Newbie here. I have currently the D40X with the stock 18-55 and an additional 55-200 f4-5.6 Nikkor.
Just came back from Malawi and took over 4,000 pictures in six days on the ground. I have some, unedited, on webshots if anyone wants to take a look. Boat ride in dugout across croc and hippo infested the Shire River, 15 mile bike ride on the back of a pedaled bike, each direction, in soft sand. But photographically? With all of that bright sun? In the military, they would call this, in camera terms, "target rich". There was a shot at every turn.
Learned a lot of technical issues on the D40X while I was there for sure (crowds of subjects moving/blocking/pressing in, bumpy roads, dust, lost shots due to AF not fast enough, etc.), Full Auto (sometimes necessary I thought due to time) automatically resets to focusing on "closest subject" verses "single spot". I learned that the "P" setting was better (after I came back) and, while there, eventually learned to go to full manual while riding on the rocky roads, with a high shutter speed (1000+) to eliminate motion blurs.
What I was looking for was a longer zoom, perhaps to encompass both of those two above named lenses, but not necessarily so. Just maybe 55-300, 100-400, or thereabouts.
1. Does not have to be Nikon made, but it is all I own now and I used to sell Nikons 30 years ago and they were always known for the very best of glass, bar none. I learned how they were made extensively.
2. Good steel construction on the mount-and rugged.
3. Up to 300MM or 400MM
4. Must have VR
5. Glass should be high quality under all lighting conditions (ED I guess it is called?)
6. Not necessarily fast, but that is fine. Maybe the AF should be faster than the 55-200 I have.
Most important features? VR, compatible with the D40X, such as metering and AF.
I am willing to save up and spend, but I want it to last for a while under use and the VR is the big one. I shoot all sorts of stuff, but mainly a long lens I need is for getting things far away such as wildlife, people, etc. without having to get in so close, especially when I CAN NOT.
Thanks In Advance,
#1. "RE: New long lens for D40X" | In response to Reply # 0VeeDubb Registered since 07th Jun 2007Sun 24-Aug-08 11:54 PM
Well, the first thing I'll tell you, is that I hope you're ready and willing to spend more on one lens than on the rest of your entire camera kit, because that's what it's going to take to get what you want.
1. High quality glass is expensive.
2. Solid metal construction is expensive.
3. 300-400mm is expensive
4. VR is expensive
5. High quality under all lighting is expensive
6. If you get a lens that fits all the other requirements, it's going to be fast, or at least fast for a lens that long, because they don't build that kind of feature set into "consumer" lenses. And guess what, that's more money.
Now, all of my ranting about the cost of what you're looking for, there's only 1 lens that immediately comes to mind which fits the bill exactly. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/300488-GREY/Nikon_2146_200_400mm_f_4_G_AFS_ED_IF.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/
You'll notice that it costs over $5,000.00
If you're willing to sacrifice on #5 (and I mean bring it down the only a little better than your 55-200) you can get the sigma 150-500 for less than $1,000 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/549256-REG/Sigma_737306_150_500mm_f_5_6_3_DG_OS.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/
However, at it's longest reach it's only an f6.3 lens, which means that it will not function very well at all in poor lighting.
#2. "RE: New long lens for D40X" | In response to Reply # 1Mon 25-Aug-08 01:07 AM
Thanks for responding so fast! I like the pics on your site. I got some mushrooms on the logs we were splitting yesterday with the macro, and they look similar in composition to your shots.
Well, the one lens I would probably save up for is the Sigma for under a grand. The only bad thing I heard about these is that the mounts are often plastic, which means wear and tear issues over time. If the warranty from the maker is like 5 years, then that means I would not have to worry too much. How do you find out about the mount being plastic or steel? I will look into this on the Sigma site. Is there a Nikkor of comparable size for that camera?
Now one day when I get a lot better, the $5,000 one will be in the range for me to save up. I know it is for pros, but to me there is
1. Good glass + talent + practice +camera technology
(order may vary)
I mean, I came from a Fujica ST605N film with screw on lenses, which actually took great pics. It was my first SLR with I worked at Silvio's Photoworks in L.A. in the early 80s.
Thanks Again. Taking into consideration.
>Well, the first thing I'll tell you, is that I hope you're
>ready and willing to spend more on one lens than on the rest
>of your entire camera kit, because that's what it's going to
>take to get what you want.
>1. High quality glass is expensive.
>2. Solid metal construction is expensive.
