MyZeil in der Regen (MyZeil in the rain).
Image: GrrlScientist, 27 July 2010 [larger view]
My photography skills are improving, so I am looking at purchasing a telephoto lens for my dSLR Nikon camera, and I need your help choosing the appropriate lens for what I will use it for. Initially, I plan to photograph soaring/flying and not-close-to-me birds, running horses, and other fast-moving objects, mostly (but not exclusively) in color. The lens should have a fast autofocus option, should not be too heavy (I've already got three lenses that I drag around with me, and am eyeing a couple more) and of course, should not be terribly expensive.
So at this point, I am asking you for information regarding the choices I am faced with: I can go with anything from an 85mm lens all the way up to a 2000mm telephoto lens, all which come with dramatically different price tags, abilities and weights. I think the birders and sports photographers out there will have experiences and lenses that are most similar to what I am seeking, so please do fill me in on what I should be looking for! I am also open to purchasing a used lens, if any of you know a reliable source for a used lens and have experiences with this.