7 out of 10 points and recommendedprice, close focus capabilityrotating front element, IQ over 200mm, focus speed
Was fortunate enough to pick this up as a package with Tamron 17-55 f/2.8, so effectively did not pay that much, but even for the average retail price I would say its decent value. I wasn't really expecting to use it that much, just thought it'd be a bit of a bonus with the 17-55 (which is excellent), but I do use it quite a bit and mostly happy with results. Sharpness and contrast seem to drop off at longer focal length (as most already note).reviewed March 26th, 2009
I like the "macro" mode, if its a gimiick, its a useful one--although pity it can't kick in a bit earlier than 180mm. For me, I'm happy to use a tripod for close-up stuff, and unlike others, I have no trouble with the switch. I've had some decend results here with static subjects, and even the odd insect in flight (with lots of light).
Pretty leisurely focus speed: you can attempt some action shots with it, but be prepared for (very) low hit rate. If you've got sufficient light, and its laterally moving, you're be better of in manual focus for this type of thing.
For the price, hard to go that wrong.