Just bought a D40, but found a good D80 deal

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by XianPalin, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. XianPalin macrumors 6502

    XianPalin

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    #1
    So I bought a D40 about a month ago and a SB-600 flash, which I've been using and enjoying, however I just found someone selling a D80 locally and can't really figure out if it's worth it or not:

    D80 w/18-135 lens
    MB-D80 dual battery pack
    67mm UV filter
    HB-32 shield, cleaning kit, couple memory cards
    MC-DC1 wired remote

    All for $650 (I paid about $500 for a D40 w/kit lens + 55-200VR). That seems pretty good to me, especially with the battery pack.

    So I could try and sell the D40 + kit lens and maybe keep the zoom? Though I guess it doesn't offer me that much more zoom any more, just the VR. So I could sell the D40 stuff and just use that lens for now (with the intent of buying a 50mm prime, as the shooting I've been doing of friends and family generally doesn't require a huge amount of zoom).

    I honestly haven't gotten super hardcore with the D40 or anything, but there are a few reasons I want to bite:

    DOF Preview
    AF lens (the main one really - as I'd like to get a cheaper 1.8 prime and have autofocus)
    More AF spots
    I believe the D80 can fire the SB-600 Flash wirelessly
    More Megapixels - I've done some cropping and this could be of use

    Any thoughts? Am I stupid for not putting a lot of wear into the D40?

    Edit: I'm not sure how much it's been used. He claimed his friend, the original owner, hadn't used it too much and he only took about 10 shots with it and realized it was too much camera for him.
     
  2. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #2
    No advice about the sale/purchase, but you can download this program: http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/ and use it on a sample photo the seller takes for you to get the shutter actuation count of the camera he's selling.
     
  3. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #3
    If the D80 is in good shape...grab it. My two cents....
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    Virtually useless (seriously) chimping is _much_ better.

    Being able to use AF-D lenses can be a big boon, it really depends on your lens selection though- you'll take a hit on the D40 and you'll pay more for the D80 (which may be out of warranty.) By the time you do that, you may be at a place where a Sigma 30/1.4 was a better choice anyway (and on a crop body the 50 is going to have the angle of view of a mid-tele.) So, if it's a single-lens issue, I'd say it may not be worth the overall cost, but if you had 2 or more AF-D lenses in your future then it starts to even out.

    You may want to handle one to see if the AF points are anywhere useful.

    Commander mode can be useful, though it's IR so it requires line of site. If your lighting can use that, then it's likely to be worth a bit, though frankly cheap Chinese triggers work about as well.

    More megapixels come at the cost of less sensitivity to light, only you can decide if that trade-off is worth it. It may also highlight flaws in marginal lenses, that's probably work a trip to Best Buy or something to check for.

    My main concern would be the warranty difference. If that's not a big deal for you, then ponder the lens issue. You're going to have a lens for a good ten years, if you just want one fast lens, personally I think the Sigma is the better option, it's likely to focus faster than any AF-D lens on a low-voltage consumer body and HSM is more forward-proof than AF-D.
     
  5. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #5
    Man I would jump on that immediately assuming everything is on the up and up.

    I recently upgraded from the D40 to a D80. Best move I made in photography so far. That and picking up a 50mm 1.8.
     
  6. XianPalin thread starter macrumors 6502

    XianPalin

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    #6
    Any suggestions on how to test the thing if I meet him to take a look at it? The shutter count is close to 12k. How do I test things like dirt on the sensor or what not? Just take a picture of a white sheet of paper?
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #7
    http://olegkikin.com/shutterlife/nikon_d80.htm

    Summary:

    Nikon D80

    Average number of actuations after which shutter is still alive: 24,818.6
    Average number of actuations after which shutter died: 48,881.4

    I wouldn't be worried about having to clean the sensor...
     
  8. XianPalin thread starter macrumors 6502

    XianPalin

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    #8
    So are you saying the current shutter count is too high? Or fine? And why not worry about the sensor?
     
  9. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #9
    I don't think the shutter count is too high, but for reference I got my D80 with 3,000 accusations body only for $400. I think that was a really great deal. The shutter count is half way there.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #10
    I'm saying it's higher than I'd be comfortable with- it's past 25% of empirical life and nearly at 25% of it's predicted life (which tends to be guessed at about 50,000 actuations.) The D40 shutters seem to fair better overall. Now, shutter replacement isn't horrendous and lifetime is a mix of luck and how often you intend to shoot and how many exposures you'll make when you do. Shutter replacement is around $250 out of warranty. You now have the information, only you can decide if your risk tolerance and the camera differences are worth it to you.

    As far as the sensor goes, a good blow with a Rocket Blower takes care of >95% of my sensor dust and cleaning a sensor with Eclipse and Pec Pads is something I don't find all that difficult to do. I'd be much more concerned about the longevity and repair costs which I can't change than dirt on the sensor, which I can.

    In my world, a lens is good for at least 10-15 years, and a camera body for about three if it's a consumer body and maybe five if it's a pro body. That means in terms of cost, a dollar spent on a lens is worth 50 cents at best and likely about 25 cents spent on a body. That is, the difference between a body upgrade and a lens upgrade needs to have the body at about 25% of the lens cost to make rough financial sense. $400 of lens is worth $100 of body in financial terms. Now you take a body that's lost 25% of its service life and that $400 of new lens is worth $75 of new body. You're looking at $150 of body- plus the depreciation hit you'll take on selling the D40.

    To me once again, if it's for a single AF-D lens then you're operating at a loss. Trading in an in-warranty camera for one that's likely out of warranty and probably 25% used-up doesn't make sense to me unless you're going to get some significantly different pictures or save more than the value of the body in lens value.

    I don't know if it makes sense to you. I also don't know if you're the type of person who wants a body to do more and more, or someone who wants to learn photography and use the camera as a tool- those choices make some bodies better choices than others, and depending on your philosophy that can go either way (I'm sure my philosophy is obvious.)

    Let's say the camera is good for 2.5 years, does getting it now mean that you won't be able to upgrade as soon if you get more involved and want a higher-end body later? What trade-offs are you making now and how will that affect you?

    If a different camera body materially changes what I can get shot-wise then economics are only a part of the equation. Again, you have to evaluate what part for your own use. I know and I've shared what choice I'd make- and the reasons why.
     
  11. XianPalin thread starter macrumors 6502

    XianPalin

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    #11
    Alright well thanks for the advice. As much as I'd like to have some of these features (mostly the AF), I decided to hold off for now and save my money. I'm going to try and learn more and push myself to the limits of my D40 before I switch to something else, and hopefully by then I might be able to buy a D90 and use the lenses I have for now.

    Since I just "saved" a bunch of money, maybe I'll buy the 50mm 1.8 lens and see where that takes me :p
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #12
    I think you'd do the much better for the economy much if you bought some pictures... say of Bald Eagles... Say from... Ok, ok.... :D

    Seriously though, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is going to be a more useful angle of view on a 1.5x crop body for indoor people shots. Plus it'll AF on the D40 and lets in more light. If you're in that zone where you just *need* to acquire more photo gear, that's a better choice IMO.

    Best of luck either way!
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    The upgrade would cost you about $300. You might get $350 for the D40 and lens.

    With the D80 you gain an in-body focus motor and access to more lenses. But if all you need is the 50mm lens you could buy the new AF-S 50mm f/1.4 use that on the D40. If there are more lenses you want then it's worth having the in-body motor

    The extra pixels on the D80 v. the D40 do almost nothing. They lets you print 10% larger prints. that's it.
     

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