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David,I have the 70-300VR and use it on my D80. The D5000 is a bit smaller than the D80 but I would not think it would be an overkill due to weight. My brother uses his 70-300VR on his D5000.The 70-300VR is one of the best bargins that Nikon has short of pro glass. Check out this hand held shot taken with the 70-300VR. http://www.flickr.com/photos/by_jerry_jaynes/2682903875/sizes/l/in/set-72157603082791638/This lens is very sharp and produces quality results.
Jerry JaynesGreat Smoky Mountainsof North Carolinahttp://www.flickr.com/photos/by_jerry_jaynes/