8 out of 10 points and recommendedFlexibility, VRDistortion, weaker optical quailty at longer rang
This lens, like all the consumer zooms I guess, performs well when you operate it in its sweet spot.reviewed December 16th, 2006 (purchased for $750)
After playing with some primes, I start thinking of this lens as 5 lens:
1) 24-50mm f4-11
2) 18mm f4
3) 24mm f5.6-11
4) 75-135mm f8
5) 135-200mm f11
This lens is quite good in 24-50mm optically, in the belief that distortion can be easily fixed by PTLens. The 24mm focal length is undoubtedly the best optically due to the benefit of negligible distortion.
The constrast and sharpness fall noticeablly in the longer end, however, it still ok. Lastly, according to the review of slrgear.com, at 18mm the quality improves when stop down from f3.5 to f4+.
On the other hand, this lens can just as well be used as one wishes. The range and VR really gives one wings.... I mean make one feel free in most cases. This is good and bad, though. Good for the convenience and bad for sharpening one's skills because it can make one not to think. However, I think this lens has the capability to grow with one's techniques, and it has an unique combination of strengths that easily outweigh its shortcomings.