Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

Started Feb 15, 2014 | Discussions
Mal_In_Oz Regular Member • Posts: 425
Are you comparing retail to retail?
1

amtberg wrote:

dgrogers wrote:

amtberg wrote:

Robin is employed by Olympus. If there was ever any question about his impartiality, I think this comparison settles it -- and not just the obvious obfuscation over the price difference. Like his photographs, though.

He makes it clear he gets paid by Olympus Malaysia. He also makes it clear price differences elsewhere may be different, but seeing that he lives in Malaysia, what do you expect? In the USA, there is a $130 difference at Amazon. That makes it an easy choice.

If you don't trust what he has to say, let the pictures do the talking.

Come on, man ... do you think he doesn't know that the price difference is much smaller in the rest of the world? Assuming he's even being truthful about the Malaysia pricing....

Or are you comparing a new lens that has barely hit the shelves with a two and a half year old lens that has lost its initial demand and now has settled in price to suit the market?

Just for reference, the Leica retails for $630 and the Olympus $399.

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/H-X025

I think his comments are about right. Within a month or two the Olympus will get cheaper (Olympus already offer it for $299 when purchased with other gear) and then the comments will also apply to current street price.

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jeffharris
jeffharris Veteran Member • Posts: 9,230
Re: Something to consider...
6

dgrogers wrote:

amtberg wrote:

dgrogers wrote:

amtberg wrote:

Robin is employed by Olympus. If there was ever any question about his impartiality, I think this comparison settles it -- and not just the obvious obfuscation over the price difference. Like his photographs, though.

He makes it clear he gets paid by Olympus Malaysia. He also makes it clear price differences elsewhere may be different, but seeing that he lives in Malaysia, what do you expect? In the USA, there is a $130 difference at Amazon. That makes it an easy choice.

If you don't trust what he has to say, let the pictures do the talking.

Come on, man ... do you think he doesn't know that the price difference is much smaller in the rest of the world? Assuming he's even being truthful about the Malaysia pricing....

He specifically mentioned the difference in price may be different in other parts of the world. Do you really expect him to give pricing for each market? He is a Malaysian citizen getting paid by a Malaysian company giving a review aimed at the Malaysian market because that is his job.

Perhaps, but there's that little thing called the internet and Google. I bet he may have heard of it and even used it.

It would take less than 5 minutes to check and report prices at let's say… B&H in the US (P = $529, O = $399), Digital Rev in Hong Kong (P = $509, O = $399) and some European photo seller.

It seems he's trying a little too hard to give the 25mm f1.8 some kind of an edge over the 25mm f1.4. But hey, if image quality won't clearly do it, try something else, right?

Theres nothing quite like a company man.

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gnewylliw Regular Member • Posts: 243
Re: Something to consider...
4

there is such a thing as being aware of potential bias, but it's another to be paranoid like this.

of all things he could skew or put a spin on to 'help his company', you really think he's going to get you on retail price, when it's something anyone can look up at any time, including yourself?

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Loga Senior Member • Posts: 1,794
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed
5

Note that the back-cap of the Panasonic is larger (deeper) here than the one on the Oly. It magnifies the real size difference.

tjuster1 wrote:

My takeaway is:

1) Lenses really, really close in terms of IQ, including sharpness in the center and corners, CA, and distortion.

2) The extra speed of the Panny is real, but for most shots isn't really very significant.

3) The first picture describes the biggest difference to me:

i.e., the Panasonic is a whole lot bigger. Add the fact that the Panasonic lens hood is not reversible, and cannot be stored on the lens, it makes the Olympus a much smaller lens.

So for me, someone who really values the small size of the m43 format, it's a no-brainer.

As usual, others will disagree, which is why it's great we have CHOICES!

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Pixnat2
Pixnat2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,623
For me, the Olympus is a no brainer
3

Only because of minimal focus distance.

Both lenses are great, but the Oly focus closer, and is cheaper.

The diffrence between f/1.4 and f/1.8 in m4/3 seems to be insignificant in terms of DOF, that's interesting. In FF the difference seems bigger.

The Olympus seems to follow it's older f/1.8 brothers (17, 45 and 75) being fully sharp wide open, that's great.

Let's wait for other reviews, but I guess they'll reach more or less the same conclusions that M. Wong.

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MatLD Regular Member • Posts: 463
Reviewed on Olympus body...
3

By an olympus rep.

Robin Wong makes it quite clear that he cannot be really objective on his reviews so such a comparison only makes sense for those who are aware of his bias.

