A very long (especially for DX) zoom telephoto with AF for a bargain price. Worth it or not?
+ very cheap, compared to other lenses of the same category
+ decent optically - considering the price, however
+ having the option to zoom out to 200mm could be useful compared to a longer fixed-length lens.
- wide-open at 400mm is the weakest point of the lens (to be expected, but that's where one would probably want to use it)
- it requires support and handling discipline to perform
- old, obsolete design, with bad ergonomics
|The age of this lens is clearly visible on its design|
|In daylight and with good support, it performs well|
|Also good for these kinds of shadow shots|
- bird and wildlife photos in good light
- activities where you can't get close (say, surfing)
- shadow outlines in sunset/sunrise conditions
- anything other than what described above - this is a very long lens in focal length
- those who don't like tripods or monopods - without them, you are guaranteed to get substandard photos.
- low light - even overcast can make it very tricky for you to take decent shots
Not a bad lens, good value for money (but not excellent). Just like with the Sigma 400mm f/5.6, when it is stopped down to f/8 of f/11 the optical quality is good, but ONLY if you have the proper handling discipline. This lens - like any long tele without VR - is very, very unforgiving regarding stability. If you don't want to use a tripod or at least a monopod, don't bother - you will be thoroughly frustrated. Even with a monopod, you will need sufficiently fast shutter speed. Paired with the fact that you can't get the best of the lens unless you stop down to f/8 or f/11, it becomes apparent that in anything other than plenty of sunlight, this lens becomes a drag. Overall, you need to ask yourself whether you really need a lens that can be sensibly used for only very specific occasions.