The other reviewers have covered what you need to know. Another photographer recommended this lens to me when I was considering getting either macro filters or extension tubes.
I needed a macro lens for a homework module. First time out of the box I couldn't 'see' anything! It didn't make sense to have the lens on full zoom then get up really close to the subject. Once I'd figured it out what you see through the lens is pretty impressive.
You need great light as being so close to your subject you can cast a shadow. I've used it mainly outdoors for that reason. My homework was to learn hand-held macro using the rocking technique. I've put up 3 pictures and both used this method. It's frustrating/fun in equal measure to use but I love it, plus it isn't horrendously expensive compared to a prime macro lens.
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