Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

Started Feb 15, 2014 | Discussions
OP dgrogers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,079
Re: looks like a winner to me.

bluevellet wrote:

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.

What's wrong with the 17mm f/1.8?  I've seen some amazing pictures from that lens.

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exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

Dheorl wrote:

dgrogers wrote:

Robin Wong has compared the Panny 25mm 1.4 to the Olympus 25mm 1.8.

http://robinwong.blogspot.it/2014/02/olympus-mzuiko-25mm-f18-lens-review.html

There are some interesting points. First, the Panasonic required a slower shutter speed at the same aperture, meaning there may be a difference in the way Olympus measures their f/stop and the way Panasonic does.

f/stop is I think pretty much a calculated thing rather than a measured thing. It's an fixed formula, not something that's up for debate. T-stop however can change for any given f-stop. I don't know the optical constructions of both but if for instance the oly had less elements it might have a slightly better comparative t-stop.

DxO measured PL25/1.4 as T1.7, if Robin states that Olympus body meters O25/1.8 as a faster T than T1.7 then it is a rarest (if any exist) case when F > T :).... I'd think that firmware does meter differently for one lens vs another for whatever reason or faulty test on his part

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exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: How about a second test?

WhyNot wrote:

Testing mFT lenses always raises the question of software correction, especially for CA and distortion. …

It is known that E-M1 corrects (for OOC and writes info in ORF for raw converters) LaCA for m43 lenses (the ones that pass info to the body) and pre E-M1 bodies do not... so if he tested lenses on his E-M5 that is a different story from E-M1 (and may be E-M10 ?)

Also it is known that Olympus OEM raw converter for raws from E-M1 (and may be E-M10 and may be now even for raws from prev. cameras ?) can (or will mandatory, user can't switch it off) apply extra software corrections like DxO does for Olympus (at least) lenses = more deblurring (deconvolution) at borders vs in center.. that also may or may not affect the results...

Also as tests of some local participants showed Olympus cameras used (still do ?) less UV spectrum filtration by IR/UV cut filter in sensor assembly vs Panasonic cameras - that leads to some worse results when Panasonic lenses (designed for a stronger UV cut in body) are used on Olympus bodies (whereas Olympus lenses are designed to do that extra filtration apparently)...

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bluevellet Senior Member • Posts: 2,888
Re: looks like a winner to me.

dgrogers wrote:

bluevellet wrote:

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.

What's wrong with the 17mm f/1.8? I've seen some amazing pictures from that lens.

As I said, when compared to 20mm, the 17mm is not that impressive. That's purely about IQ here. Pixel-peeping and such. That's what initially disappointed people here, not that pretty photos couldn't be taken with it.

Obviously, the 17mm smokes the 20mm in AF (The Pana is just awful) and for those who want a better MF feel (pull-up focus ring).

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exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: Something to consider...

Nemo0815 wrote:

Robin Wong, after all.

he is Olympus employee after all, so he can't be 100% impartial (that does not mean that PL25/1.4 is better - that means he can't do a more precise testing... for example compare Nikon 85/1.4 vs Nikon 85/1.8 - there are many points where 1.8 scores better... and those 2 were not designed to compete - while O25/1.8 was vs PL25/1.4).

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OP dgrogers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,079
Re: looks like a winner to me.

bluevellet wrote:

dgrogers wrote:

bluevellet wrote:

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.

What's wrong with the 17mm f/1.8? I've seen some amazing pictures from that lens.

As I said, when compared to 20mm, the 17mm is not that impressive. That's purely about IQ here. Pixel-peeping and such. That's what initially disappointed people here, not that pretty photos couldn't be taken with it.

Obviously, the 17mm smokes the 20mm in AF (The Pana is just awful) and for those who want a better MF feel (pull-up focus ring).

