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I've used it and am happy with the results *mostly.* However, I never get the kind of tack-sharp photos I see elsewhere, even under what seem like perfect conditions. I'm using it on a Canon 60D body. I did a focus test and found that it consistently seemed to be focussing just a little closer than where it thought it was focussing. I have not yet taken this issue up with either Sigma or with Canon...but that might be why my images aren't as sharp as I think they should be.
I have owned this lens for approx 2 months now as I decided to get it at the same time as the D300S.
Having used a wide range of lenses in the past I am somewhat disappointed in the general image quality of this lens in terms of sharpness and blue fringing at the far end. Also, one major issue with this lens is bleeding/ghosting of white onto the background if the subject is of a high intensity colour (such as a white seagull against a dark background) to the point where I find it unacceptable. Due to this you have to think about all your shots in order to bypass this quite serious issue. My friend also owns a copy of this lens and has the same problems as me.
This issue also exists on my D3 so it seems a be trait of this lens.
The lens itself is fairly light weight making it very easy to achieve successful shots in reasonable light, however due to the other issues of this lens I would not recommend it.
soft - make break is left on camera in non padded case.
Very useful for people who can only take ONE lens on a trip. I've owned this lens for 12 years. IMO you need at least a 600mm lens to bird because of target size (warbler/hummer) or distance (Savannah/ocean). For me it's just getting a quality image - not pro. I have 1 trip and often 1 chance. Several of my shots are in the opus database. I find shooting with tripods rarely useful in watercraft, jungle, or open jeep (often engine still on). The 50-500 with a Nikon D2H 1.5 crop effectively make this lens a 750mm f6.3. The grip handle is really a must. It allows me to keep the lens in my hands longer than others by periodically switching to it from my camera body grip. I imaged over 250 species in Costa Rica in 10 days with the lens. It was my 1st trip there and life-list seeing the bird Always comes first. I don't use a flash but that would extend getting good images under dark canopy. I found I can not go any heavier hand held. I tried the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 (too heavy) and have found the competition (in the 500mm range) too heavy also - making the image stabilized lens out. Maybe there's a new 500 range lens out there now that beats this lens for hand held for my use - I'd like to own it. I don't have love for this lens. It just fits my purpose. The zoom range is nice and can leave one spoiled.