Quote Originally Posted by roteague
Just understand that fixed aperature zoom lenses are more expensive. I would go for the lens, the price isn't going to break the bank, and you will learn a lot from it.
Not necessarily, www.keh.com (a very reputable company that I have had many dealings with and they are also an Apug sponser) has these lenses:

70-210 F3.5 VIVITAR SER 1 MACRO AI (62) 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS $56.00

This is the fixed aperture version of the Vivitar Series 1 70-210

70-210 F4 KIRON MACRO AI (62) 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS $35.00

I have heard many espouse the Kiron lenses as being above reproach. Kiron also made many of Nikon's lenses (such as the 70-150 series E which is highly touted).

If you are wanting a zoom lens then I suggest buying the Kiron lens from www.keh.com Even with 2-day UPS shipping it is cheaper than the Vivitar from the repair shop.