I’ve been on the look-up for a fast, mid-range prime for a time for both photography and video. I currently own two lenses; the Panasonic Leica 15mm 1.7 and the Panasonic 42.5mm 1.7. Both are fantastic. The 15mm is great as an all-purpose lens (especially in 4k becoming a ~35mm equivalent) and the 42.5mm while an oustanding portrait lens for still, becomes a bit too long in 4K (~100mm equivalent). I needed something in between and the 25mm 1.7 fitted the bill, quite literally really.I bought mine for $200US and while the listed price is at $250, expect it to come down soon. This makes it one of the most inexpensive Micro Four Thirds lenses around.
Built and Image Quality
Construction is good but unlike the 15mm and the 42.5mm, the barrel is made of plastic and feels realy hollow. It’s also made in China and not Japan like its more expensive siblings. The lens is lightweight but on the wide size, being much bigger than the 42.5mm. The focus ring is wonderfully smooth and a joy to use in video. Too bad the lens does not have image stabilization.
Optically, it’s very, very good. I shot some inane pictures of newsprint and brick walls which I won’t post because they are stupid but I will post just this one to satisfy any chronic pixel peepers.
Panasonic Leica 25mm 1.4: Optically excellent, slightly faster. Slightly dated focusing technology compared to more recent m43 lenses. Rattlesnaking issues with Olympus bodies (why I sold it). Leica name. Plastic body but much more substantial. Very expensive. Made in Japan (not a true Leica).
Olympus 25mm 1.8: Optically excellent, matching both the Oly 45mm 1.8 and the Pana 42.5mm 1.7 in terms of sharpness. Plastic body but also substantial. $100 more expensive (wait for the Olympus Holiday sale). Made in Japan.
The Panasonic 25mm 1.7 is a fast, sharp and relatively inexpensive normal prime sure to please a lot of people looking for a 50mm equivalent everyday lens. If you can get pass the somewhat plastic build quality, you will be happy with this lens.
Disclaimer: I don’t like crap coming out of China and whenever possible, I try to find products made in the USA, Japan or Germany.