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Old Oct 1, 2007, 12:58 PM   #1
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im about to make my first dive into SLRs, upgrading from a decent olympus ultrazoom that was horrible in low light, very slow, and had no anti shake

Ive been researching rather hardcore for the past week or two, and i thought i had decided on a pentax k10d, but today i managed to get out to finally handle some of these, and the k10d is just too large for my little dainty girly hands

The camera that felt the most natural was the d40/x and the d80. Unfortunatly, from the research ive done, the D40x seems to be underfeatured and lacking in the lense department, and the d80 is pretty far out of my budget

Sooo, to help me decide, i figured i could ask yall a few questions, since i dont know much about lenses at all.


1. Are the poor lense selections for the d40 really going to be a pain for me? i am starting from scratch, so i dont need any backwards compatability. However, i am worried that i may end up spending more in the long run for lenses that are compatable, compared to spending more on the d80 upfront, and having cheaper, better lenses in the next few years.

2. Image Stabalization(SR, IS, VR). One of the main drawing features i had towards the K10d was the in-body SR. Ive been having a hard time really quantifying the difference between lenses that have VR and non VR. Can someone give examples of comparable lenses so i can better assess the premium of VR? Like, if a 55-200mm non-VR lense for the D80 would be $200, how much more would it be to have a comparable lense with VR.

3. Do 3rd party lenses from Tamron or Sigma have a compatable in-lense VR?

4. One option i had thought about was finding a used d70 instead of a d80. now, I am not one for carrying around a large pack when i go on day-trips hiking or around the city, therefor i thought i would enjoy a higher quality macro lense(say 18-55, 2.8) and crop them for a zoom. would the 6MP of the d70 be inadequate for this compared to the 10mp of the d80? would i see a difference in this type of cropping application?


Would i find the d40x's lense selection a problem in the future? would i end up spending more on compatable lenses than the difference between the upfront costs of the d40x and the d80

What is the dollar premium of VR in lenses

I think thats it for now. Sorry for the long post, my head is about to explode from data Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 3:39 PM   #2
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1 - - If the D40 feels good in your hands that is a major start. If you buy this, get the two kit lenses, 18-55 and 55-200, it is a cheaper way to do it, and both lenses are light and self motorised, so can be used in auto focus on the cam. If you buy a third party lens (sigma / Tamron) then they are not motorised and you will only be able to use manual focus. In the future, you can save up for a 70-300 VR Nikon lens, which is motorised andvery nice. I have the D80 and love it. I carry the D80 and 3 lenses and it is worth mentioning that this can be a heavy load, particularly over a long day.

2. Nikon 70-300mm lens is around £150, with VR it is £400. The VR version is much superior, you will generally get sharper pictures, especially in low light or at the zoom end of the lens. Have you looked at the new Pentax K100D Super, it is the latest version of the K100D, it has a stabilised sensor (6MP) and is much lighter than the K10D. Lens based stabilisation is more effective than sensor based, but the sensor based does mean that ANY lens you attach in effect becomes stabilised.

3 - - Basicallyno at the budget end, Sigma do an nice but expensivestabilised 80 - 400mm.

4. There is a noticable difference in cropping ability between a 6MP and a 10 MP image. Cropping is good to get the right composition, but you need very good resolution in the first place if you are going to use cropping as a sort of zoom effect.

norm smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 2, 2007, 6:03 AM   #3
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Most af-s (d40 compatible) lenses for beginners are pretty cheap. But when you want more, primes, bigger appertures, then you need to pay loads of money for a decent lens which can work automaticly with the d40.

Another option would be the D50 or D70. Though older, they are very inexpensive and can use all the Nikon lenses.
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 5:45 PM   #4
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The D40/D40x's small form factor works well for smaller hands. If it feels comfortable for you to reach all the controls, that is a good sign. The D70 and D80 have more features, but if it's too bulky, then you won't want to carry it. A camera not taken with you results in missed photo opportunities. My wife uses the D40 and has taken some excellent shots for personal and work purposes.

What kind of pictures are you planning to take? The D40/D40x offer a lot of good features that work well for people upgrading from point-and-shoots and ultrazooms.

1) Here is a list of AF-S lenses from the nikonusa.com website. I don't think that is a small selection. Most of these will cover a large number of situations.

AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED
AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
AF-S Zoom-NIKKOR 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED
AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED
AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II
AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED
AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED
AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED
AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mmf/2.8G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED
AF-S Zoom-NIKKOR 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED
AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED
AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED
AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED
AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED
AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED
AF-S VR NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED
AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8D IF-ED II
AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR

You can use certain lenses without AF-S, but you will have to manually focus the lens.
Read here: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40...erformance.htm

2) VR lenses do cost more than non-VR lenses. There is now an inexpensive Nikon 55-200mm VR lens: It's about $250 retail. The 70-300mm VR is about $500 and is a decent telephoto. The popular 18-200mm VR ($800) is a good walkaround lens. The 105mm Macro VR is good if you want to take close-up shots. For low-light photography, the VR lenses will help, but can't do everything. If you want to take action shots, you'll need to pay more for both lens and body, because the D40 isn't really good for that.

3) Megapixels are primarily important for printing. A 6MP image can still print to 8"x11" well.
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Old Oct 6, 2007, 3:38 AM   #5
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Have you thought about the Pentax K100D/K100D Super? Its smaller than the K10D so mighthandle better for you. Only 6Mp but that's the same as the Nikon D40, however it has in-camera shake reduction so you won't have to pay a fortune for image-stabilised lenses. In fact you can use any K-mount lens ever produced going back decades.
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 2:29 PM   #6
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The other posts have given a lot of good advice, and there are several "low cost" DSLRs which are not too large and easily beat digicams in low light. My personal choice was the D40 for its small size and low cost, but the Pentax K100D Super and Olympus 410 are also small and judged to be excellent cameras (as well as the venerable Canon Rebel/400D!).

People who shoot action sports usually need a higher end DSLR together with a fast long reach lens, so that increases the cost considerably. A camera such as the D40 could use the appropriate Nikon lens, but has inferior focusing and burst capabilities when compared to a higher cost DSLR.Apart from this aspect,the D40 is an excellent first DSLRfor a new user, and there is plenty of choice of lenses from Nikon and Sigma. My experience with low light photography (which is the main reason I purchased a DSLR), is that an add on flash is much easier to use and get great pictures with than a large aperture prime lens and natural lighting. The 50mm 1.8 is good fun and isolates subjects well, but narrow depth of field also gives limitations.

A major advantage of an add on flash is that you can angle the flash to bounce off a ceiling and enhance the natural light rather than overpowering the subject with direct light. So budget for add on flash with the DSLR is my advice!

For a light weight carry round solution, the D40/40X with the 18-135mm lens is small and still light, but the heavier 18-200mm VR is reckoned to be the best around.

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