I am known as a bit of a quality snob..
I have been buying "disposable" Nikon short zooms for a few years now.
I find them all to be a bit jiggly out of the box and they all (18-70 AF-S, 24-85AF-S) are ready for e-bay or a refurb by NPS after 9 months.
Sales folks say I am too pickey... most of these folks have never handled (more importantly used!) German prime lenses 35mm or MF.
Here is my take I just realized: The movement of the front elements (side to side up and down are the equivalent of using a view camera (4x5 or otherwise) without securly (or even) locking down the front standard!!
I posted in another thread that the short Nikors made today (prime or zoom) are so giggly they can NOT be used for decent aerial photography if you are sticking the camera into the prop. wash.
Ah some of you might say what about the 28-70 f2.8... I spent the big bucks on that one and it worked fine with film... but it did not have the "snap" "resolution" whatever to make me happy when I switched to the Fuji s2 from shooting chromes with the F100. (I tested a couple of those 28-70's with the same results.
Again I say Nikon should be ashamed to have thier good (is it now?) name on many; if not all the short lenses (primes or zooms). I bought a 28mm f2.8 so I could photograph wedding groups with a consistant plane of focus, but it is not robust enough for aerial photography as the front element still shimmys!
You can literally schlimflueg (sp) with the short zooms... give it a try while looking through the viewfinder!
I wish the Voitlander and Zeisss --Nikon mount lenses had electronics in them! Another no brainer, that was missed. ---just a friendly rant...