Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

Started Feb 15, 2014 | Discussions
amtberg Veteran Member • Posts: 6,108
Re: Bingo!
1

dgrogers wrote:

amtberg wrote:

dgrogers wrote:

gswpete wrote:

Of course it's a "non-scientific" test so it's to be expected that all the Olympus shots are closer to the target right?

Would you save some tin foil for the rest of us?

Will you put in the same drawer with your all-day sucker?

If you don't believe what you're seeing with your own eyes then who's being suckered here?

I'll reserve judgment until I or a neutral third party has an opportunity to make the comparison. Consciously or not, all but one of the bokeh comparison pics were shot in such a way as to minimize the Panasonic's advantage.  The exception isn't a very good test case.

Dave Sanders Senior Member • Posts: 2,543
What advantage?
2

amtberg wrote:

I'll reserve judgment until I or a neutral third party has an opportunity to make the comparison. Consciously or not, all but one of the bokeh comparison pics were shot in such a way as to minimize the Panasonic's advantage.

While I certainly understand your reservations about an Olympus rep doing a comparative lens review, I think 2/3 of a stop on a 25mm lens is not worth arguing about. We are, literally, talking about a DOF difference of just over an inch. Background blur differences are inconsequential. And I'm a PL 25 owner.

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Dave Sanders

amtberg Veteran Member • Posts: 6,108
Re: What advantage?
3

Dave Sanders wrote:

amtberg wrote:

I'll reserve judgment until I or a neutral third party has an opportunity to make the comparison. Consciously or not, all but one of the bokeh comparison pics were shot in such a way as to minimize the Panasonic's advantage.

While I certainly understand your reservations about an Olympus rep doing a comparative lens review, I think 2/3 of a stop on a 25mm lens is not worth arguing about. We are, literally, talking about a DOF difference of just over an inch. Background blur differences are inconsequential. And I'm a PL 25 owner.

Robin says that the 25/1.8 is wider than the 25/1.4, but if you notice, in most of the bokeh comparison pics the framing is actually tighter in the 25/1.8 shot, meaning that he didn't shoot from the same position and he focused closer with the Olympus lens. That can make a pretty substantial difference for background bokeh.

What's significant is pretty subjective, but IMO the difference in bokeh in these shots taken at f/1.4 and f/1.8 with my Nokton 25mm is significant -- especially on a "normal" MFT lens where separation is often at a premium (rollover to see change):

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

Altruisto Contributing Member • Posts: 910
Re: What advantage?

Dave Sanders wrote:

amtberg wrote:

I'll reserve judgment until I or a neutral third party has an opportunity to make the comparison. Consciously or not, all but one of the bokeh comparison pics were shot in such a way as to minimize the Panasonic's advantage.

While I certainly understand your reservations about an Olympus rep doing a comparative lens review, I think 2/3 of a stop on a 25mm lens is not worth arguing about. We are, literally, talking about a DOF difference of just over an inch. Background blur differences are inconsequential. And I'm a PL 25 owner.

I'm sorry to disagree on this. It does make a difference. Look at the smith photos. On the f1.4 we have a sense of depth. Not enough in the f1.8 shot. And it's not subjective.

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SlamdunK Regular Member • Posts: 289
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

Looking at the Pictures the pl25mm is clearly more exposed, so his reasoning about the 1/3ev difference is not correct.

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I.B.

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amtberg Veteran Member • Posts: 6,108
Re: What advantage?
1

Altruisto wrote:

Dave Sanders wrote:

amtberg wrote:

I'll reserve judgment until I or a neutral third party has an opportunity to make the comparison. Consciously or not, all but one of the bokeh comparison pics were shot in such a way as to minimize the Panasonic's advantage.

While I certainly understand your reservations about an Olympus rep doing a comparative lens review, I think 2/3 of a stop on a 25mm lens is not worth arguing about. We are, literally, talking about a DOF difference of just over an inch. Background blur differences are inconsequential. And I'm a PL 25 owner.

I'm sorry to disagree on this. It does make a difference. Look at the smith photos. On the f1.4 we have a sense of depth. Not enough in the f1.8 shot. And it's not subjective.

