A Nikon D40 Conversation

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A Nikon D40 Conversation

I’ve been asking about the Nikon D40 and accessories on Twitter, and with the number of responses I’ve gotten back, it seemed appropriate to put it on a blog post instead. Here’s what I’ve got on my list of things to add:

– more memory cards.
– spare battery.
– speed light plus omni-bounce
– 50mm f/1.8 lens
– 50-200mm VR zoom lens
– polarizing filter

The detailed list is here.

DSLR experts – what would you add? What don’t I need, or what am I overlooking?

Thanks in advance for all your advice!


Comments

36 responses to “A Nikon D40 Conversation”

  1. I have the following
    – 50mm f/1.8 lens (you will not be able to auto-focus this lens)
    – 50-200mm VR zoom lens

    I am getting the following
    – SB-600 Speedlight
    – Sigma 10-20mm HSM check out the flickr group for some shots. The Nikon D40 flickr groups are very good too.

    Seriously, you don’t need an extra battery, I have never gone through a battery in 24 hours of shooting, you will get 700 shots before having to charge.

    This is a good starters kit, above.

    -Jeff O’Hara
    http://blog.zemote.com
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/zemote
    http://twitter.com/zemote

  2. bbonndesign Avatar
    bbonndesign

    Hey i would def. get a red filter for digital black and whites. this creates the most contrast from out door photos.
    On top of that i would get a sun blocker for your screen so when you are out door you can still see what your photos look like.

  3. The biggest issue with the D40 is there are not a lot of lenses that will autofocus on the camera, and the ones that are coming out seem to be big bucks because they are really good glass. So anything better than the above lenses you may want to upgrade to a D80 or above to be able to autofocus with the older af lenses.

    -Jeff

  4. bbonndesign Avatar
    bbonndesign

    what type of photography are you doing???

  5. The 50 1.8 will work on your D40, but only in manual focus. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I think it’s something like that lens doesn’t include AF motors and instead relies on the motors in the camera. The D40 lacks these motors.

    Like I told you on Twitter, there’s a sigma 30 1.4 that will work, but it costs about 4 times.

  6. Of your detailed list, I would really consider going to the sb-600, I think filters other than a polorizing filter for bright daylight are a waste of money as most things can be done in software ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, don’t forget a good tripod and a ball head ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. The 50 1.8 will work on your D40, but only in manual focus. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I think it’s something like that lens doesn’t include AF motors and instead relies on the motors in the camera. The D40 lacks these motors.

    Like I told you on Twitter, there’s a sigma 30 1.4 that will work, but it costs about 4 times.

  8. Of your detailed list, I would really consider going to the sb-600, I think filters other than a polorizing filter for bright daylight are a waste of money as most things can be done in software ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, don’t forget a good tripod and a ball head ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. @bbondesign – lots of point and shoot indoors and outdoors. My one issue is that I do tend to go to concerts occasionally, and I can get near the stage (think 70 person venue, not 70,000) but I don’t want to use flash. Otherwise, indoor, outdoor, some macro stuff, but really nothing super special.

  10. @bbondesign – lots of point and shoot indoors and outdoors. My one issue is that I do tend to go to concerts occasionally, and I can get near the stage (think 70 person venue, not 70,000) but I don’t want to use flash. Otherwise, indoor, outdoor, some macro stuff, but really nothing super special.

  11. @zemote: yes indeed – I already have the tripod from a videocamera purchase, plus a gorillapod.

    Thanks all for the continuing advice!

  12. @zemote: yes indeed – I already have the tripod from a videocamera purchase, plus a gorillapod.

    Thanks all for the continuing advice!

  13. Hey Chris,

    Good call on the URL for

  14. Hey Chris,

    Good call on the URL for

  15. If you’re looking into doing some low light concert photography, check this photo.net article. It’s a few years old, but the part about equipment and technique (2nd page) is still relevant.

    http://photo.net/learn/concerts/mirarchi/concer_i

  16. If you’re looking into doing some low light concert photography, check this photo.net article. It’s a few years old, but the part about equipment and technique (2nd page) is still relevant.

    http://photo.net/learn/concerts/mirarchi/concer_i

  17. I have the following
    – 50mm f/1.8 lens (you will not be able to auto-focus this lens)
    – 50-200mm VR zoom lens

    I am getting the following
    – SB-600 Speedlight
    – Sigma 10-20mm HSM check out the flickr group for some shots. The Nikon D40 flickr groups are very good too.

    Seriously, you don’t need an extra battery, I have never gone through a battery in 24 hours of shooting, you will get 700 shots before having to charge.

    This is a good starters kit, above.

    -Jeff O’Hara
    http://blog.zemote.com
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/zemote
    http://twitter.com/zemote

  18. bbonndesign Avatar
    bbonndesign

    Hey i would def. get a red filter for digital black and whites. this creates the most contrast from out door photos.
    On top of that i would get a sun blocker for your screen so when you are out door you can still see what your photos look like.

  19. The biggest issue with the D40 is there are not a lot of lenses that will autofocus on the camera, and the ones that are coming out seem to be big bucks because they are really good glass. So anything better than the above lenses you may want to upgrade to a D80 or above to be able to autofocus with the older af lenses.

    -Jeff

  20. bbonndesign Avatar
    bbonndesign

    what type of photography are you doing???

  21. Here is a link about concert photography from today: http://www.cheapshooter.com/2007/09/26/concert-photography-a-beginners-primer/ Thomas Hawk has an article about concert photography on his blog somewhere. The problem with concert photography is the low light and keeping your camera still, you will want to use the auto iso feature on the D40 and use 1600 as the max iso and min shutter speed of 1/30 of a sec. Also use spot meetering, and use the the smallest aperature you have available. Concert photography is tough on the D40 but can be done with patience.

