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AF bird lens advice needed for D60

BillinBoston

Hyde Park, MA, US
108 posts

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BillinBoston Gold Member Nikonian since 08th Mar 2012
Fri 09-Mar-12 01:14 AM

I became a bird watcher a couple of years ago. Went as far as my AF-S DX 55-200mm F4-5.6G ED could take me. Need advice as to what lens to get next that is compatible with the D60, and that also has full auto-focus.

Most of my shooting will be of song-birds in trees fifty feet away, with some as near as ten feet; a few waterfowl at 50 yards; and occasional shots of hawks in flight at various distances. Am willing to forego the latter two if the songbirds' quality is increased as a result. Half of my shots are in moderate to full sunlight, the rest in shade or cloud cover. Greatly prefer avoiding use of flash. I really like small depth of field in bird photography, but want to avoid paying thousands extra to get it.

I am considering fixed lenses of 300mm and up, as well as zoom with an upper end between 300 and 500mm. I am an expert in Photoshop Elements, so the long lens doesn't need to do ALL the work.

(My understanding is that Nikon does NOT make a teleconverter that will work with a D60.) Have any of you had success with extension tubes?

I am considering Nikon and non-Nikon, both under $1,000 and over $1,000, both new and used. I would like to keep it under $1,000, but if your experience was that under $1,000 just didn't yield results that would please the semi-professional, I really would like to hear your story. Whatever tips you can offer regarding regarding "important factors when considering used lenses" would be helpful: price, source, age, condition. For instance, I've never bought a used lens before. How would I know, other than by obvious external appearance, if a lens had more than moderate use? If you are recommending a used lens, and have a decent idea of current market price, that would be a plus. Finally, if you can attach some images of bird photography, taken with the D60 and with the lens that you are recommending, that would be MUCH appreciated.

For you Massachusetts bird enthusiasts, hope to see you at Mt. Auburn Cemetary over the next three months!

Many thanks for all of your help.

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