Okay so I just picked up a D50 this weekend. I'm having fun just messing around and getting used to the controls. I got the 18-55 kit lens based on all the positive info regarding it and I really like the width it has. But. I'm going to want to do bird shots so I'm looking at the Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF. Mainly because it's cheap and gets decent comments. Worst thing I've read is it's a little soft out at 300, but there's no way I'm getting a VR (at least this year).
The only other ones I've compared are the Tamron & Sigma lenses with the same reach, but include a macro. I like the idea of having it built into the lens but I've read the closeup lens thread and have been looking at a closeup filter for the Nikon: http://www.adorama.com/BW62CU4.html
I've looked at the images over at pbase which didn't help. It was hard to compare since it's different users, skills and situations.
So, I'm looking for input for my next lens. I know at the moment I'll end up with a gap between 55 and 70, but that's not killing me. I'm either going to need semi-wide (which I have) or tele (which this is about).
Any comments or questions to help me work this out are most appreciated.