8 out of 10 points and recommendedSolid, lens hood fits well with positive click, good range from 15-36mm equiv.A little heavy, but it is lighter than others, so I guess compared to the competition this is not really a con.
While I have not done a lot of testing, this lens does seem to give a sharp image, when stopped down a couple of stops. It is a little soft, especially in the corners, at wider f-stops, but at f8 and f11 it is good . . . maybe even quite sharp. I do not have anythig to compare it with though, since the last time I had a lens this wide was on my 12 megapixel Canon 5 D, and this lens seems as sharp as those lenses were at f8 (Canon 17-40mm f4 L and Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-6.5 EX). The feel of this lens is as good as the other super wide lenses I have owned, with the manual/auto focus switch having a better, more positive feel on this lens. I really like this lens, though I can't help wondering how the Sigma 8-16 might compare. Maybe I will get one of those, and sell this one if it is as good or just return that one if not. I do really like the fact that I can put filters on this lens, if I want (something I could not do with a wider lens). I also like the option to shoot at f4.5 when zoomed in with this lens, even though the image is a little soft (motion blur is worse than slight image softness, which can actually slightly resemble the affect of a soft-focus lens, in my opinion).reviewed October 6th, 2012 (purchased for $500)
9 out of 10 points and recommendedsharp, light, inexpensivesmall lens cap and filters, lens changes size (not internal focus)
This light little 30mm f2.8 Sony macro lens is worth every penny it costs brand new at the Sony store. For such a low price, you can't beat its macro abilities. It makes a great "normal" lens back-up for my kit lens too, because of its range of apertures, small size and low weight, and its 45mm (equivalent) focal length, which I absolutely LOVE. In fact, I think it's the best focal length for a normal lens on the typical Sony cameras. I use it on a Sony A55. It focuses fast for a macro lens, and the auto/manual focus switch feels good and is easy to use. The switch has a very "positive" switch feel, rather than what you get with a lot of lenses from other companies. (I have owned a lot of lenses, because I've owned a Canon AL-1, Canon T90, Canon 20 D, Canon 5 D, a Nikon D5000, and a Sigma SD14.) I shoot with this lens at f8, f11, and f16 most of the time, so I get the best out of it. I am surprised how sharp it is. I am VERY happy with it. For the money, the quality feel is not bad at all. It feels about as good as my very good 18-55mm kit lens (which I also shoot mostly at f8 and f11), but just a little lighter maybe. This kit (Sony A55 with kit lens and 30mm macro) is ultra-light, and I couldn't be happier, though I am going to get a super wide zoom and a long telephoto soon, to complete my travel kit. This little lens gives a good angle of view, so I can shoot the inside of a flower or various other things. I have found it good for shooting bees, very small flowers (and parts of larger flowers, of course), and various other things up close, but it has a very short working distance when you are really getting into the macro range, where this lens lets you get really good close-ups. If you need to keep your lens more than a couple of inches from the subject, this may not be the lens for you. Try the inexpensive Sigma 50mm macro, or the more expensive Sigma 70mm macro maybe. I've read the Sony 100mm macro is good too, but I have not tried it. It's a bit pricey. The Tamron 180mm macro looks very good for about the same price as the Sony 100mm. Sometimes I wonder if I should have just bought an extension tube that is compatible with my kit lens, but the good ones would have been about the same price, and then I would not have a back-up lens. I think I would have had most of the macro capabilities I have with this lens though, so I think I will get a set of extension tubes and see, once I have a 70-300mm zoom to use them with.reviewed September 19th, 2012 (purchased for $199)