So I bought a Nikon d40....

Mantronix

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 21, 2007
177
0
Louisiana
And I'm pretty damn excited about it. It should be arriving to my home by Monday or Tuesday. Now I'm in the market to upgrade the lens on it within the next months or so. Any suggestion on a lens kit around $300.00 or so?

Also when I bought the camera it came with a Dane 1g memory card. Never heard of Dane to begin with. Approximately how many photos(RAW format) a 1 gig card can hold? I want to buy a bigger memory card so any suggestions on a 2g or 3g card?
 

miloblithe

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,072
28
Washington, DC
The Sigma 17-70 DC Macro is a nice upgrade to the kit lens, but I'd save your money for a while and really think about what the current lens doesn't allow you to do and what you really need. You might find that you wish you could focus closer because you frequently want to take pictures of really small things, in which case a macro lens would be your best bet. Or you might find that the 55mm reach on the long end isn't enough because you frequently want to take pictures of things that are far away. A telephoto zoom would be your best bet. Or you might want to get a good low-light lens, like a 50mm f/1.4. Or whatever else suits your particular interests.

As for memory, I'd guess a 1GB card can hold about 125-150 6MP RAW format pictures. In terms of new cards, I'd get the cheapest card available from a manufacturer that you've heard of. I've been happy with cheap Kingston cards.

There is no advantage to high speed cards in terms of taking pictures. They are all fast enough to write information to the card from the buffer faster than your camera can take pictures. The only advantage is in how fast they upload the pictures to the computer. To me, that's not important. I'd rather spend that extra money on something else (like lenses).
 

MR BLIND

macrumors newbie
Jul 11, 2007
8
0
party people in the place to be this is mantronix with mc-t.......word up! :)

I reckon the best 2 lenses and probably the only 2 you'll ever need bar a fisheye/macro etc would be the 18-200 dx/vr & 12-24dx nikon lenses!
checkout kenrockwell.com for a heap of reviews/opinions etc on heaps of gear.
peace.....
 

compuwar

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2006
4,717
2
Northern/Central VA
checkout kenrockwell.com for a heap of reviews/opinions etc on heaps of gear.
peace.....

Or save yourself the hyperbole and hype and look at www.bythom.com, Thom Hogan is so much more even-keeled and accurate than KR ever was.

FWIW, the "two lenses you'll ever need" is so dependent on what you shoot and what your style is that it's not really worth dignifying.
 

MR BLIND

macrumors newbie
Jul 11, 2007
8
0
yeah alright i agree, the thom sites good i found some useful info on both when i got my d70. those two lenses cover a fair bit of ground i reckon but yeah your right does depend what your gig is:apple:
 

compuwar

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2006
4,717
2
Northern/Central VA
yeah alright i agree, the thom sites good i found some useful info on both when i got my d70. those two lenses cover a fair bit of ground i reckon but yeah your right does depend what your gig is:apple:
I still recommend his E-books for folks who are new to their cameras, they're full of solid info, KR can "play to the crowd" when he wants and isn't as consistent, he also tends to use rumor and innuendo a bit much for my liking.

I recently was trying to choose between the Nikkon 12-24 and the Sigma 10-20, and I chose the Sigma. So, I don't have either of the two lenses you list, and while the 18-200 is a nice lens for those who are casual about photography and want a one-size solution, I can't imagine ever saying "Hey, that's the lens I need!" for anything I shoot.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,610
408
Redondo Beach, California
The D40 is limited in what lenses you can use with it. The body lacks a focus motor so you can only use the AFS type lenses. It's really to bad because some of the best lenses and the best deals price wise won't work on the D40.
For example everyone always recomends a 50mm lens, but not until Nikon make an AFS version. The 85mm f/1.8 is nice too but same deal, not with a D40.

I'd stay with the kit lens. It's not bad at all. But keep notes on the shots you miss. After shooting 1,000 frames then llook at your notes and buy the lens that would have gotten you those shoots.

Beginners always think they need a long telephoto lens. Then they get suckeredinto buying a cheap one. Don't. Whait untill you see what you
really do need. Could be you want something wider.

With your budget you may want to look at used Nikon lenses. But watch out for the focus motor issue.
 

Mantronix

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 21, 2007
177
0
Louisiana
The D40 is limited in what lenses you can use with it. The body lacks a focus motor so you can only use the AFS type lenses. It's really to bad because some of the best lenses and the best deals price wise won't work on the D40.
For example everyone always recomends a 50mm lens, but not until Nikon make an AFS version. The 85mm f/1.8 is nice too but same deal, not with a D40.

I'd stay with the kit lens. It's not bad at all. But keep notes on the shots you miss. After shooting 1,000 frames then llook at your notes and buy the lens that would have gotten you those shoots.

Beginners always think they need a long telephoto lens. Then they get suckeredinto buying a cheap one. Don't. Whait untill you see what you
really do need. Could be you want something wider.

