C&C My new PL15mm - is it a wrong'un?

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I recently acquired a new lens - a much awaited 15mm PL. I like the build, the features and the price I bought it for, but I am struggling to find any excitement for the images it takes. Is it me, or is there something wrong? The only lens i can compare it to in my bag is the little P12-32, and the results I get from the more expensive lens are, to me, disappointing. Am I doing something wrong, or is the Pl15 I own a little soft? Or is my buyer's remorse a self-inflicted woe? I offer you three OOC jpegs as my first offer of evidence, and welcome some feedback, of any variety :)

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LilSebastian

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I had a similar experience. High hopes for my second hand copy of the Panasonic 15mm after all the glowing reviews here in mu43 site. There was nothing wrong at all with the lens. It was like a competent drummer.... did everything required but didn’t make music that stirred my soul.

Perhaps it was the focal length. I love the 20mm f1.7 and 25mm f1.8 that I own. Never did like the 17mm or 15mm. Could it be copy variation? Or focal length? Not sure.

If the lens doesn’t sing for you, maybe get another player in the band.
 

wjiang

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Neither the composition nor light are particularly interesting. This is a focal length that happens to match the ubiquitous smartphone, so you really do have to work harder to get an interesting shot. The aperture isn't that wide so you usually can't rely on bokeh either.

As for sharpness, I really can't tell at web resolutions... The 12-32 isn't a bad lens at the wider end, so maybe your expectations are too high. I've got a 12-40, 12-32, 8-18 and 15mm that cover the focal length and they're all sharp enough for me.
 

Generationfourth

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This is a focal length that happens to match the ubiquitous smartphone, so you really do have to work harder to get an interesting shot.
This is why I sold mine- the iPhone ruined the ~30mm focal length for me. Mine was sharp but lacked that magic my 20mm has.
 
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Gulp!
I've just sold my PL25 and have a PL15 in the mail!
But seriously I'm not expecting the 15 knock me to the floor with it's IQ......but I do expect it to be sharpish with better corners than the 14 or the 12-32 and have good contrast and colour.
I do like the size [should be a good fit on my GX85], focal length, f/1.7, aperture ring, manual focus switch, supplied hood, apparent build quality and excellent focusing ring. And it's these extras that have to be factored into the price.
I had 12-32 and it didn't excite me and a 14, which I liked but lacked a lot of the 15's features.
So I'd suggest to the OP to give it a good try before getting too disappointed! :thumbsup:
 
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Gulp!
I've just sold my PL25 and have a PL15 in the mail!
But seriously I'm not expecting the 15 knock me to the floor with it's IQ......but I do expect it to be sharpish with better corners than the 14 or the 12-32 and have good contrast and colour.
I do like the size [should be a good fit on my GX85], focal length, f/1.7, aperture ring, manual focus switch, supplied hood, apparent build quality and excellent focusing ring. And it's these extras that have to be factored into the price.
I had 12-32 and it didn't excite me and a 14, which I liked but lacked a lot of the 15's features.
So I'd suggest to the OP to give it a good try before getting too disappointed! :thumbsup:
I agree with all of you in your replies (thanks to you all) but Vermont's last comment is the crux of the matter. IF this lens is off-kilter, I need to return it before too long. I'm not concerned about the focal range, it's going to be used for interiors as well as landscapes and so on, so that I can work with, it's just the softness I can see when zooming in - and i am not talking about pixel levels, either - just a little zooming in to check focus.

I'll see if i can post some comparison shots today - that may help...
 
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Neither the composition nor light are particularly interesting. This is a focal length that happens to match the ubiquitous smartphone, so you really do have to work harder to get an interesting shot. The aperture isn't that wide so you usually can't rely on bokeh either.

As for sharpness, I really can't tell at web resolutions... The 12-32 isn't a bad lens at the wider end, so maybe your expectations are too high. I've got a 12-40, 12-32, 8-18 and 15mm that cover the focal length and they're all sharp enough for me.
I confess I wasn't trying to take these shots for interest sakes, John, :). They were simply random photos of subjects at different distances for the purpose of this thread. I don't have a brick wall handy so thought some stonework would do the job instead.
 

Bushboy

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Check the pics at full aperture, view 100%
This post reminds me of my experience with 12/2 Olympus. Soft.
I eventually replaced it with much cheaper 14/2.5
Sharp.
 

Stanga

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From experience with my usage of the PL15mm, when the sun goes down, the PL15mm comes out.
 
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Who cares about the lens, your house is amazing!
The house you see is across the road, alas it is not mine but with five fireplaces perhaps I am happy it is not, especially when by law in France one is supposed to have your chimneys swept each year before first use in the cold season. :D
 
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Replytoken

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When I buy a new lens, there are a few things that I do after purchase. If I want to test the lens for defects or issues, I use a tripod. If I want to see how well I shoot with the lens or if I have any technique issues, I shoot normal subjects that I would normally photograph (including both good and bad shooting conditions since I often encounter both). If I want to see if the lens has any type of discernible character, that requires a lot of shooting and processing before I can say what I find special with some certainty. This tends to be a bit easier for me as I tend to like longer glass, and the differences are somewhat easier for me to see. I can't help you on the latter, but I do recommend that you try the lens under good lighting on a tripod. If it appears to be sharp and free from any significant defects, then you can ask yourself if you want to continue evaluating it. If it has issues under ideal conditions, then consider returning it.

FWIW, I have the PL25 and have never really seen the magic that many folks admire in it. But I keep it for a fast prime when it is needed since I do not have any f/1.8 25's. The lenses that I gravitate to are the Oly 12-40 Pro, 40-150 Pro and 60mm macro. I am not certain if there is anything special about them, but I enjoy shooting with them and they seem to serve me well. The 75, which is loved by many, is in the same boat as the PL25. I just never warmed up to it and mostly use it in lowlight situations, which is probably not fair to the lens since these images are often shot under really bad lighting.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

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