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Using a D40 for street/candid photography?

Discussion in 'Photojournalism, Candids and Street Photography' started by Amarok, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. Amarok


    Aug 25, 2008
    Prairie City OR
    Hey all I'm amazed with some of the candid and street shots I've been seeing on this board and I have been getting the bug to try it out next time I'm down in Portland or up in Seattle, or heck even at some events that I'll be attending.

    I did get a couple recently at a herding trial mostly of a friend of mine when she didn't know I was around :rolleyes: 

    Anyway I know that in the old days the range finders were used loads for street photography and the like. Well most modern cameras save for a point and shoot are quite a bit larger than a range finder. Now I was thinking about using my D40 as my carry around street camera. What do you guys think? I'm thinking I'll either cut a narrow leather strap for the camera OR take the old thin strap off my FE and use that. On lenses I'm kind of torn, I could stick on the kit lens, but I also have a 50mm 1.4 AIS and 50mm 1.8 AIS that I could use just have to dial them in a bit. Or would I be better off getting the 50mm 1.8 AF? I know it would not auto focus but I believe it would meter correct? I was also thinking of getting an old 35mm F2 AIS. What would you guys suggest?

    I would like to keep the whole unit as compact and light weight as possible and I would just stash the camera in my old gas mask bag I use to carry stuff in when I'm not using it. Thanks for any info and suggestions.
  2. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    for me
    the 35/2 is perfect for street grabs

    I do alot of shooting from the hip, so AF is needed
  3. For really small/light - another option would be a 45f2.8P. Manual focus, but it'll meter just fine on a D40. For "most inconspicuous" you'd need to find a black one (they usually run a little higher than the silver) and put gaffers tape on "Nikon" and "D40" - would be almost invisible. :cool: 

  4. Amarok


    Aug 25, 2008
    Prairie City OR
    Racefan huh I have never seen that model of the pancake lens, I've only seen the older non AI versions. It makes my 1.8 E series look absolutely HUGE :eek: . About how much do they run? I seem to be having trouble locating one hmmm, I'm guessing this is an out of production lens?

    hmmm however I have found the Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2.0 and its black hehe and only $379, anyone have experience with this lens?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2008
  5. What is the term that Nute used once? The D40 with a Sigma 30mm F/1.4 is a Point and Shoot on steroids....

    While I admint that the lens is a touch heavy and large fit on a D40, it's still a small combo that will take KILLER pictures down to F/1.4. AF works and works fast. This is one cool set-up that will not scare people the way larger camera/lens combos will.
  6. Yep - used or "new - old stock" is the only way you'll find it. I found that silver one for around $220, but I've seen them on occasion for over $300, and the black ones often over $400. Actually that Ultron may be a better choice - wider and faster and I'm pretty sure it's chipped so it will meter and behave otherwise like a Nikkor "P". (But don't take my word, confirm that - I have no experience with it.) (Here's a review I spotted on that one.)
  7. chewbacca7


    Aug 7, 2008
    Lynnwood, WA
    racefan, that's a sweet looking lens! That's definitely the thinnest DSLR lens I've ever seen.

    As for me, I use my D40 with a Sigma 30mm f1.4 as a lightweight walkaround camera/lens combo... It's been effective, especially during low-light situations. Although I have noticed that the autofocus sometimes isn't spot-on and requires me to retake the shot.
  8. Amarok


    Aug 25, 2008
    Prairie City OR
    See I have read several very mixed reviews of the Sigma 30mm HSM lens. It seems to be very hit and miss on whether or not you get a good example. I've had good luck with my other Sigma lenses so maybe that luck will hold out. It is a lens I'm considering as I would gain the auto focus.

    That Ultron 40mm is very tempting though. Hmmm.
  9. The Sig 30 may very wel be hit and miss, but the purchase of a new one or one that has already been calibrated by Sigma makes you a winner. Sigma US can set one up without issue. This lens is a wonderful DX option.
  10. Amarok


    Aug 25, 2008
    Prairie City OR
    Hmmm I may just have to pick one up, like I said I've had good luck with my other Sigma lenses. Granted whatever lens I get will have to wait for a little bit as I'm thinking of grabbing a D90 or a used D300. Not to mention I just spent almost $600 on this terms school books.
  11. Nacho


    Dec 29, 2007
    Salem, Oregon
    I used a D40 with the 18-70mm and it worked wonderfully well for street and candid. The Sigma 30mm 1.4 should also be superb. I also used the 50mm 1.8 but that definitely takes practice (not to mention that it is will be manual on the D40).

    I agree with Frank. If you are looking for quick shooting, get something that will autofocus.


  12. Amarok


    Aug 25, 2008
    Prairie City OR
    Yeah the whole manual focus doesn't actually bother me, heck I have my old Ai lenses on the D40 all the time, actually the E series 50mm is on there right now.

    The problem with the 18-70 is it is a larger lens (physical size) I'm looking to keep things as compact as possible.
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