What normal prime to rule them all?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dissembled, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. dissembled

    dissembled Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2013
    A. Alabanza
    My GX7 is still wrapped as it's a Christmas present from my mother. Problem is I don't own own a single lens for it at the moment. I'm currently deciding between the P20, PL 25 or the O25. I like the wider FOV of the P20 but prefer the creamier bokeh of the two 25s. The O 25 is cheaper than the PL 25 but the PL is a bit faster. My photography consists of spontaneous, unposed portraiture as well as street photography.

    Which one is the best for me? I also very much welcome your personal choices and reasonings in the matter.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. sprocket87

    sprocket87 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2011
    Objectively the PL25 is the superior lens. But for what you described, save some coin and get the PL20. Tack sharp, better FOV for street and I would argue for unposed, spontaneous portrait as well.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Budget ?

    As I have minimal budget to spend on glass (or much of anything) I almost always buy used. I'd be tempted to suggest the O25 the info you've provided - it'll AF much quicker than the P20 and its cheaper and slightly more compact than the P25.

    If $$ are not a concern, size is not a problem and you like the extra light gathering potential of the P25 then its a stellar lens.

    The P20 is a great, sharp and compact all-rounder but AF speed is not its strong point.

    Good luck. Sounds like you'll have a great X-Mas - you can't really go wrong with any of these lenses.
  4. dissembled

    dissembled Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2013
    A. Alabanza
    Yes, I'm leaning more towards the 25s as I like how they render bokeh better. For me, the creamier, the better.
  5. sprocket87

    sprocket87 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2011
    I looked back at my post and realized I put PL25 in both sentences, oops. I meant to say skip the PL25 and go for the PL20. It can achieve surprisingly good bokeh and I just love the way street/spontaneous portraits look on it.
  6. dissembled

    dissembled Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2013
    A. Alabanza
    Budget is probably $550 max. I don't have the money now but I could afford one eventually if I start saving my pennies. :biggrin:

    Regardless, I definitely will purchase the lens new as I hate even the most minute scratches on my equipment.
  7. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    You want the one prime. When you put it on your camera the whole thing becomes invisible. Haven't seen mine in years. . . .
    • Like Like x 2
  8. D MATIC

    D MATIC Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 18, 2012
    P20! It's the whole advantage of m43. It's like a must have classic.

    I had the PL25. Not to knock the PL25, but an A7+FE55mm is almost the same size as a GX7+PL25mm
    • Like Like x 1
  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I've posted this same answer a few times to various threads recently: You can't go wrong here. If you are on a creamy bokeh hunt then the P25 seems a win. In the OPs shoes, with $550 to spend, I know I'd be shopping used for a 20/1.7mkII and a 45/1.8, and I'd have money to spare.
    • Like Like x 3
  10. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    Difficult choice - FoV is so personal and I'm not sure that any of them renders objectively "better" than the others, just different in ways that appeal to different people. All three are great lenses that have different pros and cons, they will all be great for your stated purposes. I had the 20 for a long time and eventually traded for the PL25 (before the Oly 25 was available) because I like that focal length better. It rarely leaves my camera now! But it is a bit large, especially with the original hood, if you want to be able to pop the camera into a jacket pocket or something.

    Sorry if that's not much help. I guess if size and $$ aren't too much of a concern, maybe try the PL25 first? You can always sell it 6 months down the line if you want to move to a more compact option or wider FoV.

    Edit to say demiro ^ has a good point - if you're talking GX7 body only you might want to reconsider buying new so you can pick up another lens to pair with your normal. The 45 will be great for spontaneous portraits.
  11. I LOVE my p20, and while people complain about focus speed it's never been an issue for me. My recommendation though is to go through the forum's Sample Image Archives for the primes you are considering and see which one speaks to you the most.
  12. yorik

    yorik Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2013
    Scotts Valley, CA
    While I covet the PL 25 (and the PL 15, for that matter), I have been very happy with the P20/O45 combo for my GX7. And, I second ex machina's comment - the reputedly slow focusing of the P20 has never been an issue for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I had the P25 for use on my E-M5. It produced nice images and had "creamy bokeh" but the size annoyed me. So I dumped it for the Olympus 17 1.8, which I love - a gem. I think it's better for candids than a 25mm focal length, at least for me. I tried the P 20mm but focusing was too slow.
  14. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2012
    I've owned the O17, P20, and O25.

    When I had a mid size camera (EM5, GX7) and wanted a 2 lens kit, the O17 and O45 was great.

    When I had a mid size camera (EM5, GX7) and wanted a single lens most the time, the O25 was great.

    When I got a very small camera (GM1) I began to prefer the compact size of the P20, and it's great.
  15. We just had a few threads similar to this.

    They are all pretty good.... its just a matter of focal length; which is a personal preference. As such, there is no such thing as a "normal prime to rule them all".

    I've always liked 24 and 50mm equivalent; so I shoot with O12, O25, and O45. The main reason for picking the O25 over the PL25 is size and weight. I had the 20mm which is also good, I just didn't like the FOV.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. ramseeker

    ramseeker Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2013
    Grand Island, NY
    For $550 you can get the best of both worlds: The O25 is $320 from Olympus as a refurbished lens, and the O45 seems to be in the $230 range used now.
  17. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    I started with the p20...it stays on my epm2...however I like the way the p25 renders images and its a joy to use in my em1. If size isn't an issue, go with p25.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    PL25 is the best for sharpness, AF and IQ. However, the PL20 is pretty good except for the lousy AF, but you can get one cheap! So I'd say go for it!
  19. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    PL25 - best color balance, bokeh, character, sharpness, etc. fast AF. It's hard to take a bad picture with this lens.
    • Like Like x 2
  20. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    25/1.4 for sure if that is the case. While bigger than the other two lenses, at a mere 200g it is by no means a large or heavy lens.
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