comparing Olympus 25mm-PL25mm-P12-35@25mm

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by nuclearboy, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    I picked up a copy of the new Olympus 25mm lens. My first impression was that it was a very solid feeling lens. It feels more dense than the PL25. Probably due to the compact size. The hood is nice and one that you could leave on the lens (reversed to store) so I would use it more.
    Shooting with the lens is great. No focusing issues. It was very fast to focus for all the photos I took. I used the EP-5.
    I took some test shots around the house at a range of f-stops up to f8. I found several subjects and took photos using the Panasonic 25mm, the Olympus 25mm, and in a few cases the P12-35mm at 25mm. I shot all lenses from the same point using autofocus, ISO 200 and took the photos as close together in time as I could. Sometimes I shot the PL25 first, other times I shot the Oly 25 first. I shot the way I normally shoot. If the lens works, it must work under these conditions for me.
    I also shot some controlled tripod shots of a test chart with identical lighting and a 2 s shutter delay. All autofocused. I shot first all at the same distance and then I moved the tripod back for the PL25 and shot at the same FOV.

    Here are my conclusions on the images (my opinion only)
    1. I like the photos from the Olympus 25mm better for some reason. They have deeper colors in many cases and I find them sharper in many cases (unless you shoot test charts).
    2. The Olympus lens is silent. The PL makes some focusing noise.
    3. The Panasonic Lens seems sharper most of the time and in most locations (corners included) when looking at line pairs on a chart.
    4. The Panasonic lens seems to create a lighter image (histogram shifted to right) compared to the Olympus when using the same f-stop. What little I looked into this I found that the Olympus had a shorter shutter speed in some of these cases and produced a richer (to my eye) looking photo.
    5. bokeh of pl25@1.4 is not much more than Olympus at f1.8.

    So my conclusion is that the Olympus is a great lens for making photographs (Unless your subject is a test chart) and that to my eye it produces nicer photos than the Panasonic in most cases.

    That is just my opinion so I am attaching photos so you can judge for yourself.

    Here are some sample photos, cropped to full scale. All image comparisons have three sections. These are (from left to right) PL25@f1.4 PL25@1.8 Oly25@1.8
    In addition, there are some test charts on that page. Image notes provide the lens and f-stop values.

    https://www.adoberevel.com/shares/0...3d6a0/albums/3b1cde3edf18454fb6943ae2d6f8dce9

    Each Comparison Photo is PL 25@f1.4 - PL 25@1.8 - Oly 25@1.8 in that order left to right.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 3
  2. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Mu-43 Veteran

    462
    Jun 21, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    Unless there was focus error on the PL brick shots, the Olympus looks way sharper wide open than the PL stopped down to f/1.8. Judging by the reputation of the PL, I'd say misfocus is very likely considering how soft those shots look.
     
  3. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    Agreed. I took a series of shots at various f-stops and I would say the f1.8 on the PL missed focus a little on the brick photo.

    I relied more on taking several shots of various subjects to get a sense for the lenses. The brick example shown is not the best example.

    See the link for other subjects.

    https://www.adoberevel.com/shares/0...3d6a0/albums/3b1cde3edf18454fb6943ae2d6f8dce9
     
  4. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    What was of interest to me was that the Olympus (to me) looked sharper most of the time for most of my subjects. If not sharper, I liked the colors better. But, on the wall charts, with tripod and equal lighting, the PL25 was clearly sharper than the Olympus at almost all f-stops and even near the edges.
     
  5. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    167
    Nov 17, 2011
    Sydney
    Anthony
    Is it the same build/feeling as the Olympus 45mm f1.8? I assumed it was that plastic finish, not the same quality as the 17mm f1.8 or 12mm f2?
     
  6. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    I have the 12mm and 45mm and compared them to the 25mm. The 25mm feels dense and heavy, more like the 12mm. The 45mm feels a little lighter to me. I was expecting the 25mm to feel like the 45. My first impression on opening the box was that it felt more substantial (i.e. more like the 12mm).

    Edit:

    For the record, from www.getolympus.com specifications.

    25mm = 136g
    12mm = 130 g
    45mm = 116 g

    Note: The 25mm is not a metal lens like the 12mm, it just feels solid.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Mu-43 Veteran

    462
    Jun 21, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    It's the same type of plastic barrel as the 45mm f/1.8.
     
    • Like Like x 1