I picked up one of these ahead of a vacation where a mid-range zoom was necessary and because Nikon had failed to fix my 24-120's blurry right hand side.
Nervous about travelling untried I ran some tests and they indicated a whole range of problems, such that I almost returned the lens. It tries to frontfocus at close range and to backfocus at distance, it seemed to need differing AF fine tune at either ends of the zoom, and the VC was making blurry images.
Staying as calm as ever (right!) I just took it for a walk, shot loads of stuff at different zooms, apertures, etc and everything was fine, however dodgy it looked in a test environment, so I took the plunge. I packed a 70-200VRII as well, just in case, and a 28 f1.8... And a Sony RX100.
Yesterday, the first full day of the trip, I waked about for several hours with just the Tammy and decided to turn VC off for all shots over 1/40th and, for all shots over 1/40th, to use at least twice the reciprocal of focal length. Otherwise the only concession I made was, in distant scenes, to focus on something slightly closer than the furthest thing I want in focus.
Now: I have a MacBook retina with me, so can't make fine judgments because LR is still enterpolating full resolution on retina displays but, initially, I think this lens is great. It's about as sharp as the 24-120 on centre, has better edges even than the 'good edge' on my 24-120, and the VR makes it very useful in dark places. Edges at 24mm could be tighter, otherwise I am happy, and the results are very consistent too. I know Guy has just bought this lens, so useful maybe to have a thread for people to share impressions...
There's a full and soon-to-be growing vacation snapshot gallery at
Tim Ashley Photography | Black Sea and full-sized images can be downloaded for anyone who wants to tell me that I'm not judging this properly on the MacBook ;-)
Some for a starter: