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Which lenses to get for my new Nikon D40?
Thanks to the advice I received on here I have now got a Nikon D40 which came with the 18-55mm lens which as soon as I started using it I realised was not going to do the kind of things I wanted..

I have checked out a few websites and ebay but now am totally confused by all the numbers etc so wondered if I put what I wanted to photograph someone could tell me the size of lens I require? Thanks so much..

Macro say spiders on webs, insects on plants type of thing..

Rabbits, birds in the distance, moving animals outside.

Panoramic, scenery.

Indoors, family portrait type (think the one it came with may do for this)..

Comments (12)

18-55 is nice for scenery and 'snaphots', however for indoors addition of extra flash would be advisable..

Then for distance subjects and portraits you need a longer focal length..

Be carefull that D40(x) need lenses with built in focus motors, those are indicated AFS if you buy Nikon. Other Nikon types can be used, but only with manual focus. Which is not advisable when you just stepping into DSLR..

With increasing budget I would say:1: AFS 55-200 DX2: AFS 55-200 DX VR3: AFS 70-300 VR4: AFS 70-200 VR.

Where probably 2 or 3 is best choice. First has no VR (vibration reduction), so need to have good light condition for sharp pictures..

For a nice review of 1 and 2: http://www.bythom.com/55200lens.htm.

Regards,Michiel Bosch.

Http://www.tn-photo.com..

Comment #1

1. See my reply here:.

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=27755539.

2. Macro. You have two choices - a general purpose lens with a macro capability or a dedicated fixed focal length macro lens. The later will be comparatively expensive. You could look for a replacement for the 18-55 with macro capability. It will not enlarge as much as a true macro lens but will be more flexible..

Wild animals: You will need at least a zoom that goes to at least 200mm. The cheapest is the 55-200mm. But you may well be better off with a 70-300. With both such lenses VR (image stabilisation) would be useful. Better still would be a fast 70-200 or xx-300 i.e one with a large maximum aperture. A constant f/2.8 is the best of this type.

So you really want to experiment a little before purchase to identify the lens that is best for you..

Panorama/scenery: Any decent standard zoom will do. An 18-70 will be an improvement but not massively so on 18-55..

My advice - consider picking up an Nikon 18-135mm to use as your general walk around lens then take your time purchasing other lenses from there. You will get an 18-135 on Ebay for arounf 160. That is a 7.5 x zoom compared with the 3x zoom you now have..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #2

A good macro lens is not cheap. It will probably cost as much as your camera. You could look at the new Nikon 60 f2.8 AFS. That would give you an excellent walkaround prime..

Also the Sigma 150 f2.8 APO Macro prime is superb. It could double as a fairly nice mid telephoto as well..

The 18-135 mentioned above is not a macro lens but is very very sharp and can focus quite close..

The 70-300vr is a great telephoto zoom...

Comment #3

A first step into macro can also be extension tubes. Much cheaper then a dedicated lens. And more flexibility because can be used with telephoto and normal zoom..

Http://www.nikonians.org/...9&topic_id=20567&mesg_id=20567&page=4Regards,Michiel Bosch.

Http://www.tn-photo.com..

Comment #4

Michiel1971 wrote:.

A first step into macro can also be extension tubes. Much cheaperthen a dedicated lens. And more flexibility because can be used withtelephoto and normal zoom..

Http://www.nikonians.org/...9&topic_id=20567&mesg_id=20567&page=4Regards,Michiel Bosch.

Http://www.tn-photo.com.

I agree and also the Canon 500 series 2 element close up filters work well too, but the advantages of a dedicated macro lens are there too. If you choose the right focal length macro, it can double as a non-macro lens, as well for that focal length. For example the 60mm Micro makes a great walkaround as well as a super portrait lens. A 150-180 macro makes a very nice mid-telephoto. Being primes, the are usually better optically than zooms in that range..

I use extension tubes, bellows on occasion and reversed primes, yet still prefer the macro lens most times. The down side, as you mention, is cost. Extension tubes are less expensive. Another problem is that extension tubes don't work as well with zooms as they do with primes, and they work even better with primes that have close range correction elements which means a macro lens or bellows lens..

On the positive note, you can buy a fantastic 55mm f3.5 micro used for around $60 from many used sources like KEH or Adorama. It sometimes comes with a Nikon extension tube, and who needs autofocus when doing macro?..

Comment #5

Also consider the brand new Nikkor 16-85 AFS lens. I think the 16-85 range is better than the 18-135 for most "walkaround" pix. The down side is that it's expensive. But you'll love the 24mm eff.!.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #6

Hmmm think the 16-85 is a bit out of my price range until I have discovered whether my photography is worthy of it .