    -Jeff
    http://blog.zemote.com

  22. Here is a link about concert photography from today: http://www.cheapshooter.com/2007/09/26/concert-photography-a-beginners-primer/ Thomas Hawk has an article about concert photography on his blog somewhere. The problem with concert photography is the low light and keeping your camera still, you will want to use the auto iso feature on the D40 and use 1600 as the max iso and min shutter speed of 1/30 of a sec. Also use spot meetering, and use the the smallest aperature you have available. Concert photography is tough on the D40 but can be done with patience.

    -Jeff
    http://blog.zemote.com

  23. Hey Chris,

    The thing with the D40, and the only real negative that I could point out really, is that it doesn’t have a built in focus drive motor.

    This means that for auto focus to work, you need to have a lens that has the motor built into the lens vs relying on the body.

    For you, this means that for autofocus to work, you need to buy lenses with the designations AF-S or AF-I on the barrel.

    While the 50mm/1.8 is a lovely lens for relatively low light use and portraits, it won’t auto focus on the D40.

    If I am only going to carry a single lens, I use the 18-200. For the price and the range that gives you, I think it is a very nice package. But the downside is that it is a few times more than the kit lens + the 55-200

    Agree fully with you on the SB-400 vs the 600 or the 800 that I have. It is small and light. Sometimes I think I should have an external flash but I still don’t bring it because the SB-800 is too heavy. The big boys are nice if you want to use them in “commander mode” but otherwise, for general photography, I’d stick with the 400.

    Battery is cheap and light. I carry an extra just not to have to worry. Only used the 2nd a few times though and I shoot a D200 which only gets about 1/2 the shots that the D40 gets before kacking out. S’up to you.

    StoFen…like it.

    Filters…the only one I use is the polarizing filter and sometimes a neutral density (ND) filter. Just personal preference, but I don’t use a UV filter as a prophylactic layer.

    Here’s some other stuff that I’d get: a remote ( think it works on the D40x but not the D40), a gorillapod, and a better strap. http://tinyurl.com/3xgub5

    Cheers,
    d.

  24. Hey Chris,

    The thing with the D40, and the only real negative that I could point out really, is that it doesn’t have a built in focus drive motor.

    This means that for auto focus to work, you need to have a lens that has the motor built into the lens vs relying on the body.

    For you, this means that for autofocus to work, you need to buy lenses with the designations AF-S or AF-I on the barrel.

    While the 50mm/1.8 is a lovely lens for relatively low light use and portraits, it won’t auto focus on the D40.

    If I am only going to carry a single lens, I use the 18-200. For the price and the range that gives you, I think it is a very nice package. But the downside is that it is a few times more than the kit lens + the 55-200

    Agree fully with you on the SB-400 vs the 600 or the 800 that I have. It is small and light. Sometimes I think I should have an external flash but I still don’t bring it because the SB-800 is too heavy. The big boys are nice if you want to use them in “commander mode” but otherwise, for general photography, I’d stick with the 400.

    Battery is cheap and light. I carry an extra just not to have to worry. Only used the 2nd a few times though and I shoot a D200 which only gets about 1/2 the shots that the D40 gets before kacking out. S’up to you.

    StoFen…like it.

    Filters…the only one I use is the polarizing filter and sometimes a neutral density (ND) filter. Just personal preference, but I don’t use a UV filter as a prophylactic layer.

    Here’s some other stuff that I’d get: a remote ( think it works on the D40x but not the D40), a gorillapod, and a better strap. http://tinyurl.com/3xgub5

    Cheers,
    d.

  25. The remote does work on the base D40 model, I own it. Definitely a must have have and it’s cheap.

    -Jeff

  26. Thanks for the clarification, Jeff. I don’t know why I thought it didn’t work on the base model…

  27. The remote does work on the base D40 model, I own it. Definitely a must have have and it’s cheap.

    -Jeff

  28. Thanks for the clarification, Jeff. I don’t know why I thought it didn’t work on the base model…

  29. Canon Rebel XT Stuff…

    Mr. Penn had a post last week about stuff for his Nikon camera. As a Canon owner I felt duty bound to cover the same material, since Canon has yet to do any blogger outreach…
    I ordered the camera body only and passed up the kit lens for a Sigma 1…

  30. Nikon D40 Digital Camera is an awesome product with it’s unchanging features,

  31. Nikon D40 Digital Camera is an awesome product with it’s unchanging features,

  32. really what you need to look into, is the entire Nikon vs. Canon system…

    as eventually the idea is to move into various lenses, accessories, etc. and possibly even another body after some years (or even months depending upon your progression?)

    familiarize yourself with the entire system/s… and see why some go with one, and some go with the other.

    Personally, I’m a Canon girl… they have the best glass as far as I’m concerned.

    but as long as you choose one or the other of these two systems, you’re on the right track!

    Thank you so much for your feedback! It’s very helpful!

  33. Feedback in the sense response to this ULR AND comments on the post. Keeping on the track I’ll be back to see more comments.
    thank’s for the nice post, once again

  34. Feedback in the sense response to this ULR AND comments on the post. Keeping on the track I’ll be back to see more comments.
    thank’s for the nice post, once again

  35. really what you need to look into, is the entire Nikon vs. Canon system…

    as eventually the idea is to move into various lenses, accessories, etc. and possibly even another body after some years (or even months depending upon your progression?)

    familiarize yourself with the entire system/s… and see why some go with one, and some go with the other.

    Personally, I’m a Canon girl… they have the best glass as far as I’m concerned.

    but as long as you choose one or the other of these two systems, you’re on the right track!

    Thank you so much for your feedback! It’s very helpful!

  36. the nikon 40 is a great camera if you get all the attachments your pretty much set for any event near or far.

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