Are these choices good for a beginner?

Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
44
Location
Michigan
Here's what I was thinking for camera lenses.

1. 18-55mm (kit lens if I get the D40)
Or
2. 18-70mm DX

and
1. 70-300 VR
Or
2. 55-200 VR

I'm also pondering the 18-200mm. What would your choice be and why?
 
Here's what I was thinking for camera lenses.

1. 18-55mm (kit lens if I get the D40)
Or
2. 18-70mm DX

and
1. 70-300 VR
Or
2. 55-200 VR

I'm also pondering the 18-200mm. What would your choice be and why?
The 18-70 kit lens is excellent, and if you buy the D50 I would definitely recommend that one over the 18-55mm (although the latter is not bad, actually, for a kit lens).

70-300mm VR, hands down! It is one great lens for the money! I have not yet seen or handled the 55-200mm VR so don't know how well it functions. Now if you go with the D40, probably that 55-200mm VR would be the better choice if you want portability and lightness.

For a wonderful all-purpose lens especially good for traveling, the 18-200mm VR takes the prize every time. It is an excellent lens and covers an extraordinary range. This is the lens to stick on the camera and leave on there all day, every day.....when traveling or when at home. However, it is not a fast lens so that there would be times when you would still want to take it off and put on a faster lens such as the 50mm f/1.8 or 50mm f/1.4 for shooting in low light, or when you might want to investigate the fascinating world of macro and put a 60mm Micro-Nikkor lens on instead. The nice thing about buying a DSLR is that you do have all kinds of options in lenses...
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
519
Location
Taipei, Taiwan
I think if you get the cheaper version of one, get the cheaper version of the other. I like being able to swap lens filters on my lenses when I shoot, and a consistent filter size is nice (I also shoot with other lenses that share the 52mm filter thread).

18-70 and 70-300vr also have identical filter size (67mm).

Any combo would probably be good, but I'd personally opt for the 18-70 and 70-300vr. More range, better build quality, and less lens switching (for me).
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
1,706
Location
New Zealand
Either get:
18-55 and 55-200VR (plus 35/2 or 50/1.8)
or
18-70 (or 18-135) and 70-300VR

The first kit is be good if you do a lot of travel or hiking and want a cheaper, smaller, lighter kit. These lenses give you from 18mm wideangle to 200mm telephoto, which covers most situations well. Quality is good. They both zooms take 52mm filters. It might also be worth adding a 35/2 or 50/1.8 so you have a fast lens for low light shooting (twilight, indoors etc)

The second kit gives you more range from 18mm wide to 300mm supertelephoto with no gaps or overlap in the range. Quality is slightly better than the first kit, build quality and handling is better. Both lenses share the same 67mm filter size, so you'll be able to swap caps and buy just one set of filters (polarizer, UV). You could substitute the 18-70 with the 18-135 if you want a walk-around lens with greater range. This lens also takes 67mm filters.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2005
Messages
574
Location
Escondido, California
Double Echo on Roland's advice below, especially if you get the D40. This kit was made for this camera. The advantage of kit 1 is price and mobility. Photo quality if very good for your money!

Kit 2 is a quantum improvement. The 70-300 VR is an amazingly good lens for the price. Mobility begins to suffer as the 70-300 VR is a pretty good sized lens.

Finally, the 18-200 VR is a terrific all-around lens but I would not make it your first buy. It will cost you essentially twice as much as kit #1, for example. Less mobile than kit #1 although you will benefit from not needing to change or carry two lenses.

Regards,

Paul

Either get:
18-55 and 55-200VR (plus 35/2 or 50/1.8)
or
18-70 (or 18-135) and 70-300VR

The first kit is be good if you do a lot of travel or hiking and want a cheaper, smaller, lighter kit. These lenses give you from 18mm wideangle to 200mm telephoto, which covers most situations well. Quality is good. They both zooms take 52mm filters. It might also be worth adding a 35/2 or 50/1.8 so you have a fast lens for low light shooting (twilight, indoors etc)

The second kit gives you more range from 18mm wide to 300mm supertelephoto with no gaps or overlap in the range. Quality is slightly better than the first kit, build quality and handling is better. Both lenses share the same 67mm filter size, so you'll be able to swap caps and buy just one set of filters (polarizer, UV). You could substitute the 18-70 with the 18-135 if you want a walk-around lens with greater range. This lens also takes 67mm filters.
 
