9 out of 10 points and recommendedSmall, light weight, large zoom range, VC(IS/VR), sharp at wide angleNo manual focus over-ride, small aperture at tele end, lots of distortion, focus hunt at low light, noisy VC, not so sharp at tele end
This review is based on what this lens is designed for, not compare it to professional zoom and prime lenses.reviewed February 7th, 2015 (purchased for $150)
You have to understand what this lens is designed for. It is not to replace your 24-70mm (17-50mm) + 70-200mm + 300mm lens combo in terms of image quality, but weight saving instead. It is a travel zoom lens. It is designed to be as convenient as possible, instead of produce the sharpest images with extreme shallow depth of field.
The best way to describe this lens to think of it as your 18-55+55-200/300mm kits lens merge into one. It has problems performing in low light conditions. The focus speed will drop and often struggle to find focus if you don't use the cross type focus point at the tele end. That being said, it works will in most conditions.
It is not a sport lens either, the focus is too slow for that. However, it is fast enough to capture your kids or pets running around on the field.
In terms of distortion, it is quite bad. However, it is not really noticeable in real world shooting. It is bad news if you are really into brick wall photography though. From 18-35mm(depends on your focus distance) you get barrow distortion and then pincushion after that.
VC works well. I can get most images sharp at 270mm 1/30 sec. So that's about 3 stops improvement. Not bad. It is a bit noisy though. It also takes about 0.3 sec to get into position. The is a "jump" you see on a view finder that may scare the first time user. It is not a fault, but rather how the VC is designed. It is not really a problem, because it generally takes longer to lock on focus than take a picture. In a very unlikely event, you take a picture when the "jump" happens. It may result a blurry picture.
It is a shame it has no manual focus over ride. Sure it has the PZD motor, which is a upgrade from the pervious micro motor, but there are few times I accidentally turn the focus ring while it is on the auto setting because I'm so used to working with lenses that has the manual over ride function.
So really, you have to look at this lens as what it is designed for. It is a great lens if you just want a do-it-all type of lens. You will be disappointed if you compare it to...say a prime or modern f2.8 zooms.