This is my first posting and was wondering if anybody could help.

I have just made the step up from compact to DSLR and am looking to purchase the Nikon 18-200mm AF-S lens for my D5000, but am struggling with working out the difference between the 2 available lenses that re shown on this website in the reviews section, various other online retailers and the Nikon UK website.

I am aware that there are 2 identical lenses available with the only visual difference being that 1 has the VR badge in red and the other is in gold. I am also aware that there is 2 VR specifications from Nikon, VR I and VR II.

The Nikon website states the model name of the "gold" one as
"AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR II" and lists VR II stabilization as one of its features and the "red" one as "18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IF-ED AF-S VR DX NIKKOR" also with VR II stabilisation.

There are 2 reviews on this website for these lenses with differing pro's and con's and and test scores along with 2 different prices, but they product photos both show the "red" lens albeit one reviews photo is lens with zoom in and the other with zoom out.

I am also aware that some websites or reviews or retailers use different model descriptions that may not be true to the actual lens which is also not helping me to work out which lenses are which and what the differences are.

I am half expecting someone to reply to this thread pointing out a blaring obvious difference that is right in front of my eyes, but I'm prepared for the embarrassment!

Hopefully someone will agree that this is all a bit confusing, highlighting the confusion that manufacturers cause with there product/model names and numbers. (Not just digital cameras but lots of different products).

Thank you for any help in advance