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Old Sep 21, 2007, 1:24 PM   #1
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I thought I might have erred by posting this in the nikon forum so I reposted here.

I am getting ready to purchase my first dslr. I am torn between the d50 and d40. I understand about the focusing motor issues in the d40 but like it's small size and large lcd. The d50 is compatitble with older lenses which would help my budget as I expand my lens collection. This will be a general purpose camera but my daughter is active in karate and I want to be able to take indoor action shots of her as well as some baseball shots of my son and action photos of our animals. I do plan to learn a lot and not just treat the camera as a point and shoot. Any advice or opinions is appreciated. I plan on purchasing this weekend!
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 2:12 PM   #2
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Aside from the fact that the D50 is only a USB 1.1 device (instead of a USB 2.0 device like the D40) and that it can't format higher capacity SDHC Cards, I think it's a good choice. But you'll need a card reader as well, in order to format SDHC Cards and to get your photos off the cards in a reasonable amount of time.

The D50 can autofocus with some of the lenses you'll probably want for indoor sports, like the 50mm and 85mm f/1.8 lenses, whereas the D40 can't.

Otherwise, they're both good cameras.
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 2:14 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, the D50 is no longer being manufactuered. If you want to go used on one, or upgrade to a D80, I think that would be your best bet given your shooting needs.

The Karate would probably benefit from something like a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 or 85mm f/1.4 (or if you can't afford the f/1.4 versions, go with f/1.8 instead).

If you can't afford the newer AF-S or VR versions of a 70-200mm f/2.8, the baseball would probably benefit from something like an older Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 Autofocus lens (and you can find used non-D models at around $400 or so fairly often at vendors like keh.com).

I'd rather have Autofocus without needing Nikkor AF-S or Sigma HSM lenses to take advantage of more bright primes, used zooms and third party lenses.

Plus, for sports purposes, the D50 and D80 would have more focus points for predictive algorithms if you use continuous af modes for sports.

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Old Sep 21, 2007, 3:30 PM   #4
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I had this same dilemma not too long ago. I was looking to get my first serous digital camera. I had been shooting with film slrs and a p&s digital.

I was torn between an advanced EVF camera (what many here will call a P&S but is not) and a D40. But then I picked up an excellent condition used D50 for half of what either of those would have cost. That includes the cost of an autofocus zoom bought separately. Nether the D40 or the D50 will autofocus or even meter with my old lenses but then again neither did my film cameras so no big deal. I'm happy using a hand held meter when I need to switch to one of those lenses. However I did notice while I was shopping that there are many lenses out there for a good price that will work on a D50


The bigger LCD on the D40 would be nice but I don't think that is a big deal and I'm glad to have the info LCD on top which the D40 doesn't have.

All in all I glad to have gotten the D50 over the D40 though I'm sure I would have been happy with that as well. Now if I could just get my hands on a D3 (that'll never happen)


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Old Sep 21, 2007, 7:35 PM   #5
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tjsnaps, really said it all!

If you have access to a Nikon D-50, grab it! Yes, it will take a few miminal compromises, but in the long term you will have a much better DSLR camera that has more capabilities than the Nikon D-40. Have a great day!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 22, 2007, 8:01 PM   #6
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I did it!! I pulled the trigger and bought a factory demo d50 from Cameta camera with a 28-80 lens. I know that lens is not supposed to bevery goodbut it will get me started. I have bought 3 point and shoots from Cameta over the last 4 years so I felt confident buying from them.

I also picked up an old nikon 50mm 1.8 e series lens at a garage saletoday with an old body for 15.00 . The lens is in beautiful shape with a uv filter. Can I use the e lens on my new d50? I know it wouldn't meter or auto focus of course but would it hurt the camera in any way?

Thanks for all your help! I'll be posting pics soon I hope.
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Old Sep 22, 2007, 8:11 PM   #7
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tolpuppy wrote:
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I also picked up an old nikon 50mm 1.8 e series lens at a garage saletoday with an old body for 15.00 . The lens is in beautiful shape with a uv filter. Can I use the e lens on my new d50? I know it wouldn't meter or auto focus of course but would it hurt the camera in any way?
If it's not an AI (Auto Indexing) lens, Nikon says that you should not use it on a D50, or you can damage the camera and/or lens trying to mount it.

But, an E Series lens is probably AI. Check it closely to make sure (and you can have one converted if it's not for a nominal fee).

Here's one page on what to look for:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/compatibility-lens.htm

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Old Sep 23, 2007, 8:38 AM   #8
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take a pic of the back of the lens and post it and I can tell you if you can use it or not.
what ever you do dont try and mount it to your camera untill you are sure. a pre AI lens can damage the camera. If it is pre-AI it can most likely be modified it's not hard to do I've done it to four lenses so far.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 3:36 PM   #9
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Hi and thanks for your help! Here are some pics of the lens in question. I hope I posted these correctly!
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 3:36 PM   #10
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Whoops! here's another!
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