Nikon D40 - have the 18-55 & 55-200 lens, recommend a third?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hello.there, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Hello.there macrumors 6502a

    Hello.there

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    #1
    Evening all,

    I have a Nikon D40 with the AF-S DX 18-55 mm Lens and the AF-S DX 55-200 mm Lens, which was included in the kit I bought.

    I have to say I'm not overly impressed by the 55-200 mm lens so far, but maybe I just need to give it (and me) some time. :)

    Any way, I'll be on holidays in June for about three weeks in a spot that is heaven-sent for seascape, landscape, sunsets, wildlife photography (a big range, I know) so I was hoping to get some advice on what might be a good lens to add to my collection.

    I know, of course, that the best of lens are way, way out of my budget - ideally I'd prefer to get something in the $600/E400 range - but would try and push the boat out a bit if there was a lens out there that would, well, change my life. :)

    I know about the (lack of) autofocus issue with some lens for the Nikon D40, but I'm not too concerned about that. Of course autofocus would be nice, but I wouldn't let it put me off anything you might strongly recommend.

    I think, ideally, I'm looking for a reasonable quality zoom (again, I accept the good ones are beyond my wallet's reach), I suppose I can just depend on my trusty 18-55 mm for those close-ups of flowers (that bore my family so much :eek:).

    Would really, really, really appreciate your advice and expertise - thank you.
     
  2. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

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    #2
    50mm f1.8D, great prime :D get a prime.

    Some great prices on used Nikkor lenses, shop around :)
     
  3. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    Indianapolis, IN
    #3
    I have the same setup -- a D40 and the 18-55 and 55-200 -- and I think my next one will be a fast 50mm prime. The zooms are pretty darn good lenses (considering how affordable they are) in decent light, but they're just so darn slow, so indoor shots at parties or in the evenings with just indirect lamp light aren't so great (I hate using flash, it makes shots look so harsh).

    Based on my research, I would second Mr.Noisy's recommendation of the 50mm 1.8D if you want a lens right now. I'm going to hold off for awhile because I think Nikon will be coming out with an AF-S version of it later this year. Which works out for me since I've been banned by the spousal unit from buying any more camera gear right now anyway. :p
     
  4. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

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    #4

    *LOL* I know the feeling, the day i walked in with the 70-200mm f2.8, it was like "so how much???" ha ha ;)
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    But he has a D40. The Nikon primes are not AF-S. I always tell new photographers to "plan ahead" but the D40 has an attractive price, until you find that the AF-S lenses are some of the most expensive.

    If you are going to use the lens in manual focus mode why not buy a
    older manual focus 50mm lens? You can get one cheap. The MF lens
    has even better build quality and a MUCH better feel on the focus ring.

    I think more usfull then a MF 50mm lens is a manual focus macro lens.
    You can get one for well under $200. Half that if you have time to hunt.
    With macro most people use manual focus anyways as AF does not work well. You could keep the macro lens even after upgrading the D40 body.

    I have an old 55mm f/3.5 macro. I bought it for $60. There are newer versions

    The other thing to buy is a tripod. If you don't have one and want to shott the subjects you listed you shoul get one. Nothig else can improve your work more than a tripod. It eliminates camera shake but more than that it forces you to think about composition. You set up the shot then look again through the viewfinder then walk away, comback in a few seconds and think again and maybe move the tripod over to the left a few feet or lower it slightly. It forces you to think more about composition

    So you have a $60 lens and a $200 tripod. You still have money left over in the budget. Buy an external flash. the Sb600 would just about use the rest of the budget. If it is sunny outdoors you need it for fill. Indoor it will bounce light off a back wall or ceiling

    Buy an SB600 and aim it up at the ceiling or a wall. That will fix the "harsh" problem. I put a Nikon speedlight in a size exra small photoflex softbox and put the whole thing on a flash bracket. Makes for a huge rig. Easier to use bounce
     
  6. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

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    #6
    sorry, your right ChrisA I read the OP's post wrong, didn't see D40, maybe the 50 f1.8D wouldn't be a good idea unless he wants to use it manually.
     
  7. sonor macrumors 6502

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    London, UK
    #7
    Nikon's 105mm/2.8 VR macro would stretch your budget a little ( probably be around $700), but it's a top quality lens. It's the perfect lens for your flower shots and a great length for portraits as well.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    He already said he didn't mind a manual focus lens recommendation in his original post. Meh, regardless, I wouldn't recommend it either simply because Nikon really will likely replace the 50 mm with AF-S versions soon.

    Also, even a new 50 mm f/1.8 is cheap. Why get the older lens just to save a few bucks? The difference in price is really minimal.

    With regards to lens recommendations, I think what you have is "fine". You cover a lot of range, and despite not loving what you have entirely, you CAN take many shots at many focal lengths. Because of this, and the fact that I'd hate to have no AF option on my lens, I'm going to recommend the Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 because I own it and I think it's great. It's fantastic in low light, and good for taking portrait shots, and indoor photos of people and things without flash.

