9 out of 10 points and recommendedVery sharp, excellent color and contrast. Large aperture. Fast auto-focus. Full time manual focus.The auto-focus accuracy could be better. DoesnÃ¢â¬â¢t provide distance information for E-TTL II flash systems.
I agree with other users that although the technical quality of the reviews in this page is very high, in this particular case they must have got a bad copy because my lens at least is not that bad. Also the blur chart is clearly decentred which might indicate a bad copy. When compared to other reviews I have seen from photozone.de and photodo.com I find that they are more close to my experience with this lens.reviewed April 3rd, 2007 (purchased for $350)
This lens has a good construction (much better than the MKII I had and better that the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D I tested). In comparison the Canon 85mm f/1.8 has better construction.
The auto-focus is fast and the full time manual focus is a very nice feature, although the focus accuracy could be a little better. Again in comparison to the Canon 85mm f/1.8, the auto-focus system is clearly worse (slower, noisier, less accurate).
This lens absolutely shines in the sharpness, color and contrast department. It is clearly the best lens I have in this regard. The sharpness above f/3.5 is simply pixel splitting. Between f/1.4 and f/2.0 is acceptable if you hit focus and between 2.0 and 3.5 is very very good.
I think that the only real problem with this lens is that it loses its magic in the crop sensor. I think that if I could go back I would buy the Canon 60mm f/2.8. If you want a sharp, large aperture, easy to handhold in low-light, normal field of view lens than you have to look some where else.
P.S.: To SLRGear.com: please test another copy of this lens!