I have checked out the Nikon Nikkor Lens AF-S DX VR Zoom 55-200 f/4-5.6 G IFED as suggested by someone but I can't find any that have the f/2.8 after it. Could someone please explain and also is there such a thing as a Photography for Dummies book? .

Also there a some 18-135 going for reasonable prices secondhand so will go for one of those as a walkabout..

Could someone please explain the term 'prime' lens? Does it mean allrounder? Thanks so much everyone for your invaluable help...

Comment #7

Westcountrygirl wrote:.

Hmmm think the 16-85 is a bit out of my price range until I havediscovered whether my photography is worthy of it .

Hard to argue with that..

I have checked out the Nikon Nikkor Lens AF-S DX VR Zoom 55-200f/4-5.6 G IFED as suggested by someone but I can't find any that havethe f/2.8 after it. Could someone please explain and also is theresuch a thing as a Photography for Dummies book? .

This is a very nice lens with the vr (image stab) and probably the best complement lens to the 18-55. F/2.8 refers to the lower apperture and is usually a larger, heavier, and more expensive lens...best suited for low light or faster shutter speeds. Go with the f/4-5.6 lens for now...it's much cheaper and is a good sharp lens..

Also there a some 18-135 going for reasonable prices secondhand sowill go for one of those as a walkabout..

This is a good alternative lens but it does not have vr. You will probably have to brace the camera or use a tripod with it at the 135mm end of it..

Could someone please explain the term 'prime' lens? Does it meanallrounder? Thanks so much everyone for your invaluable help.

Prime lens are non-zoom lens. I suggest you wait and decide if you want them later...if ever.cheers, i.j...

Comment #8

Westcountrygirl wrote:.

Hmmm think the 16-85 is a bit out of my price range until I havediscovered whether my photography is worthy of it .

I have checked out the Nikon Nikkor Lens AF-S DX VR Zoom 55-200f/4-5.6 G IFED as suggested by someone but I can't find any that havethe f/2.8 after it. Could someone please explain and also is theresuch a thing as a Photography for Dummies book? .

Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson and (not or) Nikon d40 Ebook by Thom Hogan..

Also there a some 18-135 going for reasonable prices secondhand sowill go for one of those as a walkabout.Could someone please explain the term 'prime' lens?.

A prime lens doesn't zoom. It has one focal length.Fast zoom lenses (constant 2.8) are very expensive..

Does it meanallrounder? Thanks so much everyone for your invaluable help...

Comment #9

Hello there from another beginner - I guess till last week I was at the same stage of lens understanding that you are at now. I read a lens basics tutorial at the following link that really helped in understanding what meant what when people talk about those toughie specs:.

Http://photonotes.org/articles/beginner-faq/lenses.html.

Its a Canon EOS related link but really applies to all kinds of lens in general. Hope that helps..

All the best!..

Comment #10

IjSmith2 wrote:.

Also there a some 18-135 going for reasonable prices secondhand sowill go for one of those as a walkabout..

This is a good alternative lens but it does not have vr. You willprobably have to brace the camera or use a tripod with it at the135mm end of it..

VR is regarded as some form of universal panacea. It is not. It will enable you to take images of still subjects hand held in lower light than you could without. That is all. It will not stop subject motion and simply raising the shutter speed or using a monopod will do substantially the same job as VR..

To the OP:.

As a rule of thumb the average person can hand hold a shot at the reciprocal of the effective focal length (i.e focal length expressed in 35 mm terms). No need to understand that. You can just apply it by multiplying the focal length by 1.6. (And maybe you can do better than the average).

So on your 18-55 you can safely handhold at the wide angle end:.

18 x 1.6/1 = 1/30th approx.

In the middle.

35 x 1.6/1 = 1/60th approx.

At the tele end.

55 x 1.6/1 = 1/90th.

Moving on up with the 18-135:at 70mm you will need about 1/120th.at 100mm you will need about 1/160that 135 you will need around 1/200th..

In all but poor light that last figure is easily achieved by raising the ISO to 400 or 800. Your photos will be quite useable.

You will require at least 1/200th anyway to stop movement of a rabbit or bird etc, etc..

The 18-135 is a good affordable general purpose lens with lots or reach..

Could someone please explain the term 'prime' lens? Does it meanallrounder? Thanks so much everyone for your invaluable help.

Prime lens are non-zoom lens. I suggest you wait and decide if youwant them later...if ever..

I agree. Zoom lenses first appeared only about 40 years ago. They were then very inferior in image quality to fixed focal length i.e prime lenses. Now most modern zoom lenses especially Nikons are very sharp. The main advantage of a prime is usually speed. For example I have a 50mm f/1.4 that will be 4 stops faster than your 18-55 at 50mm.

I use it a lot for theatre work..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #11

Thank you so much guys, you have given me so much good info. Thanks for your patience...

Comment #12

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