Nikon D40X ?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by louise, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. louise

    louise Guest

    After a few years of trying to live without my Nikon SLR
    film camera, I've decided that no digital camera which is
    not an SLR is going to make me happy or produce the kind of
    sensitivity and clarity of image to which I'd grown accustomed.

    I have one particular need: my hands are unusually small
    and I find several of the DSLRs very uncomfortable to hold
    and I can't imagine ever becoming nimble with them.

    I have had a long and happy relationship with Nikons and so
    that is my first choice. I did also look at the Canon Rebel
    XT1 since it is my impression that the CCD chip is also
    quite good.

    I'm leaning toward the D40X because it is really light and
    wonderful to hold. I imagine getting it with the standard
    lens and using my old zoom telephoto when I really need a
    long lens, which is not that often. I know that my Nikon A
    telephoto zoom will not autofocus on the D40X but I really
    don't expect to use it very often.

    My main concern is about the fact that the auto focus
    mechanism for the D40x is in the lens rather than in the
    camera. Will this make it obsolete in a year or two? Is it
    a new design Nikon came up with which will soon be replaced?

    My other concern is really a question. When comparing the
    d40X to the Rebel XT1, is there a significant difference
    between the two CCDs? Also, I could manage to hold the D80,
    although not comfortably. Will I wish I'd gotten the D80?

    Anything else I should take into consideration?


    louise, Apr 4, 2007
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  2. I have a D70 (bought it when they first came out) but I rarely use it
    because of the "clunkiness" factor. It's too big and bulky for me.

    That's precisely why I got the D40. So far, I've found it to be a
    wonderful camera.

    Personally, I hate all kinds of zoom lenses (too slow), and I hate
    autofocus. The D40 is ideal for manual focus, provided you replace the
    standard focusing screen with a Katz Eye split-image rangefinding

    The D40 will mount all Nikon F-mount lenses, even the early non-AI
    ones. It will only meter with lenses having CPU contacts, but you can
    set exposure with all lenses using the trial-and-error method. The
    lens I keep on the camera most of the time is the 45mm f/2.8P, which
    is the only Nikon manual-focus lens with a CPU. This makes a very
    compact package (the lens gives you the equivalent perspective of a
    67mm lens on a film camera).

    Regarding the difference between the D40 and the D40x, keep in mind
    that the 6 megapixel sensor (in the D40) produces images of 2000x3000
    pixels. That's plenty of resolution for me. You might want to pay the
    higher price for the D40x if you routinely make enlargements bigger
    than 8x10.
    Alexander Arnakis, Apr 4, 2007
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  3. louise

    Ken Lucke Guest

    Ther's a whole thread concerning this over im right
    now, rather than rehash it all here.

    You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a
    reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating
    the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for
    -- Charles A. Beard
    Ken Lucke, Apr 4, 2007
  4. louise

    RichA Guest

    More cameras for midgets are on the horizon? Olympus's E-410 gets
    released this month.
    RichA, Apr 4, 2007
  5. louise

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    It will also not meter, as well as not autofocusing, assuming
    that it is not autofocus on earlier cameras as well. Alexander covered
    that below.

