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17/18 vs. 25?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dornblaser, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    The 17mm that Oly is working on has my attention. I was wondering which FL you preferred 17 - 18mm vs. 25mm any how you use that FL? FWIW - I would prefer to leave the P20 out of the discussion.
  2. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    I can't say that I prefer one over the other. They're so vastly different. My 25mm, tends to be used for just about anything and everything. The slightly wide of the 17-18mm tends to be used primarily for street shots (which I don't often do) and landscape, but not much else.
  3. kicsrepins

    kicsrepins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 17, 2011
    The PL 25mm was my favourite lens and i used it for just about everything, however sometimes i wished i could fit more into the picture, hence why i have subsequently sold the 25 in favour of what will most likely be the Nokton 17.5
  4. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    I use both the current 17mm f/2.8 and the 25mm f/1.4 lenses quite regularly and see the benefit of having both. I will probably end up buying the 17mm f/1.8 as long as the price it reasonable.
  5. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    I am leaning to having both once Oly releases the 17 as well. I am disappointed that the talk of a new Oly 25mm has died off. For a 25mm w/ AF that leaves the P25 which is not issue free.
  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Just curious, what issues do you think the Panasonic 25 has?

    Anyway, in answer to the OP - I've used the CV 17.5mm briefly, and also the X100 which is the same equivalent focal length. I find the 25mm's equivalent 50mm much better for me as a general use, do everything focal length. If I'm shooting with primes the 25mm is the one lens that doesn't leave me constantly feeling too wide or too close. With the 35mm view it's a little wider which is great for some things, e.g. street photos, landscapes, and other "context" photos. What it came down to for me was l I found myself cropping a lot in post-processing with the X100 (thankfully the larger sensor makes up for some of that), and it just didn't feel quite as comfortable as 50mm equivalent. How much of that is just familiarity/comfort level I can't say though.

    All that said, I'm not sure about the Oly 17mm yet. I love that it's built like the 12mm, but I can't say if 17mm will be a useful enough focal length for me to keep around long term. I will probably buy one and at least try it out, knowing me :redface:
  7. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    I own a 17mm and a Canon FD 2.8/24mm. While the 17mm is nearly unused, the 24mm rarely comes off the camera. The normal lens is my favorite and therefore this is the first lens I am going to upgrade. But at the end of the day tastes of different photographers vary and there are some who prefer a wider lens like the 17mm and there are some who prefer it narrower. To me the 17mm nearly always feels either too short or too long, but seldom just right.
  8. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Chatter & CA on an OMD.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    Yes. They are issues, but they are issues with the OM-D, not the lens. The chatter is because the lens is stopping down to reduce light hitting the sensor and the OM-D's control algorithm not responding correctly and the CA is due to the body not acting on the information passed to it from the lens.

    The issues are with the body, not the lens....
    • Like Like x 1
  10. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Well, it may be best to describe the issue as a compatibility issue rather than to blame it on one ecosystem or the other.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I would probably agree it's a general compatibility issue more than a fault with either lens or camera.

    While I don't see a need for another 25mm since the PL 25 is already "issue free" for my purposes, I can certainly sympathize with why an Olympus / OM-D EM-5 user might want another option. Like I always say with lens and body announcements - more options is good! :smile:
  12. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    I think that the last few posts do go to the unspoken core on my post. There is another option and that is the MF Voigtlanders. We were weaned on the OM-1 so MF is not a problem. However, a fast prime with AF is a handy lens. I plan to pick up the new Oly 17mm when it is released. My question is whether to wait for the Oly 25mm, if it is ever released.
  13. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    In that case, here's a question for you - are you sure you're going to hang onto the OM-D EM-5 for at least a couple more years?

    The 17.5 won't be out until 2013 at least, and an Olympus 25mm hasn't been announced or even reliably rumored. Also, Olympus and Panasonic have thus far made a very concerted effort to avoid duplicating focal lengths so I suspect a 25mm lens is unlikely from Olympus (of course they could always release a 24mm or 28mm or something). In other words by the time some other 25mm lens option exists, will you still be even using the EM-5? Maybe the PL 25mm compatibility issues won't even be an issue by then.

