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Thread: D40 Lens Q's

  1. #1
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    D40 Lens Q's

    I'm new to this forum and had a couple of questions. I have had my D40 for 2 years and I've gotten to the point that I want to get a sharper lens set. I mostly photograph wider stuff like sunsets and landscapes. I find that I stay in the 18-35 range on my kit lens for the outdoors stuff. The only time I take it to 55mm is for a closeup (almost Macro) shot. I usually attach the +10 diopter for even closer stuff. I also have a sigma 70-300 that I use for the occasional moon shot and 1:2 macros when I have my tripod...macro @ 300 is tough to hand hold. The point of all this is that I want to upgrade my walk around lens to the Sigma Zoom AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC HSM, but I would like to find an autofocus 1:1 macro in the 50-80mm range. The reason I want it to autofocus on my D40 is I want it to pull double duty as a sharp prime outdoor lens and a serious macro for the important stuff.

    Any reasons for or against the Sigma 17-70 and any suggestions for the auto focus prime/macro.
    In the meantime, I'll be searching the forums

    Thanks
    D40 18-55 Kit lens, Sigma APO 70-300

  2. #2
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    the 3 options i can think of top of my head are:
    nikkor 60mm f2.8 afs micro is the best one by quite a distance
    tamron 60mm f2
    tamron 90mm 2.8

    not sure the sigma 17-70 is that much of an improvement for you to be honest. i'd be more inclined to keep the current kit lens and go for a sigma 10-20mm UWA for your landscapes.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rooz View Post
    not sure the sigma 17-70 is that much of an improvement for you to be honest.
    It's a little bit of smoke and mirrors that lens.
    It's only f2.8 at 17mm, move to 18mm and it's not f2.8 any more. As long as you know that before you buy it's okay.

  4. #4
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    So, perhaps I'll scratch the 17-70 and start looking at the ultra wides like that 10-20mm. My main issue with my current 18-55 for landscapes is that I just cant seem to get them to be sharp. Take this shot...

    there is no part of this that is sharp, esp when viewed full size. Maybe it's something in my technique, but I can take other shots with the same lens that have a smaller area and less total DOF and they are very sharp. It doesn't matter that much when printing, but my theory is that if you start with a great image file, you will end up with a great photograph. The inverse is also true.

    Also, thanks for the macro suggestions, I'll look at the 60's and see what they offer.
    Last edited by LostinTexas; 10-30-2009 at 07:32 AM. Reason: more info
    D40 18-55 Kit lens, Sigma APO 70-300

  5. #5
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    About image sharpness, have you considered one of:

    1) Increasing the default sharpness setting on the D40?
    2) Using unsharp mask in post processing?
    Nikon D40|Nikon D5100|AF-S 50mm f/1.4|AF-S 18-105mm DX|SB 900|SB 400|AF-S 35mm f/1.8 DX|AF-S 10-24mm DX

    Canon A610

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostinTexas View Post
    My main issue with my current 18-55 for landscapes is that I just cant seem to get them to be sharp. Take this shot...
    there is no part of this that is sharp, esp when viewed full size.
    Any idea what your f stop was on that shot? You will want to stop your lens down considerably if you want a nice sharp landscape shot. f/8 yields the sharpest shots on the kit lens, but you may want to try f/11 or f/16 for added depth of field.

    The shot below was taken with my 12-24 at f/16. I am very happy with the sharpness, even when viewing it as my desktop background (2560 x 1600).
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Nikon D300 | MB-D10 | Nikkor 12-24/4 | Nikkor 50/1.8 | Nikkor 70-200/2.8 VRI | Sigma 18-50/2.8 | SB-800 | SB-80DX (x4) | Radiopopper JrX Studio |

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTEC_EATER View Post
    Any idea what your f stop was on that shot? You will want to stop your lens down considerably if you want a nice sharp landscape shot. f/8 yields the sharpest shots on the kit lens, but you may want to try f/11 or f/16 for added depth of field.

    The shot below was taken with my 12-24 at f/16. I am very happy with the sharpness, even when viewing it as my desktop background (2560 x 1600).
    Nice landscape...where is that?

    Your question on the f-stop is an excellent one...after looking at a few of these images that I have, they were not taken with my 18-55, but my APO 70-300. Since it is an older lens, the camera cannot determine that exif data. I do know that the shot was made at 300mm and 1/200sec shutter. I'm guessing that I had the aperture between f/8 and f/11 since the shot was taken in the early afternoon. The lack of sharpness may have something to do with it being an older lens and 300mm @ 1/200sec is a bit slow from what I have been told.
    Here is the one from my 18-55mm: 55mm @ 1/250sec and f/8 unedited and full size
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    D40 18-55 Kit lens, Sigma APO 70-300

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostinTexas View Post
    Here is the one from my 18-55mm: 55mm @ 1/250sec and f/8 unedited and full size
    EXIF for that image says it was 18mm not 55mm. Viewed at regular size(not full) it looks plenty sharp, almost too sharp. Do you have in cam sharpening on? It seems like its over sharpened. Something just doesnt appear "normal".

    I think if you stick around F8 or so, you will be happy with the sharpness.
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostinTexas View Post
    Here is the one from my 18-55mm: 55mm @ 1/250sec and f/8 unedited and full size

    A couple of things.

    1. It's not good form to post full size image on any forum. It screws up the page layout and makes it hard for people who may have slow Internet connections to view pages. Generally the accepted thing is to post an image 1024 pixels wide or smaller with a link to the full size version.

    2. If the first shot was taken with your Sigma 70-300@ 300mm it's a lens issue. That lens is well known for being very soft over 200mm. Use another lens or restrict yourself to 200mm or less if you want sharpness.

    2. Your in camera sharpening is set to "hard".

  10. #10
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    1/200 is too slow for 300mm unless you're using a tripod or have image stabilization. 1/focal length = min hand holdable SS. 1/450 sec min at 300mm if you account for the crop factor.
    Lukas

    Camera: Anonymous
    I could tell you but I wouldn't want you to get all pissy if it's the wrong brand

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