(FT4) Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 to cost around $750-800

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I just got the price info from two separated sources. The new 25mm f/1.4 Micro Four Thirds lens which is coming from Panasonic will cost around $750-800. That’s a bit less than the price of the Four Thirds Panasonic/Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens (Click here to see price on eBay) and in the same price league of the Panasonic 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye and Panasonic 45mm f/2.8 macro. The question now is if unlike the 8mm and 45mm lenses the 25mm will become a real bestseller.

For that price will you buy a top quality 25mm f/1.4 lens?

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Reminder:
– It has double the size of the 20mm f/1.7 pancake – Unlike the Four Thirds Panasonic/Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens it is not Leica branded
– It has no OIS.
– It should be announced late March/early April (but I am not sure about that yet!)

I have no info about the other lenses on the road map (see image on top).
– Bright zoom (this is the new video lens we are waiting for!)
– Bright Wide-Angle

Someone can send me info about those lenses ? :)

Thanks!

Links:
– 25mm f/1.4 Four Thirds lens at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
– 20mm f/1.7 at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
– 8mm fisheye at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
– 45mm f/2.8 at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

Reminder: Rumors classification explained (FT= FourThirds):
FT1=1-20% chance the rumor is correct
FT2=21-40% chance the rumor is correct
FT3=41-60% chance the rumor is correct
FT4=61-80% chance the rumor is correct
FT5=81-99% chance the rumor is correct

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  • Ad

    I won’t buy it, not because it’s too expensive but because a) I don’t like the FOV of a 25mm and b) it’s too close to the 20/1.7. I’d buy a 28/1.4 in a heartbeat.

    • Ismael

      Same here. Not interested in that lens no matter the price. Well, if they sell me one for $25… :)

  • Leave a reply

    At this price point it needs to be on pair with the four thirds Leica version

    • A couple of days back I posted a comment, assuming this exact price point. Owning the FT 25mm I am pretty sure that a lens considerably smaller and compromised in design _by design_ cannot possible produce the same results.

      Not a lot of people will buy this.

      • frank

        Why would larger mean better? I know there is more room for corrections so ideally this might be the case, but my 20/1.7 is a lot better than my Canon FD 50/1.2L, which is from another era of course and which is many times more expensive and a lot larger. Why could a MFT 25/1.4 that is smaller than the FT 25/1.4 be not as good? I think Panasonic has proven with the 20/1.7 and the 7-14/4.0 to be capable of outstanding lenses and I trust them fully with the 25/1.4. For me it is just too close to the 20/1.7 to buy. I think

        • Comparing a 70’s design and a 2010 design is at best unfair. Add to that the software in camera to correct distortion and CA and you have your explanation.

      • Jules

        A police officer is not allowed to give a ticket where it is written : “would have burned a red light” as an explanation. At least not where I live.

        I kind of feel the same here. Lets wait and see.

  • frank

    I won’t buy it as the 20/1.7 does a really excellent job, but I can see having a 25/1.4 is crucial for marketing reasons as all the big boys have a 50/1.4 as their “prime” prime. A 12/2.0 that is as good wide open as the 20/1.7 is my desire.

  • cbr09

    I’m much rather see them keep the primes small (which is the point of m43) – and apertures realistic to achieve that and reasonable cost – my guess, the limits are something like:

    12mm – f2.8

    17mm – f2

    25mm – f1.8

    40mm – f1.8 (which has to be the priority for portrait)

    50mm – f2

    Once they get smaller than 20mm, it gets harder to make a small lens because of retro-fucus design. Once larger than about 40mm – the amount of glass to get the aperture goes up a lot and so, to keep small and reasonably priced, the above would be good compromises. I think Panasonic probably hit the sweet-spot at 20mm for size/price/aperture. Of course its possible to gain half stops here and there but not worth it if the cost is high and the camera becomes as bit as a DSLR (where there are already cheap primes).

    • cL

      They can make 50mm with smaller aperture, as normal focal length is the relatively easiest to design of them all (once it gets longer, it becomes harder to design again, but not as difficult as ultra wide, which has distortion correction to consider). I have a suspicion the limit is not optical design, but the fact it cannot auto focus properly. Olympus has made updates on its regular 4/3 lenses to address AF focus issue with aperture F2 or larger. Why sell something when it is not fully functional? All the large aperture lenses for 4/3, except PL 25mm f1.4, are all manual focus lenses so far.

