17 f1.8 vs 25

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Superstriker#8, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    I've been wanting to get a normal-ish fast lens, and pretty much decided on the 25, but (I should be more careful) I've been reading on this forum, and the 17/1.8 is back in the discussion; so which would you prefer, and why?

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  2. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Both are very good but, despite both being 'normals', present a distinctly different view of the world. As such, it's really a question only you can answer, advice from others is really just going to confuse the issue.

    My tip, take your 14-42, tape it at 25mm for a week, then 17mm for a week, see which you prefer and buy that.
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  3. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    I'm mostly looking for the quality of the lenses

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  4. kponds

    kponds Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2013
    I think the 25mm is going to win in terms of quality, if you define quality as things like sharpness, bokeh, contrast, and color rendition.

    However, they both have great quality, it's just that the 25mm is slightly, slightly better. It's pretty much nitpicking, though.

    If I were making a decision, I would make it based on whether I liked the 35mm equiv perspective or the 50mm equiv perspective, rather than the minor differences between the lenses performance.

    FWIW I'm considering trading my 25mm for a 17mm. But, if I didn't have the 45mm, I would probably keep the 25mm over the 17mm.
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  5. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    My way of solving the quandary is buy both :tongue:

    Then sell the one you use the least, or keep both.
  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    PL 25 is a better lens optically "by the numbers", but I do really like the rendering of the 17mm f/1.8 also.

    To me a 35mm equivalent is not a replacement for a 50mm so I'd be making the decision based on the FOV much more than the lens quality. You should probably ask yourself if any of the other features/differentiators matter to you:

    1) FOV difference is significant: I used to be a dyed-in-the-wool 50mm equiv fan but I now prefer wider as my everyday "normal"
    2) Clutch focus ring on the 17mm
    3) Faster aperture (and better subject isolation) on the PL 25mm
    4) Rendering: look at the samples for the lens, both have a bit of innate character and you may have a preference. I like both for different reasons myself.
    5) Size: the 17mm is clos-ish to pancake size whereas the PL 25 is considerably larger.

    Ideally, you should have a pretty good idea after thinking through those which makes more sense for you.
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  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Both are quality lenses....but only you can decide if the quality meets your criteria. I have both lenses, but have found since I got the 17 that I have been using it a lot...much more than the 25. A part of that has to do with the kinds of photos I am taking at the moment...a lot of travel and street stuff where the extra Dof of the wider lens plays to my advantage..

    Both are the best lenses you can buy at those focal lengths for this system...both are very good lenses...in an ideal world you should have both....but only you can decide which focal length works best for you.

    This is a shot from last night with the 17 ....looks plenty sharp to me

    PB250019 by kevinparis, on Flickr
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  8. LDraper

    LDraper Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
    I've had no experience with the PL 25 so I can't speak to its virtues first hand. Everyone gives it high marks for image quality and it is supposed to be fast (both in auto focus and in terms of aperture). I have the 17 1.8 and it's my most used lens. I can use it inside in all low light situations, it finds focus in pretty dim conditions with my EP5, and most of all I love its field of view. The question for you is what type of photo do you want to take? The 17 shines in capturing people in their environment. I use it to frame groupings of people in spontaneous circumstances. It's also comparatively compact. I think the 25 is a bigger lens - that may or may not matter to you. I've seen some really nice portraiture done with the 25 in a way that the 17 isn't as suited for. Image quality matters, but the lens has to fit your image style as well. Personally, I'd be happy to have both. I've just ordered a sigma 30 to fill the gap between the 17 and the 45 a but the 25 would work for that too (maybe better).
  9. charcoalblack

    charcoalblack Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 26, 2012
    it all depends on what focal length you prefer and portability. If all you are looking for is image quality, then I would go with the PL25.
  10. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    This is what I was getting at. Both have fantastic quality, close enough that the final decision will be on your personal preferences for handling, rendering and field of view.
  11. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    It's better to have a slightly poorer quality lens whose focal length and field of view suit what and how you want to shoot than to have a better quality lens you don't use because it doesn't suit what and how you want to shoot. If you're comparing 2 lenses of the same focal length, quality can be the decisive factor though occasionally lens speed may be decisive. If you're comparing 2 lenses of different focal lengths, field of view and suitability for what you want to shoot with it is the decisive factor.

    I've got both. The 25 is sharper but I prefer the 17 for its field of view and I get more shots I like with it than I do with the 25 for that reason. I also find the 17 seems to give a slightly warmer rendition than the 25 which I occasionally find a little on the cool side when it comes to colour. The 17 isn't as sharp as the 25 but it's more than sharp enough. The only way you can go wrong with either is by picking the one that has the focal length which is less suitable for what you want to shoot.
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  12. nardoleo

    nardoleo Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    I tried the 17mm and while it is a good lens, just didnt give me that wow look I get with my 25mm.

    For the 17mm, I am still trying to save for the voigtlander 17.5mm. Tried it and loved it.

    Sent from my trusty Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  13. greenlight

    greenlight Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    Colin B
    If I had to only have one it would be the 17mm. For me it is the most versatile focal length and the compact size means it spends more time on my camera than anything else.

    I won't be getting rid of the 25mm in a hurry though.
  14. The 25mm is crispier when stopped down, and has more character when opened up.The 17mm has surprised me however in that it is capable of producing shallower apparent depth-of-field than I expected it would given the focal length. I'm also of the opinion that it is difficult for me to make a direct comparison because they do different things, but I think that the 25mm will remain as my favourite Micro 4/3 lens.
  15. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    17mm, AF very fast compare to 25mm and at f1.8 this lens has it's own character that hardly to explain. Here the example

    View attachment 328153

    I love it's bokeh and sharpness.
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  16. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    How often would you need f/1.4?

    Since I sold my copy of the 25/1.4, I haven't missed the focal length much but once in a while I thought I could have used that 2/3 of a stop difference. This only happens in post production though, surprisingly I never give it much thought during a shoot.

    If you're going to be very disciplined, learning to shoot with just a 50 mm-e can go a long way. You'd have to be really disciplined though. It's not just the focal length but also the perspective.
  17. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    Back in the eighties I had little choice with my praktika slr!

    I have the 25, but am thinking of trading it for the 17, because I use it a lot less than I was expecting.
  18. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Jeez Kevin, yer makin me hungry for sushi!
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  19. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    The 17 1.8 is on sale right now and I'm almost ready to pull the trigger on it. I had the PL 20 1.7 but I did not like it too much. Seems that the AF was not too good. I got the PL 25 1.4 and it's a very nice lens and quite sharp. Of course, I find that in low light it is not easy to get sharp shots and the AF suffers too. The PL 25 is a good lens though, here is a shot taken under pretty low lights at night... The background was a curtain about 2 feet away.

  20. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    Thanks for reassuring me that the 17 is at least almost as good; and IMO, f1.4 is something you'd only want/think about using if you had it.

    Sent from my iPod touch using Mu-43 mobile app