I had read the criticisms of the 17mm and thought it wasn't a lens worth looking at, then I found this.

http://buchangrant.com/blog/?p=1979

To my eyes, the image quality coming out of it is every bit as good as the like of the Panny 25 f/1.4 and the Oly 45 f/1.8.  Granted, these weren't full sized shots, but the images were very nice to look at -- both the subject matter, the photographer's work, and the characteristics of the lens.

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bluevellet Senior Member • Posts: 2,888
Re: Reviewed on Olympus body...
1

dgrogers wrote:

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.

And this is about 25mm (50mm equivalent) primes. A kind of lens that should be very popular and where choice can only good.

If this were about exotic optics or some uber expensive zoom then I'd understand the complaint.

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tt321
tt321 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,552
Re: Something to consider...
1

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Nemo0815 wrote:

Robin Wong, after all.

he is Olympus employee after all, so he can't be 100% impartial (that does not mean that PL25/1.4 is better - that means he can't do a more precise testing... for example compare Nikon 85/1.4 vs Nikon 85/1.8 - there are many points where 1.8 scores better... and those 2 were not designed to compete - while O25/1.8 was vs PL25/1.4).

He brought up the point in the beginning that 1.4 lenses are expected to be better than 1.8 lenses, but fails to mention that 1.4 lenses are usually actually twice the price, at the very least, as 1.8 lenses.

exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: Something to consider...

tt321 wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Nemo0815 wrote:

Robin Wong, after all.

he is Olympus employee after all, so he can't be 100% impartial (that does not mean that PL25/1.4 is better - that means he can't do a more precise testing... for example compare Nikon 85/1.4 vs Nikon 85/1.8 - there are many points where 1.8 scores better... and those 2 were not designed to compete - while O25/1.8 was vs PL25/1.4).

He brought up the point in the beginning that 1.4 lenses are expected to be better than 1.8 lenses, but fails to mention that 1.4 lenses are usually actually twice the price, at the very least, as 1.8 lenses.

prices are tricky... not in every country the price is twice as much + taxes + people can buy from other countries... I purchased my P35-100/2.8 from Japan because it was cheaper (yes, warranty is for Japan only).

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Ido S
Ido S Veteran Member • Posts: 4,955
T-stops

The difference in required shutter speeds for any given aperture is caused by the T-stops of the lens. That's the amount of light that actually manages to hit the sensor, whereas F-stops represent the amount of light that goes through the aperture diaphragm. We'll have to wait on a scientific confirmation, from the folks at DxO Labs (who are in charge of the famous, and infamous, DxOMark), as well as SLR Gear, etc.

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amtberg Veteran Member • Posts: 6,151
Bottom line, to me....
1

The bottom line to me for the 25mm FL and MFT is that -- all else being equal -- I want as skinny a depth of field as I can get.  It's not that big of an issue at longer focal lengths, because you naturally tend to get narrower DOF, but separation can be hard to achieve at 25mm.

Robin suggests that the difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 isn't significant here, but that's not my experience. Here's a comparison between the two apertures on my Voigtlander 25mm/.95 (roll over image to see the difference):

http://www.3danvil.com/temp/f1.4_vf1.8/image%20rollover_01.html

http://www.3danvil.com/temp/f1.4_vf1.8/image%20rollover_02.html

Given that the lenses both have excellent IQ, and the PL/1.4 can be had for close to the same price, I'd go for the PL over the Olympus.  It's purely academic for me as I'm happy with the Voigt and I'm not likely to purchase either lens.

OP dgrogers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,079
Re: Bottom line, to me....

amtberg wrote:

The bottom line to me for the 25mm FL and MFT is that -- all else being equal -- I want as skinny a depth of field as I can get. It's not that big of an issue at longer focal lengths, because you naturally tend to get narrower DOF, but separation can be hard to achieve at 25mm.