  • DonTom

    I turned down the Voigtlander Nokton F0.95 for a similar price, as too expensive. I don’t think AF compensates for the extra light gathering of the Nokton.
    Plus, the Panny 20mm F1.7 is a better “normal” lens for me: price, speed, AF, sharpness, all are good enough.
    Still, I am glad that Panny are producing it, and I might be considering it if I was new to the format, with deep pockets. Lack of OIS isn’t an issue at the focal length.
    Would rather have the P/L 45mm at the price point.

  • theEel

    If this new 25/1.4 will provide top quality results (top IQ & AF performance) I will gladly sell my 20/1.7 lens & 25/1.4 Leica 4/3 lens and buy this one.

  • btw, Admin, any news on pancake front from the Olympus?

    They kind of stopped with their mediocre 17mm f/2.8.

    I can’t believe they do not plan something against the 20mm f/1.7.

  • As an owner of the Panny 20mm, I think the new 25mm is somewhat of a duplication. When I factor in the increased cost, the larger size, and the similar focal length aperture, it is hard for me to justify this purchase. On the other hand, I would have been eager to spend this amount of money on a quality prime lens with a focal length betwee 35mm and 50mm.

    Admin, any info on that Olympus 50mm for m43?

  • Miroslav

    As expected. Waiting for Olympus wide to decide on available light lens …

  • shutterwill

    too expensive for a standard prime

  • 43photo

    The voigtlander 25/0.95 seems to be a much better offer to me.

    • frank

      Why? This has AF and seeing Pana designs it will be good and useable wide open. So why would you want to have a voigtlander over this when 0.95 is about unuseable because of severely limited DOF? Unless you like the creative effect or MF of course. For a real world useable lens this will much better than the Voigtlander.

      • cL

        When you shoot f0.95, with such shallow depth of field, do you think AF is usable? It’s approximate at best.

      • Chez Wimpy

        >when 0.95 is about unuseable because of severely limited DOF?

        As if nobody ever shot a 50mm lens at f1.8 on FF…

        • cL

          F1.8 can be autofocused, though not as good as MF if you want to be precise. Voightlander 25mm f0.95 was designed for FF. F0.95’s depth of field on a 4/3 is ~f1.4 FF (though speed is still f0.95). There are just so many wrong things in your arguments you should do a little research. Your tactic of using illogical argument isn’t working. Compare an apple with an apple. And ceteris paribus, of course.

  • Matsuoka

    Cannot understand why it has to be so expensive. Special elements? Or they just milking the M43 hype?

    • Milking…

    • Take a journey into the past and check the price on an OM 24/2. Its a 10 element design. Imagine a something a full stop faster, albeit not retrofocus. It’ll still be tricky to make it work well. Good glass costs money.

  • pany

    m4/3 is insanely expensitive, with a 3 years old senser, I dont see the point.

  • I still can’t figure out why Panasonic charges more for m4/3’s glass the Canikon does for equivalent full frame glass. Shouldnt Panasonic be charging less? The Nikon 50mm/1.4 G is under $500 (and it’s weather sealed). $800 for a standard 50mm 1.4 equavilent is pushing it.

  • Boss

    this is too much for a non Leica optic

  • The price seems just right. In the long run it may be one of the m4/3 classics. I’m not going to buy it though because my FT 25 PanaLeica is just as good, if not better.

  • twoomy

    Well in addition to the cheap/small M43 lenses, I like seeming some bigger high quality (and yes, more expensive) glass out there.

    Folks, the 45mm macro is absolutely phenomenal! So for high quality lenses, you have to get over your sticker shock. But a 25mm doesn’t excite me that much; it’s not a focal range that I care about.

    Give me a 10mm or 12mm wide-aperture lens and I’ll shell out $800! Or better yet, give me that rumored 12-50mm wide aperture lens and I’ll shell out $700-$1000 for it.

  • Luis

    Lol, a lot of people beg Panasonic for designing a fast, high quality 25mm lens, “no matter the price”. Panasonic listened and did it… and now I can imagine their faces while reading these reactions.

    I’ve never been interested because of the close focal length to my 20mm pancake (even if I prefer 25mm) and the extra size. Anyway I’m pretty sure it will be better, and that’s not easy.

