Hi there, I'm a newbie (writer by trade) who's about to purchase a Nikon D7000, and deciding between purchasing the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD IF Lens, fixing an older Tamron 18-300 (similar f/3.5-6.3 I believe) that broke, or the best investment to make on a lens to accompany this new camera. For the past 2 years, I've been taking outdoor photos with a Nikon d70 and using a Tamron 18-300 mm (?) gifted to me by someone who had upgraded. I've come to really cherish photography as a result but the D70 (having had a lot previous use) broke and after a recent trip to assist my elderly parents on a trek to Annapurna basecamp, I unfortunately dropped and broke my Tamron lens. So I decided to invest on this new passion and while I know I'd like to purchase the D7000, I'm unsure whether to a) try to fix my Tamron zom lens ($175) and take time to learn about and save for a new lens, or b) get the new comparable Tamron zoom lens (I think the Tamron 18-270 is the new generation of what I had) for now and focus on taking photos and slowly learn about lenses, c) something else altogether?
What I liked about the Tamron zoom (I understand that zoom lenses like this are considered less sharp/lower quality) was that it gave me great freedom as I do a lot of climbing/high-altitude hiking, let me do close shots of wildlife (monkeys, kids, etc), and because I travel a fair amount to off/developing places and aim to do a lot more of it, it was a light/simple "one lens solution." For now, I would prefer a one-lens solution that I can take abroad knowing that if it breaks or is stollen, it won't break my heart. BUT AS LENSES ARE AN INVESTMENT, and I read somewhere that with a better camera I should "choose accordingly" with my lenses (NOT SURE what that means... focusing speed? Qualitity?) I wondered whether I should just try to fix my Tamron and take the time to properly research the myriad (myriad!!) choices our there, or get the new Tamron (shiny & new) as it is something familiar - the range, the weight, the quality.
I have $1500 to spend on body & lens, with about $200-300 I'm willing to put on credit. I know this questions is broad (as I'm figuring things out and am a true amateur), but if you have any advice, guidance, or suggestions of zoom lenses similar to the tamron I'm mentioning, l would truly appreciate it. Thank you!
p.s. my website http://www.breakingenglish.org shows some of my photos (taken with no training or understanding, just appreciation for a very different artform), if that helps give you a sense of where I'm coming from.