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1st dSLR questions.. (once again) and len choices
Hey all,.

I've just been scrolling through the forums for as much information before I start asking. I will probably be asking questions you guys have heard many times before. Anyways, I'm looking to get my 1st digital SLR and based on what I read that many of you would recommend the Nikon D40x as a beginner, good entry level camera. The one concern I have is that the D40x doesnt have the focus motor so I would only be limited to lenses with motors already.. Do you think that would limit a beginner like me any?.

Also, if I was to get just the body what lens would you recommend? I read a lot of people suggesting a 18-135mm lens would be good to start out with. I don't have any specific things I will be photographing, I just would like a good all-purpose lens, as I do travel a few times a year and encounter different kinds of scenery..

Any other suggestions would help greatly..

Thanks.

Gary..

Comments (20)

Glu wrote:.

Hey all,.

I've just been scrolling through the forums for as much informationbefore I start asking. I will probably be asking questions you guyshave heard many times before. Anyways, I'm looking to get my 1stdigital SLR and based on what I read that many of you would recommendthe Nikon D40x as a beginner, good entry level camera. The oneconcern I have is that the D40x doesnt have the focus motor so Iwould only be limited to lenses with motors already.. Do you thinkthat would limit a beginner like me any?.

I doubt it would limit you photographically, since there seems to be an adequate offering of lenses for it. However, depending on your financial circumstances, it may limit you economically. In my mind one of the strongest reasons to go with Nikon is the huge worldwide supply of Nikon Legacy lenses, and the D40X, if I recall, cuts you off from them as effectively as any other brand. (i.e you can use them in manual mode, but the other mfgrs offer adapters for the same purpose).

Also, if I was to get just the body what lens would you recommend? Iread a lot of people suggesting a 18-135mm lens would be good tostart out with. I don't have any specific things I will bephotographing, I just would like a good all-purpose lens, as I dotravel a few times a year and encounter different kinds of scenery..

Sorry can't help you there, I'm an Olympus user. I'd be comfortable recommending the Oly kit lenses, but I don't know enough about the Nikon kit lenses and how they compare to other lenses.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #1

Thanks for the input, I'm just curious on how the lenses work. I should probably read on this before I start asking , but I'm feeling lazy right now.. Anyways whats the difference between say a 18-135 and a 18-200mm.

Does the 200mm allow for more zoom? I just need a range for standard photography, nothing specific...

Comment #2

Glu wrote:.

Hey all,.

I've just been scrolling through the forums for as much informationbefore I start asking. I will probably be asking questions you guyshave heard many times before. Anyways, I'm looking to get my 1stdigital SLR and based on what I read that many of you would recommendthe Nikon D40x as a beginner, good entry level camera. The oneconcern I have is that the D40x doesnt have the focus motor so Iwould only be limited to lenses with motors already.. Do you thinkthat would limit a beginner like me any?.

1. All cameras limit you in some way or another. As a beginner you just won't be as aware of how it limits you......but then you have to start somewhere..

2. The vast majority of newcomers to DSLR photography will never need to go to a more sophistacated camera body. Note the word "need", you may want to go to a more sophisticated body but only rarely is there an actual need. The D40x (or for that matter the D40) is more than adequate for 99% of what you'll want to do..

3. I wouldn't worry all that much about the legacy lenses you can't use. There is more than enough choice still available to you..

Also, if I was to get just the body what lens would you recommend? Iread a lot of people suggesting a 18-135mm lens would be good tostart out with. I don't have any specific things I will bephotographing, I just would like a good all-purpose lens, as I dotravel a few times a year and encounter different kinds of scenery..

The 18-200 VR. This is not a cheap selection but it is probably the best all around lens for just about everything and is particularly well suited for travel. If it helps financially pair it with the D40. Typically you don't really need more than 6Mpixels unless you know that you'll be printing larger than 8X12..

Any other suggestions would help greatly..

Thanks.

Gary.

Disclaimer, I don't own the above equiptment. My son does and I've played around with it for several days. The D40 and the 18-200 VR is a real nice pairing.I personally use an Oly E-3.A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #3

Glu wrote:.

Thanks for the input, I'm just curious on how the lenses work. Ishould probably read on this before I start asking , but I'm feelinglazy right now.. Anyways whats the difference between say a 18-135and a 18-200mm.

Does the 200mm allow for more zoom? I just need a range for standardphotography, nothing specific..

Yes, what it gives you is more "zoom" on the telephoto end of the spectrum..

The suggestion of the VR in the lens in the below post is "Vibration Reduction" which will stabilize the picture in the camera allowing you to get clear shots hand held at the telephoto end of the zoom. A non-VR lens often requires a tripod to get clear photos unless there is an abundance of light so you can compensate with a very high shutter speed to freeze the natural motion that is present with a hand held camera..

A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #4

More confusion on my part now.. I know the D40 and D40x are pretty much the same. I don't really need 10 megapixels because I probably won't be doing many large prints..

Probably better save the money and just get the D40?.

What are your thoughts on the Pentax K10 have heard a lot of good things about it? Hows it compare to the D40(x)?..

Comment #5

Now you're drifting away to another question.......

Any of the current crop of DSLRs will give you great pictures if your willing to learn about the camera and buy good glass for it..

