The substantial extra angle of view which this lens offers over the 24mm focal length can be really useful. Combine this with the lens' very compact size and wegiht, its fast f2.8 aperture, zippy AF speed and you have a lens which is ideal for shooting in crowded places, where lenses like the huge 24-70/f2.8 are just too narrow and too big.
As you'd expect from such a long-standing Nikon prime lens design, optical quality is excellent. If access to high quality images at this focal length is your prime concern then this lens represents excellent value for money, particularly when compared with other Nikon routes to this focal length such as the mighty 14-24/f2.8. Images are sharp and contrasty right across the frame (FX). The only caveat being the curvy vericals at the edges of the frane, although these can now be cured electronically.
Despite the fact that it is an AF-D design, the small size of this prime lens means that AF speed is excellent - certainly comparabel with modern AF-S zooms.
I regularly tuck this cute little lens into my bag and have found it really useful when 35mm or 24mm are not wide enough and have never been disappointed by the quality of its images.
This is a great lens to have, so if considering a purchase, the only question to ask yourself is whether your photography regularly requires you to go beyond 24mm enough to make the pruchase worthwhile.