With your budget you may want to look at used Nikon lenses. But watch out for the focus motor issue.
I was well aware of the ASF lens with the Nikon d40. This is my first DSLR camera and I didn't want to spend alot of money on one. Just in case it wasn't my "thing". Within a year or so I plan on purchasing the Nikon d200 after I feel more comfortable with taking photographs.
 

bld44

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2007
404
0
Look into the 55-200mm VR lens by Nikon. They sell a D40 kit with both the 18-55 and the 55-200, but the 55-200 is not a VR. Great lens, about $230-250 depending on where you buy.
 

pdxflint

macrumors 68020
Aug 25, 2006
2,407
14
Oregon coast
I'd say go for the D40 with both kit lenses, and then when you outgrow them, you can know a lot better what you haven't been able to accomplish, and make the right decision at that time. These two lenses are incredibly inexpensive, and are pretty damn sharp, IMHO

Here are a couple of shots, one from the original Nikkor 18-55 kit lens and the second from the 55-200 non-VR lens... both really quite decent for the money. Even Consumer Reports (okay, I know...) rated the Nikkor 18-55 kit lens extremely highly. So, don't think you have to get rid of your kit lens right away, because it's actually pretty good glass.

Shot 1: Looking up the Salmon River toward Cascade Head, Oregon coast.



Model: NIKON D50
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/160 sec
Aperture: f/10.0
Focal Length: 18mm
Nikkor 18-55 kit lens

Shot 2: Blues singer, Curtis Salgado performing at Portland Blues Festival, 2007.



Model: NIKON D50
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/500 sec
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 200mm
Exposure Comp: -2/3 stop
Nikkor 55-200 (non-VR)
 

freebooter

macrumors 65816
Feb 24, 2005
1,253
0
Daegu, South Korea
Present lens set-up for my D40:
Sigma 10-20mm (like it a lot)
Nikkor 18-55mm (I've hardly used it, pretty good I think)
Nikkor 70-300mm VR (fantastic!)
Micro Nikkor 105mm D (not VR) (really fantastic!!)
Sigma 1.4x converter

I've covered the bases pretty well covered, without breaking the bank. Check out my posts on the picture of the day thread to see some pictures, if you wish.
 

Mantronix

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 21, 2007
177
0
Louisiana
Present lens set-up for my D40:
Sigma 10-20mm (like it a lot)
Nikkor 18-55mm (I've hardly used it, pretty good I think)
Nikkor 70-300mm VR (fantastic!)
Micro Nikkor 105mm D (not VR) (really fantastic!!)
Sigma 1.4x converter

I've covered the bases pretty well covered, without breaking the bank. Check out my posts on the picture of the day thread to see some pictures, if you wish.
I've seen many of your pictures. You're one of the reason why I went with the d40. Many of the pictures you posted and amazing. Do you have any tips or suggestions to a new d40 owner?
 

termina3

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2007
1,078
1
TX
As for memory, I'd guess a 1GB card can hold about 125-150 6MP RAW format pictures. In terms of new cards, I'd get the cheapest card available from a manufacturer that you've heard of. I've been happy with cheap Kingston cards.

There is no advantage to high speed cards in terms of taking pictures. They are all fast enough to write information to the card from the buffer faster than your camera can take pictures. The only advantage is in how fast they upload the pictures to the computer. To me, that's not important. I'd rather spend that extra money on something else (like lenses).
Ack!
There is a shooting difference between the pro-level high speed cards and regular cards! The high speed cards, at least the name-brand ones, write considerably, noticably faster when you're taking continuous streams of pictures. It really sucks to be limited to a 2 or 3 shot burst on one card when you can get 20 (3/second) on a more expensive card.

Now, when you're not shooting sports you never need or use that speed, but when you are it's really, really nice to have.

I own a D70, which uses Compact Flash, but I'd assume the same stuff applies to other formats as well.
 

termina3

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2007
1,078
1
TX
As to the original question on lenses, I don't think I can stress enough how nice it is to have Nikkor lenses versus the Tamron/Sigma rip-offs. I'd toss in an extra couple hundred bucks for the nicer glass anyday, everyday.

I've made the mistake of buying off-brand lenses before... they don't work as well, don't feel as sturdy, and they don't resell for even 40% of their original cost, whereas many Nikkors can, if in good condition, resell for 70 or even 80% of the original cost.
(Forum: Please correct me with your experience if I'm wrong.)
 

miloblithe

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,072
28
Washington, DC
Ack!
There is a shooting difference between the pro-level high speed cards and regular cards! The high speed cards, at least the name-brand ones, write considerably, noticably faster when you're taking continuous streams of pictures. It really sucks to be limited to a 2 or 3 shot burst on one card when you can get 20 (3/second) on a more expensive card.

Now, when you're not shooting sports you never need or use that speed, but when you are it's really, really nice to have.

I own a D70, which uses Compact Flash, but I'd assume the same stuff applies to other formats as well.
Have you experienced this difference with your camera?

