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icewoman

some advise

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I just purchased a Nikon D-40, in the Kit it came with a 55/200 zoom lens. I am looking to get more zoom and would appreciate any advise on what to purchase

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I am also looking for a good book on the basics of digital photography

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Very nice shot, icewoman.

You've got a lot of options for stronger zoom lenses. You can go the least expensive route and spend about $160 on a Tamron 70-300 or similar inexpensive zoom put out by several lens makers. Nikon makes a consumer level 70-300 with vibration reduction (their term for in-camera image stabilization) for around $500. You can get more toward the pro level and lay out more money, somewhere around $700 if memory serves, for a Tamron 200-500, which will give you better image quality and more zoom than the first lens. Sigma makes a 50-500 and 170-500 for around $1,000 with good reputations for image quality, and Sigma is just now coming out with a 150-500 that has in-lens image stabilization.

You could also go the most expensive routes yet for pro-level zoom lenses and buy Nikon's top zooms. Nikon offers a 80-400 ($1,400) that has excellent image quality, as well as the much more expensive 200-400 ($5,100). Both have VR.

Any of the lenses mentioned will do well, with the middle and upper ranks having a more rugged build quality, better image quality, and with the very valuable vibration reduction.

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As far as books go, The Digital Photography Book and vol. 2 by Scott Kelby would go high on my list of reading. I personally have not read them, but I enjoy Kelby's style of teaching Photoshop.

If you look on Amazon he has a high list of positive reviews. Good luck with the new camera, I hope you will share some of your work here with us.

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One thing to add to Steve's comments are that with the D40 you are limited to lenses with built in focus motors. A lot of those that Steve mentioned don't have that. The Nikons will almost all have them and the Sigma lenses with HSM have them. I'm not sure about Tamrons though.

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Thanks for adding that, Mike. I knew the D40 had a limitation when it came to second-party lenses but wasn't sure what it was.

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It is frustrating being limited but I did look at the Tamrons and it looks as if the one for the Nikon has an auto focus motor. I can see a big difference already in my shots. The ones I took of my first post compared to the ones of the loons are much more vivid.

I do believe that my next lens will be the Tamron, right now I am on the entry level because I am still concerned about dumping 600.00 + into the lake. The question is what do you do with all the stuff you already have when you move up. I already have a hard time explaining why I have purchased three digital camera's in a matter of two years before I finally went and bought a DSLR. I think this will fight the bill for a couple of years at least. Right now I mainly want to take pictures at the cabin and of the birds at the cabin. I can't tell you how much fun I had taking pictures this weekend sitting on the deck with the camera pointed at the feeders, soon as I went in that dang Oriole showed up.

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Sounds like you've been bitten by the shutterbug, alright. gringrin

When I upgraded to Canon L glass, I sold my other lenses as they were no longer needed. Resale value on inexpensive lenses isn't much, sometimes, but every little bit helps.

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