Which Lens?

Travel Forums Travel Photography Which Lens?

1. Posted by italy_07 (Budding Member 22 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I'm going to buy a Nikon D40x, I need a good lens for it. I ahve about 150 - 200 USD. Wnat is a good 'general use' lens?

2. Posted by gluey_98 (Budding Member 2 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hello, this is my first post on TP, so apologies if I dont have the etiquette right yet...

Right, as for your question regarding lens, a few details and a few suggestions:

Are you buying the d40x with the kit lens (18-55 DX)? If so, the only additional lens you will need to help you cover most general photography would be the 55-200VR lens.

Bear in mind, neither of these 2 lenses is professional grade, but as a starter and very lightweight camera system, this would give you fantastic reach to all but the widest of wide angles and super-tele lengths.

Enjoy, the D40x seems like its a really fun camera, I have the D80 and love it!


3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5712 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Well, first of all, you won't find a "good" lens for that budget. But still, there's a couple of "decent" options. See if you can get the camera body only and buy the 18-70 instead with the money you've saved by doing that. That 18-70 gives you a bit more zoom (always useful) and a lot more quality overall. Better yet, see if the store you're buying it at is amenable to directly replacing the 18-55 with the 18-70 (the difference in new price between those is $150, and although it's subsidized in the kit, I figure you might get a decent camera store to go ahead with that swap for $200; although you'll have to look around a bit probably, as there wouldn't be much market for selling the 18-55, and camera stores do know this). If you can't manage to talk a camera shop into this, look around for a second hand 18-70 instead. I doubt the prices of those will be above $200.

If you're not too fussed about lens quality of your default lens (I would be!), then a telephoto lens like the 55-200 which Raj mentioned (I hope you have the budget for the VR (vibration reduction) version, as that's $250, versus $180 for the version without, but you'll find VR infinitely useful) would be a good way to spend that money. Very decent quality for its price. Although you probably won't get that telephoto lens out as often as you might expect, so I'd strongly recommend upgrading that default lens first.

Down the road, a cheap and very excellent option is the 50mm f/1.8, which shouldn't cost more than $120, and is a super sharp lens near perfect for portrait photography. Don't know if that's your thing, but something to keep in mind.

4. Posted by gluey_98 (Budding Member 2 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Sander, I couldnt agree more with what you say!

The 18-70 kit lens is indeed a superior product to the 18-55, but I notice that Nikon are being remarkably obtuse with regards to the D40x kits. They seem to want everyone to purchase the 18-55 and then go on to purchase the 55-200 VR.

I agree that these are not outstanding optics, but for a cheap and light starter travel set up, I think you could do a lot worse...

I am about to be off to Kenya and Tanzania, and am lugging my 70-200 2.8 VR and a 1.7X TC and my 18-200VR (as a lazy walkaround lens) and my Sigma 10-20 EX for some landscape shots, along with a monopod and beanbag and other bits and bobs. But this is NOT a practical travel set up, and the popularity of Nikon's 18-200 VR is simply that it replaces so many lenses in an average kit bag.

But, if I was building a travel set, the d40x and 18-55 and 55-200VR set up is not at all a bad option...the lenses are sharp and decently contrasty, not fast and arent going to resolve detail like the pro optics, but then my 70-200 probably weighs the same as the whole kit put together!


[ Edit: Edited on Jun 18, 2007, at 6:29 PM by gluey_98 ]