I was so pleased with the A7R that I got an A7 (with kit lens) to go with it. now I have electronic first curtain, a back up, greater tolerance to handheld slow speeds etc. I got the kit lens deal because with the decentered 35 Sonnar I returned, I wanted a native lens for a forthcoming trip/baptism.
The kit lens has been a very nice surprise, for the following reasons:
Its very light and balances beautifully on the camera. Its miles better than with my adapted CV 35 1.2 II, which is nose heavy.
Build feels fine to me. Its the matt finish plastics, light weight and general lack of shiny stuff that IMO gives the impression its 'not of good quality'. I don't get the same impression. It all feels pretty smooth and tight to me, with good weighting to focus and decent/silent AF.
Optically, it seems to be right at the top of the pile for a kit lens. Thus far I have shot it from 28-50mm using my faithful chequered rug and it is perfectly centered. I'll describe the outline findings:
Wide open it is a touch soft around the edges and more so into the far corners, regardless of focal length, but very sharp on centre. Wide open performance is much better than I had expected.
At 28-50mm, a stop down from wide open it is much tighter into the corners. By f8 it is superb. At F11, you are losing out to diffraction a touch across the frame, but its marginal. Both are very useable for general scenic shots and if you need f11 for DOF, then use it.
Contrast/microcontrast appears quite reasonable. Not amazing, but not bad at all.
Considering the saving you get when purchasing this lens as part of an A7 Kit, I'd say its a 'must have' for many buyers. Certainly, buying an A7 with the forthcoming 24-70 F4 Zeiss will result in a package price that is £850 more expensive in the UK and the Zeiss lens will need to be really, really good to justify that. After all, the difference allows you to throw in a top prime, or further down the road when third party lenses are available, possibly a pair of them. I know a lot of people got really excited by the A7R and Zeiss optics (myself included), but can't help but feel the humble A7 and kit lens deal is where this new system really shines for the average consumer. Further testing will tell, but I bet there's not much in it for, say, a 24" print between an A7R with Zeiss and the A7 and kit lens stopped down.