    Meanwhile, still waiting for a decent AF portrait lens. Something between 40 and 60mm, faster enough for background isolation…

    • I’ll wait and see before I decided if it’s worth $800. I think that’s the issue; will it be worth it? If it’s tack sharp wide open, built to pro-grade standards with weather seals, then it will be worth $800. However, if it’s built out of plastic, with no seals, and not sharp wide open then well, $800 is ridiculous seeing as how a Canon 50mm f/1.4 is $370.

    • Chez Wimpy

      >Lol, a lot of people beg Panasonic for designing a fast, high quality 25mm lens, “no matter the price”.

      Really? As far as I can tell, this was one of the least requested lenses during the polls posted here before. The 40/50 fast portrait prime however…

  • +1

    Like most people here, i find $800 range a bit too expensive for a normal prime. And, like a lot of people here, already having the 20mm 1.7, i find very hard to justify paying that amount of cash for a new lens that doesn’t really add anything new to my possibilities (even if i’m much more comfortable with a 50mm equivalent than with a 40mm equivalent focal length)…

    If it was more in the $500 range, i may have a different opinion…

  • calxn

    Isn’t this becoming a pattern? More plastic lenses for 2x the price of their Canikon’s equivalent? That $800 would be better used towards a fund for the Fuji X100. I’m sure some droids will buy this lens.

  • setu

    If this is the way Panasonic want to take… it will loose a customer.
    I’m buying Lumix cameras fron 2002: FZ1 – LX1 – FZ30 – G1 and GF1.
    TOO EXPENSIVE, is it clear?

  • Kevin

    what was everyone expecting? haven’t all decent m4/3 lenses been a rip off?

    • Jules

      I don’t even know what to think?
      Having questions on your definition of what is a decent lens, how you value them or then why do you even care about m43, unless of course you are coherent with your analysis and yet accept being ripped off. By solidarity to Panasonic’s or Olympus’s workers, maybe.

      the 1.4/25 is not even out yet that its by default a rip off. Jeez!

  • Camajan

    So whait. This is like buying a 50mm 1.4 for FX at $800 ! ! !
    Couple of buys like this and you are paying d700 price for 4 stops worse performance yus because it’s “portable”…

    • Chez Wimpy

      >So whait. This is like buying a 50mm 1.4 for FX at $800 ! ! !

      More like a 50mm f2.8 – of course you need to “pay” for the FF sensor so the m43 combo is still cheaper.

  • Bob

    The Af100 customers need this lens as there are hardly any video optimized lenses right now. $800 is on the cheap side for the video market.

  • Ulli

    prob the price will decrease a bit, and if its a great performer….yeah i think i would buy it, if i needed that focal lenght

  • Igorek7

    We are discussing now the rumored price of as-of-yet unannounced lens. It’s impossible to judge at the moment the lens design or it’s imaging quality. Assuming that the 25mm PanLeica is selling at the moment for about $900, I will be not surprised if the micro 4/3 version will have the MSRP price of $100-150 less, while a street price around about $700 a few months after it release. In order to differentiate the 25mm from 20mm Panasonic may choose to go for the top quality, which is a good news rumor for someone.

  • snowflake

    Bob is right. being able to make smooth adjustments during video is important.

    However. For me it is a toss up.
    The Voigtländer 25mm .95f lens, for only f few hundred dollars more, at this kind of price range, is much more interesting. lens and frankly, a much more exciting lens, even with out the auto focus.

    If the Panasonic lens came with image stabilization, then that would more than make up for the loss of an fstop and I’d go with the Panasonic no question. If I were more into video, then I’d still have a hard time deciding.

    Right now, I am being patient. In six months or so I’ll make up my mind.

  • Thierry

    If that’s the price range, I’d rather go for the Nokton 25mm F.95

  • George

    to Pana & Oly
    Stop that.
    Stop that right now.
    stop seeing m4/3 users as cows that you can milk anyway you like.
    Stop releasing useless upgrade cams.
    Stop announcing cams that you can provide for 6 months.

  • For Nikon APS-C cameras Nikon has the excellent 35mm 1.8 for $200. 52.5mm in 35mm fov terms. Why can’t Panasonic or Olympus make something like that for their customers? $700+ is ridiculous. Yes 1.8 is slower but the larger sensor makes up for that and would give about the same depth of field plus having to use a higher iso would be reminded by the fact that the camera would have lower noise at higher iso’s.

    When the GF1 was $600 with the 20mm 1.7 I was recommending that to all my fiends that were interested in stepping up from a point and shoot. Now I’d say just go straight to a DSLR like a Nikon 3100 with the 35mm lens.

