I will admit it, this lens was not one I was prepared to love. It came up for sale recently and was an excellent deal, and as I am a macro lens fan, I couldn’t resist. My expectations weren’t that high, and I was convinced that VR on a macro would work far better in theory than in practice, but the more I use it the more I like it.
The VR probably doesn’t give you a four stop advantage as claimed, but it will give you a 2-3 stop advantage. Hand holding this lens with a shutter speed of 1/25th of a second is not an issue, but it is probably easier to gain these sorts of results at infinity than at minimum focus distance.
So far the results have been good. It’s as sharp as other good macro lenses, has no real optical flaws and the VR certainly is handy. Here’s some shots of my daughter’s little fingers.
Recommended? Yes, however there are a lot of other excellent macro lenses out there. If you are only ever going to have a DX camera, then it presents extremely well, and there's no other VR Macro lenses at this price point. If you have a D3 or D700, or an inkling towards full frame in the future, then a Tamron 90mm f2.8 is probably a better bet.