I own a Nikon D40. It came with 18-55mm lense. I want to purchase a lense that is good for anything but mostly portraits. Im wanting a aperature of 1.4 - 2.8 I think. That is what someone suggested to me because mainly I want good picture quality. I want nice sharp images. I dont want something very expensive. I am just an amature and do not plan on becoming "professional". However, I do want something that is going to give me excellent picture quality. I learned that I am limited to AFS or AFI Nikon lenses on the D40. Can someone please suggested what I should buy? THANK YOU!
#1. "RE: D40 lens help!!" In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians! If you want to take advantage of AF your choices are very lmited. The best choice for Portraits would be the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G AF-S. The main reason for shooting portraits wide open at f/1.4 is to minimize the Depth of Field (DOF). The larger the aperture (smaller the f/#) the narrower the DOF. This will allow you to focus all of the attention on your subject while rendering the foreground and backround blured. A pleasent blur is discribed as "bokeh". The 50mm f/1.4G AF-S has a 9 blade diaphragm which will produce a smooth bokeh. Be aware that you must nail the focus when shooting wide open, because at f/1.4 the eyes may be in sharp focus and the back of the ears are starting to get soft! Good Luck and Enjoy your D40!
#2. "RE: D40 lens help!!" In response to Reply # 0
I picked up a used Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D AF to use on my D40. It does not autofocus on the D40, but it does meter properly. If you don't mind manually focusing (which I've found takes more practice than I would have expected), you can buy one for $110 new, and even less used.
#3. "RE: D40 lens help!!" In response to Reply # 0 Wed 21-Jan-09 06:07 AM by aimacavei
If you want a dedicated lens for portraits i recommend Nikkor 60mm f:2.8 AF-S Micro (like 90mm for film/FX). As an amateur, i don't recommend 50mm AF-D f:1.4 / 50mm AF-D f:1.8 because you'll have to focus manually and at 1.4 the depth of field is to narrow and you gan get the eyes in focus and the nose out. Also, in low light and/or not perfectly still subjects it's a pain to focus manually. The lens has excellent picture sharpness. If you realy want f:1.4, get the Nikkor 50mm f:1.4 AF-S. You'll have to get just a little closer. You really net AF-S lens if you want to shoot in available light at wide apertures. The least expensive lens is the Nikkor AF 50mm f:1.8 wich i personally recommend over the 50mm f:1.4 AF-D (not AF-S). It has the exact same picture quality as the 50mm f:1.4 AF-D on a DX camera with just a stop slower (f:1.8 vs f:1.4), for less than half the price. You'll sacrifice autofocus. I hope the infos will help you.
#4. "RE: D40 lens help!!" In response to Reply # 0
Berwyn Heights, US
You've already received good lens suggestions and also the be wary of a wide aperture and what appears to be in focus. Don't mistake softness for the simple fact that a wide aperture has a very narrow depth of field and some objects may simply be out of range to be sharp.
Also be aware that you can get excellent picture quality from the lens you have. Image quality is going to be much more up to your skill than your equipment.