    My only hope will be Panasonic bundling the lens with a new camera body. Buy both together and then sell the body. That seems to be the only way to get Panasonic’s lenses for a decent price!

    • George

      Same here Noah,
      At least 5 of my friends bought m4/3 cams just because i recommended to them.

      For the last couple of months whenever someone asks me for my opinion i say “go with DSLR, you can’t go wrong with big 2”

      • pdc

        Sure, if you want to buy antiquity. I’d rather invest in the futurel, which ain’t DSLR.

      • Ulli

        this only shows you are someone who changes his recommendation as the way the wind blows, George.. and i feel pity for anyone to follow your advice :-)

        • Hmm so keeping up with current deals and best bang for the buck camera systems is giving bad advice? Also I have a GF2 with 20mm & 14mm lenses so it’s not like I hate this format, I just think if Panasonic & Olympus want to appeal to new users they need to be somewhat competitive when it comes to pricing new lenses.

          • Chez Wimpy

            >Hmm so keeping up with current deals and best bang for the buck camera systems is giving bad advice?

            DSLR have *always* been the best bang for the buck. Disillusionment with m43 doesn’t suddenly make a D5000 + 35/1.8 pocketable.

    • David

      I think you miss the point. Of course DSLRs can offer better image quality. All else being equal, a larger sensor is better. Panasonic makes the 20mm f/1.7 — comparable to Nikon’s 35mm f/1.8 — and it can be had for about $300, at 1/3 the size. You can’t fault m4/3 for having a smaller sensor and thus more noise, greater depth of field, and less dynamic range than an APS-C or full frame sensor. That’s the deal you bought in to. You get a smaller package and a similar price to DSLRs, and you sacrifice quality. Or you buy quality glass in a small package, but pay a premium. If those trade-offs aren’t worth it for you, then m4/3 isn’t your system.

    • cL

      4/3 sensor gather less light, so its lens has to gather twice as much light to get comparable quality. If you went to lenstip.com before, you know that’s one thing they said about Olympus lens and why their lens get their highest rating. Resolution is simply much higher. On MFT charts Olympus published, they always use twice the resolution to measure their lenses (instead of 15 and 30 lines, they use 30 and 60 lines).

      That and the fact 25mm is wide angle, so it’s harder to engineer. Yes, it’s 50mm equivalent for users, but optics it’s still 25mm to engineer. 35mm is much easier to engineer and they could simply port 35mm from FF to do it, since it’s not size they’re concerning. FF format has been around for decades, and 4/3 is a new development, so think about R&D cost from this POV.

      • Chez Wimpy

        >That and the fact 25mm is wide angle, so it’s harder to engineer. Yes, it’s 50mm equivalent for users, but optics it’s still 25mm to engineer.

        uhh… so it follows that a 100mm lens for a 8×10 LF camera is a telephoto? Your premise is faulty.

        • cL

          I think a better argument for you would be whether 50mm on an APS-C (75mm if 1.5x crop) is a telephoto. The usage is 75mm but optically it is still 50mm. Keep usage and optical design separate.

  • Per

    Provided that it is a HQ lens, the price is OK. The 4/3 Leica 25mm does not have the quality you expect from something Leica-branded, so it’s better be better (!) A Voigtländer 0.95 is tempting but is crippeled by not have auto-focus

  • Primer

    It is not just an expensive normal prime, to be honest, it simply sounds a bit stupid for takeing a 25mm lens as a normal prime lens.

  • Gino

    and those people where crying out loud for lack of quality primes for m43? Some even suggested to produce SHG level lenses, but then what price are you expecting.
    IMO Leica 25mm 4/3 lens is not more superior to 20mm m43 in technical aspects. It is just superior in producing shallower DOF due to increased focal length and wider aperture.

    • safaridon

      Also another reason stated for the 25/1.4 lens when they already have the excellent 20/f1.7 is the latter is not besigned for video hence not quiet as the 25mm/f1.4 will be.

      The problem I have with the price is why isn’t Pany still keeping a GF1 or GF1 like model available with the 20/1.7 as a kit lens as many want? If that was the case they wouldn’t be concerned that the 25mm lens is more expensive as a high quality niche product for special uses. Conversely maybe Pany is figuring this is one way to get a higher price out of the 20mm/1.7 as a stand alone product?

