Preface: Fingers crossed this will be my last MFT Revisiting Old Gear post. If so my little MFT inexpensive system journey will have been a success. Before I could even complete the first gear list identified I have already added another body and lens. But I think I am done now. Hope so any way. We’ll see. (Nope.) So here we go. I’ll start this post the same way I started the others…
Obvious statement ahead. Gear can be really expensive. I have bought used vehicles that cost less than some recent camera and lens releases. This latest round of camera releases has gotten me to thinking.
For more on this line of thinking please see the opener post for this “Revisiting” series. For this post I will cut to the gear list.
- One body and four (+1) lenses to start. (This turned into two bodies.)
- Normal (50mm-ish full frame equivalent) prime. (This post.)
I started my interchangeable lens gear churn odyssey with micro four thirds and I still appreciate it. I will again point to that first post mentioned above for why I chose MFT and move on to the lens in question for this post. A normal (50mm-ish full frame equivalent) prime
Both Olympus and Panasonic make high end 25mm prime lenses. But both defeat three features of this gear list. Small size, light weight, and low cost. Sigma has also thrown their hat into the ring with a variant of the 30mm I have and really like on APS-C but at a 60mm full frame equivalent, being a bit large for MFT, and over $300 that is not a good match for me here. Fortunately both Panasonic and Olympus also make lower cost and nearly as fast 25mm lenses that cost considerably less. I have had and really liked both. First was the very good Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8.
Great lens, but I chose the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH.
Both are small and light weight. Both come with hoods included. The reasoning for choosing the Panasonic was pretty straightforward.
- The Panasonic goes to f/1.7. Real talk. Hey. May not matter in the real world but a spec is a spec.
- The Olympus is regularly on sale new for about for $299 ($399 full price) and used for around $200. The Panasonic is regularly on sale new for $147 ($247 full price) and used for… wait. <Checks notes.> Yep. Used for $157 and up or more expensive than new. And new for less than an Olympus used. So a new Panasonic it is thank you very much.
While not having used them side by side, I experienced no difference in the image quality between these two lenses. So being equals otherwise spec and price win out.
Next up is the usual run down lifted from the This Old Lens posts with AF added.
- Have not witnessed any flare with this lens.
- A very sharp lens wide open. This is a normal prime must have feature and this lens does just fine.
- I really like the colors that this lens produces. Vibrant and accurate.
- Another expected feature of a fast normal prime and this lens uses it’s generous aperture to make a good case for MFT sensors.
- Fast, silent, and accurate even with older bodies. Extremely important on an f/1.7 lens. And like the Olympus this lens focuses pretty closely as well.
I did not have the Panasonic very long last time, but that was no fault of the lens. Unlike the E-M5 and E-M1, which I have swiftly fallen for, the G7 (very competent but too plastic-y and could not overlook its lack of IBIS ultimately) and PEN-F (high priced, very good camera wearing a vintage costume) did not impress so the lens went when the cameras went. I have only a couple of samples from that go around taken in passing.
With or without context these pictures do not even rate a meh. But. I must say that both of these test shots were taken not long after the lens left the box and under the following conditions:
- Very low dusk light considerably darker than these images appear.
- No IBIS camera.
- Contrast detect AF camera.
- Not secured at arms length.
- A passenger in a moving car.
I expected nothing but dark smudge under those conditions.
Used it for some quick close up product shots for another post and it did very well.
A solid lens. I did get a few sample images around the house in below.
Looking forward to getting out with this lens and will be adding more photos to this ongoing gallery soon.
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