A friend of mine who works at one of the local Seattle-area camera pushers popped one of the original 43-86's on his D800E. It was sharp, but very flat, contrast-wise. My own experience was with the C version. Ok lens, but, not great. Part of the reason may've been due to the 1st generation Velvia I was using. Had been frozen for many years, but that may not've been enough to prevent things from going bad.
Anyway, a shot of waterlillies in Lake Washington at Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland, WA. Taken with said 43-86, mounted to my F FTn body.
I have an AI version and a non AI version. They are actually among my favorite lenses. I use the non-AI on my older Nikkormats and the AI on newer bodies. The attached shot used the AI version.
Pretty sad that I can see the distortion on the thumbnails. :)
My short-ratio Nikkor is my 35-80/4-5.6D (first gen). It's a really nice lens, if you don't mind it being so slow. It sure is sharp.
I dunno about 43-86, but I do enjoy my 36-72 AI zoom. I trend to wider angles. Both zooms are a great size/weight/feature compromise for travel.