    The camera will autofocus with any autofocus lenses, I believe,
    as they will have CPU contacts as well, which are used to communicate
    autofocus requirements to the lens' internal motor. If it is missing
    the sensor for full stop-down on the aperture ring of those lenses which
    are so equipped, then it will not cause problems with mounting the
    lenses, but it leaves a possibility of not behaving properly with the
    aperture ring not stopped down fully on older autofocus lenses, such
    as my 35-135mm f3.5-4.5, and my 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 lenses.
    While I use mine all the time -- and am considering (actually
    lusting after) the even larger D200.
    Depending on your needs. For carefully set up and/or posed
    shots, "primes", that is, fixed focal length lenses) are usually the
    better choices, but if you are photographing events as they change, the
    added flexibility of a zoom is a significant benefit. I have some of
    each, and tend to have a zoom on the camera most of the time. For me,
    the slower aperture range of my zoom lenses is made up for by the
    auto-ISO setting allowing an increase of ISO when the light is low. But
    you may dislike the noise in high-ISO shots. To me, it is no worse than
    grain in high ISO film.
    And -- for cases where you are setting up the shot, this is less
    of a problem than it may seem, because of the ability to both view the
    image and the histogram to evaluate the exposure of your trial shots.
    (Besides, you can get a close starting point by using the kit lens which
    came with the camera to give you an approximate exposure.) This is a
    *lot* better than guessing with film, and having to come back and set up
    the shoot again after processing. :)
    Yes -- you want to bear in mind the effect of the 1.5x crop
    factor on your existing lenses. Every lens will behave as though it
    were 1.5 times longer than it is -- at least in terms of coverage.
    Agreed! My primary reason for wanting the D200 is the ability
    to meter with the AI lenses at least, if not the really old ones which
    are pure Nikon F mount instead of for the later cameras.

    DoN. Nichols, Apr 4, 2007
  6. louise

    Tony Polson Guest

    The D40X will operate the internal motors in AF-S and AF-I Nikkors,
    the latter being very rare now.

    However, the D40X will not operatethe internal motors in any other AF
    Nikkors, for the simple reason that they don't have motors. They rely
    instead on the "screwdriver" drive shaft that runs through the lens
    mount on every Nikon AF camera body except the D40X.
    Tony Polson, Apr 4, 2007
  7. Yes, and bear in mind that all the AF-S lenses so far are zooms. If
    you want to use any type of prime lens on the D40, it will have to be
    in manual-focus mode. (For me that's no problem, since I *prefer*
    manual focus.)
    Alexander Arnakis, Apr 5, 2007
  8. louise

    Robert Brace Guest

    The D40/40X will only auto-focus with AF-S lenses (those having the
    in-lens focus motor) regardless as to the CPU contacts being present. AF-D
    lenses have the CPU contacts but use the in-camera motor to drive the
    auto-focus screw in the lens, thus will not auto-focus with the D40/40X.
    Robert Brace, Apr 5, 2007
  9. louise

    Flash Guest

    I think you'll find the D40 will meet your needs. While the resolution
    is higher on the D40x, the D40 has more than enough resolution for the
    majority of uses. Its image quality is excellent and you'll find it's a
    little less noise prone than the "x" is. I have D200 but bought two D40s
    as Christmas presents for my son and daughter and naturally, had to
    "test" them out before giving them. I was very pleased with the overall
    handling and image quality from the D40 and am now considering getting
    one myself for those times I don't want to carry around the much heavier

    While the D40 will restrict you to SF-S lenses if you want auto-focus,
    and it won't meter with non-CPU lenses the way the D200 will, it will
    still deliver excellent performance at a great price point and remember,
    it's not the camera that makes great images, it's the photographer....
    Flash, Apr 5, 2007
  10. louise

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    O.K. I have not handled a D40, and obviously should have prior
    to answering. So -- they left out yet another thing to make it cheaper
    and lighter.

    DoN. Nichols, Apr 5, 2007
  11. You might want to consider the original D40 rather than the D40x, as it is
    virtually identical in all respects except for being 6 megapixels instead of
    10, having somewhat less noise as a result, and about $200 cheaper the last
    time I checked.

    I have the D40 myself, and love it. I bought it as a more compact,
    lightweight second camera after my D70s, which is a great camera but bulkier
    and heavier than I care to carry around all the time. The D40 fills the bill

    No, on the contrary, the probability is that most or all Nikon lenses for
    the foreseeable future will be SWM (autofocus motor in the lens). SWM lenses
    are generally quieter and faster autofocusing. You only need the AF motor in
    the camera body for the older type lenses which have the screwdriver-style
    mechanical coupling. You can still use those older lenses on the D40
    focusing manually. I do and it works well, using the focus indicator in the
    bottom of the viewfinder display. That's not as convenient as a split-image
    rangefinder in the center of course, but it does work well.

