This lens is the smaller, lighter, less expensive, one stop slower cousin of the 70-200 f/2.8 VR II. So why would one use this lens when it's big cousin is so fantastic? Well, when f/2.8 isn't necessary (maybe you're shooting outside with plenty of light) and you want the range of a 70-200 but not the heavy weight, this lens is really a great alternative. All of the sharpness of it's big cousin but about half the weight! Also, the VR does help a lot if you find yourself in less than ideal light.