Orquid "Phoenix"

Orquid "Phoenix"

by ceinmart

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I have been using my D40 with 18-55mm kit lens for four years now and love it to no end. Two and a half years ago I fell down face front in a steep beach slope while I was wearing the D40 around my neck and loads of sand got lodged in the lens. At the time I had difficulties while zooming in and out, and the auto-focusing wouldn't just work. After a while, zoom and the focus started working normally.

In the last year or so, I have noticed that the auto-focus would stop working for brief periods of time. Of late the auto-focus has stopped working altogether. Whenever I try to auto-focus, I can hear the motor try and fail. So I have started to adjust to the manual focus and am started getting the hang of it.

I am also considering buying a tripod and the wireless remote. I understand the core concepts of photography, but I have only used the camera in a hobbyist way and not to produce seriously good pictures.

How can I make the best of use of my D40? Would D40 be useful to get some great shots that I could potentially use for a portfolio?

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Welcome to the site! This is an extremely broad question and the bulk of your question doesn't seem to relate to what you're asking. You may be used to general forums, but this site is a bit different. If you have a specific technique or such you would like to learn, consider asking about that. As it stands now, "How can I make best use of my D40?" is answered simply "By taking pictures." Nearly any camera can be used to make "great shots". Photography is a function of you, not your equipment. Consider if there's a more specific question you'd like to ask, and "Welcome!". –  rfusca Jun 5 '11 at 6:39
    
Thank you rfusca. –  Nanda Jun 5 '11 at 7:07
    
I understand. :-) –  Nanda Jun 5 '11 at 7:08
    
you can edit your question into something more specific you like. –  rfusca Jun 5 '11 at 7:13
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The Nikon D40 is absolutely capable of delivering excellent portfolio worthy images. If you want to continue to use that body, I highly recommend sending it in to Nikon for a cleaning and a general checkup. If sand did enter any parts of the body, continuing to use it could just cause more issues. As another user pointed out, a great lens to start with would be the Nikkor f/1.8 lens, preferably the soon to be released version with autofocus included.

If you are looking for great portfolio worthy images, your best investment is almost always in high quality lenses rather then body upgrades. Consider this as your next step before spending big bucks on a body that might come with a lens of similar quality to what you already have. The other big advantage to purchasing lenses is that they typically hold their value for a much longer period of time, where as body's need to be replaced every few years if you want the next new features and functions.

From what I gather it sounds like you are ready to take a deeper dive into photography and get more serious shots that can be printed large and shown off. The best way to do this is to focus on composition and read books, articles, magazines, and websites like this, then get out and shoot shoot shoot! I would recommend getting a lens with a larger aperture but for a low cost (under $200 USD) to get started with as well!

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It sounds as if the problems related to the fall in the sand are confined to the lens. Try another lens, if you can afford it. The Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX is a "normal" fast prime on the D40, and Nikon is soon to release a 50mm f/1.8G that will autofocus with the D40.

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So, I got the 35mm f/1.8 last month and am in absolute awe of the lens. It is a great lens and I recommend it to every one as their first lens. –  Nanda Jan 11 '13 at 21:19
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A second hand 18-55mm can be obtained very cheaply. The later versions have Vibration Reduction (VR).

Consider it an opportunity to upgrade, if you have some cash. When it first came out, Nikon couldn't make enough of the 18-200 VR to keep up with demand. It's probably a good match for a D40.

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