17 1.8 or 25 1.4?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by nstelemark, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    I have a black 17 1.8 on order. It won't be here until the fall so I have time to endlessly rehash my decision :biggrin:.

    Other than the 35 vs 50 FOV debate what to folks think about these two lenses.

    I am primarily looking for a fast low light lens, that might also be part of a travel kit.

    Currently I have -

    12-50 (macro and travel)
    14 2.5 (travel or street)

    My only other real want is a UWA lens. Either the 7-14 or the 9-18 but neither are fast so they don't fit into the 17 vs 25 debate.

    I am currently leaning towards the 25, as it is a bit faster than the 17. However I am more likely to shoot at 17 than 25. But maybe I need my assumptions challenged.
  2. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:
    I'll go for the 25 1.4 since you have the 14 2.5
  3. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    The only significant photographic difference between the two lenses is the FOV. It doesn't matter what everyone else thinks. You buy lenses to take the kind of pictures you want. Sometimes you just have to go and figure out what you're trying to do on your own. The first hing you have to figure out is is you want to take pictures, or play with toys.
  4. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    And the 25 just happens to be one of my favorite lenses. Just sayin'.

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Real Name:
    I'd pick the 25, it's a bit better in low light and FOV 50mm blah blah blah. That being said I just picked up a 17mm f/2.8 because I missed the FL so much. I'm not after the sharpest image though. I'm after the FL that gets me the most images and the 25 would be the last lens I would go without because of its versatility. I also haven't tried the 17mm f/1.8, anyone ready to give me a loaner?? :smile:
  6. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I have had 25/1.4 and 17/1.8 at the same time. While I loved f/1.4, the 25/1.4 didn't give me the minimum focus distance that I wanted at 50 mm-e. The depth of field was not as good as 45/1.8 if I wanted that look. So unless you have to have the f/1.4, I would take the aperture out of the decision making process and decide based on focal length. We're talking about 2/3 of a stop difference. It can mean the world to some people. Though if you consider the focal length differences, it's a wash.

    But since focal length debate is to be avoided. I would instead focus then on build quality.

    25/1.4: premium plastic with a rubber focus ring.
    17/1.8: metal throughout, period.
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    if I was in a burning building and had time to save one lens it would be the 25... along with the 75 it is the best lens available for the format, and the equal of almost anything out there with the exception of some Leica lenses

    but I have both.. and both are very good... they are better lenses than most of us are photographers.

    they are two different focal lengths as far as I am concerned...both have to be learned

    In the ancient days of film, having 35, 50 and 135 was a common set up, as was 28, 50 and 90

    In the end its down to you to learn to use them


    P7050075 by kevinparis, on Flickr


    P6230035 by kevinparis, on Flickr

  8. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    Heh, I haven't shot with a fixed lens for a long long time. How long? It was a 6x6 rolleiflex clone without a light meter shooting in black and white because that is all the darkroom I had available could work with.

    Based on FOV I already know the answer (based on a lot of EXIF data) which is why I ordered the 17. But I am thinking I should challenge my own comfort zone and shoot with a 25.

    I have been down this road before (big kit, lots of toys). And i have deliberately gone away from it before because you are 100% right creating images has nothing to do with the gear. At the same time new and different gear keeps a lot of people involved in photography and since this is a hobby I see nothing wrong with that.
  9. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    I have never really liked the 50mm (135) FOV. Oh wait, I am not supposed to talk about field of view. But, what else is there? ;-)
  10. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Real Name:
    Jan (John) Kusters
    And another vote for the 25 if you already have the 14. The 17 would be too close to the 14 in my opinion.

    Old rule of thumb in primes: always double or half the focal length; 14 mm next step would be 28mm (25 close enough) and the next prime then would be 50 (45 or 60 close enough).
  11. TetonTom

    TetonTom Mu-43 Regular

    IMHO, you're making a bigger deal of the speed difference between these 2 lenses than there really is. You're comparing 2 fast primes; apples and apples.
    You say you're more likely to shoot the 17; get the 17.
  12. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    1/2 a stop for light gathering and a full stop for DOF ("full frame" equivalent), and really a bit more since it is longer.

    I am thinking the shallow DOF might be interesting to play with. With that thought I really should be looking at the Nokton 25 - a thousand euros and a pound, not a small lens.

    "full frame" - learning to shoot with 6x6 I still find this funny.
  13. Braza

    Braza Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2013
    I had 25/1.4 and sold it. Now I own only two primes - 17/1.8 and 45/1.8. It is a great combo, I think, for everyday use. And if I must pick only one lens, it would be 17mm. Very versatile lens! Perfect for walk around shooting. Not as wide as 14/2.5 (I owned this too), not as long as 25/1.4.
  14. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    I had a trade worked out for a 25 that fell through :frown:.

    As a travel set the 17 and 45 as a pair look pretty compelling. There are too many really fine lenses for :43: I would like to try. Shooting with new lenses is always interesting.
  15. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Real Name:
    Long time ago, in the film era, I had 50 mm lens as a "normal" focal length. Never used it though, but always carried it with me.

    I know the 25/1.4 is a great lens but totally useless focal length FOR ME! If I could, I would take the best part from both and that would be 17/1.4 :rolleyes:

    Okay, I would love to own 25/1.4 (so that I could never use it AGAIN) :biggrin:

    It's a matter of your personal taste, both are great! I think it's mainly FL issue!
  16. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Real Name:
    I've got both and find I use the 17 much more. Like the FoV better, and the half stop isn't that important to me. There was an event where I needed every ounce of light I could get (a wedding) and I used the 25 there.
  17. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    heh, I think that's the only debate between these two lenses. At least, for me it is. In a 3 lens kit, I'd want 12/14+25+45. In a two lens kit, I'd lean more 17+45. Then there's the 75. So many good lenses... choice paralysis =)
  18. atnbirdie

    atnbirdie Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2013
    I'd split the difference and get the Pan 20mm f/1.7. It is a sweet lens: fast, sharp but best of all quite small. On an OM-D, the system will fit in a cargo ants pocket easily.
  19. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I completely agree with this logic.
  20. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    :eek: That's like mentioning Hitler : thread doom now!