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: Very sharp - this is another world compared to the zoom lenses with macro function I was used to. Auto-focus is sometimes problematic, hunts in and out and sometimes does not lock at all. Focus limiter swich is useful to reduce this problem. Much more compact than the 70/90/100 etc macro lenses and more versatile, great also for landscapes etc.
Pros: Lightweight, Rugged, Sharp Focus, Strong Construction
Summary: As a photography student I've been tasked with assignments requiring a lens with close up capability and a wide aperture. So far I've experimented with shots of flowers and jewelery. The clarity and detail I've achieved with varying light conditions convinces me I'll do fine with my intended end use of detail shots of small equipment and mechanical parts for instructional purposes in business.