Hi, I have done my best over the last few weeks to try to answer the question I'm about to ask, but I have yet to find the "right" reviews or forum answers. Here's the deal... I have a D50, and I have gotten to where I am happy with all of my lenses - except my telephoto. I have a functional but clunky 70-210mm f/4-5.6 push-pull zoom that I bought last year on ebay. It actually can take decent pictures, but it's too slow. It's useless for action or for anything less than full sunlight. Also, I have found that I am not a fan of push-pull zooms. It's time to upgrade! I am looking at the following lenses: Nikon 70-200mm AF-S VR Nikon 80-200mm D (current 2 ring design) Sigma 70-200mm APO HSM... (can't remember the rest of their acronyms offhand) At the moment, I could just go out and buy either of the latter two without hesitation. I don't have the cash for the AF-S/VR, and even if I waited to save up more money, I don't know that can stomach the price tag. If I made money from photography, it'd be a lot easier for me to do, but it's a lot of $$ for an amateur. I understand the differences between all these lenses, but I have no way to really try them out, with the exception of the AF-S VR, which I can rent at a local shop. And in all honesty, I'm trying to avoid renting it, since I am afraid I'll succumb to "lens lust." What I've gathered from my research is that the IQ of both Nikons is fantastic. The reviews on the Sigma vary, and it sounds good but possibly soft wide open at 200mm. I do like that it has the quick HSM focus, though (I've never had a Sigma, so I'm trusting that it's fast). The AF-S VR is the best on all counts, but I read somewhere that it may have some flare issues (is this true?) After saying all that, I guess my decision comes down to a single question... how responsive is the screw focus of the 80-200 on a D50? If it will focus pretty quickly, I will forgo the AF-S/VR of the expensive lens and the HSM motor of the Sigma. I really do not want to spend $900 on a lens that doesn't focus really quickly. I know that different cameras have different motors, and I'd have to assume the a D50 is on the weaker side. That makes having an AF-S or HSM focus system look really attractive. When I shoot sports or fast-moving subjects, I don't want to miss shots due to a weak focus motor. And, yes, I know it's possible to get shots with any lens, practical experience has proven to me that I lose more opportunities when I have a slow-focusing lens. On the subject of VR, I wouldn't object to having it, but I can't justify an extra $700-800 for that feature alone. I would need other compelling reasons to spend the extra money. I would be interested in hearing ANY insights or opinions that people want to share. I know this the kind of question that will have many "answers," but since I can only rent one of them, I am hoping to benefit from others' experiences or wisdom. For me, just trying a few test shots in a store doesn't really give me a good idea of how well the lens will work in the real world. I am hoping that you can tell me your recommendation. Sample photos (particularly of the Sigma, which isn't as popular) would be appreciated, too. Thanks!