The instant-buy micro four thirds lens has long been the excellent (if dodgy AF) Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens. It’s a pancake lens that is very compact, very sharp, and offers a nice compromise in focal length between 35mm and 50mm. It’s a good lens all around and it is a decent price.
Once you start to get more serious about micro four thirds gear, it always became apparent that you must have the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens. It’s exceedingly sharp, focuses fast, and is
f/1.4. It was always the next lens you bought. It just made sense, and the 50mm focal length is one of the most popular out there. ((Rivaled only by 35mm, I would guess.))
Recently Olympus announced a 25mm f/1.8 lens — something to take on the legendary Panasonic — and just this week these lenses started making their way in to people’s hands.
It’s almost as sharp, focuses quieter, is much smaller, almost as fast (aperture wise), and costs less than the Panasonic 25mm. You get 99% of the way to the Panasonic offering with a bunch of other benefits — that’s impressive.
I previously told people to get the 20mm f/1.7 to start out with on micro four thirds because it got you a really great, but small lens — but no more because from here on out I strongly feel that you should get the Olympus 25mm f/1.8 to start out with. The focal length is better, the build is better, the AF is better, and it is likely sharper.
The biggest downside to the Olympus lens (and any of their lenses, save the 75mm) is that it is not that great looking. ((The Olympus 45mm in particular looks like a little penis attached to a camera.)) The Panasonic 25mm looks much better — much more professional — but one of the great things about the Olympus is the small size. It doesn’t look bad, but it certainly doesn’t look bad ass either.
I’d wager to bet this lens becomes very popular.
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