Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison

Started Dec 7, 2015 | Discussions
Lichtspiel
Lichtspiel Senior Member • Posts: 1,543
Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison
12

I have been using the Oly for a while now, and I am mostly happy with it, except for the rather strong vignetting. Seeing the Pana sold for $99, I made an impulse purchase.

How do they compare?

Although both have the same filter diameter (46mm), the Lumix is considerably (about 1/3) longer than the Oly. The provided hood is also slightly longer than the Oly version.

Both weight about the same, the Pana is a few negligible grams lighter. Both have metal mounts.

The FOV is a bit different, with the Oly being wider than the Pana. Can't put numbers to it, but comparing the two, it is obvious.

Now for the (for me at least) most interesting/important comparison... sharpness.

At their wide open apertures, both are very similar. However, the Oly gets incredibly sharp when stopped down to 2.5. The Pana on the other hand stays the same, doesn't improve when stopping down. This applies both to center and corner areas.

I did not notice any differences in chromatic aberrations or focusing speed, but did not specifically test for it either.

The Pana is definitely a good value lens, but for the smaller size and better sharpness I will stick with my Oly and sell the Lumix.

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Tom Axford Veteran Member • Posts: 6,151
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison
2

Lichtspiel wrote:

At their wide open apertures, both are very similar. However, the Oly gets incredibly sharp when stopped down to 2.5. The Pana on the other hand stays the same, doesn't improve when stopping down. This applies both to center and corner areas.

My 25/1.7 behaves the same - no improvement on stopping down (I don't have the Oly lens to compare). In fact, I can't see much difference in image quality over the whole range from f/1.7 to f/8 (beyond f/8 it gets softer as would be expected from diffraction).

Astrotripper Veteran Member • Posts: 6,866
Thanks for sharing
1

Lichtspiel wrote:

The FOV is a bit different, with the Oly being wider than the Pana. Can't put numbers to it, but comparing the two, it is obvious.

I would guess this might have something to do with distortion. Oly 25 is pretty good in this regard, from what I know (I don't own it, unfortunately). And while 25/1.7 does not have as big distortion as 25/1.4 or 20/1.7 (according to DxO measurements), it's still noticeable.

The Pana on the other hand stays the same, doesn't improve when stopping down. This applies both to center and corner areas.

Exactly my experience. The corners get a bit better by f/2.5, and from there on, it stays the same.

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s_grins
s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 12,879
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison

And what about vignetting?

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Astrotripper Veteran Member • Posts: 6,866
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison
2

s_grins wrote:

And what about vignetting?

He's going to have a hard time comparing that without performing proper tests and examining RAW files.

But from my tests, it looks like at it's worst, vignetting is moderate, averaging around -1.2 EV in the corners wide open (it's -1.5 if you just take a tiny little square from the very corner). The "tunnel vision" effect disappears at f/2, when the corners are at -0.9 EV. At f/2.5, you pretty much have uniform illumination edge to edge, with only extreme corners at -0.5 EV. From f/3.5, it's at -0.25 EV and pretty much stays at this level. From real world use perspective, vignetting is a non-issue from f/2.5 onward, and isn't big of a deal even wide open.

This seems to be better than Oly 25, looking at Lenstip review. Panasonic here seems to have around 0.3-0.5 EV advantage over Olympus. Not sure if this is something that would be clearly visible in real life examples.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,010
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison

My 25mm f1.7 isn't as sharp wide open as it is at f2.8. It's repeatable. Not very scientific. Used 2 second shutter delay and the target was a food label bar code. Camera on the table. I reviewed it in the viewfinder at x15 magnification. At f8 it's still the same resolution at f11 resolution drops off.

addlightness Senior Member • Posts: 2,924
Re: Thanks and +1. That was useful info for me <nt>
1

No text.

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Lichtspiel
OP Lichtspiel Senior Member • Posts: 1,543
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison

Astrotripper wrote:

s_grins wrote:

And what about vignetting?

He's going to have a hard time comparing that without performing proper tests and examining RAW files.

But from my tests, it looks like at it's worst, vignetting is moderate, averaging around -1.2 EV in the corners wide open (it's -1.5 if you just take a tiny little square from the very corner). The "tunnel vision" effect disappears at f/2, when the corners are at -0.9 EV. At f/2.5, you pretty much have uniform illumination edge to edge, with only extreme corners at -0.5 EV. From f/3.5, it's at -0.25 EV and pretty much stays at this level. From real world use perspective, vignetting is a non-issue from f/2.5 onward, and isn't big of a deal even wide open.

This seems to be better than Oly 25, looking at Lenstip review. Panasonic here seems to have around 0.3-0.5 EV advantage over Olympus. Not sure if this is something that would be clearly visible in real life examples.

