I badly wanted these lens for long-long time. It’s not that I couldn’t afford them before. I just never buy photo-equipment unless I feel that I absolutely need it. Usually passion for camera or lens develops slowly and naturally before you would go ahead and buy it. And yes, it’s not cheap and even on Yahoo actions you can hardly win it for less then 45.000-50.000 yen. I tried. I decided to go for brand-new one and I paid about 56.000yen (or ~460 USD) at the Yodobashi Camera chain store in Ueno.
What a great lens! When I get more familiar with it I will post more extended review, but even very first photos show that no single yen was wasted.
I took this tulip pic on my balcony with natural early afternoon light. This wasn’t backlighting in strict sense of the world. The sun was almost in zenith and only sligthly behind the flower. I use aperture-priority mode for most of my photos. I set the sensitivity to ISO 640 to get fast exposure and not to worry about strong wind, and aperture to F8. The exposure was 1/1250s. Distance to the subject was somewhere between 0.35 and 0.45m.