I'm a bit disappointed in myself in that I let alot of people 'shoo' me away from the 24-120. I understand there has been some mixed results, but most of the information I had heard came from DX experience with that lens. Suffice it to say alot of other well read websites/reviews have a tendency to put down the lens. My mistake was not trying the lens out myself. Today I picked up a brand new copy of the lens and tried it out, and the only 'softness' I could find was at the extreme corners when wide open and it wasn't nearly as bad as everyone wanted me to believe. For whatever reason I think this lens performs better on FX format and for 90-95% of the frame produces excellent and sharp results even wide open. The second generation VR works great, I can shoot 120mm at 1/30s and 50mm at 1/20s reliably. The only really noteable issue is that right off the bat I noticed the lens wanted to backfocus. I did some informal adjustments in the store and had to make an AF Adjustment of -10. After this, things that I expected to be sharp, were sharp indeed. At home I setup a test chart and further tuned it to -13. I found no de-centering issues, contrast and color were good. I come from shooting a Canon EOS 5D with the 24-105mm F/4L and I find the IQ to be indistinguishable other then at the extreme corners...? I supplanted the zoom with the 50mm f/1.8 since it I wasn't exactly thrilled with the 50mm f/1.4 and I'm very comfortable with the lens combination I have now (24-120, 50mm, 85mm). This post is really less about the 24-70 then it is about the 24-120. The 24-70 was more lens then wanted for an everyday carry around lens in terms of both price, weight, and size. I think the 24-70 is indeed an awesome lens, but its not something I can carry on my shoulder or neck for more then an hour or two. I needed something a bit more versatile, portable, and affordable, and in my case the 24-120mm happened to fit the bill. Maybe I got a good copy, maybe I have no clue what sharpness or contrast is, but I think that the 24-120mm is being a little bit underrated these days, especially on FX. If your considering the lens, I would at least recommend you go out and try it out before you rule it out.