Costco is selling D40x with 18-55mm & 55-200mm with bag and 1GB SD card for $979. I've read those two lenses are not very impressive and I played with the 55-200mm (no battery installed) a bit and the focus ring is pretty small to handle.
Is it worth it to buy it or just buy the body some place else and buy a good lens (18-200mm VR)? Are those two lenses good enough if I'm not printing larger than 8x10? It is still a hassle to change lenses though.
I got those two lenses when I purchased my D50 kit. As a beginner these lenses have been great, minus the having to change them around somewhat often. They take nice, sharp pictures. I have printed 8x10's and they look really nice, even when the image has been cropped.
I would prefer to have a 18-200 VR but I don't have the extra cash laying around for that. If you have the extra money, I'd just get the body and one lens, if you don't have the extra cash, you wont be unhappy with the kit lenses.
Thanks guys. I'm looking into maybe buy the body and a 55-200mm VR, it's a lot cheaper than 18-200mm VR. According to Ken Rockwell's review and comparison of both lenses the 55-200mm VR is pretty good for 1/3 of the price of 18-200mm VR. VR means a lot to me since I take a lot of hand held close up shots.
The kit lenses are both pretty good. Manual focus is probably their most serious drawback.
By comparison, the 18-200 is also pretty good, especially given its features, size, weight, but I wouldn't expect a big boost in image quality. What you're buying with that lens is the convenience of not having to change lenses, faster autofocus and a much better manual focus ring, VR, and the drawback is lens creep and more distortion. I think if you compare 2 pictures side by side you'd be hard pressed to pick which was the 18-200 and which was the kit lens.
I have the D40 w/ 18-55mm and it is a great lens. I also have the 70-300mm VR which is also a great lens. I saw the deal at Costco and it looks like a good deal to me if you are sure about the 55-200. If not B&H has the D40X w/ the 18-55mm and a 2gb SD card for $760.00. You can't go wrong with the 18-55mm as your main lens. Then you can select your second lens after you have has a chance to work with the camera and see how you are really going to use it. For ME 200mm was not quite long enough because I wanted to try to photograph some birds that are hear in my yard every year. So my needs meant the 70-300mm was a better choice for ME.
The 70-300 handles very welland is really sharp too. I am about to take a trip and I will only be taking my 18-55 and my 70-300mm VR. That will cover about anything I will need with a lightweight kit. I will also carry CP filters and Cokin Grad ND filters and hopefully I will come back with something other than snapshots! Let us know what you decide. good luck. B&H and Adorama are both top notch camera shops. You can do business with them with full confidence.
Is Beach Camera reputable? They seems to have good ratings on Reseller and Pricebrabber. They have a package with 18-55mm and 1GB card for $699.95, and $679.00 without lens, with $20 difference I might as well get the kit then buy the 70-300mm VR so I'm covered in every aspect. Any comments?
I have no experience with Beach Camera. I have never heard any bad comments. For $20.00, IMHO, you would be making a mistake not getting the 18-55mm lens. Once you get it and see how good the lens really is you will be glad you did. If you look at MotoMannequin's gallery you will see what the 18-70mm lens will do. I think most people will agree that the 18-55m is at least as good and maybe slightly better, just 15 mm shorter. Most people say that the 18-55 has less distortion at the 18mm end. Thom Hogan and Ken Rockwell both think pretty highly of the 18-55 as well.
If Beach Camera had something that I wanted I would buy from them as long as I paid with a credit card.
From all accounts beach is an established retailer with a good reputation.
As far as the lens I have a 18-55 and it is an excellent lens. I have since upgraded to the 18-135DX that is a tad sharper and alot faster to AF but has more distortion. In the end it was the additional reach I wanted for me. I had a 18-70 and found it to be good and sharp but to me the range of the 18-135 was better for my style. The 18-55 and 55-200 is a nice combo, that is what I started with on my first DSLR the D50 and my daughter still uses.
I orginally bought my D40 from Beach camera, during the Christmas rush no less, and had absolutley no problems. As a matter of fact, it arrived much sooner than expected. Several months later, I purchased a 55-200mm, had a question about something and spoke with a customer service rep. Again, wonderful service. The lens arrived quickly, even with standard shipping. I would definately continue to order from Beach Camera.
Thanks for all the input, I've made the order with an extra battery from Beach and can't wait to get my hands on it. Originally I was shopping for D200 then D80, and almost bought it until I read about the mistery battery drained issues with lens contact and decided to research D40x. I think I'll get used to DSLR (moving from SLR) and learn the "power" of it and then move up to more complex model later if I need to instead of jump right to one then found out it's too much for me.
Anyway, I think it's time to close this thread since it gets kind of side track before the moderator moves it to somewhere else. Again, thanks for all the comments.