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Help with my D40 purchase

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Gregory, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Gregory


    Sep 25, 2008
    I have two questions before I purchase the D40. The D40 is offered in two packages. One just has the 18-55 lens and the other comes with the 18-55 along with a 55-200. I enjoy taking pictures but at first everything will start off in auto and in time I will explore more manual settings. It saves $100 on the lens. Do you think it's worth it or should I wait and and get the 55-200VR once I hone my skills in better. I think I should learn with the regular lens before I start bringing objects in closer.
    Second, I have questions on the place to purchase. There is the local camera shop which I visited last week. They were very informative and helped a lot. Their price is the same as everywhere else but online and at a chain store they offer more extras. eg. (bag, gift cert. to store, no tax, free ship.) I am big on purchasing from local shops but with the economy every dollar counts and you get that great service after the sale locally, something you don't get with a chain.
    Thank you for your help.
  2. LynnTX


    Jun 23, 2008
    D40 decision

    I'm just an average D40 user myself. Bought one right before I made a trip to Mexico this last spring. I bought the version with both lenses you mentioned.
    I spent 5 days at a beautiful resort in Cancun. I took hundreds of pictures and was stunned how good many of them were in the hands of a novice liike me. I only took a few with the 55-200 and they turned out o.k. but I found the 18-55 kit lens was very capable of good shots and was better suited to a walk-around lens.

    If I had it to do over, I would skip the 55-200 until I had more experience with the camera and would save for the 55-200VR. The VR really makes a difference at distance, or in marginal light.

    Just one guy's opinion who recently took the same journey. Good luck with your purchase, whatever you decide.
  3. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Just get it with the 18-55 and skip the 2nd lens.

    The 55-200 is very nice optically, but without VR it gets very difficult to work with at the long end in anything but good light. Due to the lightweight of the lens, it's also more difficult to stabilize by hand. I'd save up and get either the 55-200VR or the even nicer 70-300VR. I previously owned the 55-200 non-VR and constantly found myself at 200mm and wanting to go longer, so eventually I sold it and upgraded to the 70-300VR which is what I have now. It's a spectacular lens, and I'm pretty happy with 300mm too.
  4. ^ Yeah that

    Get it with the 18-55 - then go for the 70-300VR
    That is a really nice combo

    I got mine with the 18-135 which is nice as well - see if that option is available
  5. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    I love my 18-135 too. That's a great suggestion if you only want one lens.
  6. rmfnla


    Aug 19, 2008
    La-La Land
    I have (and LOVE) a D40 but really did not like how cheap the 18-55 felt (a plastic mount?! :eek: )

    I've always been a walk-around lens kind of guy so I picked up a nice, used 24-120 VR and I love it.

    These lenses have an undeserved (IMHO) reputation for being soft so you can find them on ebay for cheap; mine was about $200 and looks like it was never taken out of the box.
  7. You know, I didn't much care for the 18-55mm lens at first. I kind of felt the same way as you. But, the guy that posted above you, SP77, convinced me that it wasn't a bad lens. I tried it out again, and MAN! that's a pretty sharp little lens there!!!

    I don't use it very often, especially now that I have the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8, but it's a lens that is a VERY nice lens to begin with.
    And I've taken decent pictures with it.
  8. I'd advise getting an 18-55 and a 55-200 right off the bat. It will expose you to the full range of possibilties of your dslr. But image stabilization is extremely useful for telephoto lenses, so I'd recommend you get the 55-200VR, not the plain vanilla version.
  9. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    i bot (for my wife) camera, the 2 lens kit without vr. huge bang for the buck. both excellent lens, considering.

    paid $549, including 3 in 1 epson printer and a bunch of other stuff.
  10. Gregory


    Sep 25, 2008
    I picked up my D40 today. I absolutely love it. Time to start learning. I just have to learn to post some of my shots.
  11. Raymond Lowe

    Raymond Lowe Guest

    I have the 55-200VR and take it with my D40 on holidays, it is so much lighter than carrying the 70-300VR that I will give up that extra reach!
  12. Wolfie


    Jun 16, 2008
    Hazel Green, AL
    I'm in agreement in saying that saving the money and getting the 2nd lens after you practice up is the best thing you should do IMHO.

    I bought my D40 some months ago and was plagued by the same question, but I buckled down and got just the 1 kit lens (18-55mmII), and I still have that one and only lens and it's served me well. Now that it's been a few months of practicing, and honing my craft I'm just now starting to turn my attention to lenses out on the market. I'm leaning toward the 70-300mm along with the same 18-55mm but this time the VR version (because i love shooting w/o flash and in low light, would help taking pics of my pets - which are always in motion).
  13. hotshot


    Sep 29, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Im also a D40 user. I bought the two lens kit and use both lenses quite often. As much as i like the 55-200, i do wish there was more sometimes. So if i had to do it over again i would save for a 70-300vr
  14. 151proof


    Jun 6, 2008
    When I had a d40 w/ the 18-55, I quickly traded it with a buddy to the 18-70. Best even swap ever... I then purchased the 55-200VR and found it a little too short for what I wanted. So I sold that off and upgraded to the 70-300VR. If I had to do it over again I would just skip the 55-200VR and save a little more for the 70-300VR.
  15. HydraShok


    Sep 20, 2008
    VR won't help you take pictures in low light unless your subject is fairly still. VR helps handholding at slow shutter speeds by canceling out some camera shake. A faster prime helps to freeze action, which is important if your pets are constantly in motion. Something like the new Nikkor AFS 50/1.4 or the Sigma 30/1.4 would be much better for this type of photography.

  16. StringCheese


    Jun 20, 2008
    Another D40 owner here and I absolutely love it. I too bought the 55-200mm VR and loved it as well, but still wanted the reach. Now it looks like I have a reason to upgrade to the 70-300mm as my 55-200mm took a bit of a spill...

    It makes sense though, I have to shoot a variety of things for my school newspaper/yearbook and although I was very happy with the 55-200mm looking back some more reach would have been nice.

    Money is still a major issue, though.
  17. Letsemgo

    Letsemgo Guest

    I gave my regular 55-200mm lens away when I got the 70-300mm VR..and I only took maybe a dozen shots with it..with the cost of a tripod you'll need you can get the VR version and is actually a sweet lil entry level lens
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