10 out of 10 points and recommendedSharp at all focal lengths at centre of frame, Fast AF (HSM), OS, Macro ModeHeavy, Slow aperture of f/6.3 and 95mm filter!
I am not a pro but really enjoy bird photography and macro nature photography. I have used the predecessor (BIGMA) without the OS and that was not a bad lens by any means. This lens however takes what was a good product and makes the old one look like an antique! Firstly, gone are the yellow hazy tinted images which the BIGMA was notorious for- the new glass produces superb color and contrast with no abnormal color shifts. Secondly, the new version has an amazingly useful and effective OS function that has enabled me to get more keepers of sharp hand held shots in lower light situations. I would say the OS gives more like 3-stops improvement which is very decent. Thirdly, this lens has a very decent magnification ratio of 3:1 at 200mm which is amazingly useful- I have now also a macro capable lens which becomes a nature photographers dream walk-around lens ! Make no mistake-it is no prime lens but lately my prime shooting mates are not talking to me anymore...;)reviewed June 9th, 2010 (purchased for $1,680)
Once you see the magic that this baby can do you will want one- be warned!
I recently went on a Safari in Sri Lanka with this lens. Please see some of the pictures that this lens is capable of here: