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Panny 20mm 1.7 vs. a potential 25mm 1.4

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by WT21, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Aside from Amin's top posting about the rumored price, size and weight, much of the discussion around the (rumored) 25mm 1.4 is; why bother? Why get this lens, when you have a 20mm 1.7?

    Good question. Of course, much of it will come down to actual lens design and results. If the lens is sub-par, then there is no reason. The 20/1.7 is a might fine lens.

    But what if the 25/1.4 is truly top-notch? Nice and sharp in the middle, and creamy bokeh effects. Then is it worth getting it instead (or in conjunction with) the 20 1.7?

    I think so. The 20/1.7 is a corrected lens, and the 25/1.4 is (rumored) to not be. Right off the bat, if designed properly, the 25/1.4 could be a better lens in resolution, etc.

    But what I see a lot of people talk about who post about m43 set ups is the need for better OOF areas -- both in terms of the amount OOF and also in terms of bokeh. But is a 5mm FL difference and a 1/2 stop really going to make a difference?

    I think it could. To test, I took a couple of comparison shots. Granted, I used my 20mm 1.7 and my 5D with a Canon 50mm 1.8 set to 2.8 to compare. I think there's enough difference here to warrant a look at the 25/1.4 for people who want a bit more background blur.

    I think it will also come down to the bokeh rendering of the 25/1.4. The 20/1.7 can sometimes seem nervous. If the 25/1.4 is designed for buttery bokeh, that could also give it an edge.

    Judge for yourself. I see a difference, perhaps enough for some, though not others, and likely depending on price point.

    (disclaimer: this is all done in good fun. Yes, I know this isn't the real 25/1.4. We'll see it when it gets here, of course :) 

    Oly EP1 w/20mm 1.7 at f/1.7

    Canon 5D with 50mm 1.8 at f/2.8
    • Like Like x 3
  2. kytra

    kytra Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    The 20 f1.7 is corrected in terms of distortion, not resolution. And the difference from 1.7 and 1.4 is too small to justify the price difference in most of the shooting situations. Also the 40mm equivalent is closer to "normal" view of the human sight (which is corresponding to 43mm) than the 50mm ewquivalent of the Leica f1.4.

    Anyway, if it is a case of LLPA (leica-branded lenses purchasing addiction), no logical reasons could prevail :2thumbs:
  3. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Other issues aside, personally, I find 40mm an uncomfortable "tweener" -- I have the 5D + 50 precisely because I like that FL, and would prefer two lenses at 35 & 50 rather than a 40.

    Having said all that, this post was mainly about OOF areas. Of course, real testing will have to wait for the real lens!
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    This is just a Micro Four-Thirds version of the Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux for Four-Thirds mount, right? I'll take the Four-Thirds version, myself. ;) 
  5. By correcting a lens for distortion you make resolution a problem. The software seems to have improved, though. I never used the earlier distortion correction that Canon had because you ended up with straight but soft corners. That might be helpful for some types of images, but overall I didn't like the effect.
  6. kytra

    kytra Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    That is why I said that the 20 would be suitable for most of the situations. Aside from the Leica brand loyalists, the only situation a 20mm owner would switch would be when one critically needs the DOF given by the difference between f1.7 and f1.4 and 20mm and 25mm and willing to pay the difference. My two cents.
  7. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Sorry, I have to say I was hung up on the term "Leica brand loyalists." I think it's a bit of an over-characterization and a bit unfair. I care nothing for a red L, but would prefer a 25/1.4 over the 20/1.7 regardless of the badging.
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Well...since the 25/1.4 is not a real product yet (as in not in our hands) it's hard to say if it will be better or not. I should think for $900 it will be quite a good lens. I would have a difficult time justifying that kind of expense for myself. FWIW I rather like the FOV that I get from the Panasonic 20. I cut my teeth on old fixed lens RF cameras so that 40mm lens always has seemed more natural to me than the 50mm normal lens you got on a lot of SLRs.
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    That's less difference in the OOF area than even I was expecting.

    Certainly not worth 3x the price...
  10. ismailfaruqi

    ismailfaruqi Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    if the rumor that leica denied digital correction applied on their m43 lenses is true I'd say they are hypocrites... because m9 applies digital correction too :p 
  11. kytra

    kytra Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    From the point of view of marketing, brand loyalists are a well accepted (and sought after) type of customers. If you'd choose the 25mm over 20mm does not make you necessarily one of them :smile:. If one'd choose the 25mm Leica against a cheaper and better optically 25mm Panasonic maybe yes...
  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    And since all Leica :43: lenses are made by Panasonic in Japan at the same factories that they make their other :43: lenses, it'd be even harder to explain!
  13. nikki

    nikki Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 2, 2010
    dublin ireland
    talking about leica vs panasonic I would pick the leica first simply because the resolution and detail on a leica lens is brilliant ! would I like the leica 25mm -yes! can I afford it -no! so I will have to stick with a panny 20mm...
    I have three leica cameras (2 are film) but the lenses are out of this world and I dont think any brand can touch them, but as the saying goes you get what you pay for
  14. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    One reason to go with the faster lens is if they improve the AF motor in the 25/1.4. The 20/1.7 is okay, but it has a slight delay that other micro 4/3 lenses like the 14-45 and 14/2.5 don't have.

    I'm guessing the price will be such that most of us end up sticking with the 20/1.7 though.
  15. agoglanian

    agoglanian Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 23, 2010
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    Abram Goglanian
    Given that we now know the price is going to be $599 (which is far less than I expected). Does anyone think it would be worthwhile to switch to the 25 f/1.4? Personally I prefer 50mm over 40mm so I'm leaning towards a yes.
  16. chylld

    chylld Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2010
    I leant so far I now have an Adorama preorder # :) 

    Will play with the 25/1.4 for a while before deciding whether to sell off the 20/1.7. The lens is a bit bigger, but offers much more control over depth of field...

    Coming back from the X100 (which apart from its high-ISO performance is a pretty horrible camera to live with) so now trying to decide what body to get. G3 is tempting...
  17. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I don't know....
    But all I can say is that I'm glad I held off and did NOT get the 20mm ƒ1.7 :smile:
  18. chylld

    chylld Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2010
    Holding off from the 20/1.7 is one thing... holding off from the 25/0.95 is another thing altogether :) 

    I'd feel so stupid if I bought the Nokton. This new lens is sharper, cheaper, lighter, smaller, and has AF!
  19. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    And over a stop slower.

  20. chylld

    chylld Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2010
    That I would worry about if the Nokton was actually sharp wide open :)  I have the Nokton 50/1.1 and I'm aware of what attracts people to an ultra-fast max aperture, but sometimes I just want a sharp picture and the 25/0.95 doesn't give that.

    Although it does get noticeably sharper if you stop it down to f/1.4, but then... well, refer to my previous post :thumbup:
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