17mm 1.8 or 25mm 1.4

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by erb3742, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. erb3742

    erb3742 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 3, 2012
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    I sold my 20mm in anticipation of the 17mm since the autofocus speed is so slow on the E-M5. Though now I am now also tempted by the PL25.

    Currently have the O9-18, O12, O12-50 and O45.

    Advice from those that own the 25 and are also tempted by the new 17?

  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    For me, it would be a case of PL25 only, or best case PL25 + O17. Definitely not O17 instead of PL25. That comes from preferring the 25mm focal length and knowing just how good a lens the PL25 is to use.
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  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    This is the age old 50mm versus 35mm question, really. For me no question the 25mm f/1.4 if I could only have one. I'm a 50mm fan though (so far at least), and it's one of the very last lenses I would ever sell. If I have to take just one lens with me somehere, it's usually a 25mm because I frame naturally with that focal length. I'm not sure that I'll get the 17mm eventually or not, but I would most assuredly not trade in my 25mm for it personally.

    If you don't know if you have a preference for 35mm or 50mm equivalent framing, 2 suggestions to help you decide:

    1) when you used the 20mm, did you consistently wish it was a little wider, or maybe a little tighter? Did you frequently find yourself cropping in tighter in post-processing?

    2) If you have lightroom or any other software that lets you review your existing photos, what focal length do you find yourself using more often/gravitating towards, if any?

    Another thing I notice is you have the 9-18mm, 12mm, and 12-50mm so I'm guessing you may be a wide angle fan. With that being the case, maybe a 35mm equivalent is going to be more natural for you?

    Lastly, from a purely functional standpoint: the 17mm will have the snap focus ring; if you like to zone focus or manual focus a lot that's a big plus.
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  4. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    The 25mm is, of course, faster which is a real consideration indoors. That also affects depth of field - making it a more effective portrait lens. The 12-50 is slower at the 50mm end making it a bit less useful for portraits. From early reports it sounds like overall sharpness is the same. :cool:
  5. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Why don't you shoot for a few weeks with the 9-18 @ 17 or 18 and see how you like the perspective?

    In day light it would be the same as a 17/1.8.
  6. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    Grab that o12-50 and shoot with it at both 17 and 25mm see which one suits you better.
  7. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    I will echo these two things.
  8. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Different focal lengths and I suspect you will have a preference for one over the other but it will be a personal preference. My preference is more towards the 25mm these days but years ago I leaned more towards the shorter focal lengths when I was shooting 35mm film. I would have opted for a 24 or 28 in those days rather than a 35.

    On other factors I think it's too early to say. There have been a couple of user reviews of the 17mm but no general comments because it hasn't been released yet. My view is that it's basically a wait and view on that, at least apart from one comment I can make.

    I have the 25 and love it. It's been the lens I've been using most over the last few months except when I've been using either the 75 or the 40-150 because I needed something much longer. The only problem I have with the 25 is it's bulk, it's a physically large lens though not especially heavy. I prefer the smaller size of Olympus' primes, apart from the 75 which is larger than the 25 but not as much larger as you may think. The 17 looks like it's going to be around the size of the 12 and 45 and I find that a nice physical size for a lens on my E-P3 and E-M5. If the 17 were an Olympus 25 of roughly the same size, I could find myself really wanting to get it for the size factor, provided image quality was close to that of the PL25.

    I think Olympus seem to get the physical size of their lenses pretty much perfect for my tastes. In this case I'm waiting to see what people produce with the 17 but I think it's probably not going to replace the 25 for me, and it may well not replace the 17 F/2.8 for me because I really appreciate that lens for its size.
  9. Shade

    Shade Mu-43 Regular

    May 30, 2012
    Two different but "standard" focal length people. But I would personally pick the 17/1.8 instead since I use my Em5 for a more wider angel and use my Fuji on 50mm FL.. But thats just me..
  10. erb3742

    erb3742 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 3, 2012
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Thanks for all the great advice everyone.

    I have spent some time seeing what FOV suits me better and I do gravitate towards 25, especially when shooting portraits where my 45 is too long. It is good to hear how much everyone loves the lens, and I just purchased one from the forum tonight, can't wait to start shooting with it! Maybe I will consider the 17 in a few months, I do love the super fast AF and all metal construction of my 12.

    I bought the 9-18 for a trip to Europe in anticipation of wide landscapes though found the 12 on my camera more often due to shooting indoors and at night. I might sell it given it's hard to justify the price for such limited use.

    For the 12-50, it came with my EM-5 and seemed like a good idea due to the weather sealing, though the only time I used it during a 2 week trip was when it rained in London and I was on an open bus tour!
  11. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    Excellent, practical advice - very balanced and helpful. This should help the OP arrive at the best choice for himself. :bravo-009:
  12. zucchiniboy

    zucchiniboy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    San Francisco
    I mulled over that same decision a couple weeks ago and picked the 25, since I found with my 20 I wanted to be closer. For wider shots I just switch to the 14.
  13. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    Real Name:
    Bravin Neff
    Both if you can afford it. 17mm if you can only have one.

    Both are decent focal lengths, although I personally gravitate far more to 28-35mm equivalents than 50mm. But the PL25/1.4 is a fantastic lens, and I'm sure the new 17/1.8 will also be good.

    Oh to heck with it, just get both. That's what I'm doing.
  14. georhey77

    georhey77 Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 13, 2012
    Corona, CA
    I hardly use my Panasonic 25mm now that I've picked up my 17mm. Great all around lens!
  15. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I love the 25mm 1.4 in terms of aperture and optical quality, but I really do not like the 50mm FOV. I'd have to opt for the 17mm 1.8. The 35mm FOV is more suited for street style photography if that's your thing.
  16. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    My first lens was the Panasonic 20 1.7. Sharpest lens I ever bought, but I bought the Sigma 30 2.8 and it is almost as sharp with better bokeh, more lifelike colors, and half the price. It also focuses faster, especially in low light. If I had to do it again, I'd get the Sigma 19 and 30 and skip the Panasonic 20. And I'd recommend the same to others.
  17. IcemanYVR

    IcemanYVR Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Real Name:
    This is really an age old riddle and fortunately for me, Panasonic solved it with the 20mm.

    I have always found 35mm just a hair to wide, and 50mm just a wee bit too long. The 40mm (effective view) is just perfect, plus it's ridiculously sharp.

    The suggestion to shoot or tape one of our lenses to the 17mm or 25mm focal lengths is excellent as is going over the EXIF data from your photographs. The are really very different, and until recently, always had both focal lengths covered. If money was no object, I'd probably have both of them as well as the 20, but this is reality, so my choice was very simple.
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