Robin suggests that the difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 isn't significant here, but that's not my experience. Here's a comparison between the two apertures on my Voigtlander 25mm/.95 (roll over image to see the difference):

http://www.3danvil.com/temp/f1.4_vf1.8/image%20rollover_01.html

http://www.3danvil.com/temp/f1.4_vf1.8/image%20rollover_02.html

Given that the lenses both have excellent IQ, and the PL/1.4 can be had for close to the same price, I'd go for the PL over the Olympus. It's purely academic for me as I'm happy with the Voigt and I'm not likely to purchase either lens.

So there is a noticeable difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 on your Voigtlander.  The difference between the Panny 25mm f/1.4 and the Oly 25mm f/1.8 isn't nearly as noticeable, at least in Robin Wong's samples.  What does that tell us?

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amtberg Veteran Member • Posts: 6,151
Re: Bottom line, to me....
2

dgrogers wrote:

amtberg wrote:

The bottom line to me for the 25mm FL and MFT is that -- all else being equal -- I want as skinny a depth of field as I can get. It's not that big of an issue at longer focal lengths, because you naturally tend to get narrower DOF, but separation can be hard to achieve at 25mm.

Robin suggests that the difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 isn't significant here, but that's not my experience. Here's a comparison between the two apertures on my Voigtlander 25mm/.95 (roll over image to see the difference):

http://www.3danvil.com/temp/f1.4_vf1.8/image%20rollover_01.html

http://www.3danvil.com/temp/f1.4_vf1.8/image%20rollover_02.html

Given that the lenses both have excellent IQ, and the PL/1.4 can be had for close to the same price, I'd go for the PL over the Olympus. It's purely academic for me as I'm happy with the Voigt and I'm not likely to purchase either lens.

So there is a noticeable difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 on your Voigtlander. The difference between the Panny 25mm f/1.4 and the Oly 25mm f/1.8 isn't nearly as noticeable, at least in Robin Wong's samples. What does that tell us?

I don't think it's clear at all that the DoF difference isn't noticeable between the two lenses.  Rather, I don't think Robin is playing it quite straight.  Notice in the shots with the peppers, for example, that the Oly shot is focused closer than the PL shot, which makes a big difference re: the background blur?  I think he picked his shots to downplay the difference.

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

Unfortunately we don't have so many exotic lenses in the linup and the repetitions are starting to get on my nerves, that's why I complain.

Yeah we have choices... in the standard focal range and in the kit zoom stuff. The rest is not so pretty. We're going to get large and expensive "pro" stuff, which is not my cup of tea either.

Choice, is cool, but if it is to make volumes lower and i'm not sure if the prices will go down that much. And I hate the the choice are starting to be oly vs pana, instead of "which type of lens ?" especially if the answer is "to get the same brand as your body".

Well at least olympus is starting to give lens hoods away so that's already a big win I guess...

OP dgrogers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,079
Re: Bottom line, to me....
1

amtberg wrote:

I don't think it's clear at all that the DoF difference isn't noticeable between the two lenses. Rather, I don't think Robin is playing it quite straight. Notice in the shots with the peppers, for example, that the Oly shot is focused closer than the PL shot, which makes a big difference re: the background blur? I think he picked his shots to downplay the difference.

I saw that.  I also saw the Oly image had greater background blur in that sample, but I wrote that off due to the difference in focus.  That is just one sample.  How do you explain the other samples where you have to look hard to see a tiny difference?

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Loga Senior Member • Posts: 1,782
Re: Bottom line, to me....
1

Not to mention that he compared the bokeh / DOF in a changing environment. I think this comparsion is simply useless. A tad closer focus to the subject with the Oly and the difference seems to be disappear. So, we should find the real difference with tripod / locked subject.

However, f1.4 vs f1.8 is not that important IMHO. To me, focusing ability is much more a difference. Since I also experienced that the PL25 can miss focus on my OM-D wide open, if the Oly is really that precise, then this is the reason I would buy it over the Pana.

amtberg wrote:

dgrogers wrote:

amtberg wrote:

The bottom line to me for the 25mm FL and MFT is that -- all else being equal -- I want as skinny a depth of field as I can get. It's not that big of an issue at longer focal lengths, because you naturally tend to get narrower DOF, but separation can be hard to achieve at 25mm.

