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Sigmas 19 & 30 vs Panny 20 vs PL 25

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by txbkst, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. txbkst

    txbkst Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 9, 2012
    Hi Folks,
    Looking for your input. I know this is an age old question, so I hope you won't mind being asked again. I think I understand that in terms of IQ the list goes like this: 25 > 20 > 19/30. But what I am wondering is, while I can swing the 20 and even (just barely) the 25 money-wise, does the versatility of having a 19 and a 30, not to mention the great price, make the Sigmas the best buy? I have NO native lenses so far, except the kit. I shoot indoors 90% of the time in rooms with a couple of incandescent bulbs. I found the kit to not work so well in those situations. I have been using my trusty and loved Canon FD 50/1.8 and 28/2.8. I prefer the 50/1.8 because it is brighter, and I can always zoom with my feet. My most common subjects are one fast moving toddler, a couple of goofy dogs, some turtles and occasionally my lovebirds. I would stay with the manual lenses except that I can't focus quickly enough to get any truly candid shots.
    Thanks in advance for your replies.
    Kim
     
  2. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I like both my 20mm and my 30mm lenses. The extra stop or two can make a big difference. At night with just a lamp or two, the 20mm easily out performs the 30mm due to the extra stop or two of aperture. However, I think my 30mm is just as sharp as my 20mm. I assume the 19mm is similarly sharp. The 30mm is a great focal length for inside, not wide but not a tele either. You also can't go wrong with Sigma's buy-one-get-one free deal they have right now!

    A lens you did not list but should consider is the Olympus 45mm. If you like the 50mm focal length of your old Canon lens, the 45 will come close to matching it. It is about the same price as the 20mm and almost the same speed. I have found that my 45mm is the sharpest I have. The AF works better than the 20mm especially in low light. This might be because I use Olympus bodies but I love this lens.

    Good luck in your quest.
     
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  3. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    As you have the OM-D, then the difference between the f/1.4 and f/2.8 can easily be compensated via elevating the ISO without your IQ going to hell.

    Assuming the above, then what is of primary consideration would be FOV, as you are indoors you would probably be better off with the 19mm or the 20mm. I haven't any experience with the Sigma ยต4/3 lenses, but I have found them to be very acceptable on dSLR's. I have both the 20mm and the 25mm and I have found them to be pretty equally sharp (the difference not being significant to me). What I like about the 25mm is the rendering, the creamy bokeh and the micro-contrast of the lens adds this subtle dimension to images. The 25mm focuses faster and better in low light conditions, but with the assist from the camera, the 20mm does okay in low light.

    .... man ... I thought I had my mind made up then I read your text again and I go back to square one ... all of your choices are good, it is a win/win situation.

    Okay, here we go again, amongst your choice I see the 20mm as a bit of a compromise lens, it's faster than the Sigma, but not as wide and wider than the 25mm but not as fast nor does it focus as well. (BTW- I found the focus between the two lens not as significant as others have stated.) So, as a compromise lens the 20mm is out.

    Having not used the Sigmas I can only speak in generalities, and getting two for the price of one is a good deal. I suspect the Sigmas is a lesser lens than the 25mm in both build quality and image quality, but that may not be all that important to you. As a non-professional getting a shot is more important than getting The Shot.

    So, assuming all the above, I guess the Sigmas would satisfy your photographic requirements better than either a 20mm or a 25mm.

    But, it does depend on your own expectations for your images. If you have high expectation for your images then get the 25mm, you'll have to foot zoom a bit but you seem okay with that. If you want the versatility of wide and long, which offers greater photo ops then get the Sigmas.

    There!

    Gary
     
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  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I've have had the P20 and PL25 and currently have the Sigma 30...

    The Sigma focuses faster than the P20 and not quite as fast as the PL25. Both the P20 and Sigma 30 close focus a bit better than the PL25 and all three are sharp. The IQ differences between the P20 and PL25 are not nearly as big as you might expect and I found that when I had the PL25 I didn't think that the IQ improvement was worth the difference in price. The smaller size of the P20 and better close focus distance of the P20 made it a lens I used a lot more than the PL25.

