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First SLR, should I get more lens?

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  • Jul 20th, 2008 9:30 pm
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[OP]
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May 9, 2005
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First SLR, should I get more lens?

Hey guys, I bought a Nikon D40 last week, my first DSLR and have been experimenting, reading, ect with it. I'm absolutely in love with it. Just wondering if I should pick up some lenses in the near future. It came with the kit lens already and so far its pretty good but will it limit me as to what I plan to do?

I really like taking panning shots and bokeh but I find that its quite hard to do with the kits lens. Would you guys recommend getting more lens or should I just wait till later on until I know my camera more? I'm liking the idea of a nifty fifty but they don't have autofocus on the D40 (not really an issue, sometimes I like manual focus anyways) or also would a nikkor 55-200mm VR be good for action/panning shots?

My budget is quite low so I probably couldn't get both lens at the same time, which one should I go for first?
32 replies
Newbie
Sep 19, 2007
6 posts
Halifax
The bokeh probably won't be that much better on the 55-200 VR. But I bet you'll enjoy the longer reach and VR quite a bit. I am not a Nikon user so I don't really know what the bokeh quality is on the 55-200 (or the kit lens for that matter), but I do know a longer lens will give you more options when you are out taking pictures. Then you get to decide if you want the reach or the wider angle of the kit lens. :D
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Jul 15, 2003
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Stick with what you have and start shooting. You will know what you need one day. You can learn a lot from a 50mm. Get the 1.8 if your budget is low and don't mind manual focus. Happy shooting!!
Jr. Member
Jul 14, 2004
158 posts
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I would definately recomend Nikkor 50mm. There are two choices for this lens with f1.8 or f1.4 Both of them great for bokeh. I used both of them and for me f1.8 makes more sense, it's about 150$ with great quality for its value. f1.4 is about 300$ and although I loooove shallow deapth of field I didn't see too much difference for extra 150 bucks, but f1.4 is obviously a faster lens so it's better if you are planning to shoot in low light conditions.
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Jul 2, 2007
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I am a Canon shooter but here is my advice...

I shoot a lot with my 50mm F/1.4 and I absolutely love it. Prime lenses are almost always sharp and fast (for this lens, anywhere from 2 and up is great, but any larger aperture may be slightly soft). At first, you may seem a bit uncomfortable or not used to the lack of zoom and may even turn the focusing ring by accident trying to zoom in on your subject. Assuming you won't be trying to take pano-esque landscape shots or very up-close macro shots, the 50's lack of zoom is easily overcome by getting closer or further away from your subject. If anything, because you are on a crop body (I think 1.5x for the D40), your 50 will appear to be a 75mm.

Again, speaking from a Canon shooter's experience, the F/1.8 is definitely a must-buy for any SLR owner because of its cheap price. However, if you are looking for better IQ and a nicer bokeh, I would suggest to look at the F/1.4. As always though, and in the case of the F/1.4, the lens may be soft wide open and may need to be stopped down to produce its optimal sharpness so you may have to do some research into the specific lens you want to buy.

One issue, however, that may hinder your photographs is the lack of the AF on the D40 with these lenses (not sure about the F/1.4). If you intend to shoot at F/1.4 or F/1.8 you may notice that the DOF will become very shallow and manually focusing may become difficult because through the viewfinder or LCD, you may not be able to make out what is in focus and what isn't. This may prove to be frustrating and is probably one of the disadvantages to this otherwise wonderful lens.

Just wanted to add that, if you are willing to spend a bit more (around the $500 mark I believe), you could consider the Sigma 50mm F/1.4 because the Nikon mount has the built-in motor needed for AF (don't quote me on this) and would solve your AF/MF issues. You may want to do some research on this lens if you are considering it, however, because Sigma has been known for some QC issues with regards to front and back focusing.
Jr. Member
Jul 14, 2004
158 posts
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Just checked the price for Nikkor 50mm f1.4... I was a little off, it's 340$ not 300 as I mentioned in my previous post.
Sr. Member
Jul 19, 2003
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nsr250 wrote:
Jul 17th, 2008 9:31 am
Hey guys, I bought a Nikon D40 last week


Learn your camera more, and composition. Stick to it for a while
don't forget to neuter your pet
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Jul 15, 2003
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MrDisco wrote:
Jul 17th, 2008 10:13 am
The Nikon DX VR 18-200 mm comes with some pretty favourable reviews, though it is a little pricey. From what I'm told it's a great all-round lens to have.
18-200 is a nice travel lens. although the build quality is not that good, its nice to be able to travel light.
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Sep 18, 2004
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I was thinking of getting a 55-200mm lens but after thinking about it, the majority of my shots are probably going to be in the 18-55 range. I can think of only a few odd times where I needed something that long. The rest of the time such a lens would just sit in my bag collecting dust.
Jr. Member
Nov 29, 2006
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I'm pretty much in the same boat as you and would like some input as well.