Robin suggests that the difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 isn't significant here, but that's not my experience. Here's a comparison between the two apertures on my Voigtlander 25mm/.95 (roll over image to see the difference):

http://www.3danvil.com/temp/f1.4_vf1.8/image%20rollover_01.html

http://www.3danvil.com/temp/f1.4_vf1.8/image%20rollover_02.html

Given that the lenses both have excellent IQ, and the PL/1.4 can be had for close to the same price, I'd go for the PL over the Olympus. It's purely academic for me as I'm happy with the Voigt and I'm not likely to purchase either lens.

So there is a noticeable difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 on your Voigtlander. The difference between the Panny 25mm f/1.4 and the Oly 25mm f/1.8 isn't nearly as noticeable, at least in Robin Wong's samples. What does that tell us?

I don't think it's clear at all that the DoF difference isn't noticeable between the two lenses. Rather, I don't think Robin is playing it quite straight. Notice in the shots with the peppers, for example, that the Oly shot is focused closer than the PL shot, which makes a big difference re: the background blur? I think he picked his shots to downplay the difference.

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toporossa Regular Member • Posts: 127
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

If you look at the pictures, both lenses indeed seem to deliever a very similar out of focus blur at different apertures (1.4 versus 1.8). That's interesting, but it's often said that you can optimize a lens for either good bokeh or for good sharpness, of course with better or worse compromises between this two parameters. So I guess good bokeh characteristics can give you better impression of blurred details than not-so-good bokeh characteristics and vice versa sharper lenses can give the impression of less blur. (Of course I know that bokeh is not about the quantity of dof control but (subjective) quality but that doesn't man that a good bokeh can't influence the impression of how much the background is blurred). So it has to be proved if the Olympus is really as sharp as PL. Probably it's also possible that a clever lens design can suceed in both sharpnes and bokeh better than other ones, but again that still has to be proved in controlled test designs.

Although the Oly 25mm is smaller and lighter than the PL 25mm, it's also noteworthy that the lens is longer in length than the Oly 17mm f1.8 and even more so than the Panasonic 20mm f1.7. A point that I miss in the discussion is build quality. All my lenses, even the "cheap zooms" of Olympus are in excellent condition without scratches except the Oly 45mm which has minor, but many scratches on the surface. Since the 25mm is said to have the same build quality I think it shouldn't be more expensive than the (optically excellent ) 45mm.

Steven Wandy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,411
Re: Something to consider...

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Nemo0815 wrote:

Robin Wong, after all.

he is Olympus employee after all, so he can't be 100% impartial (that does not mean that PL25/1.4 is better - that means he can't do a more precise testing... for example compare Nikon 85/1.4 vs Nikon 85/1.8 - there are many points where 1.8 scores better... and those 2 were not designed to compete - while O25/1.8 was vs PL25/1.4).

And he never says he does "precise testing", his "testing" has always been from a shooter's point of view. I don't think it means "that he can't do a more precise testing".

Additionally, he was not comparing 85mm lenses - he was talking about 50mm lenses and going WAY back for me to film day, a particular brand's 50mm 1.4 was generally built better and probably round twice as expensive as it's 1.8 lens. (Just as a 1.2 lens was always more expensive than a 1.4 lens.)

I am not sure if the same hold true for longer lenses - or for all focal lengths in general.

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micronean Regular Member • Posts: 306
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

The only real conclusion is that the Panasonic is way overpriced for what it is. It makes me wonder how much that 'leica' sticker is really worth...

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Advent1sam
Advent1sam Veteran Member • Posts: 6,746
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed
1

micronean wrote:

The only real conclusion is that the Panasonic is way overpriced for what it is. It makes me wonder how much that 'leica' sticker is really worth...

Get real, the difference is £30 GBP!

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