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on 20 August 2012
First, I totally agree with all the praise of the five star reviews here and on other sites. There's no mistake about it, this is a fantastic lens, especially for the price. Being an enthusiast, not a professional, I don't think I'll be replacing it, unless it dies. But I won't be wasting anybody's time by repeating same things that other reviewers already said. Instead, I'd rather point out a couple of little things to bear in mind.

- Weight. It feels quite heavy. Coupled with a K-r makes for a fairly weighty duo. It doesn't have to be a problem, but it may be for some.
- Noise. It is a little bit on a shouty side. It is a lovely, oldskool cyborg-like sound, but it may feel intrusive for some.
- Operation. Don't know about others, but the zoom ring on mine is slightly laborious. Every time I change back to my stock Pentax lens it feels like I've just reached the solid ground after wading through a bog. Again, not a big problem, but worth pointing out.
- Macro switch. Ah, here's the thing... It's a stubborn little fella. After I bought the lens and encountered this problem I've done a little bit of googling and it seems that I wasn't the only one. The problem is that the switch gets stuck. Sometimes it's enough to turn the camera off, sometimes you have disconnect the lens altogether. It is a definite flaw and an annoying little fly in the ointment of otherwise very good build quality but then again, The camera has the macro setting on its own and on a couple of test shots I took I could not see any apparent difference the macro setting on the lens has made. So I leave it off and don't make too much fuss about it (at least for me it definitely wasn't worth sending it back and waiting for another one).

So for those reasons listed there is a star off, but like I said, these things may not be a problem to every one, same as I can live with them and still be quite happy with the lens.
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on 15 May 2015
I had outgrown the lens that came with my Nikon D3100 and was looking for something to take action shots at distance, being a casual photographer I didn't want to break the bank so on paper this lens fitted the bill nicely. It has enabled me to get some great photos although the points mentioned elsewhere are true, the motor is noisier than its (more expensive) rivals and the auto zoom is far from rapid, however as a stepping stone to better albeit more expensive lenses, this is a worthy choice.
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on 18 September 2014
i bought this lens as used and it took long time to dispatch so i cancelled the item and ordered from the web.

this lens compared with canon ef70-300 non stabilized as well lens is ahead of competition.
It is much heavier in construction though.
I would not advise this lens for macro shots as it is bulky.

Has virtually no aberrations at all, very crisp. You need to raise your iso if you shoot handleld. i would advise minimum speed @300mm over 1/2000 to get descent shots. Otherwise you get blurry / out of focus results from shake/ vibrations.

I find it more contrasty than canon's equivalent, definitely sharper as well.

I hate the fact the focusing distance ring needs to be rotated anti-clockwise as 70mm is at the far end on ring (on canon it is 300)
To use the macro feature, you need to slide the switch down After you set the ring to 200mm (or works ok from 200 to 300mm)
To disengage you must be in this range. If for any reason the switch will not pull back to its normal state (macro off) then use 3(0)0 and 2(0)0 mm and put the first zero of number aligned with the white mark on lens barel.

Use tripod whenever you can and cable release
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VINE VOICEon 27 May 2014
I got this recently to go on holiday to Dorset with, in partnership with my Sony A58 camera and what a joy it's been. Granted, it's not the most attractive lens when extended to its maximum and it's pretty hefty when you attach the lens hood, but it takes fantastic photos and represents excellent value. I plumped for this one over the non-APO version (which was significantly cheaper) and, whilst I can't comment on how the cheaper lens performs, this one was worth every penny.

Although I've used a DSLR for 5 years now (the A58 replaced my aging A200, which this lens would also fit), I recently decided to learn how to use the thing properly. It's used commercially for taking product shots for my online business (if you intend to do the same thing, I heartily recommend the Sony 50mm prime lens which is very fast and sharp) but I was a bit nervous when I went to Monkey World in Dorset with the 300mm lens attached. To be honest, I felt like a bit of a dick - until I saw how many other people were doing the same. I had a thoroughly enjoyable day getting "up close and personal" to the animals and was absolutely delighted when I loaded the images up on my Chromebook and took a look. Even without any processing, they are razor sharp (assuming I focussed effectively) and the 300mm range meant I could take my pick of the animals in each enclosure.

