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Old May 1, 2008, 10:16 AM   #1
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My wife and I are thinking of getting a Nikon D40, one of the reasons we are thinking of upgrading is we are not happy with the low light performance of our current p&s and it does not look like upgrading to anything other than a DSLR will give much improvement. It seems like the D40 with the Nikon 18-200VR would fit most of our needs.

My question is with the 18-200 would we ever get much use out of the 18-55 the camera normally comes with. Cameta Camera has received good reviews here and elsewhere on demo cameras and not getting the 18-55 lens would save aprox 60-80 on the package price.
Thanks to all the posters on this site, it really helped us in narrowing our choice to the d40 and the 18-200 as being the right camera for our purposes.

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Old May 1, 2008, 10:27 AM   #2
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...we are not happy with the low light performance of our current p&s...
What kind of low light shots are you talking about?

The 18-200mm VR lens is not that bright (f/3.5 on it's wide end, dropping off to f/5.6 on it's long end).

Keep in mind that Vibration Reduction won't help with motion blur if you're shooting a non-stationary subject. You'll need a brighter lens for that if you can't use a flash.

It is a very versatile lens though.

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Old May 1, 2008, 1:22 PM   #3
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If you have the 18-200, the 18-55 will be redundant. You'll get slightly better image quality on the wide end with the 18-55, but it's really being nitpicky, and probably wouldn't be noticeable at regular print sizes. The 18-200 is versatile, and a good one lens general photography solution. JimC is right though...the 18-200 is not a fabulous low light lens. At anything longer than the shortest focal length, the lens is quite slow. To get good results will require a flash, probably the SB400 at a minimum. If you're looking for a lens that will work ok without a flash, then you'll need to look at some of the primes. the 50mm f1.8 is great, and cheap, but may be a bit long for indoor work. There are lots to choose from..you could get a 20, 24, 28, or 35, but they all cost about 2-3x what the 50 costs. There are also some zooms that start at f2.8 that could work well.
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Old May 1, 2008, 2:39 PM   #4
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rjseeney wrote:
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If you're looking for a lens that will work ok without a flash, then you'll need to look at some of the primes. the 50mm f1.8 is great, and cheap, but may be a bit long for indoor work. There are lots to choose from..you could get a 20, 24, 28, or 35, but they all cost about 2-3x what the 50 costs. There are also some zooms that start at f2.8 that could work well.
Keep in mind that you'll need to stick with lenses that have focus motors built in (for example, Nikon's AF-S or Sigma's HSM lenses) if you want Autofocus with a D40.

Unfortunately, some of the Nikkor primes like the 50mm f/1.8 would not Autofocus on a D40. But, you could still use these if you don't mind manual focus (using the focus confirmation in the viewfinder to help out as needed). You may find that something like a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM lens is a better fit for existing light in closer quarters, and it would give you Autofocus, too.

I'd let members know more about what kind of low light conditions you're referring to for better responses.

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Old May 1, 2008, 3:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses, I ended up getting a package that included the camera, lens, memory card, card reader, and camera bag. After pricing just a demo camera and a new camera and lens with the package it did not make any sense to get a used camera w/o a lens factoring in what I would pay for the other items since I would have purchased them anyway.

We are not really looking for an additonal lens for low light right now, and I suspect what I consider low light might not be the same thing as everyone else. Our current P&S cameras, an olympus 10x zoom and an olympus 7700 do not do a very good job taking pictures in a school auditorim or in a church with fairly good natural light. Most of our indoor pictures at the present time are of fairly stationary objects.


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