Summary: Wanted to break out into macro phototography and spent months researching lenses. This one by far was not the cheapest, nor was it the most expensive. Knowing exactly what I wanted out of my photography I knew I needed a quality lens for my sony a65 but I wasnt ready (or able actually) to spend 2g on one of the mega lenses. Besides, what if I started it but didnt love it like I thought I would. So I got this finally and it is perfect for me.
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 full frame 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: I am no expert but I am taking a photography course and wanted a good quality and versatile macro lens for my Sony A35. This fits the bill. It is very sharp and I can also take more photos indoors without flash due to the wider aperture than my kit lens. It is my go to lens for anything where a focal length of around 50mm will work and I am very pleased. I am looking forward to the spring and summer where I can take more true macro shots outdoors.
Summary: Got this in one day but used 2nd day shipping! Now about the lens. I am extremely pleased with the sharpness and clarity in macro and portrait mode. In macro mode mounted on my Sony A65 I was able to zoom in on a ruler and found the maximum magnification represented about 23mm along the longest dimension of the image meaning that objects that are slightly less than one inch will fill the entire width of a landscape oriented photo on the Sony A65 camera.
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