Panasonic Leica 25mm...the magic

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dave92029, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. dave92029

    dave92029 Mu-43 Regular

    May 7, 2010
    Escondido, CA
    The Panasonic/ Leica 25mm f1.4 and the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 have been compared many times, but not in photos of the same subject with the same light.

    Does anyone have both lens, and would they take photos with each so that we may see the magic quality/color of the Leica over the Panny? I don't want to spend an extra $200 unless the Leica lens has a visual quality that I can see.

    Photozone has tested the resolution of these lens and they both appear to have excellent resolution:



    So if the resolution/ sharpness is similar then is there a quality that can be seen that is different (besides the viewing angle difference of 5mm) ???

    Thank you very much for your assistance.
  2. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    I've had both, but only the 20mm now. The 25's biggest advantage is the AF is twice as fast sometimes. Some say the 25 has Leica pop. Very slight difference, if at all, in IQ in most scenarios.
  3. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2010
    I had both for a while, went back and forth and decided to keep PL25. IQ is similar, but the AF speed and noise difference is significant for me. Also, supposedly 20mm doesn't play nice with OMD (banding), but I never can tell.
  4. daanh

    daanh Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 25, 2010
    I had both, sold the 20mm. The Panaleica has much more pleasing out-of-focus rendering. The 20 mm's looks pinched.

  5. asterinex

    asterinex Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 14, 2012
    The PL 25 has the Leica name it:) that says enough. I had both. The pl25 draws magical. Has pop and smooth out of focus rendering.
    The disadvantage : price and size.
  6. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Had the 20 three times and the PL25 once. Note I have neither anymore.

    Pros of P20:
    - My copies where sharper than the PL25
    - Low profile size
    - Small front element (less glass to protect)
    - Lower cost

    Cons of P20:
    - Unspecial OOF rendering
    - Slow AF by 2013 standards
    - Electrical interference causes banding on OM-D E-M5 and is shown more during underexposure

    Pros of 25:
    - Larger aperture by almost 2/3rds of a stop
    - Much faster focusing
    - Way better contrast

    Cons of P25:
    - Sorta chubby
    - Somewhat nervous OOF rendering at 1.4, gets better by f/2.
    - More expensive
  7. mftlandscaper

    mftlandscaper Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 6, 2013
    I own both. There is no "25mm magic". Compared to the 20mm, it's just a slightly wider aperture, slightly longer focal length and slightly nicer out of focus rendering. Also slightly sharper in the centre, but in my experience less sharp at the edges. They are both good Panasonic lenses. The 20mm is a slight wide angle, the 25mm is a traditional "normal" lens. Buy/use what suits you best. The Leica "magic" is a myth.
  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    It's all been said above, so I'll just throw in my vote. Kept the PL25. I like the FL a little better, and the AF of the lens is important to me. I have found pics in my database that I would have sworn were the PL25, but found out it was the P20, so I think they are both capable of taking very nice pictures.
  9. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Real Name:
    Kelly Gibbons
    Had both for some time and now all I have is the 20, nuff said:cool:
  10. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    both are very good lenses... but they aren't competitors any more than the 17 and 20 are.

    the 25 does have a very 'leica' look to it... if you havent shot with leica lenses or seen a lot of leica images then you might not quite 'get' this or indeed think its that important.

    On the other hand the 20 is a very versatile and very compact lens

    shooting the same shot with both lenses wont tell you anything of any value

    I would be happy to have either as my only lens - they are both capable of taking great photos

  11. mintchoco

    mintchoco Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    I have both. Started with the 20mm then later acquired the 25mm. The 25mm does have some magic...images just have a better rendering. It's a perfect match for my OMD. I still have the 20mm which sits on my EPM1 when I want a sorta pocketable camera (the 14mm is too wide as walkaround for me).

    I'll probably eventually trade the 20mm for the 17mm when prices come down.
  12. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I started with the 20 and later bought the 25, primarily because it was faster. I kept the 25 and traded the 20. Both were fine lenses, I just prefer the focal length and faster aperture of the 25mm. :cool:
  13. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I don't get it. We see the 20 or 25 thread every week, yet never see Oly 12 or 17 threads? It's the same 5mm difference.

    If you can't afford both, then buy the focal length that suits your shooting, or your size requirement (20), or your AF needs (25). They are both excellent.

    Also, take claims of any lens having a certain "magic" with a grain of salt. I have read where people think the 17mm 2.8 has "magic", and I don't see it (and I'm sure many don't understand my fondness for the 14). <---Only sharpness, but interesting. Shatters a few myths we seem to hold about some lenses.
  14. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I rented the 20 P 1.7 with the E-M5 before buying anything. It is really sharp. And noisy. And a bit slow to focus at times. I felt the handling was awkward on the E-M5.
    When I bought an E-M5 I got the PL25 - I like the handling better, the little bit wider aperture, and do like the "look"some photos have; I used to shoot Leica film, and there is nothing like a Leica lens - nothing. The price difference is trivial in the long run.
  15. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Basically.. the more a manufacturer charges for a lens .. the better it is in absolute terms. No business would make a bad lens and overcharge for it

    the ability to afford or take advantage of any lens is down to the photographer

  16. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    The whole 'is lens x better/worth more than lens y ' arguments is futile.. you only know when its on your camera and you are taking your photographs

    Geeky graphs tell you nothing

  17. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    Just to be pedantic for a moment, "5mm" at different focal lengths can have a huge impact depending on what focal length you're starting from. Take the difference between 9mm and 14mm, versus between 200mm and 205mm. the OP, I had the 20mm for a long time before getting the 25mm. Shot with both for a while, then sold the 20mm. I would not claim that the 25mm is sharper, but it does render better to my eyes. That is a combination of the lens design, focal length, and aperture. The faster AF is also handy at times, although I never felt the 20mm was too shabby. Ultimately what sold me was I like the 50mm eFOV more.
  18. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    You're right, my point was just that 40mm effective and 50mm effective are quite different and there is room for both in a kit (Also that confirmation bias happens and take subjective claims about labels with a grain of salt).
  19. dave92029

    dave92029 Mu-43 Regular

    May 7, 2010
    Escondido, CA
    Anyone able to compare PHOTOs of the two lens?

    I appreciate all the comments and opinions, BUT does anyone have PHOTOS of the same subject with the TWO Lens on the Same camera body that can SHOW the differences? :confused:

    I am well aware of everyone's Pro's and Con's, what I have never seen is both lens shooting the same subject in the same light with the same camera body. :drinks:

    Can the differences, besides the 5mm focal distance be seen? :wink:

    Seems like a simple request especially with so many having such strong opinions. :wink:

    What was that line from the movie? Show Me The Money!

    Thanks :2thumbs:
  20. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium

    with all due respect you are asking an impossible request... I have no idea of what kind of photos you take.. what your criteria are... or what is really important to you.

    I have the 20 and the 25... they both take great images for have the 20...its a great lens

    Panasonic 20/1.7 - a set on Flickr

    but the 25 has a little indefinable extra that is worth it for me

    P1040699 by kevinparis, on Flickr