After using the lens for a few days, I’m very happy with it. For the price, it’s a great lens and a good addition for anyone who wants a higher zoom and macro capabilities. It does take some getting used to, but it’s possible to get some excellent results from it. In macro mode, you can get very sharp images with good bokeh.
Since the lens lacks vibration reduction, if you’re not using a tripod, you’ll have to use a very fast shutter speed, around 1/focal length, to avoid camera shake. I find I get the best results using shutter priority and raising the ISO if necessary. For this shot, I used a shutter speed of 1/320 and ISO 1600 at the maximum aperture, which is 5.6 at 300mm.
The focus can be very slow, so in many cases you’ll probably want to use manual focus. The macro switch can be a bit tricky – it can only be engaged at a focal length of 200mm or greater, and you can’t switch it off with the second extension (used for focus) extended. In most cases, that means you’ll have to switch to manual focus to rotate the focus ring.
Despite those limitations, there probably isn’t another lens that offers the same capabilities for under $200.