Leica 25mm f/1.4 - Pictorial Review

Started Apr 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
captura Forum Pro • Posts: 24,613
Re: Leica 25mm f/1.4 - Pictorial Review

Chatokun wrote:

clengman wrote:

captura wrote:

slimandy wrote:

captura wrote:

This is I believe the best m43 lens, with a DxOMark rating of 21. It is as good as the Sony NEX lens, the 35/1.8, which also scored 21.

I cringe when I see people say a lens is the best based on a DXO Mark score.

Best for what?

A similar ranking at lensrentals puts it behind the 20mm f1.7 and the 14mm


Does this mean you have to change your mind?

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The 25 is generally acknowledged as being arguably the best m43 lens and has been praised on the m43 forum and other forums and test sites. Roger Cicala is an outstanding tester so I suspect that the 25 Panaleica he tested was an anomaly; a bad lens for whatever reason.

From what I remember, he was surprised as well and tested many (was it seven?) different copies of the lens and arrived at the same result.

I'm not trying to knock it. It seems to be a very good lens, and very sharp, but not the sharpest.

Yet, despite what people say, it isn't bad either. 960 at center and 820 weighted at 2.8 beats the Sigmas, all the zooms (including the 7-14 at 14mm @ 4 at weighted, though center slightly better on that one... when they're both at 4, it's better at center too). It's also sharper than the 45mm 1.8, and I don't see people complaining about that (the PanLeica 45mm beats them though).

He was shocked that it wasn't the best lens there, not that it sucked. The only lenses that beat it and are cheaper than it are the 20mm 1.7 and the 14mm 2.5 Pancakes, and that second one is thought to be an anomaly itself. The other lenses that do beat it (the PanLeica 45mm, the Voigtlanders, the 12mm, the 7-14) are all pretty significantly more expensive than it, all by at least $100-$500. Sure, some come close, but still don't beat it at similar focal lengths: The $399(vs it's $499) 45mm 1.8, the Sigmas, but neither of them match it, nor beat it, in center nor weighted. At 2.8 it beats them all even at their 4.0.

This is a product of the name and people's experiences... everyone who used it saw the lens get very sharp stopped down. They also saw it softer at wide open, but acceptably sharp. Still, I find it funny that people are making a big deal of it not being sharper than all the other ridiculously sharp primes on the system.. all famous for being sharp, and most more expensive.

What we should be taking away from this is not how bad the 25mm is... it isn't. It's part of an excellent group of primes that outshine everything else on the system. What we can be shocked at is just how great the 20mm is (and the 14mm, but we may want more samples of that), seeing how it was one of the earliest lenses and is pretty cheap for performance. But wait... we already knew that. It's one of the best rated lenses for m43 on Amazon, and many people say it's the first lens we should buy.

The tests didn't really show us stuff we didn't know. It just did a ranking system among the top that doesn't really matter, and justified purchases for some who used ones such as the sigma, as these are also sharp, even if they are towards the bottom of the primes. In the 30's defense, it seems to have been designed for the NEX; it performs extremely well on that system, being the top lens they tested at 2.8 and 4.

I have the 14/2.5 and it is amazing! But I also have the Sigma 30 on a NEX as you mentioned, and it is also very very good. Better corners etc. but not as sharp as the 14.

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