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Review Panasonic 25mm f/1.7

Discussion in 'Reviews, Tests, & Shootouts' started by gryphon1911, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA

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    Image © Panasonic

    The rage as of late has been with the super fast aperture prime lenses. Olympus has the 25mm f/1.2 that came out a while ago and they just announced that late 2017 and Spring 2018 will give us the birth of the 17mm f/1.2 as well as the 45mm f/1.2

    While I do have a fast aperture lens in the Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95, I'm not really in the market for any more. So what is wrong with the f/1.7 or f/1.8 prime lenses? Well, not a whole lot really. They tend to be compact and lightweight and cost as little as they weight, relatively.

    While it would be great to have the extra stop of light, the weather sealing of the f/1.2 lenses...I just don't see me needing that large aperture in those prime lenses. Others that specialize in portraiture with their Micro Four Thirds kits will definitely love to see them...and listening to them, it has been a long time coming.

    For this review, though - we are going to look at a bargain of a lens, the Panasonic 25mm f/1.7.

    This little guy was bought brand new from Midwest Photo Exchange on sale for $150USD. We'll look at it from handling, image quality and focusing on it's own as well as how I feel about it versus the stellar Olympus 25mm f/1.8. I used to own the Olympus and really loved it.

    The field of view (FOV) on this lens is similar to a 50mm on a 135 size sensor camera. It is not a pancake lens, but it is not large either.

    It feels very light and is made from plastics, but the build quality feels very robust.

    The focus ring is dampened and feels good when you turn it.

    When compared to the Olympus, the Panasonic lens is a bit bigger. When looking at the spec sheets, the Panasonic comes in lighter, by like 10 grams...not something most people would notice.

    Both front elements are 46mm, so would use the same size lens caps and filters.

    Panasonic does supply a lens hood with the lens, but it is a little odd to use because you must first remove a ring on the front of the lens.
    Image Quality
    This thing is very sharp and at the price you can find them, it makes a whole lot of sense to get this lens if you wanted a 50mm FOV lens.

    I want to say that the Olympus might be a hair sharper in similar situations, but as sharp as both of them are, it's really splitting hairs at this point.

    As I like to do, let us leave the proof show through in the images presented here.

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    1/60, f/1.7, ISO 800

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    1/125, f/1.7, ISO 200

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    1/60, f/2.8, ISO 800 (shot through some pretty dirty glass)

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    1/60, f/1.7, ISO 250

    As with all contrast detect cameras, when the lens locks in, it is dead on.

    I did notice that on the EM5.2 that there were times when the Panasonic would hunt for focus or not lock in properly. I'll keep an eye on it, but I do notice that this happens every now and again with new lenses. I think a good lens contact cleaning would benefit here.

    Bottom Line
    Did I really need another 25mm prime lens? No, not really. However, for the price, how can you pass it up? The Mitakon 25mm performs well, but it is a manual focus lens and that point may not be for everyone. I love using it and will in the future. The Panasonic 25/1.7 is a pleasure to use, produces great images, has excellent sharpness and focus' fast. If maximum performance is desired in an f/1.7 or f/1.8 prime lens and you shoot Olympus bodies - get the Olympus 25mm. If all things are equal and price is a sticking point - get the Panasonic on sale or used for around $150 - you won't be disappointed!
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  2. ralf-11

    ralf-11 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 16, 2017
    I got one for free with my G9 and it is well worth the price
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  3. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 5, 2014
    I got one when they had them for $99 introduction - and it is well worth that price as well. I like the 42.5 1.7 much more, but this is a very good lens, especially if you get it for cheap.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. This might be a nice holiday gift to myself.

    I have the 20mm Pany and it’s a teeny bit wide for my personal my needs (wants) . Seems as if I have to zoom with my feet a lot with the 20.

    This bit of extra reach (for the little bit of price) is good for me.

    I take images for me and appreciate the affordable options the manufacturers make for the hobbiests like me.

    Thanks for the review. I think I’m in the market!
  5. Mike Wingate

    Mike Wingate Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 21, 2017
    Mike Wingate
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    Not my favorite lens, it lacks excitement. But it works.
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  6. iv1984

    iv1984 Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 19, 2018
    I also purchased this during the introductory sale for $99. Within a few months it stopped focusing properly and was replaced by Panasonic under warranty. The same issue occurred with the second lens within 6 months. I personally didn't like the bokeh it produced. Since replaced it with the Olympus 25mm F1.8 and haven't looked back. More expensive but I find it a much (though hard to justify the price difference from $99) better lens and have had no issues.
  7. algold

    algold Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    Not sure O25/1.8 is a much better lens, but I agree, it's a better lens. Used to have both O25/1.8 and P25/1.7 and kept the Olympus.
    For the price Panasonic 25/1.7 is very good, I didn't have any focussing problems with mine.
  8. Mike Peters

    Mike Peters Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2016
    Mike Peters
    I think it's pretty amazing, wide open...
    061716_6497_Newark Penn Station.jpg
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    And absolutely devastatingly great at f2...
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  9. ralf-11

    ralf-11 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 16, 2017
    Oly is quite a bit smaller too.
  10. algold

    algold Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    you are right, although the difference is not great, but it's there. Oly is a bit heavier though :) 

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