      I have the 20/1.7 lens on my GF1 and love it. I don’t understand all the complaints of not having OIS or low light performance when I can use mine indoors at poor light in the evening at ISO 100 and still get wide open acceptable shots at 1/60 sec?

  • Boss

    If the lens is not a Leica, it should be $500-$600 ($700-$800 if Leica).

    • Gino

      What is it better than Leica? 45mm Leica lens m43 is not that amazing at all.

  • MikeS

    For a lens that, on paper, is only marginally different from the 20mm f/1.7, this price is laughable at best, and at worst, a slap in the face. I understand that this is primarily aimed at video shooters, for whom it’s a bargain (as is the system as a whole), but stiffing still shooters in the process is a good way to turn people away from m4/3.

  • MP Burke

    I would be looking for a price of less than £500 before I took any interest. I see prices in the UK of £869 for the 25mm Leica D Summilux and £835 for the Voigtlander f0.95. The new 25mm f1.4 ought to be much cheaper than those if it has any chance of selling well. However I do think that having a good range of lenses is important for attracting new buyers to the system and this type of lens can only help in that regard.
    I would also make the point however, that a 25 mm f2.0 with Mega OIS could make a more compact and cost effective solution for low light photography.
    I don’t buy into this notion that low depth of field is something particularly desirable in itself: if you really want to take portraits then just use a plain background.

    • David

      huh? bring a background around with me on the street?

      • cL

        I think you missed MP’s point. He (or she) means if you really want to take a proper portrait, just use a plain background, as in a studio setting, not bringing a blue screen with you…, obviously. The purpose of street photography is to capture the background as the context. Which I agree.

        I never quite understand the idea of shooting a portrait with shallow DoF though. I must confess I’m not a portrait photographer. Isolation of subject, probably yes, but do you need f1.4? That’s probably too shallow for me to accept, not to mention that’s so difficult to shoot. With 4/3 lenses that are good enough to shoot wide open, do you need to buy a f1.4 lens to shoot f2.8?

        • Chez Wimpy

          >With 4/3 lenses that are good enough to shoot wide open, do you need to buy a f1.4 lens to shoot f2.8?

          Well, with m43 shooting at f1.4 *is* shooting at f2.8 in FF terms of DOF, which is not really extreme, unless you are talking supertelephoto. For 50mm and below (say 12-25mm in m43 terms) f1.4 is actually rather inclusive of the surroundings, and would be fine for wide-open use in street situations – especially with the deeper DOF inherent with the smaller sensor.

          • cL

            One stop from f1.4 is f2. Differences of DoF between FF and 4/3 is one stop only.

            Anyways, I was not talking about what you were arguing. I mean if you take other manufacturers such as Canon (the prime example of such practice), a f1.4 lens cannot be used at wide open without severe penalty of quality. Why paying f1.4’s price for something that doesn’t work at all unless it’s stopped down to f2.8? Why not just call it a f2.8 lens? Of course, if you rebadge Canon 50mm f1.4 L into F2.8, it suddenly looks worse, isn’t it and everyone would say that lens does not deserve its price tag, rather than PL 25mm f1.4 doesn’t deserve the price. Don’t be fooled by marketing.

            Yes, because of the lack of depth of field compared with FF, 4/3 is better used as street photography and everyday situation, but for items that require shallow depth of field, you cannot replace a FF.

            I’ve said this like a million times already, depends on your need, buy a format accordingly.

  • Keep in mind, folks, that while the AFOV is the same as a 50mm on 135, it is still a 25mm lens, with the associated design constraints.

    • simon

      If you mean it’s a wide-angle design, no it’s not. In theory, you can take any 50mm f/1.4 full frame SLR design and reduce all dimensions by 2 to end up with a functional 25mm f/1.4 design for 4/3.

      • No.

        • cL

          He obviously doesn’t know what he is talking about….

  • eric k

    So maybe a Fuji X100 for $1200 isn’t such a bad deal?

    When the GF1+20mm was $600, that was a steal.

    • cL

      It was never a bad deal to begin with…. Look what you get with x100, everything is top notch and with serious engineering effort behind it. You’re buying a revolutionary camera, not an evolution. Production value alone is well worth it. It costs a lot to make x100 than a re-badged DSLR with minimal updates that’s rolled out every six months.

  • What did you expect? I really don’t understand you guys.
    You are always crying for fast, quality primes. Now, here it is. Did you really believe it would be cheap AND high quality? Come on…

    • pdc

      Sure are a lot of weany whiners on this site.
      A new Summilux 50/1.4 is $3600, no AF, no OIS.
      Lumix G lenses, whether sporting a Leica badge or not
      have consistently been shown to be good performers and
      well built.

