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I did a test today with the Olympus 25mm f/1.8 that I'm reviewing and the PL 25mm f/1.4 that I've owned for years. I wrote a few more detailed thoughts on my blog post with it, but I'll post all the images here so you don't feel the need to head over that way if you don't feel like it. http://admiringlight.com/blog/olympus-25mm-f1-8-vs-panasonic-leica-25mm-f1-4/
The lenses: The Oly 25mm is notably smaller than the PL. It's a very tiny lens and it weighs next to nothing. Similar build to the Oly 45/1.8. Both lenses have fast and silent AF. I have had a few instances where the Oly would hunt a bit in lower light, but I need to test that a lot more before making any conclusions.
The full scene: Camera on a tripod, just swapped out the lenses. The PL is slightly longer than the 25mm in focal length, which exaggerates the aperture advantage even a little more. Here are both lenses wide open:
Olympus @ f/1.8:
PL @ f/1.4:
Sharpness: Both quite good right from wide open. The Panasonic is a little sharper in the center at wide apertures wide open and the Olympus is sharper on the edges. Both are very good stopped down. The Oly keeps a very slight lead at the edges, though:
Vignetting also sticks around longer on the Olympus.
Bokeh: Both have some green fringing on specular highlights. The PL is a little smoother to my eye, and has a little more blur even with both lenses at f/1.8. Stopped down, the Oly's aperture blades are slightly rounder, giving a little nicer highlight at smaller apertures, but it's not a big difference. Overall, I prefer the Panasonic here, but you be the judge:
Overall, I think both lenses are really good. If you value size over speed, get the Olympus...if you value speed and subject separation over size, get the Panasonic. In either case, both lenses are very good.
Edited on Mar 31, 2014 at 06:22 PM · View previous versions