Please recommend some accessories for my new D40

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by earthbound, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. earthbound macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Hey guys. It's me again. Thank you again for helping me decide on a camera last time. I'm very happy with my new D40 + 18-55mm kit lens + 50mm 1.8 :D

    With that said, I was wondering if you can recommend me some accessories. One thing I definitely need is a camera bag. I really like the Crumpler 4-5 Million Dollar Homes or one of those Jill-e bags because of their style and they don't scream dSLR camera bags; but they are a little pricey. Anyone know something similar but cheaper and preferably has rain cover/water resistant? If not, maybe just a simple bag/pouch that will fit into my Timbuk2 small tote?

    Also, I barely know anything about dSLR, and I kept coming across UV filters, flashes, lens hoods, etc etc. Would you say that any of these are necessary?

    PS. I'm on a tight budget. I can't spend more than $150 on bag + accessories.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. spencers macrumors 68020


    Sep 20, 2004
  3. khollister macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    The suggestion for a tripod is a great one assuming your photography is a type that will use a tripod (landscape, still life, etc.) If you are into street photography, animals, etc it might not be the best use of limited funds right now. I would recommend a speedlight, but that is going to be tough for $150, even used (SB-600 is the minimum).

    The Crumpler bags are very nice, a small Domke is also a good low profile choice.

    Some basic things you will need are a Giotto blower bulb to blow dust off lenses and the interior of the camera, a LensPen (Nikon also sells it under their name) to clean lenses, a couple extra SD cards and a spare camera battery. If this is your first "serious" attempt at photography, consider spending some of your money on books or videos to help you learn. The Kelby "Digital Photography Book" vol 1 & 2 are cheap and good for beginners. The Thom Hogan eBook on your D40 is excellent (

    For the equipment you have now, you do not need a dedicated camera bag - you can get a small pouch for the 50mm lens and use any bag of suitable size to carry the camera. Padding is only really necessary if you drop or knock the bag around. You can cut a piece of closed-cell foam (think sleeping bag pad from Walmart) to put in the bottom for basic drop protection.
  4. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    My most-used accessory might be my polarizing filter. It's great for diminishing reflections, bringing out rich colors in water and sky, and for giving clouds, snow, and marble objects much more definition.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you are on e tight budget buy only stuff that makes a different that can be seen in thr final image.

    Look at getting a tripod. Get a good one. Tripods can be lifetime investments and outlast several camera systems. Almost every shot you take can be improved by use of a tripod.

    With the camera on a tripod you can always use your hand or a magazine to shade the lens. It will work better then any lens hood.

    If you need a way to store and transport the equipment then get either a bag or case. For transporting I like the Pelican cases, for working out of, I have an old Domke bag

    The next thing is lighting. You will likely want some stobe that can be aimed at a ceiling or wall or used with a defuser.

    Not much need for filter with a digital camera. With film we used to adjust the color balance with filters. But you may want to pick up a polarized filter. They are very useful for most landscape shots. Never use a filter without a good reason, it's just one more piece of glass and if you don't need it take it off.

    In that case don't buy a camera bag. Buy a child's insulated lunch box. These padded zippered containers are about the right size and cost under $20. As little as $5 or $6 if you hunt.
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    (1) Get a bag. Nothing worse than people investing lots of money in their equipment and then crapping out when it's time to buy a bag. Crumpler is a good brand, but I'm also partial to Loewe bags.

    Rule #1 for buying bags: Always get a bag that's larger than what you think you need. E. g. have space for at least one extra lens.

    (2) Get a Nikon SB-400. It's a capable small flash that IMO fits well with the character of the D40. It's certainly strong enough for most indoor situations (parties, gatherings, etc.), you can tilt it and it's very small. It's worlds better than any built-in flash. The exposure is usually dead-on (unless I tilt, of course).
  7. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Third party split/microprism focusing screen.
  8. jhamerphoto macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    I just recently bought the Crumpler 4-million dollar home, and I also have their large Karachi Outpost backpack. Their bags are incredibly tough, functional and stylish, but at a price. Despite high price tags, I still recommend them over anyone else.

    As for other accessories, a flash is definitely important, but I wouldn't go below the SB-600, so hold off on that until you can spend a little more money on accessories.

    I would agree that a circular-polarizing filter is incredibly important, but be prepared to spend a good dollar on the piece of glass. A UV is nice for protection, but not entirely important if you could get something more important for your money.

    Another option is always higher-capacity storage. Always good to have a little extra memory kickin around, incase you forget to download pictures between taking them.
  9. Maldini macrumors regular


    Nov 21, 2007
  10. theSeaHawk macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2007
    If you haven't already, consider getting a UV/skylight filter for each lens. They will protect the front lens element from fingerprints, dust, etc.

    I'd second the recommendation also for a polarizing filter... these make a world of difference when shooting landscape outside on a sunny day.
  11. earthbound thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Alright. I think I'll go with a couple of extra memory cards, tripod, those Kelby's books (which I totally overlooked... thank you, khollister, for calling these into my attention), polarizing filter, cleaning kit, and whatever padding to protect the camera inside my bag. I'll hold off on flash until I can afford SB-600.

    Thank you, everybody!
  12. Hello.there macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2007
    Hope you don't mind me butting in on this thread, but I'm really interested in opinions on the best flash option for the D40. Some say go for the SB-400, others say save up for the 600.....

    I love taking portraits with flash, but I'm just your regular amateur - would the 400 do me just fine, or do you think it's really worth hanging in there to get the 600?

    Would really appreciate opinions - thanks.
  13. jhamerphoto macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    Seems like a lot for $150. Wherever you're shopping, I'm there! ;)

    Good choices, enjoy your shooting!
  14. jhamerphoto macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    I'm sure we can forgive you for h-jacking, hahaha
    In fact, I'll be surprised if you come back and read this :p

    If I were you, I would wait for the SB-600. The height alone gives you more options, but it's much faster, longer range, and generally more all-purpose. Plus if you upgrade to a better camera, the flash won't seem like a toy sitting on top. For that matter, if the SB-800 is an option, it's a fantastic flash. I just bought the SB-900, but I think a flash as expensive as your camera body may be a bit excessive. :rolleyes:
  15. Hello.there macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2007
    I was big and brave enough to return :)

    Thanks for that, I'd definitely go for the 600 if you knowledgable folk reckoned it was worth the extra in the long run - thanks again!
  16. jhamerphoto macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    no problem.
    Just as a rule of thumb, if you think you're likely going to expand your interests in photography, buy equipment that will last you.*Equipment is more of an investment than a purchase.

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