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Please help me make my Christmas list

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've been reading, researching and stuff and I'm still lost.

I just want a new lens for my Nikon D40. But I still don't understand what kind of lens I want.

I want a lens that is more versatile than the stock lens that came with my camera. I want one that will focus down so I can get really close and focus on my cats and sculptures. I also want something that will let me zoom in on say a boat out at sea while I'm standing on the beach. Now I may be talking about two totally different lenses here, but is there a lens that will let me have a bit of both?
post #2 of 8
Im not really familiar with the lenses, but for really close you want a macro, or super macro lens, Im sure someone else will chip in with the info you want (Nikon, nice!!)
post #3 of 8
You probably want a zoom lens with some macro functionality. You can either spend a lot of money for the high end Nikon glass or you can get a good lens from a third party manufacturer such as Tamron or Sigma. They also make some really nice, well manufactured glass. Try something in the 70mm-300mm range. The higher focal lengths (i.e. 300mm) will allow you to zoom in on a subject far away, and the lower focal lengths (70mm) will allow you to get nice pictures of your cats and sculptures, especially if the zoom lens has some sort of macro functionality. Sigma makes a 70-300 with macro functionality that is a couple hundred.
post #4 of 8
As whiteforest said, Tamron makes good lenses, but Nikon will generally be even better quality. A lot depends on how much you want to spend.

In a zoom lens with macro, the macro works on the shortest focal length. A 70-200 or 70-300 would be a good versatile lens for you.

If you get a regular zoom lens without macro you might want to go for something in the range of 35-210 or 35-320. I don't use Nikon, so don't know the exact numbers for their lenses, but I can direct to some websites that give you that information.

For a fixed focal length macro lens I would go with a 100mm rather than the standard 50mm. With a 1:1 macro you can frame the same area with either lens, but the longer lens is further away from your subjects. That makes it a lot easier to take close-up pictures of cats without standing right on top of them.

PM me if you want more information.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks so much for your information everyone. I'm ok getting a third party lens.

I'll PM you!
post #6 of 8
I bought a Tamron for my old Minolta and it wasn't entirely compatible with the auto adjustment features of that camera. If you go third party, just be absolutely sure it is compatible. Bring the camera to the store if you must and try it out there.
post #7 of 8
You're best bet is to go to a camera store and try out the lenses. Rob purchased the 100mm for me and it's quite a heavy lens! I wasn't used to one so bulky before. I think I could have been happy with just the 50mm, as it wouldn't be as bulky but it doesn't give you the same working distance from your subjects.

The next lens on my list is a zoom - probably the 70-200 or something around that. I'll probably go third party for that one, really good reviews on the Tamron zooms.

I think that is the biggest challenge when you go with an SLR - finding that one magical lens that will do everything you want.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I would totally try out a lens I just seriously don't think I'm qualified to actually understand what I'm doing. I mean. I can rll you in layman's terms but I know there are real terms for that. What if I get there and I can't tell if it's doing what I want. There are days I can't tell when something is in focus
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