Conclusion: If you are planning to go for a 50mm lens, I would suggest this lens. It not only takes sharp pictures wide open, it is also well suited for all purposes from landscape and portrait to macro. Though it is not a complete macro lens still it fairs well with 0.5x magnification. I have used my friend's 50mm f/1.8, which is no where close to this lens.
Pros: picture clarity, build, versatility
Cons: slow autofocus, hunts at low light with af on
Small, lightweight but poor in low-light + has no image stabilizer included
10 October 2011
Summary: I'm doing tests in different environments to see where I feel the most comfortable using this lens. I use it for some of my photography home-works. Surprisingly, I can focus on objects pretty far (example: 10 meters away). It is nice to see the focal length measures written directly on the zooming tube. It is nice that the lens is small and lightweight. Though the focus ring feels a little narrow.