Originally sold as a kit lens for Nikon's D70 D-SLR, the Nikkor 18-70mm has a near-silent autofocus system, which was very speedy in operation.
Handling is a joy, with fully internal focusing and a non-rotating front element, plus manual focus override in Autofocus mode. The zoom ring is smooth, if a little cramped at the wide-angle end.
In most shooting conditions, the 18-70mm provides sharp images with excellent levels of contrast and fine detail. Towards the wide-angle settings, vignetting is quite bad unless you drop down a couple of stops, and barrel distortion is noticeable but no worse than average for this class.
The only other problem we experienced with this lens is that it tended to be a little soft when shooting subjects that were within two metres of the camera.