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20+30 vs 25?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Superstriker#8, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    Right now I am trying to build a nice kit, I only have the 14-42 and 45-150 as I entered into the realm of micro 4/3 only a couple of months ago with the G5 2 lens kit deal. I am wondering if its worth losing a little versatility to get the PanaLeica 25 over the Pana 20 and Sigma 30? It comes put to about the same at around 570 for the 20+30 and 600 for the 25.
     
  2. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    How do you feel about auto-focus? I have the 20 and a legacy 28/f2 prime, and they serve vastly different functions for me. I did use the 28 exclusively before getting the 20, and it took a bit to re-adjust my "focal vision". Either one would be a great choice. If you can find the older Sigma 30's, they clearanced at $100, and the mkI 20mm were at about $350 new, and ~$300 used. I wouldn't be suprised if you could get both for ~450 if you shopped around.
     
  3. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    I think autofocus is a must-have, but it doesn't have to be fast.
     
  4. ihateggb

    ihateggb Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Jul 15, 2012
    New Zealand
    Get the 25mm 1.4.
    If you're willing to spend similar amount on the 20mm plus 30mm, if don't see any strong reason why that option is better than the 25mm 1.4 alone.
    The other option would be 14mm 2.5 and the 20mm 1.7.
     
  5. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    429
    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    Never messed with the Sigmas before, although they are appealing. Also, I have no experience with the 20 except seeing one once inside a showcase. However, my 25 1.4 might be my favorite lens. Although I did just get the 75mm 1.8.....
     
  6. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    167
    Nov 17, 2011
    Sydney
    Anthony
    I've owned the 20, 25 and 30 but only kept the 25. Here's a summary of each lens from my perspective (excluding the FOV differences), you just need to decide what your needs are. They all produce really sharp images. I would recommend just getting one given your current lens line up, at least to start with.

    The 20 is the smallest/lightest, but is noisy and slower to focus. It sits in the middle in terms of speed and price.

    The 25 is the fastest with the better bokeh and gives shallower DoF, it's also the heaviest/most bulky, and most expensive. This is the best lens if you don't mind the extra weight and cost.

    The 30 is the least expensive and on screen it's hard to tell the results it gives apart from the other two at equivalent apertures with out PP. It's in the middle with weight and size. It's the slowest and does make an annoying rattle when the camera is off. Given your 12-42 offers OIS I don't think this offers any advantage for low light photography except if the subject is moving.
     
  7. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    What specifically are the advantages of the 25 over the 20?
     
  8. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    167
    Nov 17, 2011
    Sydney
    Anthony
    Advantages

    • Silent and quicker AF (good for video)
    • Faster aperture for low light
    • Colour and contrast replicates Leica look (if you're in to that)
    • Greater DoF (see images below for comparison)

    Disadvantages

    • Considerably heavier and larger
    • More expensive

    25mm @ f1.4
    f1.4_46_1.4_PanLeica25.

    20mm @ f1.7
    f1.7_46_1.7_Pan20.
     
  9. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    That's actually LESS depth of field with the 25 at f/1.4.

    Fred
     
  10. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    938
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    As an owner of the 20mm, which lives on my EPM2 90% of the time...I'd suggest the 25mm :)

    Probably not what you thought I'd say. It's a little tighter focal length wise, as well as a bit larger and heavier...if you need more working distance, you can always put your 14-42 back on.

    I love my panny 20mm, super sharp, but the AF can be a drag sometimes.
     
  11. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    So the advantages are mostly just small steps except autofocus performance
     
  12. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 Top Veteran

    991
    Jun 12, 2012
    Sweden
    gus
    And character. Hard to describe but still there
     
  13. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    The 20 has character too, right? Or is it one of those lenses that just sharp
     
  14. Baimei

    Baimei Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Dec 15, 2011
    I suggest going to Flickr or another photo site with many images, and do a search for the two lenses. I normally look at a LOT of images to see if the lens has "the look" that I am after. Looking at samples from many different people gives you a much better idea than simply looking at the photos from a lens review.

    I recently sold my 20mm but kept the 25mm in a major culling of my lenses. The 25 is one of the special ones, like the 75mm Olympus, in my opinion.

    I was going to get the GX7 with the 20mm kit, but I still haven't decided for sure. The 20 is a fine lens and its very compact.
     
  15. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Sep 25, 2011
    Detroit
    Bravin Neff
    I think so on the sharpness, I think not on the character. The P20/1.7 is sharp, very sharp. And if you're the kind of shooter that thinks that's all there is to a lens, by all means buy it. You will be happy.

    On the other hand, many folks, including myself, believe there is way more to a lens than just sharpness. Call it the mojo. And the PL25 has way more mojo than the P20. Way more. You will notice it within one second of shooting as its totally obvious.
     
  16. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 Top Veteran

    991
    Jun 12, 2012
    Sweden
    gus
    Don't know if u have read my "one lens thread" but I have struggled with the pl25 and p20 issue for over a year. I have bought pl25 twice and sold twice, also bought p20 twice and ended up with keeping the p20.

    The fov of p20 won over the character and bokeh quality from pl25

    I have only one lens in my arsenal and versatility is a major factor.

    P20 is good enough, but if they were any pancake with 1.8 and the same kind of mojo that pl25 gave it would be THE LENS of the century.

    But in the end, the biggest factor that makes the image is good light, composition and timing.
     
  17. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    772
    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Frank
    Frans nailed it. Lens choice is mostly about focal length and subject preference. I like the 40mm fov of the 20/1.7, particularly since I pair it with a 45/1.8. Between them, I have a combo that is well suited for almost any kind of people pictures. The biggest advantage of the u4/3 cameras is their size, and I don't think it makes sense to strap a big lens on them. Jmho.
     
  18. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    The 20 and 25 are remarkably different lenses in terms of FOV. I find the 20 works better for my style. I would suggest shooting for a while with your zoom set to 20, then some more with it set to 25, and see which you prefer. Shoot the kind of subjects you'd expect to use the prime for, and don't worry about exposure. Just concentrate on composition.

    Sent from my Sprint Galaxy S3. Please forgive any typos or auto-correct errors.
     
  19. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I have to disagree. Obviously this is opinion, because things like "mojo" can't be measured, but I owned both lenses and ended up selling, then repurchasing, the 20.

    Are the two lenses different in character? Yes, a bit. The 25 has smoother OOF areas (bokeh), but the differences aren't dramatic. Both lenses produce very good images, but the 20mm focal length simply works better for me indoors, where I mostly use the lens.

    I think a lot of this "mojo" is self delusion and wish fulfillment. "The 25 is bigger, and has the Leica name on it, gets talked about a lot on the forums, and I paid a lot of money for it, so of course it's a lot better. "

    Have someone shoot the same images, at the same f-stops, then crop the 20 to the same FOV as the 25, and look at prints (not images on a monitor blown up to 100 or 200%), and I'll bet you couldn't pick which image was shot with which lens much better than 50% of the time.
     
  20. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Sep 25, 2011
    Detroit
    Bravin Neff
    I agree about the 20 FOV being more useful than 25mm. Which is why I shoot the 17/1.8 far more than either. But I also have had both Pannys for several years now and find myself rarely shooting the P20 except when the tiny size becomes the main benefit.

    I don't find any of these m4/3 lenses having much in the way of cache or wish fulfillment factor. Their relative costs are just too close and overall not that expensive. But the PL25 colors are great, and its sharp. The P20 is sharp.