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Robin Wong comparison of Oly and Panasonic 25mm lenses

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

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  1. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Ronin Wong has posted up some comments about the Oly vs Panasonic 25 comparison. You can read them here:


    He concluded with this:

    I do not think I will be doing any more comparison reviews again in the future. It is just too much trouble, and everyone is expecting different things from me.

    I sincerely hope I am not putting anyone off by sharing my experience and some honest thoughts here. I think it is overly evident that I love what I am doing here, and I am privileged to be able to speak to all of you beautiful people. I am not a professional photographer, I am a learning photographer and the best thing I enjoy about photography (besides the obvious, shooting) is being able to connect and communicate with my audience.

    It is best that I just let the photographs speak for themselves.

    I think we should give him credit for his comparison and stop doubting his integrity.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    It upsets me (nah, not really) that this thread is packed with irrelevant whole posts discussing the idea that Robin Wong said the Olympus was brighter than the PanaLeica.
    He did not say that. And stop saying he did you whoever you are, and there's more than one here!

    You can clearly read the shutterspeed differences when he puts side-by-side photos of the PL at F1.4 and the O at F1.8
    The PanaLeica uses a faster shutterspeed for the same exposure, as expected.

    What he was saying about brightness only applied to the lenses when they were set to the same aperture as each other.
    There's no big deal about a slight difference in 'rated aperture' compared to 'measured brightness', in fact loads of pairs of different lenses exhibit this.
    • Like Like x 3
  3. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The internet strikes again! All the crap from this and other forums plus direct feedback have caused Robin to back off reviewing. Sad as he was able to get a side by side review out first. I wish him all the best and suggest that he concentrate on just shooting and showing us what he has done and how he did it.
  4. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    i don't understand what the big deal is, so please help me. Could be due to english not being my first language...

    For me mu-43.com is a great site, and generally filled with nice people. that's why it came as a big surprise that this review caused such a controversy and angry rants (especially with 2-3 members in this and related topics) . Not only on this forum, but on other places as well. So much he said he's probably never writing a comparison again, which i think is a shame, because regardless if you agreed with the review or not, you benefited from it in one way or another. You have the first (i cannot stress this enough) information and first results. You get to decide whether to keep your PL25 or to get MZ25.

    So please, enlighten me - why the hate?

    Is it because he even dared to compare the measly MZ25mm 1.8 with the godlike PL25mm 1.4?
    Is it because he said the MZ25mm 1.8 can be sharper than PL25mm 1.4 (which should come as no surprise because (again, arguably) the sharpest lenses in the m43 ecosystem are MZ45mm and MZ75mm, both Oly made)?
    Is it due to the shutterspeed phenomena?
    Is it because PL25 owners were offended and/or feel bad for having a more expensive lens (no dissrespect to anyone)?

    Most of the hate is fuled by the fact he is an Olympus employee and a Olympus fan (something he never tried to hide) and to some, his "reviews" come off as paid ads. So be it. Most of us are adults, and get to make our own decision on what to do with our own money. Will you be so naive to believe a paid ad? If so, good job by Robin, and Olympus Malasyia should increase his salary.

    I, for one, think we should be grateful we have such a detailed comparison. Do i agree with everything he says? No. Is it the most technically precise review i've seen? No. Is it miles and miles above anything I (and be frank, most of you too) could even hope to produce in my lifetime? Probably yes.


    • Like Like x 2
  5. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    Typo: i meant "pedant". Not a perjorative, but describes simply obsessiveness over minutiae. What he calls his blog entries is of no significance. I expect everyone is sufficiently judicious in valuing others opinions. That Robin states his affiliation as the FIRST SENTENCE of any entry is a show of good faith. It's an insult to the googling public your suggestion that they cant appreciate that declaration.

    Maybe Robin shouldnt "review" or "evaluate" ANY Olympus products at all because he's playing for the home team. Maybe Robin shouldnt review or evaluate ANY other photographic products at all because hes clearly predisposed to bias. He should just take down his blog. Better we censor than be rational?

