Shooting Advices/Tips For My D40 with 18-70mm?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by xkRoWx, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. xkRoWx macrumors regular

    xkRoWx

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    I bought a Nikon D40 with a 18-70mm AF-S Nikkor lens earlier this year for $500 CAD off a friend. I have little knowledge in dSLR, I did a little bit of film SLR during high school and that was well over 4 years ago. I've never really got a chance to use the camera due to work and school, and I have been shooting in Auto mode ever since I got the camera. Now that Christmas break is coming up soon I have a lot of time to my disposal and I'd like to learn to use the camera to its potential.

    I was told that the D40 is a great camera, and the 18-70mm lens is a "fast" lens. Of course, being the amateur that I am, I have no idea what they mean. Can anybody in this forum please tell me what my kit is capable of? The zoom length of the lens isn't as great as I thought it'd be, and I don't quite understand how to determine whether if a lens is "fast" or not.

    I am planning to shoot a lot of photo during the day and it's pretty bright here with all the snow. I have no preference in the type of photography or technique, and I am willing to learn anything and everything to produce great photographs with my kit. Any tips/suggestions?

    Thanks a lot in advance.
     
  2. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #2
    "Fast" refers to its aperture, or basically the amount of light it can gather. The lower the number, the better.

    According to Ken Rockwell, it's 3.5-4.5. Not particularly fast, really. It'll have an aperture of 3.5 on the wide end (18mm), and an aperture of 4.5 on the telephoto end (70mm).

    If you're looking for zoom, I would recommend the Nikkor 55-200 for a decent amount of money. I'm a Canon guy by trade though so you may want to research some more.

    I would also recommend reading various forums, which is basically how I learned a lot of what I know about photography. This particular board, and Dpreview's reviews, forums and glossary are a good source of information.

    And lastly, just shoot pictures. You won't learn much if you're not executing anything that you've learned! :)
     
  3. xkRoWx thread starter macrumors regular

    xkRoWx

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    I'm not quite interested in spending any more money than I already have, for now. I was thinking of just work with what I have until I get a better hang of it. What is the 18-70mm capable of?
     
  4. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #4
    I wish I could help your more on that subject, but like I said, I'm a Canon guy. :( All I can really say is read up (sorry if I sound so unhelpful).

    One thing I did see is the minimum focus is 15 inches, so you could do some good closeup shots even when at 70mm.
     
  5. xkRoWx thread starter macrumors regular

    xkRoWx

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    So, macro/still life would be a good choice of photography with my kit, based on your knowledge?

    I'm pretty sure that Canon have something similar to the 18-70mm, :)
     
  6. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #6
    Yes, it seems to be one of its strengths (you might want to verify though). Try to use all focal lengths of the lens, though. The D40 is a very capable camera, so try out a bunch of situations with the lens to see if anything feels good. :)
     
  7. Padraic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Somewhere between here and there...
    #7
    I agree, the D40 is a very capable camera. I don't have that particular lens, but from what I've seen it's very capable. Play with it, get used to it, see what it will do!

    Flickr has a group for that lens here...
     
  8. admwright macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #8
    I have a D40 with the 18-55 kit lens. Your lens is slightly longer (70) and a bit faster (4.5 rather than 5.6). It should be a good all round lens. If it is anything like mine one main limitation is the closest focus distance, it is not very close. This means that if you are doing close-up/macro of a small object you cannot fully fill the frame with the object and get it in focus, just step back a bit.

    The camera gives great results. You need to watch the exposure as it has a tendancy to over expose a bit.

    Ken Rockwells site has a good lot of information on the camera, setting it up and descriptions of what all the setting are and how to set them.

    Just keep taking lots of pictures and enjoy using the camera.
     

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