This is my "go to" lens for most animal shots and zoo pictures. The 300mm zoom really lets you get in close on an animal for a perspective that shorter lenses do not allow. The VR works flawlessly and I can shoot handheld to 1/60th sec exposure. I even use this lens for isolation shots where I want a smooth blurred background. Bokeh is silky smooth with a 9 blade round diaphragm. Usually at the zoo I use this lens as primary on a shoulder strap and then carry a 2nd body with f/1.8 35mm in the bag. Love it.