Thu 07-Feb-13 10:03 AM | edited Thu 07-Feb-13 11:10 AM by walk43
I have been in your shoes and, now looking back, I feel certain that I would just buy the 70-300VR as a second lens. I used the 18-105VR and sold it as I moved up the chain to better lenses...but I really miss my 18-105VR and the 70-300VR (which I also had and sold to get the 70-200VR)is a really nice and VERY respected lens for a good price. It will allow you to go from 18(27) to 300(450) with only a slight overlap, not cost you a lot and give you better overall IQ than a one lens solution.
If you want to go even cheaper, with virtually no loss in IQ (per DXO tests) get the 55-300VR...but the 70-300VR is faster with its AF. I just bought a 55-300VR for my V1 birding solution and got it for $220 refurbuished. It has very little 'focus breathing' and is also very light.
One lens solutions are sooooo tempting (I know!!)....but as others have said, there are compromises. As a novice+.. stick to the 2 lens solution and keep your pics neat and clean for low $$. Then as your needs/wants dictate go to other lenses as the solutions to meet those needs.
In any case you will have fun in your journey!!!
Dan (Nikon D800,V2,Sony HX400V,Lumix ZS40) "I don't read, I just look at pictures" - Andy Warhol