Note: Many zoom lenses possess front filter threads that rotate while the lens is focused. This often is annoying if you want to use a polarising filter, for nikon f80 service manual. Whenever a zoom lacks this trait it is explicitly stated.
More frequently than other lenses, zooms do display product variability and you may have to test several before getting a perfect sample. This results because of their complex optical design. Remember that such lenses also would be more susceptible to knocks and blows than are primes, so treat them with real care. ED element is by far the best of all. By the way, it still is on the Nikon lens list. It is a very big and heavy lens, and most people would never even think of using it hand-held.
On a tripod, however, it’s a joy to use and probably should be considered the ultimate “travelling” lens when you tour the countryside by car. D1X camera, do consider having the lens upgraded with a CPU chip. This is because the digital camera needs using colour matrix metering to achieve near-perfect exposures. D2X, you can dial in the lens data so getting a CPU isn’t equally important here. D2X and the 50-300 ED are jolly mates and not too keen on theory, they don’t care about such wisdom at all.
However, on the D3, the performance of the 50-300ED no longer is top notch. Muddiness creeps in and the corner perfomance suffers. A pity but such is real life. Be aware that there are two versions of the 55-200, this review only covers the last VR model. This is a plain consumer-oriented item, evidenced by its plasticy build even down to having a plastic lens mount, plus a thin and hard-to-reach collar for manual focusing to the front of the assembly.
If you bite the bullet and apply AF focusing and VR operation, the lens in fact can deliver quite nice images. Colour rendition is clearly more muted than with ordinary ED glass and image contrast lacks the sparkle of more expensive lenses. Flare can also be an issue, in particular towards the long end so leave the lens shade on. 8 seems to work best at all focal settings.