The main thing here is that there are 3 domains where the oly lens appears superior and where the camera could make the difference:

-CA (I believe there is no CA corrections at all for panasonic lenses on the em1)

-corner sharpness (the em1 has profiles of the lenses and applies selective sharpness filters). This point has NOT been mentioned by Robin Wong.

-brightness (1/3 of a stop is quite a subtle thing in an uncontrolled environment and could be camera related as well )

The build quality is also to take into account : my 45 f1.8 is definately NOT on the level of my PL25 in this regard.

Now the new oly appears to be quite good, and looks like the better choice on an olympus body.

Time will tell, but I find it a pity that panasonic and olympus compete directly on the lenses. It seems that more and more, the m4/3 is loosing its advantage of having two manufacturers.

What's the point of sharing the mount if manufacturers are doing everything to prevent you from buying the competitor's lenses ?

bluevellet Senior Member • Posts: 2,889
looks like a winner to me.
1

What I'm getting from Wong and other early reviews is that the Zuiko 25mm f1.8 is better than the Zuiko 17mm f1.8, in the sense that it compares more favorably to its closest rival (Lumix 25mm f1.4 and Lumix 20mm f1.7 respectively).

So the Zuiko 25mm is cheaper, smaller, more versatile lens than the classic Lumix 25mm with very similar IQ.

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Dave Lively Senior Member • Posts: 1,918
The Olympus appears to have slightly better bokeh

Bokeh has two different meanings depending on who is using the term.  Some people use it as a synonym for shallow depth of field.  Others use it to describe the appearance of the out of focus areas.  I am using the second definition and am not trying to say the Olympus has thinner DOF.

Wide open it looks to me like the Olympus has slightly better bokeh with the PL 25 out of focus highlights having a bright edge.  But the difference is pretty small.  It would have been interesting to see what the PL looks like when set to f1.8.

The Olympus is smaller, lighter and cheaper but 2 ounces and a few fractions of an inch is not that significant to me.  Similar performance for 25% less is enough to make me lean towards the Olympus though.  I am going to wait a few months and see what other reviews say before I decide.  If we am lucky the price of the Olympus might drop to $350 once the new wears off.

bluevellet Senior Member • Posts: 2,889
The gist of it
2

If you already own the Lumix 25mm, stick with it.

But if you're in the market for a 25mm, the Oly looks like the obvious choice, particularly if you already own an Oly body.

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007peter
007peter Forum Pro • Posts: 12,195
I think its a Big Win for Olympus 28/1.8
2

Readin R.W.'s review:

  • Olympus is smaller than Panasonic
  • Olympus has superior CA control
  • Olympus is slightly wider (see conclusion): wider is easier to use as walk-about prime
  • Olympus is estimated about 1/3 stop brighter by R.W.
  • Olympus is cheaper.
  • Bokeh is not much difference between the two.

I think its safe to say its a big win for Olympus.

Am I correct to assume that Olympus MSC = quieter than Panasonic?  I tried a Panny 25 a while back, but can hear AF noise.

Nemo0815 Contributing Member • Posts: 834
Re: Something to consider...

Robin Wong, after all.

Better wait for some real reviews.

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assaft
assaft Senior Member • Posts: 1,424
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed
1

Another thing to take into account is QC and sample variation. I think that the Pany is positioned as a Leica and potentially it benefits from a better QC due to its higher-end status. I have a great copy of the relatively inexpensive 45/1.8 but I remember quite a few complaints about its QC in this forum. So maybe on average it takes a long time to find a very good copy of the 45/1.8. We don't really know about the 25/1.8 yet. To me it's the more appealing lens, mostly because of its smaller size, but I'll wait for LensTip and DxO reviews anyway.

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TonyinJapan
TonyinJapan Senior Member • Posts: 1,063
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

Few observations…

1. The Panasonic rendering seems cooler while the Olympus is warmer.

2. Was surprised of the size difference. PL25mm seems all-round chunkier.

3. No mention of build-quality, but since the Olympus 25mm is similar build-quality to the 45mm f1.8 (cheaper and lighter), the build-quality of the PL25mm is of a higher-grade.

4. No surprise that the CA control is better on the Olympus than the Panasonic. I think this is one of the greatest weakness of this lens.