      • Exactly. Based on my experience Lumix G lenses have better performance than any DSLR lens with the same spec. That’s why they are more expensive, too. I’m sure this new 25mm normal prime will be a killer lens.
        But, to be honest, I don’t care. I have the 20/1.7 and the CV 25/0.95.

        • frank

          @pdc @miklos +1, a lot of whiners indeed, I expect it to be very good

    • cL

      They’re acting like consumers: irrational.

  • One last comment. The Nikon 24/1.8 is close to $2000. Larger image circle, retrofocus, of course, but compared to that $800 is a deal.

    • simon

      Like I said above, this is a very flawed comparison. The Nikon is expensive because it’s a wide-angle (retrofocus) design. Would you think it’s somehow easier to construct a lens with a similar angle of view for medium format because it’s a 50mm?

      • cbr09

        You could in principle just scale down a 50mm f1.4 to half the size. However, I expect the back flange to sensor distance is greater than half that in a full frame and also the need to keep the light striking the sensor straight-on makes this harder – so it probably has to be more of a retro-focus design – hence the size.

        Anyway it is good if Olympus and Panasonic (and possibly Sigma) are going to try to produce competing lenses in this size as there should be some competition even for the AF lenses.

        • Chez Wimpy

          >However, I expect the back flange to sensor distance is greater than half that in a full frame

          If I remember right (been a while since I compared the specs) the m43 flange distance was 1/2 that of Canon (42mm vs 21mm or some such). So the comparison holds.

          > and also the need to keep the light striking the sensor straight-on makes this harder – so it probably has to be more of a retro-focus design – hence the size.

          Not a need, but I suspect to reduce vignetting since this isn’t addressed with the built-in camera corrections (just CA and distortion AFAIK with Panasonic). Even with offset micro-lenses *and* RAW-level signal boosting, on my 5D2 vignetting at f1.4 is pretty bad outside of the over-engineered, though fantastic, Sigma 50/1.4.

          • cbr09

            If that is right then the notion that they have to start from scratch is wrong – optically they should just be able to make a 50mm f1.4 with all the dimensions halved. With only 1/8 the volume of expensive glass it should be cheaper to make. The smaller focussing motors etc might add something – but optically it should be simple.

      • Back flange makes a difference, but the focal length is the focal length. Optics don’t really care about AFOV in the case of objectives.

        • simon

          I’m not saying you couldn’t use a full-frame 25mm design without modification (which is what your AOV comment refers to), but it wouldn’t be very economical.

          If you *scale* the entire lens, you will scale both its image circle and its focal length. Shrinking an existing 50mm f/1.4 by a factor two in all dimensions would give you a lens with the correct specs.

          • cL

            If you scaled everything in half, you also get half as much light…. Except with 4/3’s sensor size, you need TWICE as much light to get the same result as APS-C.

          • simon

            to CL ^^

            If you scale a lens, the brightness (~aperture) remains the same. The total amount of light that is gathered per unit of time does change, but only because the sensor size / image circle changes.

            Sure, you’ll need more light (i.e. a lower f-stop) to get similar results on 4/3 as on APS-C, but that wasn’t what the discussion was about. The question was if a 25mm f/1.4 for 4/3 is an exotic lens, and a simple analysis shows that it isn’t.

          • cL

            @ simon

            The depth of field difference between two different sensor size suggests the amount of light comes in are not the same. That’s the easiest explanation. Some of the loss of light is compensated by shorter flange distance, which covers a smaller circle, but how can amount of light be the same amount when lens opening is smaller? Light don’t come in actively, you know…. Light atoms simply bounce around. Larger the hole, larger the chance it’ll get in. Just to let you know 4/3 lenses are not exactly 1/2 the size of a FF and its glasses elements have to be extra large. If you want abysmal 1/4 of the performance of a FF, go ahead, do the shrinkage, but that’s not why some of us wants a 3/4 DSLR.

            Nikkor 24mm f1.4 costs like $2,500. That should tell you it’s an exotic lens which Nikon doesn’t sell enough to be sold at lower price. At 24mm on a FF, it’s a lens used to shoot grand landscape like Yosemite or Grand Canyon, which people usually use aperture like f16 or f22 or even smaller (if your DSLR can handle it). F1.4 is an extraordinarily large aperture for a focal length which small aperture is more valuable.