    I think you've just answered your own question. If you can't hold the D80
    comfortably, why would you ever wish you'd gotten one?

    I find my D70s (which is slightly larger than the D80) perfectly comfortable
    to hold; I just don't like lugging it around so much. The D40 is not only
    light and compact itself, but the 18-55mm lens it comes with is also very
    light and compact, as is the 55-200mm companion lens. Together they make a
    really neat little system.

    Neil Harrington, Apr 5, 2007
  12. louise

    Guest Guest


    105mm/2.8 vr
    200mm/2 vr
    300mm/2.8 vr


    there are currently about 40 afs/hsm lenses that will autofocus on the
    Guest, Apr 5, 2007
  13. louise

    Tony Polson Guest

    If you enjoy manual focusing, don't buy a D40(X) unless you intend to
    install an aftermarket focusing screen.

    The standard screen is *useless* for manual focusing.
    Tony Polson, Apr 5, 2007
  14. louise

    Tony Polson Guest

    What is the basis for that statement about noise? Have you compared
    the results from a D40 and a D40X?

    I ask because I have seen results from tests on the D40X, and the
    noise is remarkably well controlled. I would not describe it as any
    more "noise prone" than any of Nikon's 6.1 MP DSLRs.
    Tony Polson, Apr 5, 2007
  15. In fact the Pop Photo test of the D40x (March issue, online at agrees
    with you, says "Noise suppression was generally better than the D80's and
    much better than the Rebel's." They don't compare it to the D40, however.
    Somewhere else (don't recall where) I did read that the D40x had more noise
    than the D40, but I presume that difference, if it really exists at all, is
    very small. Certainly nothing to suggest it is "noise prone" in the least.

    Neil Harrington, Apr 5, 2007
  16. Yes, that's almost correct. I would say that manual focusing is very
    difficult with the standard screen, but it can be done.

    But that's why I got the Katz screen. That really "makes" the camera,
    for me.

    I would also add that the electronic rangefinder built into the camera
    (the little light that comes on at the bottom of the viewfinder when
    you are in focus) is *not* of much help. In fact, the blinking of that
    thing as you try to focus will drive you crazy, if you pay attention
    to it.
    Alexander Arnakis, Apr 5, 2007
  17. Well, if you eliminate the aftermarket lenses, all the AF-S lenses
    that Nikon makes are either zooms or bulky and expensive telephotos.

    Let's just say that there are no "normal" Nikon primes that are AF-S.
    Alexander Arnakis, Apr 5, 2007
  18. I'm used to the traditional Nikon lenses with metal construction, and
    I found the 18-55mm kit lens that came with my D40 to have a "cheap"
    feel about it. (Even the mounting flange is made of plastic.) That,
    plus the fact that I don't like zooms in general, made me decide to
    just leave it in the box unused. Probably the optics are decent, but
    I'm not particularly interested in finding out. My D40 is now mated
    with the superb 45mm f/2.8P lens (unfortunately now discontinued by
    Alexander Arnakis, Apr 5, 2007
  19. louise

    Guest Guest

    your original statement was 'all the afs lenses so far are zooms.'
    that's false. there are non-zoom afs lenses and from not just nikon.

    you may not be interested in any of them, but they *do* exist.
    at the moment, there's nothing from nikon under 105mm that is afs.
    rumour has it that may change.
    Guest, Apr 5, 2007
  20. louise

    Tony Polson Guest

    I don't think we are so far apart. ;-)
    I agree. I use Contax (Carl Zeiss) lenses on my Canon 5D with
    adapters, one for each lens.

    The guy who sold me the first two adapters contacted me and told me
    that he had a new version which allowed the AF confirmation light to
    operate with the Contax lenses - with the previous version of the
    adapter, the light did not work. He could not understand why I was
    not in the least interested ...

    However, when I bought some more Contax glass and went back to him for
    adapters, the only type he had by then was the type that operated the
    light. They drive me mad! Next time I have the camera serviced I
    will have the light disabled if at all possible.
    Tony Polson, Apr 5, 2007
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