On my 400D, I can take at least 10 RAW pictures shooting continuously (3fps) with my cheap Kingston card (I stopped shooting at 10 because I thought that proved the point). On dpreview, they got 11 with "133x" cards:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/CanonEOS400D/page12.asp

Shooting JPGs, I imagine I'd get at least 27 like the manufacturer claims instead of 31 with the highspeed cards? Shooting JPGs, that would be holding the shutter down for 9-10 seconds. I'm not worried enough about this to bother testing.

There may be some small difference between the cards, but I think with newer cameras with larger buffers, it's minimal to unimportant. I guess the D70 has a smaller buffer?
 

miloblithe

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,072
28
Washington, DC
As to the original question on lenses, I don't think I can stress enough how nice it is to have Nikkor lenses versus the Tamron/Sigma rip-offs. I'd toss in an extra couple hundred bucks for the nicer glass anyday, everyday.

I've made the mistake of buying off-brand lenses before... they don't work as well, don't feel as sturdy, and they don't resell for even 40% of their original cost, whereas many Nikkors can, if in good condition, resell for 70 or even 80% of the original cost.
(Forum: Please correct me with your experience if I'm wrong.)
I think you're right that the third-party lenses lose more of their resale value, but I think that you can't just lump all third-party lenses together and all Nikon (or Canon) lenses together. There are some great, well-built third party lenses out there, just as Nikon and Canon make a few lenses that could hardly be called spectacular.
 

termina3

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2007
1,078
1
TX
Have you experienced this difference with your camera?
[portion truncated]
There may be some small difference between the cards, but I think with newer cameras with larger buffers, it's minimal to unimportant. I guess the D70 has a smaller buffer?
Yes, I've experienced this difference to a massive degree. I was, frankly, amazed to find that the pro card writes so much quicker (pleasantly surprised, I should say).

I wouldn't be surprised if the D70 has a small(er) buffer, but I haven't checked and can't say. Either way, I'm devoted to fast cards and balk at sports shooters who go in assuming they'll "get by" with the slow cards and then blame their cameras for the slow writes.

And yes, you're right when you say I'm wrong to lump all 3rd party lenses together. Generalizations such as that are foolish. But my limited experience with them has ALWAYS been bad.
 

miloblithe

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,072
28
Washington, DC
I wouldn't be surprised if the D70 has a small(er) buffer, but I haven't checked and can't say. Either way, I'm devoted to fast cards and balk at sports shooters who go in assuming they'll "get by" with the slow cards and then blame their cameras for the slow writes.

And yes, you're right when you say I'm wrong to lump all 3rd party lenses together. Generalizations such as that are foolish. But my limited experience with them has ALWAYS been bad.
I haven't seen anywhere that has actual figures on the buffer size of DSLRs. I'd be interested in seeing that.
 

stcanard

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2003
1,490
0
Vancouver
Do you have any tips or suggestions to a new d40 owner?
I'll jump in with one suggestion (although depending on how well you read your manual you probably already know this, but it was something I missed for quite some time with my D80) --

Even in manual focus mode the focus sensor still works. Don't be scared of the primes -- you just twist the focus ring until the green dot shows up in your viewfinder.

My wife picked up a D40 yesterday, and playing with my 50 mm at f1.8 focusing was still really quick and easy. If you can do it at the depth of field, you can do it with anything :)
 

pdxflint

macrumors 68020
Aug 25, 2006
2,407
14
Oregon coast
Even in manual focus mode the focus sensor still works. Don't be scared of the primes -- you just twist the focus ring until the green dot shows up in your viewfinder.

My wife picked up a D40 yesterday, and playing with my 50 mm at f1.8 focusing was still really quick and easy. If you can do it at the depth of field, you can do it with anything :)
I agree about not being afraid to manually focus (well, as long as the lens has a nice focus ring and it's somewhat damped.) Perhaps my favorite camera of all time was my old Pentax Spotmatic II coupled with the excellent Takumar SMC 50mm f/1.4. It does help if the camera body has a decent viewfinder so you can see when it snaps into focus, a feature which is somewhat lacking on some lower priced dSLRs...
 

compuwar

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2006
4,717
2
Northern/Central VA
As to the original question on lenses, I don't think I can stress enough how nice it is to have Nikkor lenses versus the Tamron/Sigma rip-offs. I'd toss in an extra couple hundred bucks for the nicer glass anyday, everyday.

I've made the mistake of buying off-brand lenses before... they don't work as well, don't feel as sturdy, and they don't resell for even 40% of their original cost, whereas many Nikkors can, if in good condition, resell for 70 or even 80% of the original cost.
(Forum: Please correct me with your experience if I'm wrong.)
Nikon makes some great lenses, they also make some crappy ones. The other manufacturers make some crappy lenses, they also make some great ones.

For instance, the Tamron 90mm SP is very difficult to beat for a macro lens. Sigma makes some phenomenal glass too, especially their EX series lenses.

I've got the Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 AF-S II lens, which is probably second only to the 300mm AF-S VR in terms of sharpness for a Nikon telephoto- so I've spent real money on Nikkor glass- but that doesn't mean the Tamron 90mm isn't on my list.