For a long time, I thought this was a rebadged 30/3.5 that Sony made in the Alpha mount. Part of that thinking comes from the lack of access to the lens data from Sony (if anyone has the original Sony page that shows the lens diagram, MTF data, etc, please post here).
Complicating the situation is the fact that it is nearly 1/5th the price of the better known Sony Zeiss E-Sonnar 24/1.8.
The 24/1.8 costs ~999 Euros (949 in some places)
The 30/3.5 costs 208 Euros (lowest price).
The conventional wisdom of "you get what you pay for", plays some trick (not a huge factor but is a factor).
All the initial impressions I had were incorrect. The 30/3.5 in E-mount is a new design.
Auto focus (not that useful for close ranges, especially while going near the 1:1 magnification) is very silent. The lens hood is a riot. Just efficient and compact.
The lens delivers when it comes to close-ups and macros. Simply, without any doubt, it is the sharpest for the NEX-7. I am glad that I bought one. [Now, I await the delivery of the 24/1.8, which is also a superb lens , albeit for a different use.]
I have posted this test snap in another thread.
Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr