his lens is fantastic - especially for $399. My first concern was whether it not it had a plastic or metal mount since some DX lenses in this price range have plastic. I even contacted Nikon and they couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me. Well, I was really pleased to see that it does have a metal mount. It has a nice solid feel to it. The zoom movement is smooth and I haven't had any problem with lens creep when I'm aiming it downward. Even when I point the camera downward and shake it, it won't creep. I'm just beginning to get into testing it but my preliminary pictures are coming out nice - really nice. The sharpness is amazing and the lens produces a very nice bokeh. I posted the image of the dragonfly with the chicken wire background (see the customer uploads) Check out the detail in the wings. That shot says it all. It was HAND HELD and cranked all the way out to 300mm. The original image is great but a lot of the detail was lost with the upload to Amazon. But - none the less - it's still pretty sharp. The auto focus on this lens is fast, smooth, quiet and very accurate. It locked right in on the subject. It was set on aperture priority at f/8 1/500sec for the shot that I posted here (shot with a D-90). The VR on this lens is great. The detail I get with hand-helds just amazes me. It has Nikon's VRII image stabilization and it even has a tripod detection mode that reduces any vibration from shutter release when it's on a tripod. Colors are rendered accurately and the contrast is pretty sharp even at the max aperture. The lens is compact for a 300mm and it's lighter than my AF-S DX 18-200mm which I use as my regular walk-around. I'm sure the new 55-300 will be used as my walk around pretty frequently also. All in all for an APS-C lens, Nikon did a great job with this one - especially for the price. It's a welcome addition to the DX line and I'm really glad I have one in my gear bag.
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