9 out of 10 points and recommendedGreat (& unique) range, efficient optical stabilization, fast focus, priceGood (but not very) quality picture
I use this lens as a complement of my (14-24, 24-70, 80-200 f2.8) Nikon lenses with a Nikon D700 (full frame) camera.reviewed June 16th, 2011 (purchased for $2,000)
The long focal Nikon lenses f4 are not affordable for my budget.
The range is very large, this is comfortable allowing not too frequent lens change. I made some comparison switching on & off the OS with a low light inside house during night,a small light and witout support, various f (up to 500) the difference is great ! the test objects were small labels, you are unable to read the text without OS. It is easy with OS. Sometime, it does not work properly (< 5% of cases) and a picture that would be ok witout OS is not usable with it !
The focus is fast but I recommend (for small objects or birds tracking to start with 100 and zoom to 500)
It is more or less heavy but only boring after 3 or more hours walk.
With 500 mm and 22 opening using 95 mm filter), the angles are cut !
When comparison is made with the (best ?) of Nikon f2.8 you clearly see a difference, the reason of my quality 7.
Sumarizing, very interesting for low light but a bit disappointing for outdoor suny days.
Bigma is a robust construction !
I wrote "I am wondering to change to a NIKON 80-400 f4.5-5.6 D" on June 16th, finally I will go to a Nikkor 400 f/3.5, an old reference with manual focus (updated 11/11/11) & will comment it asap.
P.S. DXO optics pro (soft) does not recognize this lens.
After "playing" with the very wide range of the lens, it is clearly amazing, I come to the conclusion that the pictures taken are not in the 1% I love. I generally prefer to uses my Nikkor and...zoom to "increase the focal length !"