Hi Jim, I've had my 70-300VR since it first came out. I have a 70-200VR that I use on gigs, but for travel and general shooting, I tend to grab the 70-300 instead because of it's more compact and lighter build. I've always been impressed with it and don't hesitate to use it in any situation and even at its extremes--wide open and at 300mm. Some will say it's soft there, but with good technique and the usual pp, I don't have any issues with softness. It doesn't have the same really hearty feel of the 70-200VR or other longer upscale lenses, but for the price, it's a winner.