advice on what to buy

sandtag1June 2, 2009

I am new at using slr I have been looking at a nikon d 40 but I have no idea what to buy.

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I'm in the market too and it will be a Nikon, not sure on what model yet either. I'm going to end up going to a camera store to look, my biggest requirement is to be able to use a viewfinder/monitor to adjust the photo verses the eyepiece.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 11:02AM
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Go to the Nikon user sites (, maybe at, and see what owners have to say. then decide what you want in a camera and what you can afford.

Good luck!
JoanMN (a Canon fan!).

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 7:46AM
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Thank you

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:05PM
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I shoot with Canon myself but that has a lot to do with my investment of a few thousand dollars in several lenses from the film days which still work on my digital SLR. Check out he says the Nikon D-40 is the best for your money; just read some of his reviews on all of the various cameras; including the nikon.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 8:56PM
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I currently have a Nikon 7900 (Point and Shoot) that is no longer functioning to full capacity. I also have an old Pentax ME SLR film camera with a couple of lenses and filters.

I like my little camera that fits in my purse, but I also miss the fun I had with my Pentax SLR.

I think maybe I might want two cameras. Maybe a water and shock resistant Olympus and something else??? It would be nice if I could utilize my old Pentax lenses. Picture quality and color are very important to me.

Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you. Deb

The things I don't like about my Nikon 7900 are: it doesn't focus well in low light and doesn't allow me to select the aperture or shutter speed.

The thing I don't like about my Pentax ME: film is too expensive for all the practicing I need to do.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 11:16PM
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I stayed with Pentax for the same reason that goldminer chose Canon. I began my interest in photography in 1967 with a Pentax Spotmatic, followed a year later with the new and improved Spotmatic II 35mm SLR's and a wide array of Pentax SMC Takumar lenses ranging from 16mm fisheye to a true fixed focal length 1000mm auto Takumar (1000mm weighs almost 22lbs with the original tripod that came with the lens) all in the original Pentax M42 screw mount.

In the early 80's I upgraded to a Pentax K-1000 that has a bayonet mount, however they made and adapter that allowed me to continue to use all my old screw mount lenses in full auto aperture mode. I then began acquiring Pentax bayonet mount lenses and when i finally decided to make the upgrade to Digital I found the the new Pentax DSLR's not only use the newer auto focus auto aperture lenses, they will also allow me to use any Pentax mount lens ever made, whether it is bayonet or screw mount. The downside is that when using the older lenses with the new digital body I have to use them in manual mode, but given that when i learned photography all we had was manual mode, I don't find that to be a problem.

The biggest mistake I see people making today is that they buy a top line high end digital SLR then fit it out with cheap aftermarket lenses from Soligar, Tamron, Vivitar. and a half dozen other cheap lens makers, then to make matters even worse, the add a 2x or 3x teleconverter to the mix.

Lets face it folks, if you only rely on auto-average light metering, auto-average-focusing and cheap aftermarket optics the best you can expect is average photo's regardless of what quality the body is.

If I could offer no other advice, I would advise you to buy the best body and normal lens that your budget can stand, and surely a Nikon D-40 would fit the bill here.

The next accessory you should buy is a good quality tripod and remote cable shutter release.

At this point don't even consider buying another lens until you have mastered your body and normal lens in manual mode. By this I mean, learn the relationship of shutter speed to F-stop, learn how to use the depth of field scale. Learn how to manually focus so that you have your desired subject in focus rather than what is most apparent to the camera's sensor. Once you have mastered the normal lens you may then step up to another lens, but here again, take your time and learn the full range of that lens before getting another one.

Believe it or not, once you have mastered the relationship of shutter speed to F-stop and the depth of field scale you should be able to set your camera in full manual mode, eyeball the exposure and set your lens for maximum depth of field, then use it as a common point and shoot camera with perfect results, if you can't do that, then continue with that lens until you can before moving on to another lens.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 12:46AM
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