    If you want a fast AF lens and the PL 25mm isn't an option, then the 17mm would probably be what I would go for in your shoes, since you've taken the 20mm off the table. Granted I'm an impatient person but I'm not big on waiting for products that only exist in unsubstantiated rumors or on people's wishlists. Like with the Olympus 12-60 zoom everyone is hoping for - I'll take the 12-35mm that exists today over waiting ~2 years for one to materialize from Olympus (and that's a best case scenario!)

    All that said... if I really wanted a 25mm F.L. - then I'd just use the PL 25 on the EM-5 anyway. The CA is easily corrected in Lightroom and the chatter issue is purely cosmetic unless you're talking about video.
  14. The PL25 is now easily my most commonly used Micro 4/3 lens, some of which is because I like the focal length, but also because I love the optical properties of the lens and how it combines with the sensor in the E-M5. 17mm also appeals to me as a focal length, but the current 17/2.8 is overshadowed by the PL25. If the 17/1.8 has some magic in it as well, then I'm sure that I could find a good use for it.
  15. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Re the original question: these days I seem to prefer the 25mm focal length but I also have the current 17 and it seems to live on one of my 2 bodies, simply because it is a pancake and I can throw the camera with 17 mounted into the shoulder bag I use as a go everywhere bag and have a good camera with me at all times. I do like the current 17 as a lens, even if it does have the lowest resolution of any current native prime. It still delivers acceptably sharp images and I like the way it renders things. It definitely isn't a great lens but I do think it's a better lens than many give it credit for.

    I'm in a bit of a quandary over the new 17. I'd buy it in a flash if it were a pancake like the existing one, and despite the fact that I have the PL25, I'd also buy an Oly 25mm F/1.8 if they released one and it were a pancake. I just find the pancake size very physically convenient for a lens in that focal length range and I'd prefer a 25 to a 17 if I had the choice.

    My problem with the new 17 is that I have the Oly 12 and the PL25 so I basically have the range covered. I like the 17 FOV and I have that covered with the current lens so on one level it doesn't offer me any advantages, but it should be a sharper lens and it's a faster lens and both of those things have value for me. Unfortunately so does the size of the current 17, and I find the pancake size quite valuable given how I tend to use the current lens. I probably couldn't use the new 17 the same way because I won't be able to fit a body with it mounted in that shoulder bag. The question is whether there will be enough value in sharpness and speed to encourage me to buy the new 17 given that I'm likely to keep using the current 17 because I have a use for a pancake lens in the 17-25 range.

    If I didn't own the current 17 I think it would be a no brainer for me. I'd be placing a pre-order now if I could. At present I'm undecided and a lot may depend on what, if any, other new lenses are announced between now and when the new 17 is released.
  16. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    I would like to keep the focus of this thread on the 17-18 vs. 25 opinions rather than my personal purchasing options. I am sure that others are grappling with their perfect lens quiver.
  17. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Carrying both a 35 and 50 mm has always been a struggle for me.

    I can frame and "see" 50 mm very easily, but 35 mm is more useful to me.

    I'm not sure if anyone mentioned it, but you can crop to a 50 mm FoV using a 35 mm, but you cannot do the same.
  18. McBob

    McBob Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    I have a theory that people's "normal" focal length varies quite a bit - some may see more in the peripheral, some more tunneled. I'm of the peripheral bent, so 35mm equivalent (~17.5 on m43) has always been very natural for me, and ~50 (25 m43) just a touch claustrophobic.
  19. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I like the FL of the 17mm much more than the 25mm, if I had to pick one lens. But since I use more than one, I like the 25 due to it's 1.4 aperture and use the 14mm as my wide angle.
  20. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mike Barber
    The VL 25mm is a really nice lens and has the best build quality of any m43 lens I've used (i haven't used the 75mm Oly or the 17.5mm VL). Image quality is really really nice too and f.95 is just plain fun. For me the 20mm is an excellent FL and that lens spends the most time on the OM-D. I use a 12mm when wanting to go wider.
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