10 out of 10 points and recommendedSmooth focus, build quality, good for different purposesFocus shift
Many will compare this lens to the manufacturer's equivalent, and reading the reviews it seems to come down to not offering anything more. I personally owned the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM lens prior to this similar Zeiss. While it is true that the Zeiss can be soft wide open, I find it is little different than the Canon at f/1.4 in that regard. The Zeiss is outstanding for detail when stopped down a bit and outperforms my Canon L zooms at similar focal lengths and apertures.reviewed April 26th, 2011 (purchased for $750)
What I love about this lens is that it demands a different pace than my autofocus lenses. The focus confirm light on my 7D works nicely with the lens, and once focused I find I pay more attention to framing, rather than paying attention to locking focus again for each shot. The smooth autofocus is great for video or tripod work, the Canon equivalent AF lens gives up a lot in manual focus to make AF work quickly. The bottom line is that this lens will give you are very different experience than the Canon plastic AF lenses. It is worth it to me for that reason.
Finally, the lens serves two different roles very well. At wider apertures, the edges are softer, and the in focus to out of focus transition is very appealing. On the other hand, stopped down this is a very sharp lens capable of great results if sharpness is your goal. Personally, I don't shoot landscapes at f/1.4, nor do I except ultimate sharpness for a portrait photo a wide apertures. Corner blurring is a nice feature for that. The bottom line is that this lens can adapt to different uses - portrait, video, and landscapes. All in a very nicely built metal package. What more do you want in a specialty lens? My most positive remark about this lens is that I like the images I make with it !