    Sadly all this deleterious pitchforking resulted in Robin withdrawing future reviews. You got your wish, internet
    • Like Like x 3
  6. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    Just a couple of observations:

    Reviews, comparisons, or whatever, are often attacked by others on the internet for not being scientifically correct or done properly or whatever. A few times I have posted my results or observations of photography equipment and received that type of criticism as well, so I have decided to no longer do that type of post. I don't blame Robin for making the same decision.

    I am not questioning Robin's integrity, as I have no basis to do this. However, I would think that any unflattering review of Olympus products could put his relationship with Olympus in jeopardy. Why would Olympus or any other company employ someone who did something that was harmful to their company? So, while his reviews may or may not be manipulated to show Olympus in a better light, I would think that Olympus would not be happy with him if he wrote a review that said an Olympus product was inferior to another company's product. I am also a motorcycle enthusiast and there was an instance a couple of years ago where a writer for a motorcycle magazine was let go after a particularly unflattering review of a motorcycle. The belief of many was that he was let go because the manufacturer of the motorcycle threatened to pull advertising from the magazine. Of course I have no proof of that, but that was the consensus opinion. What I know is that there have been times when my experience with the ride characteristics of a motorcycle did not match up with those of a review in a national motorcycle magazine. I have learned to take most reviews with a grain of salt. That is unfortunate, as most of us would like to trust what we read so it can inform our purchase decisions.

    So, my advice is to read the reviews if you want, but realize that few if any people are totally without bias and your experiences may not match those of any particular review. Let me just say that I am totally satisfied with my PL25, but I don't doubt I'd be satisfied with the O25 as well. My PL25 is plenty sharp for me and focuses plenty fast and accurate for me.

    Now, I'm going for a nice long bike ride. I may even take some pictures. I'll probably even use the PL25 for some of them.
  7. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2014
    I don't get the issue either. He took 2 lenses on an Olympus body, shot several photos for a side by side comparison to the best of his ability which are pretty good IMHO. And posted the results under a fully disclosed point of view. The pL25 shots are genuine as they are 100% consistent with my own results on an E-M1. Isn't a blog with genuine side by side comparisons enough for anyone to make their own conclusion?

    I bought my 12-40 pro partially based on his review. The lens has performed exactly as he described and his images were genuine as well.

    I guess I'm scratching my head on this one but I was happy to see someone finally post some real world examples. I'm eager for Steve Huffs review however as well but I don't see anything wrong with Wong's blog.
  8. Timmy

    Timmy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 3, 2013
    Wiltshire - UK
    I've always found his reviews useful - they always have loads of images with EXIF data to help people make their own informed judgement - which I like. For owners of Pany bodies there will no doubt be a plethora of other reviews and comparisons coming out over the next few weeks as more people get their hands on the lens.

    Had he not of been the first well known reviewer to tackle this comparison perhaps there wouldn't of been such a fuss, but such was the anticipation of this lens, and the eagerness to find out how it compares to the Pany, I guess such attention was inevitable.
  9. zlatko-photo

    zlatko-photo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2014
    I did not mean to "insult the googling public". His comparison of the two lenses is informative and well done — I will probably read it again before I buy one of those lenses. I really don't doubt his integrity, and I give him credit for putting the disclaimer first. I just questioned use of the word "review", disclaimer notwithstanding. When a new product comes out, lots of people are googling for a "review" of the product, using that specific word. I frankly don't expect any reviews of a product to be sponsored by the manufacturer of the product. As far as I know, this is not done in other businesses. For example, when a new movie comes out, we typically google for reviews of the movie. Do we expect the initial reviews to be written by employees of the studio that made the movie? I don't think so. The same for automobiles, refrigerators, books, airlines, computers, toys, etc. No need to accuse me of censorship or "pitchforking" just for making that point. You can call that minutiae, and I agree it's not a big deal, but I think there is a good reason why this is not done in other businesses. You are free to disagree of course.
  10. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    See? This is what I'm talking about. This is what's being sold by Wong but when the testers get at it it's not true.
    case in point? 12-40. The supposedly better corrected and optically superior lens was afterwards tested by slr gear and what was found? It isn't any sharper than the 12-35 (the pana is sharper in the center, softer in the corners) and has more than TWICE the chromatic aberrations the pana had.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    ...and how many "testers" found this...and what are their credentials? If you buy a lens and it's sharp and better than another lens, does that make you wrong or a "koolaid drinker" because another bunch of armchair reviewers said it wasn't the case?

