8 out of 10 points and recommendedGreat VR - Sharpness - Manual Focus in AF modeSlow Lens - Weight - Large Filter size - NO Tripod Mount
This is a great lens for anyone who wants to walk and shoot in nature without a tripod and capture great images . The VR gives this lens a great deal of hand held shooting flexibility.reviewed April 10th, 2009 (purchased for $406)
The review is very accurate:
300MM images can be more than acceptable in good light at F8. Shooting at F8 may not be a possibility when you need high speed for fast moving wildlife. A D60 will create considerable noise at High ISO compared to a D90. I find this lens gives an incredible performance with the D90 as 800ISO images are often more noise free than a D60 at 200ISO.
Comparing the Tamron 28-300 is not very fair. The Tamron is 75% more expensive in Comparison in Montreal Canada. (The Tamron is faster and maybe sharper) The Tamron may be a better lens but it's in a different league. (Nikon $500 CDN / Tamron $800 CDN)
If VR (Image Stabilization) is not a factor for you I would give the Sigma APO a good look. It's much sharper at 300. All the sharpness in the world won't help you if you don't have a tripod or monopod.
As far as macro is concerned it's OK. Add a Canon 500D macro filter and you have incredible Macro performance. (Don't cheap-out with bargain close-up filters)
This lens is very unstable on a cheap tripod. There's no Tripod mount on the lens and it is very front heavy. I had to fabricate a plate to offset the center of gravity and that has made a big difference.
I am very happy with this lens. Once you understand it's limitations and put to good practice basic use of light you will get excellent performance.
Naturally I want bigger and faster but there's a price to pay. The lens at $500CDN ($405US) is a fantastic value