This is a famous long portrait lens, best suited perhaps to Nikon's full frame bodies like the D3 and D700.
It has a Defocus Control ring, a unique function which allows the user to vary the foreground or background blur. Quite an easy thing to use but I don't employ it so much. The autofocus is screw-drive, quite quick but a tad too noisy for shooting, say, during a wedding ceremony. The more versatile 70-200 VR has near silent and almost immediate autofocus.
The build is above average, crinkle effect metal barrel but still quite light. The general feeling is of quality from a previous era.
There is a built-in hood which is a good idea, but it doesn't slide too smoothly (unlike the one on my Leica 75mm Summicron-M, which is as smooth as silk) - in fact some user have found it temporarily jamming when pushing back if it is not done smoothly. Some copies like mine seem to have a small hole drilled in the hood, maybe to secure the lenscap with a cord.
Optically this is very fine, giving outstanding colour rendition and skin tones. The speed is useful, with a typically large front element.
It's a toss-up which is better between this and the 105mm DC, but the latter is preferred by some and is perhaps better for closer work or a crop sensor camera like the D300.