Summary: Good lens, I bought it used because like most Sony products they are overpriced. I picked up a used NEX3N body used for 60 bucks so for 160 I got a darn good camera for everyday use :-) My high end is a Canon :-) Enough said....
Summary: When the lense arrived at my house it was loose in the box. There was a small Amount of bubble wrap in the box plus some green bubble pack too. I'm assuming the small bubble wrap was meant to be around the lense but it wasn't. It was pathetic packaging. Then when I took the lense out of the box there was a big finger print on the glass of the lense. Man O man what a pitiful way to mail a camera lense.
Summary: I've been shooting with this lens for about a year now, and I finally feel like I have a handle on what works and what doesn't... then again, I am not a professional, so take this with a grain of salt. The #1 thing that I love about this lens is the image stabilization. I can take fairly long exposures (1/40 or so) handheld at a concert in low light, zoomed all the way in, and the image stays reasonably sharp (well, as sharp as it's going to get with this lens).
Summary: I got this lens and the 16mm 2.8 with my Sony Alpha NEX-3 . The IQ (image quality ) is pretty bad compare to other kit lens. The is an aps-c camera like the Nikon d3100 (probably the same sensor too) overall the glass elements are much smaller then the d3100 kit. The image I get has little dynamic range and everything looks contrasty. So I bought a nikkor to sony nex adapter and put my 50mm 1.8 on it. Wow what a difference, the image is much better.
Excerpt: This is a lens with average quality in overall. I had Leica D-lux5. I just bought a nex5 with 16mm lens; and also bought the 18-55mm for daily use. Lens and camera together almost $700. I don't find Sony's picture quality is much better than that from Leica point and shoot under the same focal length. The camera with the 18-55mm lens is still bulky although it's smaller than regular DSLR. The low light performance is average.
Summary: This kit lens is the best KIT lens I ever used (comparing to Nikon, Canon kit lenses with similar zoom range). Optics is very good, although nowhere close to prime lens sharpness. The main issue is the build quality. I only took one trip to national park and it gets dust sparkles in it. I always kept it in camera bag and took very care of it. There seems no dust/weather seal. Hope Sony can improve the quality control.
Excerpt: This is my most commonly used lens, because of size and portability. A bit more applicable to diverse shooting situations, and is great with the video capabilities. I come from a career using a 1D MkII and a bag of L glass. It would have been nice if Sony offered say a 24-70mm f2.8 similar in quality to its beautiful 18-200 f3.5. I would have bought it immediately, as I did with the 18-200 zoom.
Pros: Easily Interchangeable, Fairly consistent output, Fast / accurate auto-focus, Lightweight, Nice Bokeh
Summary: This lens arrived as an accessory with the Sony Nex 5. In terms of quality & performance this is not worthy of 5 stars. Its inability to autofocus at the maximum zoom (55mm) is pretty evident there are better performing lenses out there that have the ability to do so without having to manually focus at maximum zoom. This Lens doesn't allow you focus on your intended subject in low light, which again has been mentioned by another reviewer.