20 vs 25

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Superstriker#8, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    I'm trying to decide whether to get the 20 f1.7 of the 25 f1.4; the main issue with the 20mm is focus speed, especially with Olympus cameras. Is it significantly slower on Oly cameras than panasonic cameras?
  2. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Yes, unfortunately, it is - it also has a banding issue at higher ISOs from 1600 on up with the Olympus cameras having the 16 MP Sony sensor - the higher the ISO, the more visible this is. Unfortunately also, the 25mm lens is about 3 times the size and weight of the 20mm. You have to sacrifice one or the other. I recently sold my 20mm and bought the 25mm instead. Which is a shame, because I loved the 20mm optically, and preferred it's field of view to that of the 25mm.
  3. emorgan451

    emorgan451 Mu-43 Veteran

    I have been in the same situation as OP. I currently have the 17 2.8 and would like to get closer to 50mm equivalent, but I have been afraid of the issues reported with the 20 1.7 on the EM5. Cost is also important to me, so it's really hard to justify the PL25. Where have you found the best prices for used ones?
  4. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Depending upon condition and whether or not it comes with the box and papers, they can be found typically in the buy-sell forum here or on ebay for between $400-450. That range is maybe $130-150 higher than what the 20mm sells for used.
  5. phl0wtography

    phl0wtography Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 15, 2011
    I've been using the 20/1.7 for 3 years. Had two copies on different bodies (GF1,G1,GH1,E-PL2,E-M5). Last week I got the 25/1.4, and don't regret it at all. Leaving FOV aside, which is subject to personal preference, it is the superior lens in every aspect.
    It is:
    - brighter
    - MUCH faster to focus (not Olympus MSC fast, but night and day compared to the 20 on an E-M5)
    - MUCH quieter to take pictures with (the 20's aperture blades are closing really loudly, and it's not a pretty noise)
    - optically better

    Don't get me wrong, I really like the 20 pancake, but there were things that drove me mad, in particular:
    - high ISO banding on the E-M5 at >=1600. Since it was my go-to lens for nights out with friends, the banding issue annoyed me very much
    - slow focus, and hunting in low light
    - freezing issues on the E-M5 where I had to remove the battery, because the camera stopped responding.

    Unless you use the 20 on a PEN or GX body, the difference in sizes is irrelevant. E-M1/5, G/GH bodies are not pocketable anyway, might as well use a larger lens.
  6. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I'd take issue with "optically better" - IMHO, the 20mm is at least as good - especially around the borders wide open. And it's a shame that the 20mm doesn't behave better on an E-PL5, which would be a pocketable combo. Otherwise, I agree with the post above.
  7. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    I am out taking night shots at 1600-3200 ISO. I had my GX-7 set on auto ISO JPG. NO banding observed. As far as speed I have never notices why people make such a big issue of this. In the dark I was too busy holding the camera still. I have both lenses and took the 20 for compactness and speed. I will switch to the 12-35 for daytime shooting. Also the 20 is more discrete for street shooting. But I have started asking permission with 50/50 results.
  8. aukirk

    aukirk Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    I own both and prefer the 20m field of view and size/weight. In normal light, I have not noticed any problems with focus speed. However, if I am going out at night or shooting in low light, I definitely take the 25m.

    Recently I have been debating not between the 25 and 20, but about whether to get rid of the 20m to pickup the new black Oly 17m. The only thing holding me back from that is the fear that it will then make my widest lens (the great Pany 14m) not enough of a difference from the 17, which will then make me feel "compelled" to get the Oly 12m. Therefore, I have been trying to just stay happy with what I have.

    For me, the 20m is part of my standard kits of 14-20-45-75 or 14-20 and 35-100. However, I also go out with the 14-25-75.
  9. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    The reason you don't see an issue is that it doesn't band and it focuses much faster on a GX7. If you used it on Olympus bodies, you'd understand why it's an issue. The 20mm is fine on my G5 as well - but it's much slower focusing and exhibits banding at high ISOs with my E-PL5. There is a quite noticeable difference between how the 20mm plays on Panasonic bodies and Olympus bodies.
  10. emptysensor

    emptysensor Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2011
    I have and love them both. There is no substitute for the 20 when you want a fast pocketable combo on somthing like the epm2. The focus speed can be somewhat slow, but it hasn't been a problem for me. I wasn't a big fan of the 25 at first and considered selling it. I've since warmed up to its wonderful character, especially for b&w, and now I use it more than the 20. You can't go wrong with either IMO.
  11. imaltesers

