oly 17mm 2.8 VS oly 25mm 1.8

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dancro11, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. 17mm 2.8

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  2. 25mm 1.8

    9 vote(s)
    90.0%
  1. dancro11

    dancro11 Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jun 11, 2015
    Hi,

    im in a conundrum as to which direction to go. im a casual E-M10 user, with the 14-42 pancake and the 40-150 dual lens kit. most of my photography is based around my child and family. i travel a little, and a recent holiday i came back wishing for something sharper than the kit lens, but not looking to purchase a pro level lens.
    i have considered
    12-50 - same price bracket, but i dont think the extra range for similar IQ is worth it when i can spend similar for a prime with better IQ.
    12-32- no real benefit IQ wise, if i was going to chase the wide end is just get the 12-50 for the tele as well

    when travelling i take alot of landscape (including panoramics) and street style images, but when home i find the 14- 42 Aperture limits restricts me when taking fast moving child images, esp indoors.
    i dont tend to print alot, mostly for personal use and occasional printing

    if you have had experince with both was there much advantage with IQ either way?
    any focus speed issues with either?
    is the wider FOV worth sacrificing the aperture?

    thanks for your help.
     
  2. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    633
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    The 25mm f/1.8 is a fantastic lens - which the 17mm f/2.8 is not, though it's good enough and extremely small.

    Of the other lenses you mentioned, the 12-32mm is actually quite a gem - albeit not as sturdy as I'd like it to be. Optically, it's a winner, especially for landscape photography, and it beats the 14-42mm pancake by some margin (except for maximum aperture, obviously). For travel, I'd consider it a bit limiting - though I myself have traveled with it (and the Panasonic 20mm) in the past, with satisfying results.

    M.
     
  3. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    The 17/2.8 does not have a particularly good reputation for either optical or AF performance. I do have the 25/1.8 and it is very sharp and has good AF speed. It is also over a stop faster (At maximum aperture it passes over double the amount of light that the 17 does. This permits shooting in lower light, or using a higher shutter speed, or using a lower ISO.) There is a considerable difference in the field of view between those two focal length lenses, and if you prefer the wider view of the 17, I would strongly suggest looking at the Olympus 17/1.8.

    I don't see any point in buying another kit grade zoom lens. They are all optically slow and one isn't significantly sharper than the other.
     
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    The 17 is not significantly better in terms of IQ than the kit. I still use mine for a small kit with an E-PM1. If what you want is sharp fast prime get the 25. It's not even close.
     
  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    The 15/1.7 or 17/1.8 would probably be the best for general indoor shots. 25mm can feel a bit narrow unless you are isolating a specific individual. (That said, my experience is with the Panasonic 25mm/1.7, which is a narrower "25mm" than the Olympus, which is a wide "25mm" so maybe it's different feel)
     
  6. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    633
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    While I do agree with your post in most respects, specifically regarding the primes, I actually object to the last sentence. The 12-32mm performs visibly better than *all* Olympus kit lenses. I'm talking about sharpness, colour and contrast, i.e. overall image quality; the little Panasonic zoom delivers the goods and is well worth owning, especially if you happen to own one of the optically rather mediocre (though both interestingly spec'd) Olympus PZ zooms.

    That said, I'd still go for the 25mm - it's an even better lens, optically superb, fast to focus, and certainly bright enough for most uses.

    The 17mm f/1.8, as just mentioned, would be an interesting alternative - it's not quite as good optically (though plenty good enough in most cases!), but great for people shots, and I'd say it's a very good general purpose lens.

    M.
     
  7. Yong

    Yong Mu-43 Regular

    96
    Sep 25, 2014
    If you can get 17mm f/2.8 at affordable price(around 100USD maybe) it is worth to buy, otherwise go for 25mm. Or new panasonic 25mm f/1.7 looks as good as 25mm f/1.8 at more attractive price(although it is physically being larger).
    Maybe panasonic 15mm f/1.7 is best for you since it is famous for its corner-to-corner sharpness and strong contrasts which maybe preferable features for landscape photography. It is wide and fast enough for indoor photography as well.

    I don't want start to argue on this, but I see no difference in sharpness between 25mm and 17mm. Both are very sharp. That said, 17mm shows some degrees of chromatic aberrations in contrasty areas which takes its perceived sharpness I think.
     
  8. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yep. In the past I've been a bit hard on the 17/1.8 for being not as sharp as the 20/1.7. But having done a bit of experimenting with the 25/1.7 which appears to not be as sharp in the center as the competing lenses in that FL, I realized that it really is just pixel peeping. All the full images that I've seen have a great feel to them...and who knows, maybe that lack of pixel-perfect sharpness is part of it. Certainly the bokeh has a nice quality to it as a result, no nervousness at all...
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    633
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    Well, I own all three lenses: the 17mm f/1.8, the Panasonic 20mm and the Olympus 25mm. The 17mm is by no means a bad lens, and it's certainly not a soft one, either. It's actually quite sharp, just not quite as contrasty as the other two lenses (I think that's where the CA might come in), and it's a little less precise when it comes to details, but as I've tried to convey, its rendering is very, very pleasing - and not as harsh as especially the 20mm can be sometimes. I've just reviewed a couple of images I took a year ago when getting to the bottom of the 17mm's performance; I still like most of them, but some are slightly "veiled", and while most of those actually profit from that kind of look, not all of them do.

    I still use all three lenses because I like them each for their respective merits: The 17mm is the default lens to my E-PL7, mainly for street and low light - but actually, I like it so much I hardly ever swap it out for something else except the equally wonderful 45mm (though at the moment, I'm preparing a project to shoot the 12mm for a full month exclusively on this camera - I've neglected that lens for too long). The 25mm is my go-to prime on the E-M10 - though I use the 12-40mm more often. With the 25mm, the E-M10 is nicely compact without being too small, works extremely fast, and the images are very sharp, yet well balanced. The 20mm lives on my (second) GF1 because that camera just flies with it - they were made for each other, and it shows; still very slick in use, and solid images (especially when working in reasonably good light and from RAW).

    Before the 25mm arrived, I used the 20mm on the E-M10 for maximum optical performance - but very, very rarely; the 17mm did well enough in the vast majority of cases and was much more enjoyable in use.

    M.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    I have a Panasonic 12-32, and it may just be my copy, but the only exceptional things about it are its size and weight. That fact that it's over 2 stops slower at 17mm than the Olympus means there are pictures I can get with the Olympus at f1.8 that I can't get with a f4 lens no matter how other worldly, breath takingly spectacular its optics are. Not all of us do photography for reproducing eye charts.
     
  11. dancro11

    dancro11 Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jun 11, 2015
    ive looked at the 17 1.8, and it would be my lens of choice i think ( that, along with the 25 1.8, and the 60 macro) would be my go to prime lens kit, but at this point in time it is a bit out of my budget.

    maybe that question answers my question.. get the 25 for now, and the 17 1.8 later when my budget allows. i am playing with taking images with my kit zoom at both lengths, and while the 25 is a bit more restrictive i can deal with it.

    thanks for taking the time to help. i do appreciate it. please keep the comments coming. im easily swayed with a good argument and while i have to buy in the next day or so, anything could happen.