Dilemma: Change camera or lens?


daniellcs

New Member
May 2, 2009
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#1
This dilemma has been bugging me for a while and need everyone's advice.
I am currently using a Nikon D40x. It has served me well the last 2 years; light & easy to handle. However, I would like to get a fast lens for indoor photography but I would need to get one with AF motor (e.g. Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f1.8G) because the D40x doesn't have the integrated motor.

Should I upgrade my camera system in view of the long term? It seems that D40x is like almost obsolete while D90 is still quite popular. It would save me money on lenses in the long term, but I will have to cough out more cash up front.

Based on recent marketplace threads (I am on a budget):
Sell used D40x: SGD300-450
Buy used D90: SGD800-1000
Buy used 35mm AF-S 1.8G: SGD250-300
Buy used 50mm AF 1.8D: SGD100-150

Should I...
a) Buy 35mm AF-S 1.8G and keep my D40x ?
b) Sell D40x, Buy D90 & 50mm AF1.8D ?
c) Any other suggestions ?

What should I consider in terms of:
1) Price
2) Performance
3) Practicality

Many thanks for your advice! Cheers.
 

Aug 10, 2007
537
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0
#2
First sell ur d40x. Then set a budget and get what u could afford.

If u stretch ur budget abit, a nice setup would be d5100 with 35mm len. $880 new for body and $350 new for len. I guess u need to top ar $800 after sell d40x.

D5100 iso performance almost as good as d7000 but a lot cheaper. D90 is 1 stop iso behind. U gain photo quality but lose fast access button on body.

35mm .. no need to say more ..
 

#3
my philosophy is always to upgrade the glass first because it ll make the biggest difference to what you can take and how it ll look.

the 35 1.8 is a sweet lens for the price, i would go for it and stick to the d40X until you can afford an upgrade to an up-to-date body (d7k/5100).

as for saving $ on lenses, consider what you will need/want/get. here are afew lenses you might get in the future:

35 1.8 AF-S - v v nice fl on DX. def recommended
50 1.8D - not a nice focal length on DX
50 1.4 - maybe, but you ll prob upgrade yr body before*, again, not a nice focal length on DX
85 1.8 - *same
older 28-XX zooms - not really relevant for DX, v limiting on the wide end
17-50 2.8 - ones with BIM cost only 20-30 more.
80-200 2.8D - *same
300 f4D - * same

hope it helps =)
 

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#4
Just get the 35 1.8... Also get a use 50 1.4 or 1.8 and learn how to shoot manual focus.....The 50mm is a good studio lens for portraits on DX cameras...

Cheers
 

#7
As I said "learn how to manual focus"....I get the feeling that many of you can't take a picture if you do not have Auto focus... Hope I'm wrong...

Cheers
no need to impose until like tt leh... manual focus is an important skill(esp when no $), but AF has gotten pretty good. as long as you understand the AF system should be good enough.
 

tehzeh

New Member
Aug 7, 2009
627
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Thomas More's Vision
#8
As I said "learn how to manual focus"....I get the feeling that many of you can't take a picture if you do not have Auto focus... Hope I'm wrong...

Cheers
If that's the case, then TS shouldn't even waste money on AFD lenses. He should just get manual focus lenses and use manual mode and adjust the exposure manually. Perhaps you might want to suggest TS to learn how to adjust exposure manually too.

If he really wants to learn manual focusing, he should get manual focus lenses. I have manually focused AFD lenses, specifically the 50mm f1.4D and it sucks. Plus, manually focusing on a DX just doesn't give you the experience you should get from manual focusing.
 

Cowseye

Senior Member
Mar 7, 2010
3,786
0
0
Singapore
www.ttlo-cowseye.com
#9
As I said "learn how to manual focus"....I get the feeling that many of you can't take a picture if you do not have Auto focus... Hope I'm wrong...

