Build quality and finish:
There is nothing lacking here, the lens is mostly metal and has smooth focus and zoom rings. Overall construction is very good considering this was not a top of the line lens, the only possible criticism is that there is no internal focus mechanism so using a polarizer filter can be tricky as the front element rotates during focusing but this is not unusual for an older zoom, especially one that was modestly priced.
In short; great! The lens has superb colours, almost too saturated sometimes! In terms of sharpness the centre of the frame is pretty good at 28mm wide open and stopped down to F/8 is sharp across the frame, just as sharp as most of my 28mm primes! Wide open at 70mm sharpness is already very decent across the frame and is superb at F/5.6. Contrast never seems to be lacking and even the bokeh is smooth in most situations although at 28mm with close backgrounds it can be understandably busy. Overall I was impressed by the results from this lens, it's best stopped down at the wide end which I tend to do with most lenses as I usually do landscape work at wide angles and at 70mm it's really very good wide open so can be useful for portraits. The lens has a macro mode and while it doesn't allow for a huge magnification it's worth noting that sharpness remains decent even at or near the minimum focusing distance.
By clicking on these images you can go to flickr where a larger version is available:
It's well made, light, has great image quality and a decent macro mode, the only thing I found lacking was a non rotating front element, this is another bargain lens that you can buy for a ridiculously small price and get great results from, I recommend it!