I have exactly the lens the OP is asking about, the one-ring AF "D". Last of the versions without tripod collar. Fantastically sharp, but I only very rarely shoot it at 2.8. I think any soft photos might be if I miss focus.
I use mine with a Kirk tripod collar. Its their earlier version, which I prefer to the one that came later which wasn't user-friendly if you wanted to shoot verticals. My Kirk collar is rock solid.
Nikon S2, S3, F, F2, F3, FM2, FA, N90S, D80, D7000, D750, Sony a6000, Canon IIf, Leica CL, Tower type 3, Zorki 4, Vito B, Perkeo II, Rollei 35....