Good point, I forgot to mention this. Astro is correct in that I don't have the vignetting properly tested and examined. But, just comparing my test shots, there seems to be much less of an issue with the Panasonic lens.

As for real life examples, the vignetting of the Oly is pretty awful wide open, very visible in shots with a uniform blue sky. It gets a bit better as you stop down to 4-5.6.

On the other hand, it's something that can be corrected in post, and other than that, the Oly is pretty darn flawless (well, there is the price...).

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Lichtspiel
OP Lichtspiel Senior Member • Posts: 1,543
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison

Tony8232 wrote:

My 25mm f1.7 isn't as sharp wide open as it is at f2.8. It's repeatable. Not very scientific. Used 2 second shutter delay and the target was a food label bar code. Camera on the table. I reviewed it in the viewfinder at x15 magnification. At f8 it's still the same resolution at f11 resolution drops off.

Tony, you are correct. There is a very, very small improvement in sharpness when stopping the Panasonic down to 2.8. However, it's so small that it probably won't be affecting real life shots. The Oly, on the other hand, shows a rather noticeable improvement when you stop down a notch or two, and clearly beats the Pana.

Whether you always want or need that last bit of sharpness is of course a different question.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,010
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison
2

I wouldn't say no to extra sharpness. I bought this lens to use indoors at family gatherings. My 45mm Olympus sometimes is too long even though I love the output of that lens. I figured at $99 this is an inexpensive way to see if 25mm is a suitable focal length for me. I can always sell it if I'm not satisfied. I was actually thinking of a legacy 25mm to use inside but there aren't many or any that have this speed and image quality for $99. The autofocus is a huge plus.
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PoohBill
PoohBill Regular Member • Posts: 278
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison
1

$100 vs $300. Just bought my first Pany lens!

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Bill

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mronyzeno New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison

where is everyone finding the pana for $99?? at BH it's $250 and eBay $200, compared with $400/$260 for the olympus. For the prices i'm finding the olympus is a no brainer, but for 100 bux??

Lichtspiel
OP Lichtspiel Senior Member • Posts: 1,543
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison

It was right there, three months ago! Sometimes it would be great to have a time machine.

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mronyzeno New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison

Ah!! where did you buy yours from? do you still have it?

BBbuilder467 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,656
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison

mronyzeno wrote:

Ah!! where did you buy yours from? do you still have it?

It was a sale that ended back in early Dec 2015. Some of the orders are only being fulfilled now, but the sale is long over.

Mine was ordered Dec 2 and I just received it a few days ago. They aren't $99 anymore.

Big D in SP Regular Member • Posts: 436
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison

BBbuilder467 wrote:

mronyzeno wrote:

Ah!! where did you buy yours from? do you still have it?

It was a sale that ended back in early Dec 2015. Some of the orders are only being fulfilled now, but the sale is long over.

Mine was ordered Dec 2 and I just received it a few days ago. They aren't $99 anymore.

Got mine for $49 bundled with the 14-140 and Audio-Technica microphone during Black Friday Sale!!!  NA nah.... NA naa nah!   (Just kidding!)

Seriously, though the original I got had to be sent back for service (front focusing problem), the returned lens is very sharp across the board, a little soft wide open, but by f2.2 is stellar with very good bokeh.  If I really needed a decent 25mm (50mm equivalent) lens, the current selling price would be very fair.

Annually, Friday after Thanksgiving and the Monday following may be the very best time of the year to purchase new gear (if you can time it.)  Over the past 10 years I've managed to save serious amounts buying at that time.

Warren

Travis Butler
Travis Butler Senior Member • Posts: 1,065
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison
1

Lichtspiel wrote:

Whether you always want or need that last bit of sharpness is of course a different question.

And, of course, whether absolute sharpness is an overriding characteristic.

I rented the Oly 25 once, and found it a perfectly serviceable lens; but I found the color rendering rather flat, even dull, unless the lighting was really helping out. Whereas the Lumix 25/1.7 did relatively well on color and contrast unless the lighting was really working against it; see some of the samples in http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3981798/57478046 for what I mean.

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tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 13,165
My 25mm f1.8 is like a mini 75mm.
5

I consider my 25mm and 75mm to be equals. I'm absolutely floored by what I get from the 25mm at or near wide open:

f2.2

f1.8 vignetting added in post

f1.8

mronyzeno New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 vs Olympus 25mm f/1.8 comparison

Ah! awesome deal!! what site did you buy it on?

Lichtspiel
OP Lichtspiel Senior Member • Posts: 1,543
Re: My 25mm f1.8 is like a mini 75mm.
1

It's a fine lens indeed, and you've got some fine example shots there. Thanks for sharing. Wish we could see the Exif data.

Now could you get some very similar results with the Lumix? I think so!

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