Thanks for taking the time to share that, I often have similar thoughts to what you said re; story telling and need for shallow DoF etc.
Like yourself, I was GAS afflicted when I was a younger photographer. I bought everything that I thought would help me improve my photography. And then I worked in the photographic industry for close to 30 years and used all the top best optics and bodies -- Leica, Zeiss, Nikkor, Pentax, Canon etc... And I came to 1 conclusion. There is no special magical lens or body. It is like my mentor and photographic instructor who had always told me from the early get go and I guess I failed to listen. It's all in me. The camera and lens don't know how to give the pop or tell a story. It is, and has always been myself, who has to tell a story. Once you know how to tell a story and tell it good enough; then re-consider the right gear for the job to enhance your story. The 3D pop and whatever you see out there; they are the icing on the cake. They are not the dough. So many people are chasing full frame because they think story telling is all about using a full frame and a 1.4 lens and then blurring background is the dough. It may be until someone gets bored..
to be fair, if you want a nice 3d pop with shallower depth of field, use longer lenses. it's a very very easy thing to control
I agree with the sentiment of bikerhiker's post, to a large extent, but it's not quite that simple.
Take the 25/1.4 and the 25/1.7. Great images can be had with both, as can blurred backgrounds. But to my eyes the output is distinguishably different. Micro-contrast? Rendering? Magic? I don't know, but the 25/1.4 adds some special sauce at times. I'm not saying the difference is more important than the photographer's ability, but I don't think it is intellectually honest to act like the difference is not real.
That's one thing I've really not used in my time with m43. Mostly because I just love the 28mm+50mm FoV equivalents. I do have the Sigma 60mm f2.8 which I had just to complete my trinity but have barely ever used it. Probably about only 5 or so times.
I was going to suggest you put that awesome 60mm siggy on, open it up to f2.8 and step outside...
Just do it
There's the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 which is both sharp and has AF. It's even relatively affordable.Literally- just 5 minutes ago I was looking out the window thinking I'm going to take the Sigma for a spin! I think your suggestion is a good one
Edit: I do appreciate the sigma 60/2.8 a lot. It's a great lens to use, feels great with the AF and FoV, but I'm gonna give it a spin this week and see how it goes. I might sell it off for the 7artisans 55/1.4 depending on how I feel. I'd miss the awesome sharpness.
Having recently tried Sony FF, I’ve come to the conclusion that if money was no object, I’d probably stick with Sony. However, to get performance similar to your GX80 you will be looking at the Sony A7III and for even their mid-range lenses you’re talking £400-£500 each. Before long I was looking at ~£4000 for a kit that would give me similar range and performance to a £2000 Mu43 system.
It might be worth looking at the Sigma 1.4 lens series, as they are pretty affordable and do offer a little bit of magic.
These are from the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 (~£180 used):
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And these are from the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 (~£300 used):
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I’ve only just bought the 16mm so I don’t have many examples to show.
Really appreciate this, I've been quite interested in these lenses and that seen pretty fair priced. Just never found much about then online for m43. Truthfully my biggest fear is thingthi about price Vs cost, i.e. whatever money I put into a system has to be a solid investment. Those images look really nice though... As much as I am going through some severe GAS and looking at Sony/Fuji system, those sigmas might just steer me away from even the thought of jumping ship... *Sigh*, if family didn't mind I'd splash out by now
In terms of systems, Mu43 is probably the most affordable. Canon APS-C DSLRs are pretty affordable too, but Mu43 strikes that sweet spot because of the size advantage and the sheer amount of “features”.
I had great fun with my old GX80 and Sigma 30/1.4, but be mindful that it does require a tad more working distance than a 25mm.
I also have a passion for selecfive focus and shallow DoF (in appropriate circumstances when used correctly).
I imagine getting a 25/1.4 would not offer you satisfaction if your 25/1.7 does not. I have and love the 1.4, but half a stop isn't going to be earth shattering, rendering aside. If you buy one definitely sell the 1.7.
What I would suggest is getting a fast longer lens. One of the 42.5/45s, or the new 56. I use the 75 which is too long for some, but produces very beautiful shallow DoF photos if used correctly, and can be had for reasonable money used.