Lenses for Nikon D40

Alpharetta, GA


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!

Celaya, Mexico(Zone 10a)

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 :)

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

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.

You can check out the DX lens here,


Minimum shooting distance for the 18-200 is 20",


Alpharetta, GA

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.

Thumbnail by aspengirl
Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Fantastic shot, you really caught the moment!

Celaya, Mexico(Zone 10a)

Nice shot, only critique ---> the clipped tail :)

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. :)

Fountain, FL(Zone 8a)

Wow Erika!! Bill and I both love the picture. Annelise looks to be having lots of fun...she is her Mother's daughter. LOL Kiss the girls for Grammy. Love ya,

Alpharetta, GA

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).

Glad you like the picture Mom!

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