Cheers

Bro, the message is for TS. He had that in his list of lens hence I merely pointed him to the new lens with AF motor. And that presumption is kind of hard to swallow. -_-"
 

spree86

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2009
4,774
0
0
Bishan
www.flickr.com
#10
daniellcs said:
This dilemma has been bugging me for a while and need everyone's advice.
I am currently using a Nikon D40x. It has served me well the last 2 years; light & easy to handle. However, I would like to get a fast lens for indoor photography but I would need to get one with AF motor (e.g. Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f1.8G) because the D40x doesn't have the integrated motor.

Should I upgrade my camera system in view of the long term? It seems that D40x is like almost obsolete while D90 is still quite popular. It would save me money on lenses in the long term, but I will have to cough out more cash up front.

Based on recent marketplace threads (I am on a budget):
Sell used D40x: SGD300-450
Buy used D90: SGD800-1000
Buy used 35mm AF-S 1.8G: SGD250-300
Buy used 50mm AF 1.8D: SGD100-150

Should I...
a) Buy 35mm AF-S 1.8G and keep my D40x ?
b) Sell D40x, Buy D90 & 50mm AF1.8D ?
c) Any other suggestions ?

What should I consider in terms of:
1) Price
2) Performance
3) Practicality

Many thanks for your advice! Cheers.
I think you already have the answers from the other posts but just wanna say that the D40x is definitely not obsolete. It's still very much sought after to be modded into a IR-converted camera:)
 

Sgdevilzz

Senior Member
May 16, 2010
1,631
1
38
#11
As I said "learn how to manual focus"....I get the feeling that many of you can't take a picture if you do not have Auto focus... Hope I'm wrong...

Cheers
If you have a crappy viewfinder like in a D5000, Manual focusing is kinda hard.
 

#12
If that's the case, then TS shouldn't even waste money on AFD lenses. He should just get manual focus lenses and use manual mode and adjust the exposure manually. Perhaps you might want to suggest TS to learn how to adjust exposure manually too.

If he really wants to learn manual focusing, he should get manual focus lenses. I have manually focused AFD lenses, specifically the 50mm f1.4D and it sucks. Plus, manually focusing on a DX just doesn't give you the experience you should get from manual focusing.
Not sure what your point is but any one who uses the non motorized body's such as the D40, D5000, D5100, etc needs to manually focus on occasion unless they want to limit their lense selection to "G" glass...The TS indicated he was considering a few D lenses, that will not AF with his particular body... And for the record there is no difference between manually focus on an AF Nikon D lense versus a Nikon non AF lenses...And I'm sure Zeise, Voigtleander, etc whould like to hear your "experience" regarding MF on DX bodies....And the M4/3 folks might also take note about said "experience" since many of them use manual focus as well.....Also what about all the folks using Nikon glass on EOS bodies, Not to mention all the video buffs who cannot autofocus in movie mode as well...
And yes, it would not hurt to learn a few alternative skills in photography, but I guese for now lets just agree to dissagree. Any way this forum would be pretty boring if we all thought alike now wouldn't it...

Cheers

PS. Most of the Nikon bodies, including the D40x have a focus indicator (green dot) that pops in view when properly focused...Here are some MF instructions from Ken Rockwells review...
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40x/af-settings.htm ......
 

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daniellcs

New Member
May 2, 2009
60
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0
#14
Thanks for the comments, everyone.

I think for now I will stick to my D40x and check out the price for the recently released 50mm 1.8G. Maybe I'll save for a D5100 or something...

Manual focusing is not for me. By the time, I get the focus right, I would have missed an important shot (e.g. a laugh, a fall etc)
I admit I'm not a camera purist, because if I am then better just stick to film.;)

Cheers.
 

Sgdevilzz

Senior Member
May 16, 2010
1,631
1
38
#15
daniellcs said:
Thanks for the comments, everyone.

I think for now I will stick to my D40x and check out the price for the recently released 50mm 1.8G. Maybe I'll save for a D5100 or something...

Manual focusing is not for me. By the time, I get the focus right, I would have missed an important shot (e.g. a laugh, a fall etc)
I admit I'm not a camera purist, because if I am then better just stick to film.;)

Cheers.
Don't upgrade from an amateur camera to another amateur camera. If budget is tight, get a D90. Do note that D5100 doesn't have a built in motor. You'll have less lenses to choose from.
 

small pig

New Member
May 17, 2011
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Punggol
#16
Though 5100 does not have motor but it iso performance is better than D 90, it quite subjective have to see end user looking at what spec
 

Ouverture

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2009
2,195
0
0
#17
daniellcs said:
Thanks for the comments, everyone.