At this point I usually tell people to go and handle the cameras, play with the menus and see how easy or difficult it is to change settings. How the camera feels (and sounds, I personally don't like the Sony just because the shutter sounds loud, but others don't mind) makes a bigger difference than the brand. If you don't like how it feels you'll be less likely to use it, and after all using it is what it's all about.A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #6

Nikon D40x and Pentax K10D are different beasts: the Pentax is bigger, heavier, weatherproofed, and aimed at experienced shooters. It is an excellent camera for the money but requires more skill from the user to get the best out of it..

But assuming that you are on a fixed budget (who isn't) the recommendation you had earlier - Nikon D40 plus the 18-200 VR lens - looks like a great package. It makes sense to spend a higher proportion of your budget on the lens (the bit that actually makes the picture) and not spend extra money on the body for facilities you don;t need..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #7

The standard advice :.

(1) Choose a camera based on feel in your hands and comfort of viewfinder. That's the bit you most need to work for you..

(2) All the entry level DSLRs are good. You might never feel the need to 'upgrade'..

(3) The kit lenses are perfectly good lenses. They are not great lenses, but you actually don't know how to use a great lens and probably won't know the difference for some time ( a year, longer )..

(4) Every single person you ask will tell you all sorts of brand preferences. Ignore this unless you need the camera for professional purposes. This is the only reason to limit your choice to a specific brand or brands..

(5) You are correct to say the megapixel count is not significant. They are not entirely pointless, but for a beginner they won't make much differences and by the time you want them the cameras available in the market will have improved..

So,.

(a) spend as little as you can, BUT get a camera you like holding and using( some people actually need a bigger camera than entry level to do this )(b) forget lenses. the kit lenses are good enough and very cost effective.

(c) it's impossible to choose a lousy camera, just one you don't like using ( see '1' )(d) if you choose an non-entry level model you'll may be swamped by features.

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #8

Is there a big difference between a 18-135 lens and a 18-200 one?..

Comment #9

Glu wrote:.

Is there a big difference between a 18-135 lens and a 18-200 one?.

About $400....

18-200 has VR and more zoom and a little better build, it's a good all around lens. If you can swing the extra $$$....

You can check photozone.de for lens reviews..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #10

Glu wrote:.

Is there a big difference between a 18-135 lens and a 18-200 one?.

All the difference in angle of view is at the telephoto end. Both have the same wide angle (that's the "18" in the description) but one has a 135mm maximum focal length and the other a 200mm maximum. What that means is, say you're taking a picture of a 6 foot tall person. With 135mm, that person will go from the top to the bottom of the picture from 50 feet away. With 200mm, you will get the same result from 75 feet away (this assumes that the camera is being held horizontally)..

The other big difference is that the Nikon 18-200 is "VR" or vibration reduction. This is optical stabilization and it sharpens the picture a lot, especially at full telephoto or long exposure.Leonard Migliore..

Comment #11

For a limited system and probably ones that are more than adequate and economical for most casual users are the Pentax K10D and Olympus E510 with the kit lenses. But if you really get into it the Nikons and Canons have the widest lens selections not including 3rd party lenses..

Since most have mentioned the D40 I'll suggest another option .....the 400D/XTi from Canon is very popular and has more lens options than the Nikon.Check the pros/cons of each and have fun.....

Regards,Hank..

Comment #12

Does anyone know if there is a 18-135mm lens with VR available?..

Comment #13

I was told that the K10 might be too much for someone just starting out playing with dSLRs..

Comment #14

Glu wrote:.

Does anyone know if there is a 18-135mm lens with VR available?.

Check the Nikon site but the reviews from most lenses are here..........http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.htmlRegards,Hank..

Comment #15

Start at full auto mode and work from there! And don't forget to read the manual! If you are smart enough to use the internet, navigate here, and ask a question, you are smart enough to learn to use ANY camera on the market!.

And Once you pick a brand visit the forum for that camera here at DPR and find a web site dedicated exclusively to your brand of camera. Both are excellent sources of information and help.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #16

Not yet. Nikon just recently announced the 18-55mm is getting VR. I personally believe all their kit lenses will get it in order to better compete with the in body IS systems..

I would not be surprised either if every consumer lens they announce from here out gets VR..

Stu - Camera User (see profile for gear)http://www.DigitalPhotoPeople.comhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/stujoe/.

...

Comment #17

I suggest a Nikon D40 and the 18-55 kit lens. You did not mention what type of photography interests you. Once you master this lens, you can determine if you need something shorter, longer, faster or sharper. It is easier to master a 3X zoom than the much longer 18-135 or 18-200 zooms. You will also save some money too...

Comment #18

Glu wrote:.

More confusion on my part now.. I know the D40 and D40x are prettymuch the same. I don't really need 10 megapixels because I probablywon't be doing many large prints..

From a side-by-side comparison, I found the D40x to have more in common with the D80. Even their pricing was similar, whereas the D40 seemed like a baby brother to them both..

I, too, have been contemplating the Nikon family, but am searching other threads and keeping my options open..

FWIW, I'm looking to capture the occasional landscapes, but am mostly interested in people in 1-motion, and 2-interesting scenery. And I think the D40x kit w/18-135mm lens is currently winning in my book.....

Comment #19

I was thinking the D40x as well with the 18-135mm lens, but if I could really get some cash together I'd get the 18-200mm VR lens.. a lot of people really like the D40x or D80 setup with the 18-200mm..

Comment #20

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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