3 out of 10 points and not recommendedGood center QDecentering
Image quality is good in the center (no apparent CA, decent but not great resolution). Good for daylight shooting at F/5.6 to F/11. Contrast and colours are on par with consumer zooms - but no contest for Canon L primes or the Distagons. Highlights are fine, dark areas are not.reviewed January 21st, 2012
NEX3 tends to overexpose with this lens - but this is most likely the camera's fault. AF is consistently good, but then it's hard to miss at 24/5.6.
Unfortunately, Sony seems to have serious QC problems. My kit lens was badly decentered - left quarter of the frame all mushed up. You can see the same bad-left-side defect in slrgear's test shots. Curiously, my "bad left" does not show colour fringing - perhaps it's there but all blurred.
I checked three replacement options, and all had some degree of the same problem. Left or right. Unfortunately, NEX3 does not offer 1:1 aspect ratio (within these limits, the lens is quite decent).
9 out of 10 points and recommendedUniform, creamy contrast across the frame, tack sharp, AF-friendlySomewhat unbalanced on 5D2 body
Excellent image quality on full frame, across the frame - very uniform. Rich, creamy contrast in darker areas. And yet it's tack sharp - when properly focused. I expected precise focusing to be quite a problem at 200mm, but actually 5Dmk2 autofocuses it more reliably than 85/1.8. After some trial and error, it seems that there's no real benefit in using live view in daytime shots - only at night time.reviewed January 21st, 2012 (purchased for $800)
Long-exposure night shots in the city at F/5.6 and F/8 are great - bright lights have neat 8-ray stars around them, but no disturbing blooming. Very clean transition from light to dark. Wide open bokeh is excellent, - no "onion rings" or colour shift. Cat's eye effect is moderate: peripheral out-of-focus lights are shaped like an American football, with well-rounded corners, otherwise they look the same as in the center of the frame.
Perhaps the only complaint is about physical balance of weights on 5Dmk2 body. The all-metal barrel is quite front-heavy, and yet it's too narrow - hard to support firmly by hand. The problems goes away with attached battery grip and an L-bracket.