I think for now I will stick to my D40x and check out the price for the recently released 50mm 1.8G. Maybe I'll save for a D5100 or something...

Manual focusing is not for me. By the time, I get the focus right, I would have missed an important shot (e.g. a laugh, a fall etc)
I admit I'm not a camera purist, because if I am then better just stick to film.;)

Cheers.
The new 50/1.8G is not fast in af either though it has swm.

If your concern is fast af, you will be better off with D90 and the older 50/1.8D.
 

madnug

New Member
Apr 25, 2011
85
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0
#19
a) Buy 35mm AF-S 1.8G and keep my D40x ?
b) Sell D40x, Buy D90 & 50mm AF1.8D ?
IMHO, I would suggest to keep your D40x, and invest on lens. You should consider upgrading the body when it doesn't meet your shooting requirement, such as higher FPS for fast continuous shots, higher MP for large prints etc. The basic ISO 200-1600 should meet most street shots, and better lens can give you the speed advantage.

Anyway, I'm still using my D50. :)
 

daineax

New Member
Apr 13, 2010
54
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#20
I just experienced the exact same problem with my D40.

I sold it because I saw that the prices were going down, down down in BnS, the shutter count was increasing with use(duh) and I felt it was time to upgrade to D90 due to better ISO capability and more AF points. Not to mention the ability to live view. And not sure if it's my imagination but when i tried it out, I thought it's easier to focus for certain subjects because D90 has this thing with the center AF zone wider so it's easier to track focus accurately.

Btw, I sold my D40+kit lens for 370, after a few weeks of reposting, after tenmillionthousand people quoting me 300 for it. (I set original price at 400 for 10/10 set with no user marks) Be prepared for these lowballers and dead buyers if you haven't sold on BnS before.

From my observations, secondhand D90 is actually decreasing in price as well, as compared to D7000. A lot of people selling off their D90 bodies as they want to upgrade.

Have you tried out the 50mm 1.8 lens? I personally find the focal length WAY too far away, you wouldn't be able to use it indoors or in tight corners. It wouldn't be an everyday lens for me. I bought the 35mm f1.8 lens for my D40 and I never regretted. Even the 35mm f1.8 lens still gotta stand a bit too far away for taking normal pictures of 2 friends together, let alone the 50mm f1.8. Definitely try out both focal lengths before making a decision, there is a really big difference/I personally cannot live with 50mm f1.8 as everyday lens on crop body. I saw that a few people bought 50mm f1.8 lens from BnS because it was cheap, but ended up selling again due to not being able to get used to the focal length.

Secondly, the 50mm f1.8 and the 35mm f1.8, I feel there's a good reason why they are priced differently, one is 3 times the price of the other. I never understood "glass makes a difference" or "good glass is more important than body" until I saw it for myself. You are getting what you pay for. I personally feel d40x+35mm f1.8 would be better than d90+50mm f1.8, I mean the obvious part is the focal length, which already makes the decision for me, but then the quality of the image and the build of the lens.. subjective, but after I borrowed 50mm from a friend, I prefer the 35mm 1.8 images over 50mm 1.8 images myself. Best would be to get d90+35mm f1.8g together which was my original decision.

You're basically fine with the D40x and no problem with the camera body/don't see a need to upgrade, right? Do you see yourself being satisfied with the 35mm f1.8 lens+D40x body in the long term? Anyway, you can always decide whether or not to upgrade your body since 35mm f1.8 can be used on both bodies. 35mm f1.8 on D40x would definitely be able to take great shots indoors if that's what you need.

Do you have any other needs for lenses or any other lenses that you are thinking of saving up for? Personally, I can happily continue with just d90, 35mm f1.8 and sb-700 for the rest of my camera life, I am not a fan of zoom lens due to my own usage/preferences. I was actually reluctant to part with my D40, but I felt I needed better ISO and more AF points.
 

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