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New D3400 owner from Liverpool, UK

Thought it only polite to introduce myself, so hello and Happy New Year, I'm Ste from Liverpool and only ever shot pictures with a simple point and shoot camera or iPhone.

Having decided to delve into a new hobby and learn a new skill I decided to buy myself a Nikon D3400 over the Christmas period and so far I am very pleased with my purchase. I have only had a small play around with the features in the house and I am impressed with how easy it is to pick up and use.

I am looking already at buying some further lenses to go with the 18-55mm that came with the camera. I have spotted a used Nikon 50mm F1.8 D which I like the look of and the reviews I'm reading make it sound like a wise purchase. I have also spotted both a Sigma 55-200mm F4/5.6 DC and a Tamron 28-200mm F3.8/5.6 Asperic AF, both again second hand and are both the same price.

I like the idea of landscape and architectural photography and living in the city I do, this is something we are not scarce of. I am also off to America next year on the scout jamboree (the reason for the purchase) so want something I can take good shots of action and adventure too, as well as the scenes and landscapes.

If it were your money, which one would you buy? I am swaying towards the Tamron but being new to the game can be talked down a different route by those more knowledgeable.

I am currently highest bidder on Nikkor AF-S DX 55-300mm F4.5/5.6G ED VR lens on ebay which I am hoping I will be outbid on to allow the purchase 2 of the above - again unless this is deemed the better option from experience in which case I'll keep bidding?!

I've also set up an instagram page (nothing on it yet, but I'm keen to get some of my pics up soon) - is it allowed to post the link here? Being presumptuous, if you search @sjphotos_liverpool then that's me! I hope to start uploading some of my pictures once I get out and about soon!

Anyway, thanks for reading and Iook forward to your advice!

Ste

Comments

  • Welcome, Ste! Congratulations on your 3400...I hope you enjoy it very much. There's lots of room to grow with this fellow...

    My one word of caution (learned the hard way), is that you ask for a count of the number of pins in any lens. A quick snapshot of the pins would be even better. The D3XXX series need EIGHT pins to operate correctly. Some older used lenses have only five...and they will not work. The ones you have listed are probably new enough to be safe, but do ASK. I mention this because I bought a used Tamron macro lens that sounded like it would be fine but I had to return due to its wrong pin number.
  • Thanks @WelliesNBrellas

    Thanks for the advice on the pins too and avoiding potential costly mistakes. It's these little insider knowledge bits I like and are worth more than professional reviews sometimes!

    I decided against the 50mm in the end as I noticed it was a 'D' and that this would not work with auto-zoom and I needed the 'G' for this.

    I have since found one made by YONGNUO which is half the price of the Nikkon at new and the reviews I've read seem to suggest it is worth the money, especially for someone starting out as a hobbyist. I'll give this a whirl and then can always upgrade to the 'real deal' if I find it will be of benefit.

    Cheers
    Ste
  • Just to be clear on lens nomenclature, the "G" means there is no aperture ring, but there are "G" lenses that still use the "screwdriver" auto focus, requiring a focus motor in the camera, which yours does not have. It is indeed true that a D lens will not autofocus, but some G's will not either, and third party naming conventions may need looking up as well.

    The D3400, unlike its predecessors, will also not meter at all with a D lens or any AF lens that has an aperture ring, so you were wise not to get the D lens. The D3300 and below will meter with a D lens though they will also not auto focus.

    The lens pinout can be confusing. Most lower-end Nikons have only 7 contacts in the camera. The eighth is not used. Most lenses will have 8 pins anyway, and higher end cameras have that 8th pin. The kit lens that came with my D3200 had only 7 pins, but the 55-300 and 16-85 have 8. Some lenses have as many as 10, though I'm not sure what, if any, cameras, have more than 8 contacts in the body. Both the 200-500/5.6 E and the old D type 80-400 have 10, even though they vary widely in compatibility.

    But the basic setup for a G or D lens without AFS is a group of four pins, then a two pin space, and a fifth in the #7 position. #7 is the ground, and always used. #5 and 6 are, I think, for AFS and VR. Pin #8 is apparently a second power connection for the AF. Pins 9 and 10 are probably for communication with a teleconverter, as they meet no contacts in the camera.

    If the lens you're looking at has ether 7 or 8 pins in a row, you're likely OK. If it has a gap you're most likely not OK.

    Finally, just to be clear, although older lenses cannot either auto focus or meter with the D3400, they all will fit and function if you use them manually. There's a wealth of older lenses one can play with. But manual operation is limited in speed and versatility, especially with the small viewfinder, so even if you want to experiment with older lenses, it's a good idea to have the right new ones when you need them.
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