Thursday, January 12, 2012

Decisions, decisions... Or is it Just an Embarrassment of Riches?

Which Lumix normal lens is best?

Size Comparison - Lumix 20mm f1.7, Pana-Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4

Image Source: http://www.jordansteele.com/2011/normals.jpg


 

I read this post about the decision a poster over at the forums at mu-43.com is trying to make regarding Panasonic lenses.  Specifically, they are trying to decide whether to trade in their 20mm f1.7 for the new Pana-Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4.  Here is the post:

 

(click here).

 

I own both lenses, and both are excellent.  But, I would not trade the cheaper, smaller 20mm, ever.  Nor would I be ready to give up the Summilux.  They are different animals.  Yes, they are both "normal" focal length, with equivalents of 40 and 50mm fields of view.  That is where the similarity ends.

 

Coming from Leica, I compare them very directly to two of my favorite lenses.  The 20mm is the equivalent of my Minolta-Leica Summicron 40mm f2.  Incredibly small, sharp, and pretty fast.  The 25mm Summilux is directly comparable to my Canon (in Leica screwmount) 50mm f1.4.   I am sure if I were richer, I would compare it to the Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4, but I don't have that lens.  The f1.4 lenses are truly for low light, where you may otherwise not be able to get the shot.  Yes, they work fine for bright light as well, but in those cases, I would always opt for the smaller lens.  

 

And, even the field of view is different enough to warrant consideration.  I very much like the 20mm (40mm equivalent in full frame terms) for street photography.

 

So, congratulations Panasonic!  You have succeeded in giving us a wealth of choices!  And, they are certainly not mutually exclusive.  So, for me, the answer to "which lens" is the obvious one.  Both!

 

And remember, you can have both lenses described here for much less than the cost of a Leica M mount Summilux!

 

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