1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Torn between the 20 and the 25

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by DoofClenas, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    This would be for an epm2. I'm so used to the image quality of my 12-60 on my e5, and I'm not sure which one would satisfy me most. I love the 45, but most of my shooting is done in the lower mm's (12-25). The 12-35 is out of the budget...unfortunately.
  2. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    How about this.
    -Get the 20 and 14 (probably both together = 25) :smile:
  3. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Both will give you excellent image quality. The 20 is very sharp all across the frame but tends to focus more slowly. The 25 is as sharp in the center and has an indefinable quality that many prefer. It's also faster, a distinct advantage in low light.
  4. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Choosing between the P20 and PL25 is one the most discussed lens comparisons here, if not THE most. Things is, they are both stunning lenses and relatively similar in focal length...hence the conundrum.

    There are differences though...some obvious like size, f1.4 v f1.7, AF speed and of course the 40mm vs 50mm equivalent focal length. Some of the other differences are perhaps not so obvious. Both lenses are wonderfully sharp...the P20 perhaps fractionally more so, the PL25 renders OOF backgrounds a little smoother....and then we get to things like color and micro contrast which are even more subtle.

    I could EASILY live with either and in fact had both for quite some time, in the end though I opted for the PL25...the extra cost didn't bother me because I personally found I was gettin better value for my money from it as the lens is so good at so much that it's versatility won the day...whether I was shooting in great light in the middle of the day, or in poor light at night or required super fast AF or wanted to shoot portraits or landscapes or anything...the PL25 did it all, and did it extremely well.

    My decision was perhaps made easier because I ha the wonderful P14 pancake and the Oly45 so the PL25 sat perfectly in between the two....if I had the oly12 instead of the P14 I perhaps would have settled for the P20.

    Make no mistake, you are not the first nor will you be the last to have this issue of not being able to decide between the two...and like many here, there is a fair chance you will alternately own both, perhaps even buying/selling/rebuying/reselling several times before you decide conclusively. My best advice to you would be to buy both...shoot as much as you can with both over a period of a month...really give both a good run, then sell the one you preffered least. All in all I suspect you won't lose more than a few dollars if you initially shopped wisely...and that is really, a small price to pay knowing you tried both and now own the one that suited YOU the most.

    Good luck !
    • Like Like x 1
  5. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Others have already pointed out the differences between the two lenses, which I don't have much to add, but from my personal experience, the decision could be boiled down to the following differences when choosing between the two:
    1) size: If you want a pancake lens, go for the P20;
    2) AF speed: If AF speed is important, go for the PL25; and
    3) cost: If cost is a major concern, the P20 is the way to go.

    I own both lenses, but never touched the P20 again after getting the PL25. AF speed is the major deciding factor for me, even though I do prefer the slightly wider FOV of the P20. Besides, in a more subjective way, I find the PL25 to have slightly better micro-contrast and smoother bakcground than the P20, giving images a better pop than the P20...
  6. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Joe is right... It's really not a matter of which lens is better. Each has it's strengths and the differences can be subtle. It's a matter of which lens is right for you. Personally, I've been using the Panny 14 and 20 along with the Oly 45 on my E-PM1 (and now E-PM2) for more than a year. For me, the 50mm field of view provided by the 25mm lens is just a bit too tight. I prefer the 40mm field of view provided by the 20mm. Plus I prefer the size of the 14 and 20 on the Pen Minis.
  7. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Thanks all. Just pulled the trigger on the 20mm.
  8. The 25mm is obviously not a cheap lens but with the amount of use I have gotten from it in only 9 months the value for money has been immense. I still use the 20mm but nowhere as much. If I was to attempt to explain why it would be because the 25mm has the ability imprint it's character on an image. The difference between the two lenses cannot be measured in lines/mm. Oddly enough I still like using the 20mm on my GH1, but not so much on my E-M5.
  9. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    As someone who recently purchased a 25mm and sold his 20mm, I find this to be very true. Quite hurt to sell the 20, and as much as I'm liking the 25, I already miss it.

    Every lens has it's character, even if they're not bombastic about displaying it. The 20mm is one of those lenses. It has rather "flat" rendering, which isn't at all a bad thing, but it's very different feeling from the 25, which really does have that super contrasty Leica so-called 3D rendering to it. I looked through hundreds of images for these two lenses' respective image threads and flickr pools, and the difference is quite apparent.

    Even though the focal lengths are quite close, the way I use them has been very different. For one, the 25mm is substantially tighter. It may not seem like much, but it's basically proven to be the difference between needing to step out of the table to take a small group shot at a restaurant or bar and shooting from where you are. It's also the difference between being able to take flattering portraits from normal shooting distances and not being able to.

    It also depends on what lenses you already have. Imo, the 20mm and 45mm make the strongest two lens prime kit on the system for most people. The ideal 3 prime kit would be the 12, 25, and 45.
  10. Speldosa

    Speldosa New to Mu-43

    Dec 31, 2012
    I'm using my GH2 to film exclusively so I guess my reasoning differs from people who are focused (pun might have been intended) on taking stills.

    Anyhow, I decided to go with the 20mm for the following reasons:

    1. I wanted a indoor lens for low lightning conditions, and the 25mm focal length seemed a bit to tight for this purpose. It should be said that I make movies that boarders on being documentaries rather than being artsy pieces with exaggerated dof and close ups on random wine bottles and people's noses. That is, I wanted a lens that could give me a good overview of things. So the 20mm focal length along with the image stabilization feature seemed like a good fit for me.

    2. I never use the auto focus so the AF-speed is irrelevant for me.

    3. I wanted a lens that would make my GH2 a little bit more portable since I try to document ordinary events in my life (for this purpose it doesn't matter how good a camera is if you don't bring it with you), so the pancake lens was an attractive option over the more bulky 25mm lens.

    4. For the money I saved I bought an Olympus 40-140 lens, something that probably will come in handy.

    5. It seems it's easier to find legacy prime lenses of focal lengths equivalent to the 25mm rather than the 20mm. Also, since I already own a Rokkor 28mm (albeit only f/2.8) I decided not to buy something so similar to that one.
  11. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    The 25/1.4 is much sharper then then 20/1.7 not to mention the 25 is brighter and focuses much faster. If you can afford the 25 then go for it.

    For me though I use the 20/1.7 on my EPM1 and the 25/1.4 on my EPL5 or OMD.

    They are different lenses for different needs.
  12. loko12345

    loko12345 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 8, 2012
    The 25mm 1.4 is amazing. While I have never owned the 20mm, please note that banding at high ISO has been reported by some using the 20mm with the EM5.
  13. AerialFilm1

    AerialFilm1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2012
    Wekiva, Florida
    Get the 25 for the quality and then spend $49 for the body cap lens for grab shots and pancake compactness.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    If I sell off my e-5 and lenses, I'll then buy the 25 and the omd...until then the 20 and the epm2 should make a fantastic compact combo. I've already come to the realization that I'll eventually end up with both.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.