This lens is a perfect compliment to the standard 18-70 lens that the Sony A300 comes kitted with. Since the 5mm difference is negligible, both the lenses together provide you with an amazing 18-300mm range, which is the equivalent of 27-450mm field with a 35mm. I have been using this lens for the last 2 days and I am very satisfied with it till now. It is great for shooting portraits and of course the long distance shots. The fact that the Sony A300 has Super Steady Shot built into the body means that this lens just needs to worry about the focusing.
The build quality of this lens is pretty good and quite similar to the standard 18-70 that the A300 came with. In fact the design is so similar that they could be brothers. This is also probably another reason why they sold as a combination lens kit. This lens was sold individually only after selling in combination with the 18-70 for some time.
I had been researching this lens for some time and most of the websites stated that this lens is a little noisy while focusing. While that may be true for less noisy countries like the US and UK type places, in India this really makes no difference as the ambient noise levels are high enough to mask the focusing servo’s sound. This does not mean that the lens is noisy, it means that even in a really quite room, its alright. Unless you are really finicky about these tyep of things. It is definitely not noisy enough to scare off any wildlife if you are shooting outdoors.
One thing that bugs me a little that the zooming ring is a little tight while zooming in and fairly loose while zooming out. This is an irritant sometimes and when I used the lens for the first time, I thought that something was wrong. The focusing ring is really comfortable, however the amount it rotates to go through the focus range is a lot and you can’t do it comfortably in one go. Also sometimes you miss the focusing ring if you have just zoomed in on a subject and are trying to quickly go to the focusing ring. It could have been a bit more pronounced to enable easier operation. However these things get ironed out after you have used the lens for some time. For a more detailed review you can head over to Camera Labs and read their article.