Conclusion: Great lens. This version doesn't have VR as some reviewers have claimed. This is the D version, which is the predecessor of the G which does have VR. Still gives sharp focus at infinity, and 1:1.
Pros: 1:1, sharp, manual focuses well.
Cons: too much plastic for my liking, slow af. likes to hunt without limiter.
Conclusion: This was my first Nikon lens after moving from Canon. Killed me that I had to wait for my D300 before using it. I'd had the Canon 180/3.5L and the Sigma 150/2.8 in the past and loved, loved, loved the Sigma. I like the Nikon more. The VR gives you the ability to use it for macro even if you've not brought your tripod. Even the Sigma absolutely needed support. The Canon? It's a 180mm - you can figure from there!
Pros: Build, balance, IQ!, VR, fast AF - especially for a macro
Cons: None at all - perhaps price, but look what you get!
Conclusion: This is probably one of the most versatile lenses in the Nikon line that you can own. First, it is a 105mm, which is great for portraits and landscapes alike. Add the micro feature, and it is a real value, especially with the VR function. I researched a micro lens purchase for nearly six months. I was torn between the 60, this lens and the Sigma 150. I even ordered the Sigma twice and cancelled because I just couldn't see myself using something other than Nikon optics.
Pros: Sharp at all apertures, solid build, beautiful bokeh, VR, useful and versatile focal length
Cons: AF sluggish if allowed to travel through the whole range; really struggles with subjects with no contrast.
Conclusion: I just switched from a Canon 5D to a D700 and needed to replace my Canon 100/2.8 Macro, which with the 5D was already a great combination. The Nikon is even better !!! The boken and color are superb, and this is the sharpest lens I currently own. Portraits also come out wonderful although you really can count every hair or pore in a person's face - so by all means there is no need for any sharpening in post production!
Pros: Very sharp, beautiful color and bokeh. Superb construction.
Conclusion: Just amazing how sharp this lens is even wide open. For macro (micro) photography it delivers crisp pictures. It can be usefull for certain kinds of portraits, be aware tough that is unforgiving in its resolving power. The build quality as usual with nikon primes is excellent.