>3. 300-400mm is expensive
>4. VR is expensive
>5. High quality under all lighting is expensive
>6. If you get a lens that fits all the other requirements,
>it's going to be fast, or at least fast for a lens that long,
>because they don't build that kind of feature set into
>"consumer" lenses. And guess what, that's more
>Now, all of my ranting about the cost of what you're looking
>for, there's only 1 lens that immediately comes to mind which
>fits the bill exactly.
>You'll notice that it costs over $5,000.00
>If you're willing to sacrifice on #5 (and I mean bring it down
>the only a little better than your 55-200) you can get the
>sigma 150-500 for less than $1,000
>However, at it's longest reach it's only an f6.3 lens, which
>means that it will not function very well at all in poor
#3. "RE: New long lens for D40X" | In response to Reply # 2mtpenmaker Registered since 23rd Aug 2007Mon 25-Aug-08 02:37 AM
>The only bad thing I heard about these is
>that the mounts are often plastic, which means wear and tear
>issues over time.
I have a Sigma 180mm f/3.5 macro and also a Sigma 1.4x TC and neither one has a plastic mount. They are both as solid as high end Nikkor glass. The are both "EX" with is Sigma's designation for high build quality.
The new Sigma 150-500 and 120-400 lenses are both APO(similar to ED glass) and feature Optical Stabilization. Sigma is not going to be using a plastic lens mount on either one.
D40, F4, FM2n, N90s and not enough glass
#4. "RE: New long lens for D40X" | In response to Reply # 3Mon 25-Aug-08 06:48 AM
<<The new Sigma 150-500 and 120-400 lenses are both APO(similar to ED glass) and feature Optical Stabilization. Sigma is not going to be using a plastic lens mount on either one.>>
OK. So this is good news. It sounds like this is future. The lenses you mention are being sold now.
If I get one now it is a metal mount then? Thanks. 8-}
Love Big Sky Country BTW
#5. "RE: New long lens for D40X" | In response to Reply # 4mtpenmaker Registered since 23rd Aug 2007Mon 25-Aug-08 12:25 PM
If you need to verify that the lens mount is not plastic, you can either post a question in the 3rd Party Lens forum or call Sigma customer service at 800-896-6858.
D40, F4, FM2n, N90s and not enough glass
#7. "RE: New long lens for D40X" | In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians!
Two other lenses to consider are the Nikkor AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR ($1429.95) and the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VRII ($479.95). Good Luck and Enjoy!
#8. "RE: New long lens for D40X" | In response to Reply # 7briantilley Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Mon 25-Aug-08 03:34 PM
>Two other lenses to consider are the Nikkor AF 80-400mm
>f/4.5-5.6D ED VR...
The 80-400mm VR Nikkor lacks an in-lens AF motor, so it will not autofocus on Bob's D40X
#10. "RE: New long lens for D40X" | In response to Reply # 7Mon 25-Aug-08 08:32 PM
Thanks everyone for the welcome and the help. I usually do not get this kind of help in such abundance on online forums.
Also much thanks to the moderators for putting this in the right spot in the forum. I hate searching for information and finding it in the wrong spot. Anything to help anyone else, I always say. I may want to join as a Silver or Gold member soon.
I have a Q:
That 70-300mm work as an Auto Focus on my D40X, right? That is not the most important to me nowadays, since my 55-200 is soooooo slooooow on AF that I miss shots.
I have some possible good news. I may be able to purchase it, since my favorite picture from the Malawi trip is, as of a few hours ago, being considered for a new book and, if chosen, nets me $10,000. Completely unexpected, but I sent it in anyways.
Now, if that 70-300 will work just fine, that is possibly in my sights. Or the Sigma long one.
Looking up the 70-300 compatibility....
#11. "RE: New long lens for D40X" | In response to Reply # 10nht1637a Registered since 21st Mar 2008Mon 25-Aug-08 09:19 PM | edited Mon 25-Aug-08 09:34 PM by nht1637a
I ever had a great copy of 55-200mm VR.It's a nice lens however I sold it to get 18-200.
Now, I just got 70-300 VR and I would say it's awesome ! I took quite a lot of pictures from 200-300mm and they are great in my eyes! Great sharpness and contrast.
Below 200mm, they are even more wonderful and VR works very well.
The VR version will AF on your D40x.
However, I have no experience with the non VR version so I can not commend it.Some people say optical performance of VR AFS version is better than the non-VR .
I highly recommend 70-300 VR AF-S! Here are 2 shots at 300mm (#1) and at 200 (#2)handhold.
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)