Very new to the whole "big girl" camera so this may be a stupid question. My husband just got me a Nikon D40 and it is great! However, I want more zoom then the lense it came with which is the standard AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm. My old camera is an Olympus Camedia and it had 40X zoom which was great for getting running kids, horses etc. So anyway I would like to get an additional lense for my new camera but being new to this I am not sure what I am looking for. Thought someone here could offer some suggestions. And yes, I know photography school would be a bonus! LOL!!! Thanks!
Welcome to the SLR world aspengirl..
First of the D40,D40X&D60 will only Auto focus with AF-S and AF-I lenses, Auto focus will not work with standard AF lenses. Not a big deal however since most newer lenses are AF-S (lenses with own focusing drive).
IMHO the best alrounder lens to get is the AF-S DX VR Zoom- NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED lens. It does have distortions on the extreme ends of the zoom but those can be removed relatively easy with software like PT Lens if so required. It's not a cheap lens but that's the SLR world to you :)
The convenience of the high zoom range (even with its drawbacks) can't be beat but if it's a bit too expensive for your taste then you could complement the existing 18-55 with the AF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED DX VR, however you may find out quickly that you run out of focal range and need a lens change when there is no time to do it :)
I agree with that Panamon, I have the D40X and I would guess aspengirl has it too as it is the update on the D40.
I got the 55-200mm VR (Vibration Reduction is essential for hand held!), it is cheaper but mine was bought for me and I didn't want to push the bill too high. I would love to have the 18-200mm VR, for small insects I can use the 55-200 quite easily but the minimum shooting distance is 3 feet. The minimum for the 18-55 is just under a foot, without checking I guess it would be as close with the 18-200. The distance is measured from the camera, not the end of the lens. The 18-55 which comes with the camera is NOT a VR lens, so a very steady hand and lots of shots is needed if using without a tripod. I don't use a tripod, all my pics are of nature on the spot.
Remember also that the D40X has a slightly smaller sensor than a full size camera, this gives a narrower field of view, thus also gives an equivalent of 1.5 times the zoom range. That is, 55-200 becomes 82.5-300mm.
Thanks so much for your input! I am quickly learning that there is a lot to learn!!! But I am having so much fun with it! I think within the first 24 hours I took 400 pictures. Thank goodness for digital!!
Anyway, thanks again! Here is one of my favorite pictures so far - these were the shots I used to miss with my old camera. Again, not even close to a professional photographer. This is one of my daughters and her pony.
As for the VR being essential for hand held shots ---> no that is not true, The VR assists you and allows you to use lower shutter speeds with a given lens but it is not essential for hand held shots.
As a general rule for hand held non VR shots the shutter speed should be at or above double the focal length of the lens so if you are taking a shot at 55mm focal length the shutter speed should be 1/125th or above. With VR you could go with shutter speeds at or just below the focal length so for 55mm it would be around 1/60th (some say at focal length for non VR but IMHO that is too slow).
Again this is a general rule and it will also depend on how good your camera holding technique is, even VR can't save the day if you shake the camera like a leaf in a storm when taking a shot. :)
Thank you for the kind words! You know I didn't even notice the clipped tail until now :( Thanks too for the info on the VR. I still have a lot to learn regarding shutter speeds and focal lengths. I really think I will be asking for a novice photography class for my birthday!!! I know Ritz offers them here and even one specifically for the D-40 but other then that I will have to look into where else to go. I love taking pictures and now that I have a "big girl" camera I better learn how to use it to its fullest potential! Thanks again for all your VERY helpful info!!! I am looking for the new lens you recommended (55-200mm as my husband can't stomach the 18-200mm right now).