    The Sigma 19 and 30 are terrific lenses and for the money they are an absolute steal (you can get BOTH lenses for under $200). The P20 and PL25 are better lenses in terms of sharpness, speed and such but IMHO the difference is not that great. There is a thread on this forum that links to a Japanese site comparing the P20 and Sigma 19 and to my eyes the differences are incredibly small. I typically do not shoot a lot of low light so the slower speed of the Sigma has never been much of an issue.
     
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  5. txbkst

    txbkst Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 9, 2012
    Thanks, everyone, for the replies. You've given me a lot to think about. Speednstyle, thanks for the 45mm recommendation. I don't know how it escaped my radar. If I can find one in the mid 300 range I may have to get that and the Sigmas. Seems like it might be a nice combo. I just wish I could find a decent zoom in the 14-50 range that performed like a prime! LOL, but I've already learned that doesn't happen.
     
  6. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    I'm trying to decide, too, and one nice feature of the Sigma duo, in addition to the price, is their silent focusing for video. At some point, I hope to have a second m43 body and these inexpensive lenses would be 1)cheap backup if a "better" lens was acquired and 2)good lenses on a body set up for a video shoot, with their nice, wide manual focusing rings.
     
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  7. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I've had the 25, 30, 20 and 19. Currently just the 25, with no plans to add any of the other three. I find the 25 to be worth the price difference. It is a tale of diminishing returns, to be sure, as they are all quality lenses imo, but the 25 jumps in to that "special" category for me.
     
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  8. txbkst

    txbkst Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 9, 2012
    Hmmm... Now I am torn between going with a Oly 45 + Sigmas 19 & 30, or just getting the 25. Man, I wish the 25 was about $100 cheaper!
     
  9. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    If you're in Southern California I could let you try-out the 20mm, 25mm and 45mm.

    G
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. txbkst

    txbkst Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 9, 2012
    Thanks for the offer, Gary. Unfortunately I am in East Texas. I do appreciate your kindness, though.
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I think I'm one of the few people that doesn't LOVE the Olympus 45. It's very sharp but I found that I had two issues with it. I found the close focus distance a bit too long for my taste (I like getting close) and the images always looked a bit clinical to me. It was super duper sharp the bokeh was lovely and smooth and yet for some reason the images just never really appealed to me.
     
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  12. txbkst

    txbkst Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 9, 2012
    I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Sigmas since it is such a good deal. I think I will also look for a 45 in the $300ish range. Thanks for all the advice. I love how responsive and helpful folks are on this forum!
    -Kim
     
  13. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I got my 45mm off ebay for $312 including the shipping. It was used but just barely, still had the protective blue plastic on it.
     
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  14. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Good Luck and Good Shooting
     
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  15. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    The Oly 45mm was on sale last week on the Olympus site for $319 for a refurbed version. I have just bought my second one (sold the previous one last year to help fund another purchase); I've generally had no problems withe Oly's refurbed products.
     
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  16. famous amos

    famous amos New to Mu-43

    6
    Feb 12, 2012
    I just thought of a new solution. Why don't you get the Panasonic 20mm and Sigma 30mm. That would be $50 cheaper than the Panasonic 25mm and you STILL get good low light use. Pan 20mm for low light shots (Even though the autofocus is slow and hunts a little, it still works in the end) and the 30mm for fast autofocus when light is plentiful.
     
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  17. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I have this combination and it's very useful. I most often use the sigma as a walk around lens for portraits, Macro with a raynox diopter, and street shots. I use the Panasonic for indoor sports like volleyball, night shots, and landscapes. The two make great image quality and I have not suffered from a lack in focal length, quality, or focus speed.

    The Panasonic does band at iso above 6400 but I never shoot above 1600.
     
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  18. txbkst

    txbkst Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 9, 2012
    Well I changed my mind. I canceled my sigma order, and instead I just bought the 14 from a forum member. I will then add the 25 and 45. I realized that when I have used the kit lens, I prefer the wide end as it seems very versatile to me.
     
  19. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    The 14mm is under-appreciated. It is very sharp, focuses fast and it is a pancake. The 14mm, 25mm and 45mm is a good combo.
     
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  20. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    518
    Sep 25, 2012
    That's a great kit for under a grand. I'm pleased as punch using those 3. I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed.
     
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