    imaltesers New to Mu-43

    Feb 27, 2013
    New York
    How bad is the 20mm on the E-PL5? Because that was the exact combo I was going for...
  12. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Well, the banding is very minor at 1600, becoming worse at higher ISOs, and not an issue at all at ISOs below 1600. The AF hunting, especially in low light, is very bothersome, however - and at least for me, was what persuaded me to sell it and buy the 25mm instead.
  13. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Having owned both the 20mm and 25mm at the same time (and keeping the 25mm), while using with an OMD EM5, here are my thoughts:

    20mm: Focus is slow in low light, often hunting back and forth slowly before failing to lock focus in very poor light. In good light focus is fast enough, faster than any of my DSLR lenses. Banding is visible around 1600 if you look close, and at 6400 or so visible even in web-sized images or small prints. Its tiny, but personally to me it is too small, its harder to get a comfortable grip on the camera with a lens this small (and I don't have large hands) and would often touch the front element simply when grabbing the camera because its so short.

    25mm: Focus is much better in low light, the half stop and slightly longer focal length mean its easier to get narrow DOF/subject isolation(if that is your thing). Its bigger, but is not really *big* in in terms of camera lenses and to me atleast is much more comfortable to use. Since getting the 25mm its probably my most commonly used prime (also have 12/2, 17/2.8 and 45/1.8, currently)

    So I would say: If you shoot mostly in good light, and size/weight and price are big factors, get the 20/1.7. Otherwise, get the 25/1.4.

    Both lenses are very good optically, you have to pixel peep to silly levels to see differences.
  14. krixoff

    krixoff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 11, 2013
    If size and price are not issues for you then go for PL25.

    I sold my 20mm because I found an PL25 for 300€ (and 20€ shipping) , I know I was lucky. So I sold my 20mm and I don't regret it because PL25 is, with O75mm, one of the best MFT lens (except all Voiglander).

    Sent from my CINK PEAX using Mu-43 mobile app
  15. aukirk

    aukirk Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    I completely agree and one of the main reasons I picked up the 25 shortly after getting the 20 was because I couldn't get used to how small it is. However, once I got one of the third party lens hoods (which adds a small bit of length with no added weight) I started using the 20 much more than the 25

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
  16. Foster2380

    Foster2380 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 6, 2012
    I have had both, I didn't really notice the banding with the 20. I really enjoyed the small size of the 20 as it was very easy to bring along as a low light option. The 25 is a great lens for sure, but I find I never use it anymore. I have the 12-35 which is pretty much glued on to my camera and now the 45 for when I want subject isolation. If I still had the 20 it would get more use due to its size.

    Optically I didn't notice much difference. Focus speed, well I don't really shoot action shots with a prime so it wasn't an issue. The 20 was fast enough for candids.
  17. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I've owned both. I had a 20, sold it and bought a 25, then sold that and bought another 20. The 25 may be a bit sharper, but not much, and it has better 'bokeh,' I guess. But the field of view of the 20 just works better for me. I generally use these lenses indoors, and the slightly wider FOV of the 20 suits that better, IMHO. That outweighs, for my needs, any measured superiority of the 25.

    I'd choose based on the FOV that works better for you.
  18. ykchuan

    ykchuan New to Mu-43

    Nov 6, 2013
    KL, Malaysia
    I've just received my 20f1.7 today. Tried it on EM-1. I didn't see any visible banding on ISO 1600 and even 25600. However, I can hear very audible rattling sound when I move the camera even if I do not half-press the shutter release. Wonder if it's normal? Oher owner please comment. Thanks
  19. phl0wtography

    phl0wtography Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 15, 2011
    Banding shows itself only in certain situations. Mostly in lifted shadow areas in shots at 1600 ISO or higher.
    Shoot raw, and brighten shadows in LR or whatever software you're using and report back.
    "rattlesnaking" through aperture blades is to prevent too much light falling onto a live view sensor and damaging it in the process - in video it's totally fine apparently ;). The 20 rattled even back on the GF1, when it was called clicking.
    A full battery usually helps, also removing the battery or cleaning te lens' contacts works.
  20. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    I love my 20, but have a GAS for the 25... :biggrin:
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