Not coincidentally I think that is the one shot where he didn't move and focus closer with the Olympus lens ... probably because it wasn't possible (looks like he shot from an overpass or stairs).

FrankS009
FrankS009 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,022
Re: street vs. introduction price
1

The Olympus price may or may not come down, but the point that some of us were responding to was the claim in Robin Wong's promotional review that the PL25 costs twice as much.

F.

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OP dgrogers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,079
Re: street vs. introduction price

FrankS009 wrote:

The Olympus price may or may not come down, but the point that some of us were responding to was the claim in Robin Wong's promotional review that the PL25 costs twice as much.

F.

Seriously?

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Dave Sanders Senior Member • Posts: 2,543
Re: What advantage?
2

amtberg wrote:

Robin says that the 25/1.8 is wider than the 25/1.4, but if you notice, in most of the bokeh comparison pics the framing is actually tighter in the 25/1.8 shot, meaning that he didn't shoot from the same position and he focused closer with the Olympus lens. That can make a pretty substantial difference for background bokeh.

So you're saying any photographer with even a modicum of skill can overcome the difference? Besides, the framing is perhaps a bit closer on the first shot, wider on the Oly in the last two of the man reading the paper and the men in the alley.

What's significant is pretty subjective, but IMO the difference in bokeh in these shots taken at f/1.4 and f/1.8 with my Nokton 25mm is significant -- especially on a "normal" MFT lens where separation is often at a premium (rollover to see change):

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

What you're seeing is mostly the shape of the aperture blades on your Nokton, something that won't be the case when both lenses are wide open. But I'll keep that in mind if I ever need to take photos of tree branches. Robin's photos are more indicative of how the lenses will get used in the real world. The difference is inconsequential and can easily be eilminated by, shockingly, knowing what you're doing.

And relax, nobody is saying your girlfriend is no longer pretty. Just that this other girl is also pretty. In the meantime I'll add PL25 fans to the list of thin-skinned photographers who a wee bit too much of their emotional well-being vested in their gear.

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Dave Sanders

Dave Sanders Senior Member • Posts: 2,543
Re: What advantage?

Altruisto wrote:

I'm sorry to disagree on this. It does make a difference. Look at the smith photos. On the f1.4 we have a sense of depth. Not enough in the f1.8 shot. And it's not subjective.

I thought you guys were arguing that it had less depth...

And no it doesn't. And yes it is subjective.

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Dave Sanders

peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,768
I see the difference...
1

Dave Sanders wrote:

Altruisto wrote:

I'm sorry to disagree on this. It does make a difference. Look at the smith photos. On the f1.4 we have a sense of depth. Not enough in the f1.8 shot. And it's not subjective.

I thought you guys were arguing that it had less depth...

And no it doesn't. And yes it is subjective.

Sorry to say but I see it as well. The Panny does have a certain 3D'ish look while the Oly is just flat. Possibly the same reason that I see the Oly as more clinically sharper/detailed while the Panny has a certain organic smoothness while still staying pretty sharp.

Mind you, I don't see a significant difference but it is a noticeable one.

Course, we can't really tell one way or the other without seeing more photos but the organic look is something I do notice with the Panny ever since it came out.

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Hubert
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peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,768
I could care less about the fundamentals of digital imaging...

Dave Sanders wrote:

Lawrence22 wrote:

The PL25 gives more richness in color and better 3Ddimensionality is quite obvious.

Lawrence

...complete bunk. Honestly, to even say so shows that you misunderstand the fundamentals of digital imaging.

because my eyes tells me (at least with the Robin Wong samples) that the Panny 1.4 does have a more 3D look to it's images. I'm uncertain about richness of colours but the differences in colour gradients is much more smoother in the Panny.

I could care less about the how or wide, I just see it when I see the photos.

Without more images to compare, I can't really say if they are that different but at least with the images shown by Robin Wong, that is what I see.