    My 2nd recommendation is the Sigma 10-20 mm ultra wide-angle. It's $500, and gives you an ability you don't have right now, which is the ability to take a really really wide angle photo without stepping really far back. It'll autofocus on your camera, which is great. If you're taking landscapes, you probably won't need AF, but it's nice for non-landscape shots.

    My other recommendation is the Sigma 50-150 mm f/2.8 lens. It gives you a great zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 lens, and smallish size. That's what you wouldn't get with something like a 70-200 mm f/2.8, which is great, but not quite as travel friendly. The 50-150 mm is significantly smaller, and yet gives you a great focal range. It would be good for portraits as well However, it's $750 and is the least recommended on my list.


    PS: It's a coincidence that all my lens recommendations are made by Sigma. :eek:
     
  9. Hello.there thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hello.there

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    #9
    Hey everyone, thanks a million for all the replies and great advice, really appreciate it. But woe is me, so many choices! My head hurts. Zoom, wide angle, macro...I think I might have to toss a coin, can't make up my mind.

    Thanks again!
     
  10. EgbertAttrick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #10
    18-55, 55-200... That covers the range that most typical photographers will use... Outside of that, decide what is most important of these: wide angle, telephoto, or macro. Though expensive, the 12-24mm is a super-sharp lens throughout. Telephoto, there is a great 70-300 VR that can be had for < $600. Macro: there's a 105mm AF-S lens that is nice...

    Me, I'd wait until a 50mm AF-S is available... and the f/1.4 at that! Forget the f/1.8, guys!
     
  11. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
  12. Hello.there thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hello.there

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    #12
    Oh wow, it looks very, very nice. That deal works out at $887 - I'll look around at more European sites to see if I can get the price down.

    I'm definitely swaying now towards a telephoto/zoom lens, do you think this is the best option in my price range?

    Thanks again.

    Update: Wey hey, I just found it here for E373 / £293 / $584.

    It is the same one, isn't it?

    Another update: Jeez, Ken Rockwell isn't convinced!
     
  13. ipodtoucher macrumors 68000

    ipodtoucher

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    #13
    I have a D50 and im looking for a prime lens for under $450...im using my money from the stimulus plan and don't have enough to splurge haha...right now i have found the Nikon 20mm f/2.8D AF lens. It looks like a great lens, but i need a second opinion, or some better choices..

    Thanks!
     
  14. tennez macrumors regular

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    Jan 16, 2007
  15. EgbertAttrick macrumors regular

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    Feb 25, 2008
    #15
    The 50mm f/1.4 is under $400.
     
  16. carlgo macrumors 68000

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    Dec 29, 2006
    #16
    If you really want to ditch the flash, and impress absolutely everyone, even the worst lens snobs, then buy this. Now that is amazing stuff.

    If you just want to join the 50mm prime crowd, then get the 1.2, only $500 used at Adorama. Might as well get something that actually makes a difference in the shots you will get.
     
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #17
    I really dislike the 50 mm lens. I'm sure it was great with film, but the only appealing thing about it is price. The depth of field will be shallow, but the bokeh on the 50 mm lenses from Canon and Nikon is horrid, while the focal length isn't exact great. It's a lens worth having based on price, but if you buy it and don't use it, then it's just a waste of money, regardless of how cheap it was.

    Btw, I sold mine.
     
  18. ipodtoucher macrumors 68000

    ipodtoucher

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    #18
    haha well im leaning toward the 20mm...i have read a lot of good reviews, and looked at tons of pictures taken by both the lenses...
     
  19. LaJaca macrumors regular

    LaJaca

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    Near Seattle
    #19
    Great question! I would mostly echo what's been already said.

    One other consideration, depending on how unhappy you are with the 55-200. If you still desire something in that focal range, would you consider selling your 18-55 and 55-200 and upgrade to the 18-200VR? It wouldn't quite be 1 for 1 from a $$ standpoint, but it would be a lot closer to your budget. Benefit: one lens to do what 2 are already doing, plus the VR. It's debatable if it's a better lens (I own one and believe it is, but that's my opinion.)

    I also own the Sigma 10-20 and LOVE it; it's a great addition to what you already have.

    Good luck!
     
  20. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #20
    Sigma 10-20 (I don't have it, I have the Sigma 12-24 which is even wider on my full frame).
     
  21. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #21
    Well I'm sure it's a good lens for the price, but again, I didn't like the focal length. Many feel it's an awkward focal length on (most) DSLRs, as do I, but some people still love it because it's sharp. It really depends on what you shoot. I guess it's an above-average portrait lens (the f/1.4 version....the f/1.8 version has ugly bokeh), so if I took more people photos, it would be a great lens.
     
  22. EgbertAttrick macrumors regular

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    Feb 25, 2008
    #22
    I don't know if that's an upgrade over just spending a ton of money. The all-purpose lenses have a hard time with sharpness.

    I have heard great things about the Sigma, though.
     
  23. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
    #23
    The 18-200 VR is a very nice lens, and not bad for sharpness. One of the best racing pictures I've taken was with it.

    I did end up getting rid of it, but only at quadruple the expense to get a 17-55/2.8 DX and 70-200/2.8 VR. But the 18-200 is very convenience, versatile, and a great value for the price.

    [​IMG]
     

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