    This isn't anything new anyway. This happened at camera clubs and camera magazines long before internet reviews existed.
  12. Jacquesass

    Jacquesass Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 17, 2014
    The O25 seems like a great lens, especially for those trying to build a "holy trinity" kit of Olympus primes.

    That said, I love my PL25. It's the first lens that made the wife say: "Wow. Maybe I DON'T mind swapping lenses for different shots after all..."
  13. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Slrgear tests on a gx1, a Panasonic camera with built in raw correction profiles. It embeds correction data into the raw file.
  14. EMC

    EMC Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 22, 2013
    Garden Grove, Calif.
    Dear Mr. Wong,
    I really appreciate your writing and your opinions.......your hard work shows through!!! I am new to this photoblog thing, read and learned a lot from many sources available.......read a lot responses to many different photoblogs......I take in what's useful for me. These photoblogs not are always just informative but, inspiring!!!

    Hey Robin never let your emotions get in the way of your Craft.........Thanks for Sharing!!!
  15. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    I thought it was a great review. The performance of the O25 was excellent. I have the PL25 and based on the samples it looks like the O25 could easily keep pace with it. I only liked the PL25 version of a few of the images better. Choice is always good. I strongly suspect that the O25 will perform better on Olympus bodies, but really does it matter? This is not a shocking outcome. Given that Olympus controls the whole imaging pipeline this makes a lot of sense.

    The PL25 has never been the sharpest lens. A lot of people like it for the rendering it produces rather than absolute sharpness. This review pretty much underlines that.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    Wong saying the 25mm isn't 1.4 and the 1.8 is faster? He's living in barbie land! PF? same thing... He's saying the FOV of the 25mm is narrower? In all his sample, you can see the contrary. He must have dreamt awake and taken a step back for nothing.

    25mm 1.8 looks like a good performer, but what about the build quality? Will it fall off like the 45mm?
  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    hopefully the baying armchair crowd will now put away their pitchforks and flaming torches and return to their villages and maybe actually take some photos with whatever they have right now.

    Really don't understand all the furore this one article has raised.

    As an owner of the panaleica, I read the article and looked at the photos in the article, and came away with the impression that the Oly lens is a perfectly fine lens... which is what I would expect, as I don't think any manufacturer today actually would release a 'bad' lens.

    If I didn't have the panaleica, then I would probably have the Oly in my hands now, but as it seems to offer no real benefit over what I have now, I wont be getting one.

    Truth is from my perspective, is that the difference between similar lenses are really a minor factor in the photographic process for a large majority of us , and that any real or perceived differences are often negated by the skill of the individual either in the image taking or PP process.

    Cameras dont take pictures, people do

    just my opinion

    • Like Like x 10
  18. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    Thats true I did a part of my MA with cameras bought off the auction site for less than £10, why as I felt like using them at the time, I have seen great images done on cameras held together with tape and I have seen some absolute dreck from cams like the 5d 3 or D800. I agree its hard to buy a poor lens now even the low cost Kit lenses from Nikon, Canon and so on produce very good quality images and with modern CAD systems any one who produces a non toy prime that is poor deserves to be pied.
  19. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    Kevin, that is so true what you said is real life.

    What can be seen as manipulation is the facts Robin tried to distilate. The rage was raised from just that! Not because of anything else.
  20. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Orfeo he did not say that. (First line of your post 116)
    I won't quote you since that'd just repeat the lie and I'd like it to disappear.
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