17mm f/1.8, 20mm f/1.7, 25mm f/1.4

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by rabican, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. rabican

    rabican Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 3, 2012

    Below are my thoughts on the 17mm f/1.8, 20mm f/1.7, and 25mm f/1.4 m4/3 lenses.

    I own the panny 20 which is an amazing lens but I'm not happy with the auto focus speed in low light. I decided to research a replacement which will stay on my camera 80% of the time. During my research I couldn't decide between the 17mm or the 25mm.

    I ended up purchasing both and I believe the 17mm is the best lens out of the three. In my opinions the 17mm is a more usable focal length compared to the 25mm. I do prefer the 20mm FL the most but due to the slow focus I'm excluding it from the comparison since this is what I'm replacing.

    The 17mm is also physically smaller and lighter than the 25mm. The 17mm also appears slightly faster as focusing in low light and the build quality / feel is top notch. Although comparing photos the 25mm did produce slightly better color and sharpness the 17mm ultimately won due to the more usable focal length and size.

    I plan on selling the 20mm and returning the 25mm. I will purchase the 45mm to complete my setup soon.

    Here are a few photos of the lenses:
    • Like Like x 4
  2. wayne

    wayne Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2012
    I'm in the same boat right now. I can't decide which one to buy. I thought I wanted the Pany 25mm but I do like the smaller size of the Oly 17.
    The problem is the are so many reviews of how great the Pany 25mm is.
    I want a good lens to use in my home without a flash to take family photos.
    I thought I wanted the 25mm until I read you post.
  3. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Real Name:
    Totally agree. I sold my 20mm, which is a great lens, BUT the AF left some to be desired for me- I missed many a shot because of the slow AF, and pancakes are kinda useless for MF. The 20mm was great when µ4/3 was new, but it's showing its age, hopefully Panasonic makes a MkII version of it that has the faster internal focusing, I don't mind if it's not a pancake.

    I was waiting for a revision of the 17mm for quite some time, while the 17mm f2.8 isn't as terrible as it's reputation... it's still kind of the worst µ4/3 lens.

    I have a 25mm, but it's the CV Nokton- totally different uses etc than the Panasonic.
  4. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    The 25 is great.

    The 17 is good.

    If someone is looking for a particular focal lengths, I have no problems recommending either one.
  5. gshoe

    gshoe New to Mu-43

    Jan 6, 2013
    Kansas City
    Real Name:
    Greg Shoemaker
    I did the exact same thing as the OP. I love the 17mm. It is superior to the 20 in AF speed especially in low light. It is the best of all three in build quality. It is the perfect size. MF is a breeze. The focal length is perfect for me as an everyday lens., the one you carry into the restaurant with you...etc. as far as IQ? I have no complaints.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. IL2AZ

    IL2AZ Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 19, 2013
    I'm torn between the 17 and 25 too. For me, I appreciate hearing people's thoughts on which one has faster AF in low light. I too thought I wanted the 25, but in terms of focal length, I'm more inclined to zoom in with my feet than out, if that makes sense. I'm concerned however about the 17's negative reviews.
  7. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    Don't be unless you do SOOC. The 17/1.8 with a bit of PP work can produce images just as sharp and fantastic looking as the 25/1.4 minus that Leica rendering. I got rid of my 25/1.4 (well not really, the wife has it) and kept the 17/1.8 and don't regret it.
  8. zucchiniboy

    zucchiniboy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    San Francisco
    If I was going with just one lens in the wide to normal range, it'd be the 17. But I wanted a little more flexibility, so a 14 and a 25 gives me more options than just a 17 (which would be too close to the 14 and 25 for me to warrant carrying it together).
  9. ArthurDayne

    ArthurDayne New to Mu-43

    Feb 4, 2013
    I'm trying to pick up a 25 right now.
  10. nikki

    nikki Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 2, 2010
    dublin ireland
    I just sold my 20mm to get a 25mm - I was never happy with the 20mm!
  11. IL2AZ

    IL2AZ Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 19, 2013
    Yekimrd, I was using my 12-50 kit lens just to get a perspective on the 17 vs 25mm options and, to my surprise, I think the 17mm will fit my purposes better. After taking some shots at 25mm I found it to still be a bit tight, at least for now. I'm still wondering about the AF in low light, also will the 2/3 stop be noticeable? I've been pining for the 1.4 for a long time, but that 17 seems right.
  12. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    For me, it's the 12 and 17. The 14 is too narrow for my preferred way to shoot architecture and the 25 also too narrow for anything but event photography.
  13. dino1891

    dino1891 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 8, 2013
    I've been going back and forth ever since I received my 17mm last week. I love both! I know I should sell one of them but I think I will keep both of them for a little longer.
  14. lazieepetey

    lazieepetey New to Mu-43

    Feb 4, 2013
    is the 17 much quieter when focusing compared to the 20? thanks :)