10 out of 10 points and recommendeddurable, VR/IQ almost as good as the best__FOR 1/5 THE PRICE!!!focus ring, zoom focus shift, 300mm 5.6/CA/tad soft
Nov '06, Electron Zone electronics complex, Daegu, S Korea: The man behind the Nikon counter looked as uneasily pleased as the waygookin (foreigner) exiting into the clear afternoon sun, new lens on D40. I was headed for the river, to see what a 70-300mm VR could do about the cranes, and how small and far away they could seem...reviewed January 19th, 2013 (purchased for $550)
Ah, the memory of the day I bought my 70-300mm VR still warms the buckles of my old kit bag.
Light for it's length and girth, focusing fine and fast, particularly crisp and saturated in the 70-200 range, lovely bokeh (for the available f/stop), the lens proved a valuable tool to image my outdoor life from Korea, to Hong Kong, SE Asia, Nepal, Europe and N America.
Now, 2013, it has seen over 5 years of active use in 10 countries, on 9 bodies, and it still looks and operates like new, (except for the plastic liner-ring around the front element becoming dog-eared by the way I kind of slide on the lens cap).
I could wish for a bit more clarity at the long end, or that zooming didn't require refocusing, or that the focus ring were bigger/smoother. But, for the price, these are small potatoes, especially considering the quality, the very fine quality, of the lens otherwise. I regularly use with satisfaction the 70-300mm alongside lenses costing 3 to 5 times as much.
Non-pros, plug your ears and hum when 'they' say you need a 2.8 tele zoom. "P-shah," I say. Don't waste your bread on the over-built, over-priced 70-200mm 2.8, or even the new f4. Get this lens for a song, used or on sale. (I hear the Tamron is good, too.)