Choosing a portrait lens

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Keithpictures Regular Member • Posts: 380
Choosing a portrait lens


- Panasonic Leica 42.5 1.2. Fast, weather sealed, quick focus. Large, Leica build?

- Panasonic Lumix 42.5 1.7. Cheaper, smaller, still quick. Dual IS. Rougher bokeh?

- Olympus 42.5 1.8. Smooth bokeh, affordable, but cheap build, no OIS, no WR, slower.


- Olympus 75 1.8 Olympus. Great IQ but not WR, maybe too long FoV, big.

- Sigma 56 1.4. Super sharp, pretty bokeh, WR. Fast, well-built. The best?


- Olympus 45 1.2. Great, but not superior over PL for me, personally. Big, expensive.

- Voigtländer 42 0.95 Nokton. Great bokeh, but very big, manual (no EXIF, AF).

- Zy Optics 42 1.2. Small, but manual (no EXIF, AF), lower quality.

As a Panasonic shooter, I am biased towards Lumix, especially for Dual IS. My overview points me toward one of the 42.5s, and the Lumix 1.7 seems like the best choice here, considering price, size and usage. (I like this review of these three: )

The other 42s and 45s are ruled out, primarily because I want electronic connections. The trade-offs don't compel me. But I am curious about the longer lenses, especially the Sigma 56, which seems like a great choice.

So it's really between Sigma 56 and Lumix 42.5. The Sigma is faster, with prettier bokeh (I hear) and sharper too? The Lumix offers dual IS, and is more compact, which I care about. I also like its shape more.

I have a GX9, so compactness and style matter. But I'm actually thinking of trading it for a GX8 - a regressive move in many ways, but with the benefit of weather sealing, and more robust handling for the weather-sealed lenses. I might redo my system from compact (12-32, 35-100, 15) to weather-sealed PLs (12-60, 8-18, 15). So this might be a factor. I lean toward the lofty qualities of Leica co-branding, but the 42.5 PL Nocticron doesn't convince me.

Between the Lumix 42.5 and the Sigma, is one clearly more fitted for the GX8 vs the GX9? I like that both seem to fit both bodies pretty well. But I'm curious if anyone has experience with these lenses and these bodies.

 Keithpictures's gear list:Keithpictures's gear list
Fujifilm X100F Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Apple iPhone 11 Pro
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm F1.7 Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN
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