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FrankS009
FrankS009 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,022
Re: Panny 25mm 1.4 vs Olympus 25mm 1.8 Reviewed

Can only echo what Anders W said in another thread, that "it's always nice to see MFT come up with yet another capable lens that strengthens the system."

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53140300

F.

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mh2000 Senior Member • Posts: 2,813
Re: "Less than precisely rigorous," maybe

amtberg wrote:

mh2000 wrote:

amtberg wrote:

mh2000 wrote:

Typically, when people traditionally compared a 50/1.8 vs a 50/1.4, it was usually based on lens quality differences, not nit picking the differences between f1.8 and f1.4. Looks like only the build quality of the P/L 25 is noticeably better in this case.

Disagree. Lens manufacturers don't go to such extremes of design and cost to produce fast f/1-1.4 lenses just so they'll look better at f/1.8 and above. Photographers have always been willing to pay top dollar for fast glass because it provides more flexibility in exposure and composition.

In the present case it's not a huge difference but it's noticeable and it's just silly to pretend that it doesn't exist.

Look at the differences between the Canon "nifty 50" and compare to the EF 50/1.4 (or Nikon alternatives). There is a lot more differentiating the lenses than just the faster aperture.

The speed difference between f1.4 and f1.8 is just not that much.

Granted, if you were a Leica shooter, this doesn't apply, the only real difference between a Summicron f2 and Summilux f1.4 is the aperture, they are both quality Leica lenses.

It's not a chicken and egg problem, though.  Canon, Nikon, etc., put more effort and higher quality components into their faster lenses because they know that their most demanding customers want the fastest lenses they can get.

Yes, exactly! It has nothing to do with the minor difference in apperture, it has to do with all the other properties they put into their lenses besides the larger aperture!

Also, what about Leica? The quality of their 50/2.8, 50/2.5, 50/2 and 50/1.4 are all supperb. My guess is that almost every Leica shooter considers themself "demanding" and they sold many Elmars and Summicrons!

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amtberg Veteran Member • Posts: 6,108
Re: street vs. introduction price

FrankS009 wrote:

The Olympus price may or may not come down, but the point that some of us were responding to was the claim in Robin Wong's promotional review that the PL25 costs twice as much.

F.

The other side of the coin is that early adopters of the Oly 25mm are likely to do relatively poorly in the resale market if they later decide to sell the lens ... while the older PL25's street price isn't likely to fall.  You can more or less "rent" a PL25 for $100 and use it for a couple years, since you can sell it used for about $100 less than the new price.

amtberg Veteran Member • Posts: 6,108
Re: What advantage?

Dave Sanders wrote:

amtberg wrote:

Robin says that the 25/1.8 is wider than the 25/1.4, but if you notice, in most of the bokeh comparison pics the framing is actually tighter in the 25/1.8 shot, meaning that he didn't shoot from the same position and he focused closer with the Olympus lens. That can make a pretty substantial difference for background bokeh.

So you're saying any photographer with even a modicum of skill can overcome the difference? Besides, the framing is perhaps a bit closer on the first shot, wider on the Oly in the last two of the man reading the paper and the men in the alley.

What's significant is pretty subjective, but IMO the difference in bokeh in these shots taken at f/1.4 and f/1.8 with my Nokton 25mm is significant -- especially on a "normal" MFT lens where separation is often at a premium (rollover to see change):

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

What you're seeing is mostly the shape of the aperture blades on your Nokton, something that won't be the case when both lenses are wide open. But I'll keep that in mind if I ever need to take photos of tree branches. Robin's photos are more indicative of how the lenses will get used in the real world. The difference is inconsequential and can easily be eilminated by, shockingly, knowing what you're doing.

And relax, nobody is saying your girlfriend is no longer pretty. Just that this other girl is also pretty. In the meantime I'll add PL25 fans to the list of thin-skinned photographers who a wee bit too much of their emotional well-being vested in their gear.

You might want to have your eyes checked because the f/1.4 pic clearly has a lot more background blur than the f/1.8 pic.

