Nikon D40 Questions

By: amatphtphr 3372 days ago
Hi! I don't know that much about photography terms or cameras. I love photography though and have the Nikon D40. There are 2 problems I have with it that I am looking for help with. I am not happy with the small zoom I have with my 18mm-55mm lens it came with. I am looking into getting a bigger lens, but wondering how big I would like. I figured I would get the 55mm-200mm or if I can afford it, the 18mm-200mm lens. Will this be enough? I love to photography nature mainly, often far landscapes. However I do use it inside for pictures of my family as well. The Nikon lens are expensive for me though, so I am looking for alternate lens that is capable with my D40, such as Sigma or Tamron, any recommendations and do you know where to buy these?
Another question I have is if I am shooting inside, such as at a wedding, my pictures are often dark if it is far away, will a bigger lens help or will I need to buy a exterior flash?
Last question is I have tried getting real close to a flower to maybe get a bug on it or a raindrop and it is always blurry if I am too close, is there a lens that is maybe less then the 18mm?
Sorry this is so long, but I appreciate any help anyone may be able to give me.
Thanks!
~Mary
By: johnriley 3372 days ago
That's a lot of questions, but I'll have a go.

Something like a 50-200mm lens would be ideal to go with your 18-55mm. I would suggest checking out www.srsmicrosystems.co.uk to see what is available. Then phone them to check that your choice can be used with the D40, which I understand needs particular lenses.

Shooting inside you need either to use flash or to have a wide aperture lens that will let in lots of light. Nikon make a 50mm lens in f1.8 and even faster f1.4 versions. These are ideal low light lenses.

For very close subjects a close up lens screwed onto the front of your 18-55mm or the 50-200mm will enable closer focusing for very little outlay. If you find that you really like this type of photography a lot then later on you could buy a macro lens specially designed for the job.

You really need a good book on photography as well. By all means come back here and we will help all we can.

Don't forget to let us know how you are getting along.

Best regards

John
By: DanR 3362 days ago
Hi Mary

I had the same problem when I had a D40 (great little camera) I always got fed up with the 18-55. When I had my D40 I got the Nikon 55-200 VR, and itís a very good lens, but to be honest I think there are more useful lenses out there.

The Sigma and Tamaron 18-200 lenses do look good, they both seem to be quite similar in performance, and they look like they would be fantastic multi purpose lenses covering almost every situation.
The down side is there is quite a bit of distortion on the wide end (between 18 & 24) so you will need to be a bit careful if you are photographing anything that has a lot of straight lines in it. But for general purpose shooting I think they are great (if you can afford it, go for the optically stabilised version, they really do make a difference).
If you want a better quality image you can try the Nikon 18-105 VR. This is the one I have got, and itís a great lens, it might not have the zoom of the Sigma or Tamaron, but the image quality is better.

If you want to take a picture of something close up you need a macro lens, they allow you to focus really close to the subject, but they can be a bit pricy.
I have the Sigma 70-300 APO Macro. Itís a very good lens. I got it because I wanted a macro and a good telephoto lens, and it does both well, but a word of warning, you can only set it to macro mode when zoomed between 200 Ė 300 which means you have to keep your distance from what your shooting, usually more than a meter away from the subject to keep it in focus! But in practice I have found I have gotten used to it.
Another good Macro lens is the 105 Macro, I know both Sigma and Nikon do them, but never used them.

For decent indoors photos, a flash will defiantly help, but they can be pricy, If your going for the cheaper ones, make sure you get one you can angle the flash upwards, its called bouncing (I think!), this allows you to fire the flash at the ceiling and so creates a more natural and less harsh light, itís a useful technique.

As for shooting people indoors, your 18-55 with a flash would be fine. If you really wanted something a lot better I would recommend a fast prime lens.
What I mean is a lens with a large aperture (i.e. lower F-number). A large aperture means more light can enter the lens, which allows you to take better photos in less light. I know Nikon is selling a 35mm F-1.8 DX lens that will work on your D40 for about £200.
You will need one that has a motor in the lens for your D40, but if youíre happy to manually focus, Nikon do a nice 50mm f-1.8 for £100!

Last piece of advice of your going to buy a lens make sure its designed to work on the D40 i.e. It has an inbuilt motor in it. Older lenses may be cheaper, but they wont automatically focus (like that 50mm I mentioned earlier).

Well I hope my rambling has helped.

Dan
By: amatphtphr 3362 days ago
Guys!! You are so awesome and I REALLY appreciate your detailed messages to all my questions. I am new to all this, but want to learn and better my equipment as I can, so I really appreciate the help! :)
By: epzPete 3328 days ago
By: epzPete 3328 days ago
Sorry guys just fixing the updated thing. Carry on.
Richard
By: johnriley 3328 days ago
It's fixed! Many thanks Richard.

John

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