5. Although it looks like the Olympus has the slight-edge when it comes to sharpness, I am not 100% convinced from the images taken. Generally, in my experience, Panasonic’s lenses tend to be very sharp centre-frame compared to Olympus. My PL25mm is the sharpest lens in my collection (comparing with my 17mm, 20mm, 45mm). Perhaps it is due to lens sample variations. It would have been worthwhile to have more centre-frame comparisons at various apertures of both lenses. Corners look better on the Olympus. Difficult to know what the Olympus body is correcting/enhancing with the an ‘optimised’ Olympus lens attached compared to a ‘non-optimised’ Panasonic one, though. Some shots seem to have a contrast-boost with the Olympus lens, so not sure if this is due to in-camera adjustments.

Which leads me to an unfortunate philosophy which I am slowly moving towards as a m43 user since its beginning (if I want optimal image quality and functionality):

Olympus lenses on Olympus bodies; Panasonic lenses on Panasonic bodies.

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broody Contributing Member • Posts: 674
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

So the new Zuiko is pretty good. I noticed it has the harsh microcontrast of its telephoto siblings. I like the 'clinical' look, but I already get that with the 45mm Zuiko.

My day-to-day kit comprises the 17mm 1.8 Zuiko and the 45mm Zuiko. But the Leica gives a rather different rendering, which I really appreciate having. I wouldn't part with it for the advantages that the Zuiko gives... considering that all in all, it's still a slower lens.

If the price bothers you, buy used. I got mine for about $450 in near-mint condition.

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broody Contributing Member • Posts: 674
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed
2

By the way, fretting over sharpness for such an un-specialized focal length will do you more harm than good in the long run. I remember holding off on the 17mm 1.8 for SO long for fear of all the claims it was a bottle-bottom lens in comparison to the competition. My very first shots revealed that on the other hand, it had a pleasant and very detailed resolution capacity even wide open, and I've never peeped at the pixels, because the images are good enough in the first place that there's no point in it.

Obsessing about which lens is sharper is even more ridiculous when the glass is as good as these two are.

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AndyGM Contributing Member • Posts: 698
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

I would wait until these 2 lenses are tried on something like an E-PL1, that does the minimum amount of software processing in camera. The E-M10 that was used by Mr Wong is doing CA correction and a tuned software anti-alias filter on the MZ25, but doing neither with the PL25. So it's not yet a fair comparison - it just shows that the MZ25 is the better lens on that particular model of camera.

I'm sure if you put these 2 on a G6, the PL25 would come out ahead.

This isn't the review you are looking for, go about your business, move along...

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WhyNot
WhyNot Veteran Member • Posts: 7,887
How about a second test?

Testing mFT lenses always raises the question of software correction, especially for CA and distortion. … So, I would think the obvious follow up is to redo this test using a Panasonic body to see if there are differences.... Maybe someone here has done this?

Dheorl Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: The Olympus appears to have slightly better bokeh

Dave Lively wrote:

Bokeh has two different meanings depending on who is using the term. Some people use it as a synonym for shallow depth of field. Others use it to describe the appearance of the out of focus areas. I am using the second definition and am not trying to say the Olympus has thinner DOF.

Wide open it looks to me like the Olympus has slightly better bokeh with the PL 25 out of focus highlights having a bright edge. But the difference is pretty small. It would have been interesting to see what the PL looks like when set to f1.8.

The Olympus is smaller, lighter and cheaper but 2 ounces and a few fractions of an inch is not that significant to me. Similar performance for 25% less is enough to make me lean towards the Olympus though. I am going to wait a few months and see what other reviews say before I decide. If we am lucky the price of the Olympus might drop to $350 once the new wears off.

I dunno, I think some of the finer bokeh on the oly looks a bit messy compared to the panny. It's such a subjective thing though that every buyer really needs to look at pictures for themselves to be able to decide.

paul cool
paul cool Senior Member • Posts: 2,305
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

The oly lens on oly bodies and panasonic lens on panasonic bodies is becoming more prominent ,no is on panasonic bodies and now panasonic with dfd on gh4 with only panasonic lenses,perhaps they will share innovations at some point in the future ,fingers crossed

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OP dgrogers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,079
Re: Reviewed on Olympus body...
1

MatLD wrote:

Time will tell, but I find it a pity that panasonic and olympus compete directly on the lenses. It seems that more and more, the m4/3 is loosing its advantage of having two manufacturers.

What's the point of sharing the mount if manufacturers are doing everything to prevent you from buying the competitor's lenses ?

I think the competition is great.  It will lead to lower prices.  I like having more to choose from.

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Completely infatuated with the "OMG"

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