          • Simon

            to cL ^^

            I am fully aware that the light coming into a 25mm f/1.4 for 4/3 is not the same as for a 50mm f/1.4 on full frame. The intensity is the same, but the larger sensor gets more light, which corresponds directly to shallower DoF at a given angle of view and f-stop.

            The size of the ‘hole’ is the aperture size, which is 35mm for the 50mm/1.4 full frame lens, and 18mm for the 25mm/1.4 lens, so it’s indeed obvious that the latter receives less light.

            *Any* 25mm f/1.4 design for 4/3 has the same properties, including a scaled down 50mm f/1.4 design. They may or may not use such an approach for other reasons, but light gathering is not one of them.

            And yes, 24mm f/1.4 on full frame *is* an exotic lens with a complicated design, which justifies a much higher cost.

      • Jonathan

        You are of course right, Simon. Comparing a 24mm FF with a 25mm that projects an image circle a fourth of the size is total nonsense.

        • Mild nonsense, really. The point is that people complaining about lens prices are only looking at old, not so good 50’s, and not at the big picture of lens prices on other systems.

    • cbr09

      I think the price is probably reasonable for what it is. As you say a 24mm lens is quite hard to make in wide aperture. The question is whether people really want 1.4 rather than 1.8 or 2 when most of the time they’ll stop it down to 2 anyway. The extra stop is what is really putting the price up (as it always did back in the film days – the 50mm f1.8s were dirt cheap and the f1.4/f1.2 lenses much more expensive.

      The key difference here is that m4/3 only has an advantage if the lenses are small – if the whole system is as big as a dslr, why not get a dslr. Also in the old slr days, you needed really wide apertures to help focus and see in the dark, even if you were stopping down. That is no longer true. The other thing about primes as opposed to zooms is that you want several of them – so really expensive ones are only going to be for the few. If you want a bit better lower DOF, it would be easier/cheaper to go to slightly longer focal length – eg 40mm where a fast f1.8 or brighter should be really easy to make (see the original PENF lenses).

  • Jules

    I remember the talks on dpreview. the 1.7/20 was announced as a death-on-birth, let alone without OIS.
    Then when it came out, the 1.7/20 was cried as being outrageously expensive: you could get a canon 1,8/50 for peanuts, etc.
    …and yet, the 1.7/20 quickly went on to become one of the most popular m43 lens.

    With the rumored price, I expect this lens to get a comparable reception to that of the macro 2.8/45 : Loved by most of those actually owning one, lots of mixed feeling, “reviews” and bogus comparison within those that won’t afford one.

    • +1

    • Eori

      This is why I won’t transition to a M43 camera system. My Canon primes are much cheaper and better. The M43 mfrs also offer nothing comparable to my L lenses in quality, although they come close in price. I’ll wait to see what Canon comes up with in the EVIL segment.

      • Edgar

        This is why i sold my m43 gear and jumped ship to the Pentax K5 system. The m43 system is just too expensive to build. Pentax has some awesome limited primes that are half of most m43 “legends”.

  • Miroslav

    Looking at the majority of comments here, I think the poll question shouldn’t be “For that price will you buy a top quality 25mm f/1.4 lens?” but whether we want more cheap/slow/optically bad/slow AF lenses or whether we want quality lenses regardless of the price. Please admin, make such a poll.

    In every post that criticized Panasonic or Olympus there were numerous requests for more “pro” lenses. Where are those people now?

    We should also take into account that 800 USD is going to be the starting price. In a year’s time that’s going to be 500 USD – and you don’t buy lenses every day or as often as camera bodies… One cure for (relatively) high priced lenses is to offer all the lenses in some kind of kit. It could boost camera sales as well. That of course hasn’t crossed anybody’s mind at Panasonic/Olympus. They’re probably waiting for Sony to do it first.

    • miroslav, i think those people dont bother to write, they just order the lens and use it when it is released. this is what happened with the cv .95, there were so many complaint’s on forums about the price but it is still sold out continously.

      i agree the price will drop in a year, by which time everyone will be complaining about the price of whichever new lens will be released lol

    • calxn

      Silly rabbit, fast aperture does not make a pro lens, especially when it’s plastic. You must be used to those p&s. Check out Canikon’s pro equipment. Then you’ll understand whey Oly and Pana can’t make pro equipment.

