Nikkor AF 70-300mm f/4-f/5.6

    So there you have it. Now, based on those lenses I just listed, would I be better off buying a D80 or D50/70 body and using those lenses, or buying a D40?
     
  9. SRSound macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Your best bet (or at least what I chose to do) is to buy a basic body but get nice glass - the body will be outdated in just a couple years, but a good lens can be useful for a looooong time. My choice (to start) was the D40 + 18-200VR Nikkor
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #10
    Those lenses aren't important enough to worry about. Get new glass. Get the D60 + kit lens. Wait. Don't buy anything else until you know what the limitations of the kits lens is. If you want a wider lens, then buy one. If you don't see a need for much wider lenses, but you want more reach, then buy a longer focal length lens.
     
  11. gamerz thread starter macrumors 6502

    gamerz

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    Oct 2, 2006
    #11
    Sorry to bring this thread up again... but... I am still searching for the right DSLR for me...

    I know this might start a big debate canon vs. nikon and such... but D40 or XT? Since I dont have any really good Nikon lenses that I would want to use on my D40, I have been starting to consider Canon aswell. These are the main limitations that I know of:

    D40(x): no internal auto focus motor... only AF-S lenses will auto focus on it. As a result, AF-S lenses are more expensive.

    XT(i): Not as good image quality as nikon (not sure if this is true). You need more expensive lenses to get great images with an XT, or so I have heard. Quick question aswell, does the XT,XTI, and XSI have built in autofocus motors so that they can focus with the EF lenses as well as the EF-S?

    So... D40 or XT?
     
  12. cube macrumors G5

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    #12
    You can get a D70 with the accessories in E+ condition for $400.
     
  13. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #13
    The XT takes fine pictures, but it has a useless back lcd and is very prone to rubbing, etc.

    The XTi is usually compared to the D80, so I would consider it better then the D40. It will take better pictures, in my opinion, but thats mostly up to the lenses (which you will have a larger selection of with the Canon).

    I'm a Nikon shooter and I'm going to recommend you get a used XTi body for $450 (or as low as $400 once the XSi comes out) and a nice piece of glass. It will rival anything else in the price range.
     
  14. Maldini macrumors regular

    Maldini

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    #14
    I love that lens ,worth every penny.

    If you're ok with the D40's limits them go for it, but if you want to develop your hobby then consider the D80 because it gives you more options. :D
     
  15. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #15
    There are a lot of affordable AF-S lenses, they're always newer than the AF-D equivalent and in general they replace the AF-D lenses, so it's not really an issue. 3rd party lenses cost the same with or without a built-in motor, so I suspect the cost of the motor is in the margins and what price differences there are are in the optical improvements and cost of materials (remember, most AF-D lenses were designed over a decade ago and optical processes and designs have changed a lot in that timeframe.)

    All the Canon AF lenses have focus motors in them, and Canon shooters are not paying a price premium for it.
     
  16. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #16
    There are very few 3rd party lenses that have motors, and even less that will function with the D40. Sigma is pretty much the only company to make AFS compatible (HFS) lenses.
     
  17. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #17
    My post wasn't about the _availability_ of lenses (FWIW, Sigma's are designated HSM, not HFS) but the _cost_. Every single motorized lens available in an F mount for Nikon cameras that's also available for Canon has the same optical formula in both mounts and has the focus motor in the Canon version. Other than a few exceptions, they're priced the same. So, every single 3rd party lens that will AF on a Canon has an in-lens motor, so your statement that there are "very few" lenses is flat out wrong, pretty-much every third-party lens has a version with a focus motor.

    Also FWIW, "function" is a little strong, most 3rd party F-mount lenses work just fine in manual focus mode on a D40. Silly Nikon even puts that M setting on the CSM button of all their dSLRs. Heck, my 35-70 AF-D spends way more time in M mode on my D2x than it does in C and S combined.

    As far as I can tell, Nikonians lists 29 Sigma lenses that will AF on a D40/D40x.

    http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcb...forum=152&topic_id=13319&mesg_id=13319&page=1

    All the third party manufacturers need to do is to take the existing Canon versions and produce a machine to rewire them for their F-mount assembly lines and drop them into the Nikon barrel, that's happening albeit slowly with Tamron lenses and quickly with Sigma ones.

    The current total number of lenses which will autofocus on the D40 includes 36 Nikkors, 29 Sigmas and 3 Tamrons covering from 4.5 to 800mm with a gap between 4.5 and 10mm. That makes 32 3rd-party lenses that'll AF on the D40/D40x, and 68 lenses overall. Now maybe 32 isn't a "lot" in your eyes, but I can say that owning 2 4x5 view cameras, 1 5x7 view camera, 2 645 cameras, 1 6x6 camera, 1 6x7 camera, 1 6x9 rollfilm back and 3 APS-C digital cameras I don't own 32 lenses total.

