As you might already know, Nikon beginner DSLR cameras from D5000 or below (D3000, D60..) do not have auto focus motor. Therefore, the camera will rely on lens-built in motor. Many lenses do not have built-in AF motor. But fortunately, third party lens maker, Tamron have many lenses that have built-in motor.
Tamron lens collection are known for their low quality but cheap. I also found that auto focus motor in Tamron lenses is quite noisy and inaccurate in low or back light situations. However, in the past few years, Tamron has developed some quality and unique lenses for Nikon shooters such as Tamron 60mm f/2 macro and 17-50mm VC lens. Tamron lenses are also generally more compact and lighter than Nikon or Sigma lenses.
Here are some of Tamron lenses that I recommend:
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 SP VC Price: $650
This lens will be a great upgrade from your 18-55 kit lens. It has constant big aperture of f/2.8 and VC (Vibration Compensation) that help you to handle camera shake. Those features make it excellent zoom lens in low light condition. For cheaper alternative, take a look at Tamron 17-50mm non-VC ($460).
Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 VC Price: $630
This lens is very popular for people that only want to carry one lens most of the time because it is very versatile and have a very wide zoom range. This is also the longest super zoom lens in the market. Other alternative will be Tamron 18-250mm. It does not has VC, but it is significantly cheaper ($330) and surprisingly, a bit sharper.
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Macro Price: $160
A very inexpensive Tamron telephoto lens that produces decent result when you stopped down (use smaller aperture) one to two stops. Because it has small maximum aperture and no vibration compensation, you might want to use tripod for the best result. Great for general photography especially wildlife, portrait and macro.
Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro Price: $500
Most macro prime in the market stuck at f/2.8. Tamron has able to make it one step better to f/2 which is remarkable. It is sharp wide open and has internal focusing motor, so it does not extend when focusing like many other macro lenses. It could be use as a portrait lens as well.
That’s all folks. You can get your lenses from Amazon, they have a very competitive price and great service. I hope this can help you and have fun making pictures with the lenses!