Originally Posted by 10 Piece Nuggets
I have a question guys. What lens can I buy for a beginner with a D40, looking for a lens that can take short range pictures with better quality than the stock lens basically. Im going on vacation soon and mainly want a lens that can take great pics of my family, and maybe some scenery. Or should I just pickup a fish eye lens?
Honestly, if you want ANY sort of versatility, your stock 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is your best bet. A fisheye is not going to take pictures that your parents and grandparents will enjoy, or reference as memorable pictures-- rather, they'd just be a "cool" photo. Does that make sense?
If you're going to get another lens, I'd go with a prime, such as a 50mm or the 35mm.
Here's my little bit on the difference:
On a D40, the 50mm is really 75mm, and the 35mm is really 52mm.
The 35mm f/1.8G is going to cost you about $200. It has no aperture ring (which IMO is easier to use, you'll have to use your scroll wheel to change the aperture), but you have AF and metering and can shoot in Auto mode.
The 50mm f/1.8 is going to cost you about $50, it has an aperture ring, but has no AF or metering (which means you have to do it manually and can only shoot in M)
The 50mm f/1.4 AF-S
is going to cost you about $500, has no aperture ring, but has AF and will meter and shoot in Auto.
The 50mm f/1.4 AI,AI-s, etc. is going to cost you about $120 and will be the exact same as the f/1.8 except it'll open up 0.4 stops more.
If you're stuck on getting a wide angle, your options are 12-24mm ($900) and 14-24mm ($1500).
And there you have it.
My suggestion, get the 50mm f/1.8 on eBay for $50.