    As far as I can tell the only 3rd party lenses that don't have an in-body focus motor version are the Zeiss ZF series, and those are manufactured _specifically_ for Nikon bodies and are ONLY offered as MF lenses no matter which Nikon body you want to attach them to. Silly Zeiss, someone should tell them their lenses WON'T FUNCTION! :rolleyes:
     
  18. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #18
    bloopety bloppety bloop.

    You misunderstood me and escalated. Great.
     
  19. cube macrumors G5

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  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #20
    Yep, I'm completely lost with regards to TaylorWilson's post. If I substitute all mention of "HFS" (a file system for Mac harddrives) with "HSM", I still dun get it.

    Anyway, the D40 can autofocus with PLENTY of lenses from Nikon and Sigma, so I don't think people need to worry. The only lens I can think of that really needs to get AF-S are the 50 mm lenses. Even then, many D40 customers would never purchase a prime lens, so it's not a big deal in many ways. I wish Nikon would update it, though. Maybe Sigma's new 50 mm f/1.4, with HSM, will force Nikon to update their 50 mm primes.

    Firstly, AF-S lenses aren't more expensive. They're just a newer design and released more recently. Even the kit lens is AF-S. The newest version even includes VR.

    Secondly, why would you get an XT? It's a decent camera, but at least go for an XTi. The XTi is probably a good price right now already. No need to get something older than that.
     
  21. gamerz thread starter macrumors 6502

    gamerz

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    #21
    That is why I put XT(i)...

    What do you mean by that?
     
  22. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #22
    Really? Which current lenses specifically? Because the only in-lens motors not listed at Nikonians is the 70-300 and 70-300 with APO, and both of those aren't listed as HSM and ARE manufactured to work with the D40/D40x/D60.

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0801/08013106sigma70300hsm.asp

    According to Sigma, any lens marked H or M in their catalog will autofocus on Nikon digital SLRs, according to talorwilsdon, not so- who are we to believe?


    Once again, it's HSM as in Hyper Sonic Motor, not HFS as in Hierarchical file system.

    That's "capital letters" unless you're writing to Congress ;)

    Which Tamron and Tokina lenses have internal motors in an F-mount other than the three that I previously alluded to as D40 compatible? Please enlighten us- because if Tokina didn't see fit to add a focus motor to their huge 300/2.8 that would work with any Nikon body except a D40, I don't know what lens they were saving the motors for.

    There's a big difference between sarcasm and libel, your statement is libelous. There's also a difference between attacking a person and attacking what a person says.
     
  23. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #23
    Your username fits you quite well. I was using HMS or whatever it is for a sweeping statement of 3rd party internal motors. As I said, sigma does work. Most others do not.

    That will be all for today... Perhaps I'm completely off, ignore my statements. I have never owned a D40 but I have owned most of the rest of the things I've discussed (3rd party lenses, and the aforementioned canon equipment)
     
  24. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #24
    Once again, I take issue with your statement that there are third party lenses with internal focus motors for the Nikon F-mount which function on Nikon SLRs that don't function on the D40.

    I've been shooting with Nikon camera bodies since about 1991, and I've yet to see any lens from any manufacturer that (a) has an internal motor and (b) isn't on that list I posted.

    There are no "3rd party internal motors" that aren't compatible with the D40, D40x and D60 because there simply weren't ever any "3rd party internal motors" in Nikon-compatible F-mount lenses that weren't in the list I posted. 3rd party Nikon-compatible lenses contained a coupling for the first-party internal-to-the-camera-body focus motor, just like all of Nikon's pre-AF-S autofocus lenses.

    If you wouldn't continue to post factually inaccurate information, I wouldn't keep posting corrections. You do a disservice to readers who might take your statements as fact.
     
  25. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #25
    Body-wise they're quite comparable, the older Canon kit lenses weren't as good as the Nikon ones, that's changing though. If you think you'll want a fast 50mm, then Canon's the only answer in a new low-end body outside the Sigma 50mm. Both Canon and Nikon are pretty comparable lens-wise overall, with Canon's super-teles cheaper than Nikons, and Nikon having an edge in zoom availability and low cost high-quality consumer lenses. Canon have more tilt/shift lenses- but all the aforementioned are mostly expensive lenses that you're not likely to get soon. Truthfully, for a first dSLR either one will serve you just fine, and either one will offer future choices that you can grow with if you wish.

    If you can, go to a store with both systems and handle them as well as the next model up and see if there's a clear ergonomic preference between brands- if not flip a coin, you'll be happy either way.
     

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