Very sharp lens!
I've purchased this lens over Canon 35mm and Sigma 30mm. I must say I am not disappointed images are very crisp and the macro on this thing is great. You can get extremely close to any subject (crazy close). Has higher number of diaphragm blades (9), it's very solid (bit heavy for 35mm) and f2.8. It would have been nice to have f2.0 but then again macro makes up for it. To get one thing clear, it's not a specialized lens, it's still general purpose lens with some added flexibility. Tested in video mode also performs very well. Has the usual Tokina pull in/out manual/auto ring instead of a switch which works better on larger lenses like 11-16 on this one feels just a bit flimsy and annoying as you have to use it in manual to contract the lens when packing up (yes the lens barrel extends for macro mode). Again focus is not super fast but importance of this depends on what you're shooting. It's not as noisy as Canon 50mm 1.8, then again it's not silent either like USM. Overall some of those features compare to most lenses in that price range, what really puts this gem above others is the really good build quality, macro features and really really sharp image results. For me that was more important than the speed. Low range Canons are bit faster but not as sharp. If you tend to upgrade to full frame at some point don't bother then just go with Canon as this lens is cropped frame only. Again shame but that's same as Sigma. Sigma had amazing reviews still but I've heard too many people ended up with copy form a dodgy batch that they had to return. Overall pretty happy with it. Even tho Tokina is not considered to be at the top of their game couple of their lenses are pretty damn solid (including this one). For the price you'll pay this lens will give you pretty good value. I am not sure why Tokina have kept it pretty quiet and out of spotlight it deserves more credit.