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Old Jan 5, 2008, 12:19 PM   #1
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I found out just today that my husband has ordered a Nikon D40 for me (it's my first digital camera, and I've been looking -- there's a thread on this forum, I was having a lot of trouble deciding -- and he quite sweetly suprised me with this) -- it comes with a two lens kit along with the standard kit package:

18-55 mm f/3.5 - 5.6 G ED II AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor

and

55 - 200 mm f/4 - 5.6 G ED IF AF-S DX VR Zoom Nikkor

I'm just starting out, but primarily interested in expanding my photo skills to doing (in this order):

1. Nature -- landscape/wildlife, I like extremes of atmosphere conditions, very wide angle shots (like to capture the wide open feeling here in the Midwest -- which also entails...really cruddy weather conditions 90% of the time)

2. Macro -- plant life in particular (husband's a master gardener; I like to take shots of his work), lots of cropping

3. Protraits/intimate candid -- pets and people, very intimate/immediate, spur of the moment shots, not into traditional, very composed studiowork

4. Some action/sports -- the kids' horse shows (not really going to be doing much of this -- but do work with horses, dogs, kids a lot as subjects -- and even for portrait work, these guys aren't known for standing still and posing -- unlike the trees and flowers!)

5. Some "artsy" special effect work -- I'm a visual arts/literature major who would like to go back to contributing some creative pieces to the local art community and display in the local coffee shops; after I masterthis dslrwell enough to take shots of "normal" things I'd like to express my "artsy" self a little with different effects -- plus I like to incorporate my photos into mixed media artwork

How will this camera and lenses do for the direction I'm wanting to go (will I need to know any special tricks to get the most benefit out of this camera and these lenses)?What sort of advice can you give me for accessories I may need later (or sooner) on down the line? My plan is to get started, invest in learning how to handle the camera and software in conjunction first, and then focus on each area of interest in the order I've listed (and I may never accomplish all of it, but at least have some fun and education along the way, possibly finding a market for my work down the road). I've gotPicassa software too -- any thoughts on software also much appreciated.



Any and all suggestions, advice, etc. is very very appreciated.

Thanks in advance.






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Old Jan 6, 2008, 6:55 AM   #2
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jlmarron-

That is a very nice gift. Kuddos to your husband! The kit lens and the 55-200mm lens is a very good combination that many folks have enjoyed considerably. Nature photography may take a bit longer zoom, but other than that, you will be pleased with the D-40 and the two lenses.

To get the most out of your camera, you might want to pickup a field guide and systematically working your way through all of the D-40 features. The D-40 will be a great launch platform for learning and developing your photo skills.

I like the D-40 a lot and shoot with both the D-40 and the D-40X. I use the Nikkor 18-200mmVR lens and the Nikkor 70-300mmVR lens. I am sure that you will enjoy the camera and gradually learning more and more. Like piano playing, photography takes constant practice to progressively get more skilled and to get better and better image quality. So please, don't be discouraged, if you are not 100% pleased with your initial results.

Have fun!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 7:22 AM   #3
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The lenses you have should serve as a good starting point. I would use those two lenses for a while. After a period of time, you'll have an idea of what the limitations are with those two lenses, at which point you can make a better informed decision.

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Old Jan 6, 2008, 10:23 AM   #4
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Thanks -- I'm definitely excited about getting it and starting!

I think that eventually I will save up and purchase the 18 - 200 and the 70 - 300 VR lenses, or at least the 70 - 300 -- but that will be down the road.

I'll definitely be picking up a field guide and maybe checking out some photography books from the library, plus perhaps taking a non-credit class or two at the college this summer. And taking a lot of pictures to learn what the camera does.
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 10:26 AM   #5
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Oh....and yes, it was a GREAT gift
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 12:50 PM   #6
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jlmarron-

You are off to an excellent beginning! Now enjoy yourself and learn, learn, learn.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 17, 2008, 9:46 PM   #7
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kit lenses , I'm afraid.



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