Nikon D40 SLR Review

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Nikon D40

Features & Controls

Nikon-F Mount Lenses

Nikon D40 SLR

Due to its DX format imager being physically smaller than a 35mm film frame you need to use a picture angle conversion factor of 1.5x to determine proper focal length coverage when using 35mm format lenses (table shown above.)

Nikon D40 SLR

The D40 is compatible with Nikon F mount lenses with AF coupling and AF contacts Type G or D. Because the D40 does not have an internal focus motor, it can only autofocus with the newer AF-S and AF-I CPU lenses (IX Nikkor CPU lenses can not be used.) This means you must manually focus non-CPU or AF lenses not equipped with an autofocus motor.

Closeup of the all-metal Nikon-F lens mount. Upper left is the focus-assist illuminator lamp, also used for red-eye reduction flash mode, and on the right side is the lens release lock button.

Nikon D40 SLR

The D40 does not have a focus mode selector switch on the body, it's on the lens of the newer AF-S or AF-I CPU type lenses. The D40 employs a 3-area TTL phase detection AF system using Nikon's Multi-CAM530 module with an AF- assist illuminator which helps ensure performance in low-light situations.

Nikon D40 SLR

The D40 is only offered as a body and lens outfit, it includes the new 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens.

Nikon D40 SLR

The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED lens is compatible with all Nikon D-series digital SLRs. With an equivalent coverage of 27-202.5mm in 35mm photography, it employs Nikon's Silent Wave motor (AF-S) for super fast and quiet autofocus, Extra-Low Dispersion glass (ED) for minimized chromatic aberrations, and Internal Focusing (IF) for convenient and balanced handling. It also incorporates a reliable metal lens mount for years of durability.

Nikon D40 SLR

The AF-S VR Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF is another new lens for Nikon D-series digital SLRs. With an equivalent coverage of 105-450mm in 35mm photography, it employs Nikon's enhanced Vibration Reduction (VRII) technology for steady shots as well as Silent Wave motor (AF-S) for super fast and quiet autofocus, Extra-Low Dispersion glass (ED) for minimized chromatic aberrations, and Internal Focusing (IF) for convenient and balanced handling. Other features include a distance information guide window, a reliable metal lens mount for years of durability, and a M/A mode for seamless switching between autofocus and manual modes (on bodies other than the D40.)

Nikon D40 SLR

Designed exclusively for use with Nikon digital SLR cameras, DX Nikkor lenses deliver a versatile range of angle-of-view, higher performance, and outstanding center-to-edge-to-corner image quality, while realizing smaller and lighter designs. The current lineup of DX Nikkor lenses includes:

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED

  • AF-S VR DX Zoom Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED-IF

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF

  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF

  • AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED

When used with a Nikon digital SLR camera and Nikon Capture NX software, images shot with the AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm lens can be transformed into ultra-wide angle rectilinear images with a choice of 100° and 130° horizontal angles of view.

i-TTL Flash

Nikon D40 SLR

The speedlight automatically pops up and fires when natural lighting is inadequate or to add balanced Fill-Flash when there is strong backlighting (Auto and Digital Vari-Program modes only.) i-TTL technology improves the accuracy of fill-flash exposure and white balance in a picture, by seamlessly integrating color information from the speedlight's monitor pre-flash with information from the 420-pixel RGB sensor. It has been improved to provide coverage for up to 18mm wide angle lenses. You can shoot at synchronized speeds up to 1/500 second for great fill effects under bright light conditions.

Guide number (ISO 200): approx. 17/55 (manual full 18/59)

Nikon D40 SLR

Nikon SB600

The "hot shoe" allows the use of SB-series Speedlights (like the SB-600 we used) without a sync cable. It includes a safety lock for units with a locking pin, like the SB-600 and SB-800. When used with compatible flash units or SB-R200 wireless remote Speedlight, the D40 supports the advanced Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS), including i-TTL flash control and Flash Color Information Communication. The SU-800 wireless Speedlight commander can also be used to control remote SB-800, 600 or R200 flash units.

Nikon SB600

The D40 controls the SB-600 or SB-800's motorized zoom head and makes use of its more powerful AF-assist beam. The output of the flash is controlled precisely thanks to the new i-TTL flash exposure control system. And nothing beats the natural look of bounce flash.

Nikon D40 SLR

The D40 does not have a PC sync port so you need to use the optional Nikon AS-15 Sync Terminal Adapter to connect to external studio flash units (shown here mounted on the D100.) It slides on the flash hot shoe and gives you a standard PC sync connector. (Note that the AS-15 does not contain an isolation circuit so be careful of strobes that use high trigger voltages.)


Nikon D40 SLR

The eyelevel penta-Dach Mirror type viewfinder shows approximately 95% of the captured frame. It has dioptric adjustment (-1.7 to +0.5m-1) and a comfortable 18mm (-1.0m-1) eye relief with a fairly wide viewing angle. It employs a fixed Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark V with superimposed focus brackets.

Nikon D40 SLR

The D40 viewfinder display:

    1 - Focus brackets (focus areas)

Nikon D40 SLR

    2 - Focus indicator
    3 - Focus area display, AF-area mode
    4 - Auto exposure (AE) lock
    5 - Flexible program indicator
    6 - Shutter speed
    7 - Aperture (f/-number)
    8 - Flash compensation indicator
    9 - Exposure compensation indicator
    10 - Number of exposures remaining, Preset white balance indicator, EV Compensation value, Flash compensation value, PC connection indicator
    11 - Flash ready indicator
    12 - Battery indicator
    13 - Electronic analog exposure display
    14 - ISO AUTO indicator
    15 - "K" appears when memory remains for over 1000 exposures
    16 - Warning indicator

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