HANDS ON: This is one big lens, although it's about average in size and weight for its class. The barrel's surface is a stippled matte black, with an ample, ribbed, rubberized focusing ring and a pleasingly wide, easy-turning zoom collar, also ribbed and rubber-clad. The focusing ring (no subject distance scales) turns with a scratchy sound and is somewhat underdamped, but not loose. The zoom ring is also underdamped, tending to return to the 70mm setting whenever the lens tips up.
IN THE LAB: SQF data at 70mm and 200mm were in the Excellent range, indicating superior sharpness and contrast performance at the wider end of the zoom range. The lens dipped into the Very Good range at 300mm, which is normal for tele zooms of this class. DxO Analyzer 2.0 tests revealed Visible barrel distortion at 70mm (0.62%) and Visible pincushioning at 200mm and 300mm (0.63% and 0.72%, respectively). That's a strong showing, especially at the wide end.