Robin Wong comparison of Oly and Panasonic 25mm lenses

Discussion in 'Back Room' started by pdk42, Feb 15, 2014.

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  1. Duncan

    Duncan Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 31, 2013
    Interesting reading. He has a couple of unexpected findings. Here is his general summary.

    1) The Olympus lens is slightly wider in field of view than the Panasonic lens

    2) The Olympus lens is *possibly 1/3 EV brighter than Panasonic lens (not conclusive, based on just quick observation on EXIF data)

    3) There is not much difference in shallow depth of field rendering between F1.8 and F1.4 lenses (if point number 2 is true, the gap is bridged due to either the Olympus lens being 1/3 EV brighter than F1.8 or the Panasonic lens being 1/3 EV darker than F1.4). Instead of a difference of 2/3 EV, there could only be true difference of 1/3 EV between both lenses (again, NOT conclusive).

    4) Although Olympus magnification factor is 0.12x and Panasonic magnification factor is 0.11x, I find the close up shooting capability of Olympus lens to be significantly better than the Panasonic lens.

    5) Panasonic lens has poorer CA control (especially shooting wide open) and corner sharpness than Olympus lens.

    6) General sharpness between both lenses are almost identical
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Actually, I remember when I picked up my 17 a year ago, I looked at the Panny 25 and saw quite a bit of CA and purple fringing. CA is removed very easily though, but purple fringing is another matter.
  3. charcoalblack

    charcoalblack Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 26, 2012
    very interesting. On my humble opinion from viewing his pics, I see slightly better detail and punchier colors on the leica, but I do like the Oly for its closer shooting capability and CA seems less based on what he posted. I also found it interesting that he DID NOT match the aperture at 1.8 with the leica at 1.4 looks every bit as sharp as the Oly at 1.8 which to me, indicates the leica would be sharper when shot at 1.8.
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  4. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Looks like Olympus hit another one out of the ball park !!!! :biggrin:
  5. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:
    It's good to know how the Oly performs head to head with the PL25. But with the samples I've seen, I still like how the PL25 renders (subjective feel).
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  6. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    The PL25 has way nicer colors, check out the yellows on the phone close ups.

    The depth of field difference is also really apparent when you compare the photo of the guy on the grill. Th pl25 can throw more stuff out of focus in midrange shallow dof situation, the rendering of the pl25 is more pleasing.

    The oly25 is a nice lens but the king of 50 doesn't seem to be dethroned yet.
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  7. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I don't care who the king is, but it is good to see another high value lens to choose from.
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  8. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Good review but I would take some of what he's said with a grain of salt. Particularly since the lenses were tested on a olympus em10 camera. The em10 corrects for CA from olympus lenses and not for panasonic lenses. I also believe the em10 has selective sharpening algorithms for olympus lenses. It would be interesting to see the raw samples for both lenses and run them through a third party RAW processor.

    Generally the difference in background bur is not that much between F1.4 and 1.8, but I agree with flypenfly, I do notice a difference in the photo of the guy with the grill. I guess it all depends on how close you are to the subject and how far away the background is.
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  9. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    Shocking...Robin Wong writing an unusually long post to try and justify olympus...His posts have become a silly joke lately. I dont buy that in malasya the pana is 800$...

    The best was when he said the em1 was stops better than the em5.
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  10. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Real Name:
    call me Arg
    I don't like this conclusion, I think his 'test' was so wonky that he should not have posted.
  11. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    (This is in response to Lisandra)

    Sorry, this seems completely uncalled for. He bends over backwards to declare his affiliation with Olympus, and also makes it VERY clear he admires the Panasonic, which he calls a "great lens, delivering great results." He qualifies nearly every (slight) advantage he gives the Olympus , and his pictures speak for themselves with regard to background blur, CA, and overall sharpness. He is painstaking to concede that the CA issue may go away with Panasonic bodies. Honestly, the take-away from this review is that the lenses are awfully close, and it's difficult to determine which was which in sharpness tests.

    The only real issue he had with the Panasonic is the inability to nail focus in tricky light. I'm just another data point, but that I often had that problem when I owned the lens too, so I don't think he made this up.
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  12. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    that you dont believe it doesnt it make it untrue.
  13. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Hah he thought the E-M1 was STOPS better the E-M5?

    It's ever so slightly worse.
  14. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    I don't get the people who always slam Wong's reviews. For goodness sake, he posts pictures! You can see for yourself if his conclusions are justified. For those of you who reflexively criticize everything he writes, do you actually think he manipulated images to make the Panny softer in the corners? Did he fudge the image in LR to throw in a little CA? Did he tweak focus a little to ensure all his Panny images were "off"? Really, seriously? Again, the images speak for themselves . . . and they're very, very, very close. I'd be hard-pressed to tell them apart!
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  15. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013

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  16. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    Boy those results look close. I have no idea if this 1/3 stop brightness means anything; I don't see it anyway. It's nice that we mu43 users have such difficult decisions.:smile:
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  17. Subsonic

    Subsonic Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 24, 2013
    Real Name:
    This was a great review for me (even given his obvious biases), as I'm on the cusp of buying my next lens which just happens to be a 25mm prime. So I'm very interested in seeing side by side comparisons of the two lenses. After looking closely at his samples, I have a few thoughts...

    The Olympus Lens looks to be a bit more technically accurate, slightly sharper throughout and with less CA. However, I did find in several of the photos that the Panny seemed to have a slightly more pleasing 3d character, not really sure why. The Panny colors also seemed to be a bit more saturated, but maybe this is due to the slightly darker metering it seems to employ. There was just something a bit more 'real' about some of the Panny shots...maybe slightly more contrast, maybe slightly more saturated color, not sure. I wonder how much of this can be adjusted in PP anyhow...does it matter in the end?

    Image quality is incredibly subjective, so to each his own, but there are several facts about the Oly that start to make me lean its direction: smaller size, reversible lens hood, lower price, auto-corrected CA in Oly bodies, and possibly slightly faster AF. I'm not sure that the slight preference I had for several of the Panny shots outweighs these other advantages the Oly has for my needs, but I'll wait a few more weeks to see some more samples rolling in.

    Either way, good times to be an m43 shooter, so many great choices!
  18. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Real Name:
    Robin points out at the start of every article his biast, he's pretty clear about it, and that it's a non scientific "review."

    If it's 1/3 or 0/3... that's not exactly a real world noticeable difference. CA is a pretty easy thing to fix with a mouse click in Lightroom. Pretty much all lenses are not quite what their focal lengths say they are. The slightly closer focusing distance is nice.
  19. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I think this review shows that Olympus has a great lens! As good as the Panasonic in most regards, slightly better in a few and just behind in a couple of others. Overall these two lenses are on par with each other. The Olympus does have one big advatage and that is price, especially in certain markets, obviously Malaysia being one of them.

    As for the 1/3 EV difference - tottaly possible! This is the reason why cine lenses use t-stops instead of f-stops because different lens designs allow slightly more or slightly less light through. t- stops are measured for each lens and thus match exactly.
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