Wondering if there is a more value oriented wide angle I can get for my D40? The only use I really have is for taking interior shots of the homes I build. A little distortion is not going to hurt anything. Mostly using the pics for MLS listings and maybe 640x480 web photos and stuff.
Once you get used to wide lenses, you might well want a proper one. But to start with, you could try a wide angle filter lens. Most that you'll see are between 0.4x & 0.5x, which is too wide really for the 18mm end of the D40 kit lens. Digital King make a 0.7x filter, which will give you about 12mm from the kit lens. Probably quite low quality and distorted, but cheap, and will likely do the job for what you want. Look for it on eBay.
Ya I was thinking more along the lines of the filter/converter vs. buying a $500 lens. Just wasn't sure if there was something a true lens that was maybe a few hundred. Like I said, image quality is not super important, just don't like an extreme fish eye look either.
Interesting most all of the Digital King products come from the UK. I think that .7x sounds like the ticket for what I want to shoot.
I own a digital king wide angle 0.7x mag on a D40. It's really good i've found. you do get slight bending on straight lines but for landscapes i've not had any problems with it!
Recently took it to a gig - check out the "Clacket Lane" gig for examples on the address below. you can see the trellis bar above the front of the stage with slight bending, but used correctly it can also look impressive.
I used Nikon 12-24 - excellent lens, especially for what you describing but if you are on a budget Tokina 12-24 maybe an option. I'm not sure if AutoFocus works with D40 but it also is an outstanding lens and 1/2 price of Nikon.