Summary: I have been a Minolta/Sony user for years. Over the years I have preferred fixed focal length lenses to zooms. This lens reinforces that preference. The lens is constructed really well, from the built in hood to the metal lens mount. It has great weight and balance. The focusing motor is smooth and quiet. The F2.8 aperture provides an opportunity for some nice low light shooting as well as a pleasing bokeh when taking portraits.
Summary: The macro lens is possibly the lens most often acquired for the wrong reason: for close up work picturing flowers and small things. This is just half the ability of this type of lens; the prime design concern is to provide a flat field and very little distortion, none of these features is particularly important for close up work. Today close-ups are easily taken with a good compact digital camera, probably costing less than the macro lens alone.
Pros: Extremey sharp results and flat focal plane, no corner shading using APS-C
Summary: This lens produces very sharp images regardless if you're in macro or limiter mode. It also doubles up great as a portrait lens if you're on a crop sensor camera (bringing you up to 75mm). It's built quite well, feels solid in the hand, and isn't too heavy or light. It produces creamy smooth bokeh which makes portrait shots stand out wonderfully. Like stated above, the macro shots are amazingly sharp as well!
Pros: Pretty much everything you'd expect from the lens
Summary: This lens does one thing very, very well at the expense of being a good general 50mm prime 2.8. If you are purchasing this lens for macro applications, I would recommend a solid tripod with intricate height adjustments and bright lights. If you are looking for a 50mm prime, opt for the f1.7 instead, it is lighter, smaller and faster on the focus.
Summary: This is overall a great lens. It produces very sharp images and is fast enough to do handheld shots at lower ratios than 1:4 magnification. For anything 1:1 through 1:4, I'd highly recommend a tripod as shutter speeds will quickly drop. The focus throw is very long, which means that it is slow to focus in some situations and tends to hunt a lot. The front element is very recessed, so the lens almost works as if it has a built-in hood.
Summary: Some critics have called this a 'dated' design. What if it was simply done right the first time? Humor aside, I picked this up as a companion for the 100M28, and between the two of them, there are very few macro to normal situations they cannot handle quite competently. A long term keeper.
Summary: i've worked with many macro lenses and many cameras, and I have to say that this lens tops them all. As soon as you feel it in your hands you know its just quality. The pictures that it takes are so crisp and bright. It really adds a lot of character to your photos! From the reviews I've read online say that this lens is overpriced, but I completely disagree. For great picture quality, you're not going to get it for pennies. The price is right for this lens!
Pros: Excellent picture quality everytime
Cons: In Full Mode it sometimes focuses in all ranges before it finds the correct focus