9 out of 10 points and recommendedGreat IQ & BQ, very usefull VR, nice bokehHigh price
I use this lens on my D90 and it works great @f/4.0-5.6 for macro shootings. If you want to shoot macro without a tripod know that this one has a very useful VR. Before coming to IQ, in my opinion, the sharpness of a lens is always subjective and depends on many other controllable & uncontrollable effects. So, concerning my macro and telephoto shootings in daylight; @f/4.0 center IQ is very impressive and @f/5.6 edges are almost as sharp as center.reviewed September 24th, 2009 (purchased for $750)
AF hunts a bit and you don't get f/2.8 at macro close-ups (that's common almost in all macro lenses).
With the 9-blade diaphragm it's really unusual to have a distorted/nervous bokeh.
A hint for manual focus users: the shallow DOF will force you to be more precise and this is really tricky with a camera (like D90) that does not have a proper focus screen for manual focusing.
In general, one usually has to pay a high price for high IQ and BQ. This one's worth it.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedHigh IQ in center, low priceSoft at the edges
Before buying this one for my D90, I've read a lot about 50mm prime lens results (MTF charts, MTF50 results, reviews, etc...). The sharpness results of this one in the center of the image (between f/2.0 - 4.0) comes 2nd after Zeiss T* 1.4 (acc. to the results in www.photozone.de). At f/5.6 all three nikkors have almost the same results in center IQ. The other lenses were Nikons (1.4D and 1.4G) which have impressive results both in center and edges.reviewed September 24th, 2009 (purchased for $150)
With1.8D, the IQ at the edges are softer than all of the others, but at this price it's a very good buy. If you have an APS-C format camera, this lens can be used as close-up portrait lens in which you can ignore softness at the edges.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedFast, great BQ, good IQCA, soft edges at wide open
It's a fast lens with impressive IQ (both in center and edges). On a D90 especially at f/5.6 and even at f/8 I get great results. MF/AF clutch is very useful. BQ is very good. Some may say that AF is slower/noisier than nikons but you don't shoot a running cheetah with a wide angle lens and I think noise level is quite acceptable.reviewed September 25th, 2009 (purchased for $650)
Zoom range is between 11-16 unlike Sigma's or Nikon's in this category but I personally never complained about that.
I gave 8 for IQ because this lens has high lateral CA levels and a bit soft in the edges at wide open.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedImpressive BQ, VR, very sharp in 70-150mm rangeSoft in 200-300mm range
70-300 is very well built. Has an impressive AF (for fast/silent AF worshippers) and very useful VR (normal & active modes).reviewed September 30th, 2009 (purchased for $600)
On my D90, at f/4.5-8 and between 70-200mm it's very sharp both in the center and edges. Beginning from 150mm the IQ performance decreases. It's quite unusual to use a zoom lens for portrait shootings but believe me this one has at 70mm on a APS-C format very impressive results.
The lens has a non rotating front element and does not suffer from zoom creep.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedVery impressive IQ between 24-50mm, low priceMore plastic than metal
You'll be satisfied with this lens unless you desperately require new AF technology or true IF design. I bought it because of its low price and I don't prefer DX format zooms for my lens collection. By the way, AF is fast and accurate, but noisier than newer versions (is that really a problem?!)reviewed September 30th, 2009 (purchased for $500)
It's a fast lens with very impressive IQ (esp. between 24-50mm @ f/2.8-5.6). Even at 85mm you'll get great sharpness when stopped down to f/8. I believe the IQ of this beats the newer AF-S 24-85mm (except for IQ at long end).
The macro option (1:2 @ 85mm) is nice to have and produces results as good as it gets for a 1:2 ratio.
BQ: The weakest chain when compared to newer nikon models. Too much plastic but well built. Has non rotating front element. Focus ring rotates during AF but not much of a problem because the ring is quite thin (which is not good if you focus manually).
Distortion: Barrel distortion at 24mm (visible on architectural shots) and slight pincussion at long end.
LaCAs: Well controlled for a zoom lens but can be seen @ wide open. Better performance than AF-S 24-85mm ED.
Bokeh: Nice bokeh (has 9-blade diaphragm).
Vignetting: It's a FF lens. Mounting it on a D90 let you forget the vignetting issues even at wide open.
6 out of 10 points and not recommendedVR, good IQ, good price with VR functionheavy distortion, soft beyond 50mm
A very all-around lens and balances well with D90. VR is useful at tele range.reviewed November 13th, 2009 (purchased for $250)
Actually, even though it has a high zoom range the best results in terms of resolution (center and edges) and distortion can be get around 24-35mm. Other than that the IQ gets slightly worse and distortion gets really heavier.
I sold this one and bought a 24-85mm f/2.8-4D. And I believe it was the right thing to do.