Currently, the zoomiest lens I have is a Nikon 18-200mm. I want to be able to take photos of wildlife, or in most cases birds, which I can't do at 200mm.
For a long time, I wanted to purchase a Nikon AF VR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED. It is very small and weights nothing; it's also really cheap (approx. $1000). On the other hand, I suppose that the quality of this lens is not very good, especially at 350 to 400mm.
Nikon also has a big and heavy AF-S f/2.8G ED VR at +$9000, and an even larger and heavier AF-S 500mm f/4G ED VR at +$8000. Those two lenses are not a solution: they are too expensive for me, and their size and weight makes it impossible to take them in a bag for long walks.
Is there a lens somewhere between, compatible with Nikon D7000? In other words, is there a lens with a slightly better quality at 400mm or more (including fixed-length lenses) than a Nikon 80-400mm, but not as expensive as Nikon's 400mm and 500mm lenses and not as big and heavy?