WOW - I have to say it Dustin, you really disappointed me with this review.
Do you realize the that the throw from infinity to 1 foot is just a smidge over 3/4inches?
Aren't you aware that a common trait, welcomed and desired in macro lenses (even half size as this one) in indeed the heavier focus dampening and long throw below 1 foot range, as precision focusing really matters?
Also, it's very common to see the a very narrow DOF in macro lenses, as it's common to have an above average sharpness.
Further more, almost no macro shooting occurs with a lens wide open- nor even if doing photo stacking.
I am surprised and shocked after reading other reviews from you, seeing you bluntly fail and commit such amateur, uninformed mistakes thru your comments.
Can't compare this lens to a canon 1.8 nor even the Otus 55 - It's a whole different league, and built for a special purpose...but can be used everyday.
You are certainly entitled to be disappointed with my review (BTW, Zeiss certainly isn't: https://www.facebook.com/carlzeisslenses/posts/937419462934961; https://twitter.com/CarlZeissLenses/status/557213223095894016), but I'm not sure where some of your points of view are coming from.
If you have used the lens, then you should recognize that the focus throw is very long. As I point out, that's great for accuracy, not so great for speed.
The reason for the heavier damping that I give is directly from the president of Zeiss of the Americas. I don't personally like the weight compared to all other Zeiss lenses I have used.
Of course the DOF is very narrow at macro distances...that's the whole reason I supply that information. "That aperture advantage over the typical f/2.8 of most macro lenses is great for use in a variety of applications, but macro is really not one of them. DOF is only .08″/1.98mm at minimum focus distance and maximum aperture. That is TINY! Even at f/5.6 the DOF is only slightly over half a centimeter at the minimum focus distance." - The point here is that you AREN'T going to be using the lens at f/2 for macro purposes.
I don't think your particular criticisms here are valid.
I own and use the lens quite often - one of my favorites, and I don't like the 50mm focal range, but this lens it's the only 50mm (not 55) I like to use.
With that said, check again the throw from 1 foot to infinity or even from a more usefull 3 feet. And then compared it what other 50mm with AF are doing, as how much turn they need to accomplish the same.
The dampening on that initial focal range is not bad IMO - indeed becomes a chore after that.
No, I won't use f/2 for macro, but portraits or details at a bit over 5 feet will work very well - in the macro environment, the f/2 allows you to start with a brigher viewfinder view - a bigger difference comparing to the ef 180mm macro from canon, but not so much with the usual 2.8 aperture from other dedicated lenses
In all, looking at a halfsize macro from a point of view used to judge a generic walk-around lens it's faulty to say the least
My criticism applies to your generic review pointers on a non-generic purpose lens - I can see you coming around this "street" calling a canon EF 500mm as not great for walking around town and shoot candids