I haven't noticed any of the chromatic problems common in "cheaper" lenses such as this - in fact, the only problems I've noticed with any of my shots were due to my ineptitude. This lens is ideal for taking photos of animals and for certain purposes in landscape photography (sunsets for example). Bear in mind that its minimum 70mm setting means it's not so useful for taking wider angle images - when visiting villages, I switched back to my old A200 kit lens.

Overall, a superb choice I'm delighted with. I think this, alongside a decent kit lens, would suit most purposes - especially for those of us who operate on a budget
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on 5 March 2013
For a beginners telephoto lens I would recommend it the build quality is quite good for the price. The Image quality is quite good for the price not overly soft and I use mine with a 1.4 teleconverter, the auto-focus while a little noisy is relatively quick you just need to watch trying to focus in open sky( it mostly just seeks but more expensive lens do to). Because the lens is quite light I have found you can take fairly decent photos at lower shutter speeds up to a point. However the best shutter speeds in good light are 1/250 and above and it is not the best lens to use in bad light but with a little practice you get used to what you can get away with.

The macro setting is quite useful esp with a extension tube, but yes to disengage it you do have to switch to manual focus and draw it all the way back to get it off - you soon get used to it.

The only niggle I have is with the manual focus it just feels a little sloppy, so you have to be extra precise and use a little more pressure holding it still or it quickly come out of focus, and you do have to be very precise with it to get the shots.

Overall a OK lens and a really good price.
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on 13 January 2017
I would say I am an intermediate level photographer, who just likes taking good photos. I must say this is great lense for entry/intermediate level photography. I use it with my Nikon D3200 and only drawback could it's performance in low light conditions. I have noticed, if I take pictures in RAW and adjust them in lightroom, it fixes this drawback to great extend... All in all I am happy with the purchase
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on 3 August 2016
Very good lens for the price. Check it used for astrophotography on [...]: photos of stars are perfect to evaluate lens aberrations. Pretty good especially if used with a monopod / tripod (otherwise the lack of VR means that you must push the ISOs quite high for short exposures)
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on 26 June 2014
A good lens for general use. Its both telephoto and macro in one.
The macro setting is from 200-300mm zoom only, But this enables you to get a fair distance between you and the subject and thus maybe not scare wildlife away. The second shot I took with it was of a flower, and its amazing what you don't notice until shooting in macro.
A good value lens for the money and the extra few pounds for the APO version seems to be worth it.
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on 4 March 2013
I'm not a professional photographer, I could even say that I'm an amateur photographer or a hobbyist, and this is my first non-kit lens. I love aircraft spotting and that's why I chose this telephoto lens and believe me, it does its job right!! The images do get a bit soft after 250mm but it's fine with my expectations. I have a Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) camera and the lens fits perfectly. The lens feels a bit heavy but I found this good because it helps balancing the camera and keeping it steady. First impression is that it looks like a quality and stylish product. First try was on a cloudy day with not much sunlight but again the lens performed excellent. I set the autofocus mode to AI FOCUS, in order to focus on moving subjects (such as aircraft), and the lens had no problem to quickly focus on them. I found focusing to be quite fast even on moving subjects, though it might seem a relatively long time for the barrel to move from one edge to the other. I had no issues with focus haunting at all. I also found macro mode to be fantastic and the images are sharp even at 300mm. No lens creep at all, for all focal ranges.
I also liked the soft case and lens hood the lens came with.
Overall it's a great product and I recommend this to anyone who is on a budget and needs a telephoto lens!
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on 16 January 2013
Well, I'd previously read reviews about this lens and heard it wasn't fantastic quality at anything above 200mm...This is true, but for the money, I think that's fair enough! You can't expect it to be 100% perfect if you're not paying 100% of the price! My only other lens currently is an 18-55mm, I just wanted a not-too-expensive lens that'd help me broaden my range and try new things!
Something that disappointed me slightly is the noise the auto-focus makes...I wanted this lens mostly to shoot wildlife and birds, and that noise would scare them off instantly if they hadn't already spotted me, however, 95% of the time I manually focus anyhow so it isn't a big deal, but I wish I'd read it in the reviews!

Where Amazon is concerned though, fast delivery -a day earlier than the expected date, perfect condition, well wrapped, even came with a handy lens pouch that I wasn't expecting!

Recommended for people who don't have a huge budget, especially as a start-up zoom lens.
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