It's sharp, color looks pretty good so far as well. It also front focuses very badly @ or near 17mm (nearly unsable... I could not get a sharp picture of my roomate's face @ 17mm... front focuses worse than my Sigma 100-300 f4) At 50mm most, but not all the effects of front focusing are gone. It focuses faster than the Tamron 28-75 2.8 and of course the kit lens, but also focuses better in low light than the Tamron 28-75 even though they are the same aperature. (although it's front focusing so moot point) It is in fact slightly wider than the kit lens, the difference is about 6 inches on all sides when focused on a wall 4.5 feet away (yeah, that's not a very accurate way to describe it, but it is wider) I have not been able to test it outside in the sunlight because I didn't unpack it till 7:00 PM or so. I'll post pictures taken with the lens tomorrow. For reference, I have used a 50 1.8, 75-300, 135L, 85 1.8, 17-55 2.8 IS, kit lens, and a tamron 28-75 all which focused correctly on this body. The sigma 100-300 is the only other lens I own that front focuses (but only slightly and only near the minimum focusing distance) Also, I got my Giottos 9180 Tripod as well.... It's pretty nice. I hate the twist locks on it though (not because they are twist locks, but because they are not nearly as nice as the twist locks on the Giottos P-Pod I own. The legs are far more wobbly before you tighten them down, and even after tightening they are still more wobbly than my monopod. HOWEVER, it's still quite stable. When I go to NYC and go to B&H I'll have the option to return it if I find myself not pleased with it by then.