15 f/1.7 or 25 f/1.8 + 14 f/2.5?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by deacon, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. deacon

    deacon Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 7, 2015
    Apologies for another "which lens" post but hey, that's what we're here for right?

    I've thinned the herd of lenses that either didn't get much use or I wasn't in love with. My only body is a GM1 that I use for work (architecture and construction) and family shots. Right now I've got the Rokinon 7.5FE that I use almost everyday. Quite handy being able to get an entire room in two shots. The 12-32 is functional and what I grab for out and about -flexibility and OIS make it handy. I also have a 42.5 f/1.7 that I really enjoy for portraits and tight framing.

    What I'm missing is a fast normal and fast wide. My initial thinking is that the 15 would cover both of those and essentially replace my 20mm that I enjoyed but parted with due to AF and it being taller than my GM1. My fear is that the jump from 15mm to 42.5mm would be too much and leave me wanting. That and it's (for me) a lot to spend on a single lens.

    If I went with the 14/25 combo, I get the tiny and handsome 14 for a wide that's faster than my 12-32, and the O25mm which by most accounts is a stellar lens. My hesitation is that I'd either go 14 or 42.5, leaving the 25 little used making me miss out on the speed and image quality of the 15mm.

    After typing it all out I guess the question is whether 14/15mm to 42.5mm too big a jump in FOV for me. Would it be for you?

  2. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    Since you have the 12-32 I would probably not spent money on the 14mm. Why not just buy the 25mm and be done with it. (either oly 1.8 or pana 1.4)

    You could also go with the 17mm 1.8
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. deacon

    deacon Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 7, 2015
    I've thought about just the 25mm, but I do enough low light video that the 12-32 can't handle on the wider ends.

    Ive considered it, but something about the 17mm oly just doesn't appeal to me, although I've never tried it.
  4. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 25, 2012
    I use 17/42.5mm. I don't usually miss the 25 focal length. From what you say, the 15mm will suit you well.
  5. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    While on paper the P25 1.4/O25 1.8 and 20 f1.7 sound nicer (smaller, potential for shallower depth of field) having owned all of those the lens that stays on my camera the most is the O17 f1.8. It's a great lens with super colour. Not as sharp as P20 but faster focusing.

    The P14 f2.5 is also under-rated. Sharp wide open, tiny, light and has good contrast.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2016
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Rob Campbell
    maybe you should do some photo library archealogy and see what FOV you shoot when you're using the 12-32. I tend to gravitate to 14-17 with a good lump in the 25mm range before going to a 40-45. Maybe your own photo history will give you some suggestions.

    If you need fast and wide video, maybe the 15 or 17mm is what you want. The oly 17 is deathly quiet for video which is a nice feature.
  7. deacon

    deacon Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 7, 2015
    My lightroom library shows that the majority of my shots are either 12 or 32, with a smattering in between. I take that as wide and long more than 12 and 32 exactly.
  8. I think that's a common finding with any zoom - people tend to use the two extremes most often.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  9. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    The P14 is not significantly faster then the 12-32 on the wide end, about one stop. If you need faster look for a 1.8 or you won't see any real life difference for video I suppose.

    From 14 to 42 is a big jump. But you still have the 12-32 covering that range.

    You may use the 12-32 to test focal lengths to see if 14 or 15 is wide enough for you: if you are used to 12mm it may not feel much wide at all.

    Many of these lenses do not have OIS, if you do handheld videos that may help.
  10. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I'm not sure you'd find the 14 enough of an improvement over your 12-32 to be worthwhile. It seems like quite a few people like the 17 + 45 two-prime combo, so perhaps the Pany 15 or Oly 17 would be a good pair with your 42.5? You might occasionally miss the middle FOV, but hopefully the 12-32 or perhaps cropping down from a 15/17 shot a bit will be enough to get you through in those situations.
  11. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    My current 2 lens kit is the PL15 and O45, which covers 95% or more if my shooting.
  12. danelkins

    danelkins Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    Norhtern Illinois
    I agree with many of the others, a PL15 or 17mm would add a low light option to your kit. I just decided to pick up a 42.5/1.7 used (because of price) to get the extra stop and smaller size over my 35-100/2.8. I can travel light and compact with my 15mm and 42.5, or swap out the 42.5 for the zoom if I need reach. Or just buy them all and have no worries :) 
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I think 12mm 3.5 is as good as 14mm f2.5 in 90% of shooting scenarios, especially on an non-stabilized camera body since the 12-32 has OIS. I wouldn't bother with the 14mm f2.5. It's not like the f2.5 aperture is going to let you shoot in the dark or have mega subject isolation anyway.

    I quite like my 15mm f1.7 and 45mm as a travel combo, so I think that's a solid choice. However, I picked the 15mm over the 17mm f1.8 because I also have a 25mm f1.8 and wanted a little more spread. If I didn't have a 25mm, I would have gone with 17 or 20mm instead. If you think of your 12-32mm as a 12mm f3.5 OIS prime, then 12/17/42.5 is not a bad progression. Gives you wide, wide-normal and short telephoto. I'd say 20mm might be a bit nicer progression there, but you already said that lens wasn't your favorite.

    If you think longer term, maybe getting 15mm now and then saving up for the 25mm next year or whatever might not be a bad way to go, either. You don't have to build your whole kit at once. If you really want to end up with the 15 and the 25mm then be patient and get what you want.
  14. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    I'm sporting the 15mm, 20mm, and 45mm combo.
  15. deacon

    deacon Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 7, 2015
    Thanks everyone for your input! I got a good deal on a 15mm and am looking forward to trying it out.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    You'll love it. :thumbup:
  17. JDK504

    JDK504 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 28, 2013
    I just recently picked up the 15 and I think it is becoming my favorite lens. I also have the pany 25 1.4 and pany 42.5 1.2, but I'm finding the 15 to be so versatile.

    I previously had the O17 and although many love that lens I never really bonded with it. The 15 has a very magical quality very similar to its bigger Leica brothers.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. deacon

    deacon Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 7, 2015
    Sorry to rehash an old thread here, but maybe it's better than starting another "this vs. that" thread.

    I LOVE this 15mm. I am no photographer, but this 15mm can make some otherwise banal photos quite nice, straight OOC. My other prime, the 42.5 f1.7, is also a sweet lens but not near as versatile. I'm thinking about swapping it for a 25mm.

    Given that I love the PL 15mm, should I go with the PL 25mm? I had the 25mm 1.7 but sold it partly because of the size. Maybe the Oly 25mm is a better fit for me and my GM1. How similar is the look of 25mm to the 15mm? How different are the 25mms?

  19. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    If you didn't like the 25/1.7 because of the size, you probably won't like the 25/1.4 either. The 25/1.8 sounds like a better match for the GM1.

    I don't own the 15/1.7 but the rendering of the 25/1.4 is excellent, one of my favorite lenses (along with the 42.5/1.2 and the 7-14/4). The 25/1.8 is also very good with great rendering, when comparing the two of them they are much more similar than they are different. The 25/1.4 is a touch narrower and the larger aperture helps to isolate subjects a bit better and works a little better in low light, which are the main reasons I kept it over the 25/1.8.
  20. The PL25 has a similar look to the PL15. It does not fit well on the GM1 though, it's about the same size but even heavier than the 25mm f/1.7... IMO the O25 is a better fit. TBH though I prefer the PL15/short tele combination with the GM5... I certainly wouldn't replace the 42.5mm with a 25mm.
    • Like Like x 1
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