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
1,302
Location
Belleville MI
I'll offer a different opinion

Go with the 18-200 and build into the faster glass. 18-200 gives you a great general all purpose lens, that isn't a slouch. I get frustrated with constantly changing lenses. Just bought a 28-200 to fill in for awhile. Having said that, the 28-200 has only been on the camera for testing purposes, LOL. 70-300 was on all weekend, and will be the rest of this week too.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
722
Location
Hartsdale, NY
Here's what I was thinking for camera lenses.

1. 18-55mm (kit lens if I get the D40)
Or
2. 18-70mm DX

and
1. 70-300 VR
Or
2. 55-200 VR

I'm also pondering the 18-200mm. What would your choice be and why?
Neither ... this kit would leave you with nothing fast. You'd have a collection of slow lenses that would not allow you to shoot natural light in anything but really bright conditions (essentially outdoors from 10AM - 6PM depending on the season). Do this:

Get the 18-200 VR as a general lens to cover the full 18mm - 200mm focal range. And for speed, get yourself a 50mm 1.8 or 50mm 1.4 as an excellent portrait/natural-light lens.

Trust me, you will need something fast ...
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Messages
3,473
Location
Wyoming, USA
For the price of an 18-200 VR you can have a new 70-300 VR, used 18-70, and a new 50/1.8.

Plus, the latter three are in stock, available from numerous distributors.
 
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Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
3,605
Location
Massachusetts
Real Name
David
I'll agree with both Billy and Holmes.

Getting a 50 1.8 to have in the bag is great idea.

The 18-70 and 70-300 are much easier to come by and cheaper, otherwise I would also say the 18-200. (if you could only buy the 18-200 for the $700 that it is actually suppose to sell for......:rolleyes: )
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Messages
966
Location
Nottingham, UK
I've had the 18-70 and 70-300VR, good lenses but the 18-70 is utterly surpassed by the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, which is faster, sharper and has better colour rendition. The best bit about this Tamron is that if offers near Nikkor 17-55 image quality in the size and weight of the 18-70! Also with the fast f/2.8 aperture of the Tamron, you won't need a 50mm prime any more, saving yourself money, and it focuses closer than both the 18-70 and 50mm Nikkors.

The 70-300VR on the other had is the best of it's league unless you goto 70-200 f/2.8 zooms, which I think you'll find too big. Saying that though, the 55-200mm VR looks like a good zoom if your budget can't stretch that far and makes a good alternative.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
44
Location
Michigan
My current digital P&S zoom is 36-108mm and F 3.5-4.2. It looks like the 70-300 speeds are fairly close. I do agree on needing something faster and more zoom than the P&S.
And for speed, get yourself a 50mm 1.8 or 50mm 1.4 as an excellent portrait/natural-light lens.

Trust me, you will need something fast ...
I am planning on getting the 50m f/1.8. That's the only lens I was certain of.

why a d40 for your first DLSR?
I'm looking at getting a D50 for my first DSLR. The D40 was just a thought.
 
N

Nuteshack

Guest
right on Ims..that being the case why not just buy the 50 1.8 and then wait on bargins for "dream glass"....i picked up my minty 180 2.8 for $150, my 85 1.8 for $200, 35-70 2.8d (only used twice) for $350 etc etc ....half the fun of doing this with a d50 is doing it on the cheap....;-))
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Messages
966
Location
Nottingham, UK
If you get a f/2.8 standard zoom I don't see much point in getting the 50mm f/1.8 as well, I think the money is better spent on a 85mm f/1.8 (great for portraits, something I'm looking to get) or a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for those ultra low light conditions as it's more of a "normal" lens length. Then again I find myself never using my Sigma 30 now I have the Tamron 17-50.
 

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