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Urgent Any Diff Between 70300 f456 D and G


is there a fundamental difference between the 70-300 f4-5.6D and G? other than the metal and plastic mounts respectively...how about optics wise? i mean, i am a new user and i can't really tell the difference...and what does ED mean and all that...lack of aperture ring for G does not bother me...need to know soon, as i am buying, and the seller may sell it off to someone else if i don't reply in time! :/
D70 newbie...
Has anyone done anything with close-ups shots of(Insects and the likes)? what are good settings to start.

Thanks, Vic