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Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4
  
 
Jman13
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


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



Mar 30, 2014 at 03:28 PM
millsart
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


Having had both myself, I think for all intensive purposes they were quite close in terms of sharpness and AF performance. The Olympus of course has a bit of a size advantage which is a big factor on a camera like the GM1, though on something like the EM1, the PL25 certainly handles just fine.

I really didn't find even that much difference in subject separation between them in terms of apparent DoF, but what I did always notice is that the PL rendered in a way that was just a little more pleasing to my eye.

I ultimately went with the 25/1.8, as it was simply a better overall fit on the GM1, and frankly is a fantastic lens for $399, with really zero faults, yet, I still liked the images from the PL25 better. Not enough to keep it in light of other issues like its larger size though, so we are talking pretty minor differences here.

At mid distances though, the PL just really has this fantastic classical way of drawing I really liked.

Can't go wrong with either of them though, or the 20mm f1.7 (if your okay with slightly slower AF speed)



Mar 30, 2014 at 03:46 PM
kmkime
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


Jordan -- nice review. Thanks very much. Apologies for the slightly OT question, but do you plan to do a review of the Fuji 10-24mm f/4 due to be officially released tomorrow (I believe)? Thanks


Mar 30, 2014 at 05:01 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


kmkime wrote:
Jordan -- nice review. Thanks very much. Apologies for the slightly OT question, but do you plan to do a review of the Fuji 10-24mm f/4 due to be officially released tomorrow (I believe)? Thanks


Thanks. I will certainly get a review unit at some point. I don't have high level connections, so I usually have to wait until after release to get a review sample, but I plan on reviewing it as soon as I can get a copy. I don't plan on buying one for myself at the moment, though, as can be dangerous when you review a lot of gear...I've had my mind changed before (the 23/1.4 was one of those).



Mar 30, 2014 at 05:35 PM
Desmoface
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


Wow, these lenses are very close in performance. Kudos for Olympus for pulling this off.

Steve



Mar 31, 2014 at 06:13 PM
Michael Gordon
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


Wonder how the new Oly renders vs the Panny pancake? Torn betwen the two for GM-1.


Apr 02, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Jman13
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


The Oly is longer but will fit better due to the smaller diameter on the GM1. The 20/1.7 is actually a bit big on that body.

The Oly also renders a little nicer to my eye.




Apr 02, 2014 at 12:09 AM
FlyPenFly
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


I would hope the Oly renders better than the P20, something about the images from the P20 is just really displeasing for me, not sure why.


Apr 02, 2014 at 12:29 AM
jseliger
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


I had the Panasonic and sold it—for more than the price of the Olympus—because the size threw me. A small camera deserves a proportionally small lens.


Apr 02, 2014 at 04:35 AM
snapsy
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


This is an awesome comparison, thanks. I'm surprised how much better the Oly is in the edges. The Pany is one of my favorite lenses on any system.


Apr 02, 2014 at 04:38 AM
 

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ebrandon
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


Very nice comparison. I appreciated it. I also have these two lenses, and the much larger 43 PanaLeica 25mm f1.4 as well. I find these various lenses behave somewhat differently on different 43 and m43 camera bodies although I haven't made any attempt at a controlled test like you have.
The Oly 25mm f1.8 definitely matches up really nicely in feel, aesthetics, operation, and performance with the E-M1.



Apr 02, 2014 at 06:27 PM
Michael Gordon
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


Jman13 wrote:
The Oly is longer but will fit better due to the smaller diameter on the GM1. The 20/1.7 is actually a bit big on that body.

The Oly also renders a little nicer to my eye.



Thanks, that clinches it. Always appreciate the input here.



Apr 02, 2014 at 07:58 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


For those interested, here's my full review of the Oly 25/1.8:
http://admiringlight.com/blog/review-olympus-m-zuiko-25mm-f1-8/



Apr 05, 2014 at 07:15 PM
colorado_photo
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


Very nice comparison, the leica was my favorite lens on my em. Sold it a few months back was going to buy it again but now I think I will just pick up the OLY instead.


Apr 09, 2014 at 02:13 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


How are the focus transitions on the Oly, Jordan? I never minded the more structured bokeh that came with the OM lenses' small size, but the harsher focus transitions (when compared to larger lenses of equal speed and focal length from other manufacturers) were what made me start looking at other lenses.


Apr 09, 2014 at 06:21 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


I'd say check out the image samples in my review for an idea.


Apr 09, 2014 at 06:29 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


I went to your review, but the samples look to be the same ones you posted here. Am I missing something?


Apr 09, 2014 at 06:36 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


Not the first link with the comparison...my actual 25mm f/1.8 review, which is posted in post 13..lots of regular image samples that you can judge how it does the out of focus transition. The only reason I say that is that it's hard for me to describe something that nebulous in a way that would speak to how you interpret that imaging aspect...better just to view images and see if it suits your taste.

Here is one sample (it's in my review, but a good sample to view) that shows both how sharp the lens is wide open as well as the bokeh at close focus distances (as you can see, this is very tight...it can focus quite close):








Apr 09, 2014 at 07:00 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


That would be what I was missing: Instructions a three year-old can follow.

Thanks, Jordan. Those look great. Very smooth.



Apr 09, 2014 at 10:21 PM
MiguelATF
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs PL 25mm f/1.4


Both are lenses I was recently lusting after/seriously considering for my GX7 body. But since the GX7 is already a great low-light performer, I opted for the much less expensive - slightly slower - but optically superb newest iteration of Sigma's "ART" lens series, the 30mm f/2.8 - which is quite tiny (almost pancake small) - and, so far, is living up to its hype as a brilliant (best bang for buck) lens in this focal length.

If I hadn't gone for the Sigma, I was partial to the Oly 25mm.

But damn, the PanaLeica 25 is such a great lens too.

One final note. Surprisingly, even with its f/2.8 max aperture, the lowly Sigma is capable of some quite striking/beautiful/extreme bokeh - something I didn't expect but have been pleasantly surprised by.



May 24, 2014 at 06:03 PM





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