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25mm 1.4 or 20mm 1.7 II

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by sebs_color, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Having trouble decide on one of these. I'm about to have my first child, and would love one of these two but can't decide which one. Messing with the kit lens I got with the EPM2, I like the focal length of both, but feel like the 20mm gives me more room to play with. But then the 1.4 on the 25mm is also something that can help in lower light situations I'm assuming.

    Still new to photography for the most part, but trying to learn as much from all you guys on this forum.

    Thanks for any input!

  2. phl0wtography

    phl0wtography Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 15, 2011
    For the 25:
    * much faster AF, easier to aquire focus on children
    * eq. 50 fov more flattering for portraits close up
    * overall much better IQ (some say otherwise, I own both, and imo it's no contest), especially wide open where subjects really pop out

    for the 20:
    * cheaper
    * more compact in combination with your E-PM2
    • Like Like x 1
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I would go for the twenty and put what you save towards a 45 later

    the 25 will be better in low light... but not by much in real terms

    • Like Like x 3
  4. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    for kids, PL25 - no doubt. I found P20 AF not reliable in low light and it's nearly unusable for moving subjects especially w/touch shutter.
    Also, PL25 does not have the unpleasing perspective distortion when photographing close ups of people. It is more tight but I think it helps photos to stand out more due to closer framing. You also gain significantly more control over DoF w/PL25.
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    • Like Like x 1
  5. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    For kids.... dont even bother with the P20. The AF advantages alone make the PL25mm the right choice in your situation. You might consider the Oly 25mm f1.8 as well as a cheaper option to the PL25mm which has equally good AF if you want to save a few bucks (its smaller in size too but is a little slower in aperture).
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    • Like Like x 2
  7. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Sorry to respond late, but I just wanted to thank you guys for all you input! I'm now considering the oly 25. Although, I might just buy the 20mm to save some money or now.

    Regardless thank you all for the great help!
  8. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    The Olympus 25 is a great lens, and Robin Wong is a great photographer, but he is also a paid Olympus employee. His reviews are marketing (but thats not a knock on the lens, just a heads up).
  9. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I traded in my 20mm for a 25mm Olympus. I shot with the 20mm for quite a long time but it feels closer to a 35mm equiv FOV to me. No reason for the trade except that I wanted something closer to a 50mm equiv FOV. A decision made based solely on personal preference and past experience.

    The fact that you said

    tells me you should get the 20mm for a while and see how it works for you. You can't go wrong with any of the selection... all will do fine.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    thanks for all the feedback guys, at first i was leaning towards the PL25, then the oly 25, but i might just try to find a good deal on a used 20mm. hopefully i make my mind up soon!
  11. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    I have owned both many times...Remember auto focus wont mean didily squat until your baby can walk...so slow autofocus(20mm) a non issue...yes the 25mm will give a slight more dreamy OOF look ..but in my experiance always a bleached out bluish tinge to all skin tones...save your money buy the 20mm!! your going to need lots of cash with a bambino on the way!
  12. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    I sold my 20mm MK1 to buy the 25mm 1.4 for my 1 year old son - it renders nice shots but at 1.4 you've got to make sure the focus is spot on for close portraits so end up mostly using it at f2/2.8 anyway. There's not a whole lot of difference to be honest, sure the 25mm is faster and quieter but never had a problem with the 20mm and I do miss it's portability. They are both really sharp.

    I'd probably go for the Olympus 25mm now though, as it's smaller, quieter and cheaper while being just as sharp. The Olympus 45mm has given me the best shots of my son, though it's not as flexible focal length.
  13. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    AGREED! the 45mm is superb but again very limiting FOV indoors....outdoors with large aperature very difficult to nail focus..more so than 20mm...with my hyperactive child anyway! and my child has an automatic reaction....soon as i point camera her way she turns away or pulls a sulky face...guess i play with the camera more than i realise!!!
  14. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I just went through this...ultimately, I went with the 20 1.7. Here's why:

    - Significantly smaller/lighter...lets me take advantage of the whole reason I got into M4/3 in the first place.
    - Pretty much the same light gathering capabilities
    - Great bokeh under the right circumstances...ridiculously sharp even wide open, great contrast, etc.
    - I like the FOV better
    - There are plenty of lenses that do what the 25 1.4 does (sharp, fast, good bokeh: 25 1.8, 45 1.8, 75 1.8, 42.5 1.2, the Voigtlanders, etc; two of which - the O45 and O75 - I already have)...only ONE lens is a blazing fast pancake. It warms my heart knowing that I own what is likely the fastest AF pancake ever made.

    These reasons may not all be relevant to your case, but they sure helped me!
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Both lenses are optically good, but since you're shooting with the E-PM2, I might go with the 20mm just because of the smaller size. The 25mm is bulky on the Pen Mini bodies.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Thanks so much for the response. I am almost positive I will end up with the 20mm.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    You're welcome, glad I could be of help! :) 

    Let me know what you end up doing and how you like it! My 20 should be in my hands sometime this week! :) 
  18. D MATIC

    D MATIC Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 18, 2012
    I'm going to go and say you should "really" buy the 45 f1.8 if your planning to photograph your first kid. I just had my second daughter. And in the beginning I used the 20mm a lot. Until I realized how much barrel distortion there is. I had the 25mm and even tho it is farther, if you get close enough you will still get this distortion. The closer the image sensor is to the face, the more distortion there will be. When they are babies you will be taking a lot of close up face shots and the 45mm is just right for that. Sure, with the 20/25 you could step back and take the photo at a farther point so there is no barrel distortion, then crop it in post process to get a portrait. But the images you get from the 45mm straight will be so much better, especially the amount of out of focus background you will get and subject seperation.

    When they get older, they will not like having the camera pointed at them, and the 45mm again will become useful cause you can be farther away from them when taking the photo. With the 20/25 you'd have to be close up on them. It depends on the type of photos you take too, and every kid is different too. I eventually sold the 25 and kept the 20. I feel the 20 is still fast enough kids photos. But obviously the 25 would be better due to the faster af. But I chose size as the primary reason for keeping the 20.
  19. stw

    stw Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 23, 2013
    First off, congratulations to you. Get ready for a crazy ride! I have a 1.5 year old kiddo.

    I didn't get my GX7 until he was around 10 months old. I borrowed a friend's 20mm right after I got it when I was trying to decide which lenses to start with. I really liked it, save for the slower focus speed.

    I now own an Oly 17 1.8, 45 1.8, a Panny 45-140, and the kit Panny 14-42. As D MATIC mentioned above, the 45mm is a great option. Yes, it can be a pain to use, especially inside (hey, kid over by the bookcase, look over here towards me by the refrigerator in the next room!), but my favorite kid pictures have been from it, hands down.

    My zooms are too slow to be effective inside, which is where I take many kid shots. For me, the 17mm is just too wide for single subject indoor shots. My next lens will probably be the Oly 25mm, or possibly the PL25mm.

    Knowing what I know now, and how I shoot, if I were to do it all over again, I would probably start with a 25mm. A nice mix of not too wide, not too long, fast enough, and fast focus speed. I encourage you to try the lenses out, if possible. The decision might make itself once you see them in action.

    Good luck with the baby!
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