As I've mentioned before, I don't have a horse in this race.  It's academic for me since I have the 25/.95 and between it and the 12-35 I'm more than happy with my 25mm options.  But it's good to know that "real world" photos don't have trees in the background.  LOL

Lawrence22 Regular Member • Posts: 116
Re: I could care less about the fundamentals of digital imaging...

peppermonkey wrote:

Dave Sanders wrote:

Lawrence22 wrote:

The PL25 gives more richness in color and better 3Ddimensionality is quite obvious.

Lawrence

...complete bunk. Honestly, to even say so shows that you misunderstand the fundamentals of digital imaging.

because my eyes tells me (at least with the Robin Wong samples) that the Panny 1.4 does have a more 3D look to it's images. I'm uncertain about richness of colours but the differences in colour gradients is much more smoother in the Panny.

I could care less about the how or wide, I just see it when I see the photos.

Without more images to compare, I can't really say if they are that different but at least with the images shown by Robin Wong, that is what I see.

Yes, It is very obvious with the photos of the yellow public telephone and the red peppers.....about colors and 3D look.

Lawrence

Krich13 Contributing Member • Posts: 767
Re: What advantage?
1

Dave Sanders wrote:

amtberg wrote:

Robin says that the 25/1.8 is wider than the 25/1.4, but if you notice, in most of the bokeh comparison pics the framing is actually tighter in the 25/1.8 shot, meaning that he didn't shoot from the same position and he focused closer with the Olympus lens. That can make a pretty substantial difference for background bokeh.

So you're saying any photographer with even a modicum of skill can overcome the difference?

To the same degree as a difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 lenses in their 50 or 85 mm FF flavor could be overcome. There are scenarios where the difference can be overcome, some scenarios (like landscapes stopped down) where it is not important at all, and yet some where the difference is critical -- and for those few photographers pay x2-x3 the price for this extra 2/3-rds of a stop.

Case of point: Nikon f/1.8 (50 mm and 85 mm) lenses are minimally (if at all) optically inferior to their f/1.4 counterparts in the overlapping apertures range -- but they are 2.5-3 times cheaper.

As a matter of fact, I think these 2/3-rds of a stop are more critical in m43 world than they are in FF world. That is, the scenarios where you need extra subject isolation are far more often: with FF the DOF becomes so thin at these apertures, that you stop down just to "get both eyes in focus".

Not so with m43, where you will find yourself shooting wide open (FF equivalent of f/2.8 and f/3.6 respectively) all the time.

OP dgrogers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,079
The psychology of seeing what you want to see

amtberg wrote:

You might want to have your eyes checked because the f/1.4 pic clearly has a lot more background blur than the f/1.8 pic.

As I've mentioned before, I don't have a horse in this race. It's academic for me since I have the 25/.95 and between it and the 12-35 I'm more than happy with my 25mm options. But it's good to know that "real world" photos don't have trees in the background. LOL

Confirmation bias has it's grip on you.  For someone who claims to have no horse in this perceived race, you sure are acting like that obnoxious fan in the cheap seats.  Why do you see this as a race instead of another excellent option in the m4/3 world?

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mh2000 Senior Member • Posts: 2,813
not subjective? give me a break!

Altruisto wrote:

Dave Sanders wrote:

amtberg wrote:

I'll reserve judgment until I or a neutral third party has an opportunity to make the comparison. Consciously or not, all but one of the bokeh comparison pics were shot in such a way as to minimize the Panasonic's advantage.

While I certainly understand your reservations about an Olympus rep doing a comparative lens review, I think 2/3 of a stop on a 25mm lens is not worth arguing about. We are, literally, talking about a DOF difference of just over an inch. Background blur differences are inconsequential. And I'm a PL 25 owner.

I'm sorry to disagree on this. It does make a difference. Look at the smith photos. On the f1.4 we have a sense of depth. Not enough in the f1.8 shot. And it's not subjective.

How can you say that this is not subjective? Give me a break!

When you are talking about a "sense of depth" you are talking a subjective perception!

Not only is there a DoF difference, there is also a rendering difference. These will cause different people to respond differently to each photo.

If you think you cannot consistently take the photos you want using the Oly 25, then don't buy it.

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