Need recommendation: Panny 25mm or Olympus 45?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by duvinclunk, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. duvinclunk

    duvinclunk Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    Ready for my next lens. I have the kit 12-50 and my wife recently bought me the Samyang 7.5. I'm now looking for a good all around prime where I can start playing with DOF (I'm very new to photography). Well money isn't such that I can currently buy both but would like to get one or the other. What would be the recommendation as it which to go with based on image quality, build, and 'bokeh'? Obviously the 45 is cheaper but I don't mind paying a bit more if the 25 is a 'better' lens. What y'all think?
  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Depends. If you find yourself a general street shooter, the 25 is a great lens for low light and as a walk-around lens. If you find yourself more of portrait/distance shooter, the 45mm is a better lens in that regards.
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  3. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    If you just want to get a taste of what its like playing around with narrow depth-of-field and 'bokeh' I'd recommend a classic 50mm f1.4 film lens with an adapter ($90 for lens, $25 for adapter).

    Like this, taken with a cheap and cheerful Pentax M50/f1.4 and Fotodiox PK-MFT adapter:
    P1060968 by nickthetasmaniac, on Flickr

    If you're set on a modern lens, then it really depends on priorities and style. In terms of image quality both are exceptional. Both have lovely quality bokeh but the 45mm will give you narrower depth of field (with the trade of being a tighter field of view). The Lumix has better build quality but both are pretty good. You will probably be stoked with both, so do you want a 'normal' or a 'portrait' lens?
  4. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    I think it's very hard to pick a focal length for someone. Different photographers see differently and certainly different subjects require different focal lengths. IMO, a lens with a normal or slightly wider than normal effective focal length is very versatile. I'd say the 25 is more of an everyday walk about while the 45 is more specialized. Both are really excellent lenses.
  5. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    I think you should set your 12-50mm to 25mm for a day... and 45mm for another... and see which focal length you'd prefer...
  6. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I prefer the 45 for portraits, but for more general use I prefer the 25. But that's just me.

    You really can't go wrong, unless you have a strong predilection for one focal length or the other. But if that is the case you'd probably already know it and not be asking the question.
  7. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    Both are fine lenses and great for low light. The 25 is a more useful focal length indoors and the 45 is reported to be sharper. I believe the 45 is a bit lighter, but not enough to matter. For portrait style shots the 45 is marvelous - I love mine. I also love it for close shots of flowers, etc. with beautiful bokeh.
  8. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    Not sure where you are (and therefore what your prices are like), but in the UK you can buy the Panasonic 20mm and the Olympus 45mm for around the same total cost as just the Panasonic 25mm. Might be an alternative option to one or the other of the 25 or 45 and giving you 2 good primes - a 'normal' and a 'portrait' lens.
  9. duvinclunk

    duvinclunk Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    Good advice here, thanks. I suppose I can understand it being hard to decide a lens for another, guess I was looking for an answer I'd have to figure out for myself. I'd love a walk around, street lens that can do great portraits too. I'm still extremely new at this that I haven't quite figured out yet what I 'shoot'. I just may have to adjust the kit lens to both setting as suggested above and see what I like having on more.

    Please exucse my ignorance and lack of understanding here, but I was under the assumption that the 25 would give more DOP with the 1.4 than the 45 would with the 1.8. Am I wrong here?
  10. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    +++ The OP's first decision should be focal length.

    The OP's post said "all around lens". A 45mm on m43 is hardly what most users would consider usable as such. It's effectively a short telephoto and not appropriate in a lot of situations. A 25mm would be usable with a much wider range of subject.

    Personally, I've been very happy using classic old 50-55mm adapted lenses as short teles / portrait lenses. I have several ranging from f/1.5 (Leitz Summarit) to f/2 (Leitz Summicron-DR and Jupiter-8). I'm quite impressed with what my Auto-Takumar 55 f/1.8 delivers compared to the Summicron. Weight is similar and while the Summicron is smaller the Takumar is easier to use since it functions as a pre-set* diaphram lens rather than pure manual. There are many excellent lenses that are available used for prices well under $100 total including adapter. The Leitz lenses, of course, are a lot more expensive.

    (*pre-set - with such lenses the f/stop ring doesn't directly set the f/stop. It is used to "pre-set" the desired working aperture and another ring or lever is used to switch between maximim for viewing/focusing and the pre-set aperture for shooting. With the Takumars this is done with the A/M switch. Classic "auto-diaphram" lenses actually work the same way except that the camera body operates the Open/Pre-set switching action automatically when the shutter is released.)
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  11. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    That's what Nick said. He said the 45 had narrower depth of field, which is the same as saying that the 25 has more depth of field.
  12. duvinclunk

    duvinclunk Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    Suppose I should have read that more thoroughly, thanks.