I bought a D80 about a month ago with the 18-55VR, and was looking into investing in a couple of lenses. I'm not too financially constrained and don't mind investing in an expensive lens just because if I bought cheaper lenses I would eventually trade up anyways. I was thinking Nikkor 50mm f/1.4. I guess for low-lit indoor situations (family get-togethers, parties, portraits, and etc). Is this a good choice?

Also, I wanted a telephoto and was thinking possibly the Nikkor 80-200mm. I like shooting candids and whatnot (I would think mostly outdoor, but the occasional indoor events), and find that 55 definately doesn't give me enough reach without me getting particularly close to the subject. I am, however, debating that against the Nikkor 70-200mm VR. $700 jump in price, but from what I've read it is a phenomenal lens. Thoughts?
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SmartazzAzn wrote:
Jul 17th, 2008 1:01 pm
I'm pretty much in the same boat as you and would like some input as well.

I bought a D80 about a month ago with the 18-55VR, and was looking into investing in a couple of lenses. I'm not too financially constrained and don't mind investing in an expensive lens just because I would think in the long run I'd trade up anyways. I was thinking Nikkor 50mm f/1.4. I guess for low-lit indoor situations (family get-togethers, parties, portraits, and etc). Is this a good choice?

Also, I wanted a telephoto and was thinking possibly the Nikkor 80-200mm. I like shooting candids and whatnot (I would think mostly outdoor, but the occasional indoor events), and find that 55 definately doesn't give me enough reach without me getting particularly close to the subject. I am, however, debating that against the Nikkor 70-200mm VR. $700 jump in price, but from what I've read it is a phenomenal lens. Thoughts?
You can consider these zoom lens:
14-24 f2.8 (or 12-24 f4 if you don't plan to upgrade to Fx soon)
24-70 f2.8
70-200 f2.8 VR

A few nice prime:
50 f1.4
85 f1.4
105 f2.8 VR (or Canon 500D filter)
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Jan 17, 2004
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Toronto
SmartazzAzn wrote:
Jul 17th, 2008 1:01 pm
Also, I wanted a telephoto and was thinking possibly the Nikkor 80-200mm. I like shooting candids and whatnot (I would think mostly outdoor, but the occasional indoor events), and find that 55 definately doesn't give me enough reach without me getting particularly close to the subject. I am, however, debating that against the Nikkor 70-200mm VR. $700 jump in price, but from what I've read it is a phenomenal lens. Thoughts?
I have an 80-200, and while it is a beautiful lens, it is also big and weighs a ton. Try and find one to hold, , or go to a store and pick up a 70-200, and then decide whether you are likely to carry it.
[OP]
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May 9, 2005
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Thanks for the advice everyone, I think Sl300 said it best is for me to learn my camera more first before I pull the trigger to see what I really need. I think I will pick up a 50mm F/1.8 as per most of everyone's suggestions in the near future after I get more comfortable with the camera For a little over a $100 bucks I guess I can't go wrong with it. The sigma 50mm F/1.4 looks really tempting especially with the HSM, but kinda pricey.
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Feb 20, 2006
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Doesn't have APO glass but is fairly cheap, it AFs on the D40, it has a built in motor, it just isn't a HSM motor. If you are looking for a cheap zoom
A monopod will come in handy for it since it doesn't have stabilization.
http://www.cameracanada.com/eNet-cart/P ... N&type=1,3

And as mentioned above there is a 50mm F1.8 zoom is I think the cheapest prime for the D40 that will AF, it is around 320ish.

I don't know how many other sigma lens have buit in motors that aren't HSM. Tamron I think has some lenses with a built in motor, I don't think they have any acronyms for it so you have to go to their site and read the specs on each lens.

I'd wait though and just shoot and see what kind of pictures you take and what kind of lens you will need to go on from there.

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