9 out of 10 points and recommendedTelephoto reach, macro, excellent value for the money, generally good IQCan't remove hood without grinding focus motor
No lens this cheap has any right to be this good.reviewed February 23rd, 2009 (purchased for $230)
It goes from a useful moderate telephoto at the wide end to awfully long at the long end, and can provide 1:1 equivalent magnification at a long working distance. Chromatic aberration is well controlled. Sharpness at the long end is acceptable at 5.6 and quite good starting at f/7 or so. Contrast is good and bokeh is reasonably neutral.
The autofocus has a tendency to hunt at the long end if it can't acquire a lock immediately, simply because there's so much range to hunt through. A focus limiter switch would have been useful. This can be gotten around by zooming out (for more DOF and more aperture, so it will get an approximate lock more easily), activating the AF to get close, then zooming in and focusing for real.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedsharp, cheap, sharp, lightweight, sharponly f/4, not weathersealed
Images are very sharp at any aperture and focal length, even out to the corners; the sharpest aperture is actually f/4. There is a little chromatic aberration around the extreme edges, but nothing too bad, and it is the type that can be corrected in post if you care. Distortion and falloff are not an issue.reviewed February 9th, 2010 (purchased for $400)
The lens is mostly plastic (to keep weight and cost down) with a metal mount, but it feels solid enough.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedvery sharp, excellent VR, fast accurate AFprice, modest aperture
This is a lens with rather modest specs (f/5.6 aperture), but high-end performance and a price to match.reviewed July 5th, 2013 (purchased for $2,700)
It focuses quickly and accurately, has superb VR, and seems rather sturdy. The manual focus throw is not very long, making precision manual focusing hard. The AF is sufficient to track swallows in flight, for instance.
SLRgear's test result at 400mm seems a little suspect to me; my copy is very sharp at 400/5.6 (on D7100). It is a little softer at 300mm than 400mm, unlike most lenses like it. Below 250mm it is very sharp, although there is some significant bokeh chromatic aberration at 80mm wide open.