Advice on first DSLR

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bahoora, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. I'm looking to buy my first DSLR. I am not a professional photographer, but I
    really enjoy photography and consider it a favorite hobby. I am completely torn
    between the following:

    1) A new D40 & a used D50
    2) Getting the 88-55 lens, or the 18-135 lens

    I like the D40 because it seems a pretty good starter camera...and getting it
    new would give me a warranty I otherwise wouldn't get with a used D50. The
    drawback is the lack of autofocus with many lenses, including the 50mm f/1.8,
    which I also intend to buy. Which is the reason why I'm considering a Used
    D50...I already have a 28-80 lens, which I know would work with the D50, but not
    the D40 (or so I don't think it would meter properly). Any advice would be

  2. I would go with the D40. It's a great camera for the money. I doubt that you have enough invested in the 28-80 for it to be a deciding factor.
  3. Buy a D40 or 60 with the kitlens and wait for the Sigma 50/1.4 HSM. The 28-80 was never a very good lens, even on an analogue camera.
  4. The D40 is a newer camera with a better screen and nicer menus. It most likely has somewhat better image quality as well, especially at higher ISO.

    The D50 is bigger, which is good if you got bigger hands. It will AF with non AF-S or AF-I lens: this is very helpful if you want to shoot in low light condition and use the Nikkor prime lenses or other older lenses.

    Don't get the 18-135 lens. It's a ok lens, but it has too much distortion and from as far as I heard it's optically "mediocore". It's also too slow (f/3.5-5.6), and some people have problems with camera shake at 135mm (it doesn't have VR).

    The 18-55 lens is fine, but you should try to get the new VR version.

    In my opinion, the 28-80 is not too useful on DX cameras to start with. It's not wide enough.
  5. D60 with 18/135 if you want a plastic lens mount which are a joke. Same as what is on the kit lens.

    How about the 18/70?

    My opinion the best deal going is a D80 now selling for $750 at Calumet. Worth 150 more than a D60 at $600.

    If you have no budget, D40 and 18/55, best deal going. Next step is the D80 and 18/70. I really do not see much in the middle.
  6. The idea that a 3.5-5.6 lens is "too slow" in this digital age of high ISOs is a matter of opinion. Unless you are shooting professionally a D40 is going to provide acceptable pictres at the higher ISO necessary with the slower lenses--and you can always use a flash.

    The faster lenses some folk believe you MUST have cost several times the price of a D40 and there are more bulky and much heavier than the "slower" lenses.

    The need for photographic speed is greatly overhyped.
  7. I started with D40X,but soon upgraded to D80 to be able to use the non AF-S lenses. Have not regretted the decision as I am very happy with my 50 f/1.8 AF-D and 105 f/2.8 AF-D lenses. I would suggest you take advantage of the deals being offered on D80 + 18-70mm lens to start things off.
  8. There a lot of good used D80's for sale now. A lot of us have moved to the new D300. The D80 is a great camera.
  9. I would go straight to the D80 also. I bought one last year with the 18-135 kit lens and had no problems with quality. I have since sold the 18-135 and bought a Tamron 28-75 2.8, a low light lens and a Sigma 75-300 APO. Also, the D80 has more focus points in autofocus mode.
  10. D40 is the best value for the money, and I believe it is the best camera for the money period. If you're just starting out get the D40. You won't be needing an upgrade for a long time.
  11. I have a D50 and love it to death. So I'd recommend that, simply because: 1. It's cheaper, and 2. It autofocuses with all AF lenses. And skip the kit lenses. I made the mistake of getting two kit lenses, both of which I rarely use. Start with either a 50mm f/1.8 or a 35mm f/2 (I just got it and I love it so far).
  12. ONly problem with Jake's advice is that MOST people seem to want to be able to zoom wide.
    You can't do that with a 50 or 35 lens.

    D40 with kit lens is under 500 bucks in a lot of places. (Just saw it this price in a Wal Mart.)
    GREAT first DSLR if you don't have lenses. Learn what you really want to use as you grow and
    take a LOT of pictures...
  13. Thank you everyone for all your help. I think the D40 is my best choice for now...with wither 18-55 or 18-70 depending on budget. I wish they sold the D40 body only so I could add the 18-70 separately, but I can't find it anywhere...I only see the 18-55 Kit. Oh well.

    Thanks again...
  14. @Peter: I certainly think you made a good point about learning what you want to use as you grow. One major reason I suggested a prime is because, I think, using one makes you a better photographer. Personally I feel like my compositions have been much stronger since obtaining the two primes I own. Also, rather than just guessing what sort of lenses you need, using a prime helps determine that. For example, if you're to shoot wildlife with a 50mm, you'll quickly realize you need a telephoto, and get one. Or if you try to shoot landscapes, you'll probably find out that a wider angle is necessary. Just my thoughts.


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