Excerpt: Had to return due to a peace being loose. But I did get to take a couple pictures with it & they looked great. A little soft at full zoom & was a bit heaver them my Tamron 18-270. But over all could be a bit better for the price.
Summary: I really wanted to give a more in-depth review of this lens, but after eight months, I feel that I have not taken enough pictures to cover all aspects of this lens. So, I only give some of my personal experience and observations with this lens. I bought this lens from Amazon back in January along with a Sony A-77, 16-50, 35mm, and Vivitar 7mm lenses. The first 70-300 that I received had a rattling noise issue, and I sent it back and exchanged it for a new one.
Excerpt: I absolutely love the lens. It is exactly what I expected. Sony always produces high quality gear. f/4.5 operates poorly in low light, but does great when you boost the iso. Works amazing in reasonably lit settings, even sharper with a tripod. If I could have forked over another grand I would have gone for the f/2.8, but that would also be odd for me walking through streets w/ a lens that size. This lens is a perfect fit for the kit I needed.
Pros: Consistent Output, Durable, Easily Interchangeable, Fast / accurate auto-focus, Lightweight, Nice Bokeh, Rugged, Strong Construction
Summary: Great Lens wich i use with my Sony Nex-5 and my Sony Nex-VG10 with the LEA-1A Adapter. Great for sports and Nature pictures. The only bad thing is a little bit to noisy in low light conditions.
Excerpt: Great pics, great color, great sharpness. I heard grumblings about focus speed, but I'm not seeing that at all. Focuses as fast as any other lens I have. extremely quiet. I sure would like to have another stop or two though. It would be worth an extra $200 and make low light stuff much better. Regardless, this lens is worth the cost. buy it.
Pros: Consistent Output, Easily Interchangeable, Fast / accurate auto-focus, Nice Bokeh
Excerpt: Just upgraded from an older cheaper Minolta lens with the same zoom; the motor on the new lens is totally quiet, whereas the old one was noisy; the sharpness of the images of the new lens is much better than the old.
Summary: I took this lens on a trip to Costa Rica and I have only a few comments to add to the very thoughtful posted by others, most of which are on target and consistent with my own limited experience with this lens (I took a few thousand shots on this trip). First, the lens performs as advertised. The colors are awesome and the images are clear in good light. It is well built (nothing cheap about the build). It also travels well in terms of its size and weight.
Excerpt: An evening of shooting at a minor league baseball game left me wishing the focusing was a little faster in low light. But a day of shooting at a Highand Festival gave FANTASTIC results. Even under overcast skies the focussing was fast eough to capture the action at the heavy games, and the details captured at the opening ceremonies were enough to make my brother-in-law (a broadcast professional) jealous. Definitely worth the price ... and then some!
Pros: Fast / accurate auto-focus, Rugged, Strong Construction