9 out of 10 points and recommendedsharp, very little ca, well madesoft at 200 mm
Initially I bought a 70-300 VR to complement my 18-70. I was very interested in this lens but discovered that the afs differs from the 18-70 and 70-300; it's the same lighter and slower version as used in the 18-135. In addition it is not the vr2 but the old vr1. Some reviewers already reported malfunction of this inferior afs. I chose to spend my euros wisely and bought the better 70-300 vr ...... I thought ....reviewed May 1st, 2007 (purchased for $319)
The 70-300 Vr2 broke just after one day of testing it!!! So there I ended up with ... a 55-200 vr and a sb-600 to complement my sb-800 for the same amount. And I must say: i am very very pleasant surprised!!!! I was not happy with the dark blue fringing of the 70-300 vr and expected to see some in this lens too, well ..... there is almost none!!
Sharpness really surprised me too; it is sharp wide open untill say 150 mm. Stopping it down will help a little at 200 mm. Af is a little slower than my 18-70 but that does not matter. What does matter is that the lens tube does not wiggle and wobbel as my 18-70 does, the latter is a dust eater because of that!
Vr works but don't expect miracles. Subject movement is already there below 1/30. See it as an extra tool to save the day and shoot acceptable images in low light. If you want razor sharp low light performance, buy faster and bigger glass.
Color rendition is very good, like my 18-70. And last but not least ... bokeh ... It is very very very pretty.
Perhaps not just as good as the 9 bladed 70-300 but it is close.
All in all : this is a truly amazing lens!