      • Miroslav

        I said “pro”, not pro. I doubt anyone’s going to make serous money using m4/3 cameras soon.

        And how do you know it’ll be plastic?

  • Boss

    Even At $600 or less, the 25mm will be quite a bit more expensive than the 20 mm f1.7, which has a wider field of view and is far more compact. The brightness of the 25 mm will be useful, but at what cost? The 20mm f1.7 is still a no-brainer…..

  • Boss

    At this point, I’m hoping Olympus comes out with a 12-60mm f2.8 zoom, a 50mm f2.0 macro, and a 50-200 mm f2.8!

    • Camerageek

      And you think those would be cheap?!?!?!?! A fixed aperture zoom in those ranges would easily top 1000USD a piece, and a quality 50/2 macro would easily be in the 600-700USD range

      • Boss

        Well the FT version of the 50mm f2.0 is $450, so I’m not sure where you get the $600-700 estimate, but yes I would pay that if necessary to get a MFT version of the 50 mm f2.0 and the 12-60 mm is f/2.8mm at 12 mm and the aperture changes as it gets longer, I assumed most people would understand this. These are tried and true optics, but as far as a 25 mm f1.4 from Panasonic, well the one that is good is the Leica Summilix f1.4 of course, but if Panasonic is making a non-Leica version, then I don’t know that it will be able to fetch such a price, it is all relative.

        • cL

          Usual convention for zoom aperture is using an aperture range, like Zuiko 12-60mm f2.8-4 SWD. If you simply do 12-60mm f2.8, that means it’s constant aperture, like Zuiko 14-35mm f2 SWD (which is an SHG). It may sound like a trivial thing, but if many lenses have several versions and their price are vastly different just because of one or two designation differences.

          • Boss

            Yeah, well the 12-60mm is variable, everyone knows that…

  • My biggest issue with “pro” lenses is that to be “pro” they usually need big glass and they are large and bulky. And in the current m43 camera range, I cannot see but one camera where these lenses will fit, the GH2 which, btw, is being introduced too slowly.

    I own a small 4/3 camera (e420), and the 14-54 which is my everyday lens feels just right. A 12-60 would probably be too big. I cannot see a beast such as the 17-35 f:2,0 in a GF-2 or a EPL-2, just too bulky for such a small camera.

    So, in fact, what most of us are asking is for lenses to be released against one of the big advances in the m4/3 system: compactness.

    I cannot but feel that the m4/3 evolution (from 4/3) was a way to build a new market segment that wanted good quality in a compact system, once that Panasonic and Olympus realized that they would never appeal to the users that want FF or more traditional camera formats (DSLR).

  • gekopaca

    For about this price I prefer to buy a Voigtlander f0.95…
    IS, AF, I don’t care!

  • ha

    To expensive, but only because I already have the great 20, 14-45 and my touchy beloved 45-200.

    My expectations are high, everybody how actually owns a high priced pana lens (4/3 & m4/3) seems to adore it and certainly the 25/1.4 will not let us down. Either on AF100 or (little cheaper) as kit on G3 or whatever pana plans. With a G3/GH3/GPx it still may end up in my bag, but a 7-14/9-18 is much more useful now.

  • David

    I really don’t understand why everyone assumes a smaller lens should cost less than a 4/3 lens. In every other field, making something as technical as a lens smaller, let alone much smaller, makes the product more expensive. The cost of a lens isn’t the glass, metal and plastic. It’s the lens development that is so expensive.

    I have to agree with Miroslav, where are the people who complained about there not being pro lenses? If a $700 f/1.4 is too expensive for you, that’s fine, but don’t later complain that you want pro lenses. Pro lenses from canon and nikon start at $1000, weigh 2-5 times as much, are easily twice the size… 700 looks like a bargain for me, and since I am an available light shooter who shoots a lot of interiors, I’ll gladly trade in my 20mm f/1.7 for this when it comes out.

    Also, someone else said that they don’t want 25mm, but would jump on a 28mm. That is patently ridiculous. Take a few steps forward.

    • twoomy

      +1, I completely agree! I shelled out the “big bucks” for the 7-14mm and the 45mm macro. I don’t regret it. Price still competitive to the Nikon equivalents, exceptional quality, and extremely portable.

      So many people seem to expect pro glass for $200. Come on, really!

    • cL

      +1

      Just a history lesson for those who just joined in m4/3. Pro level lens is what got regular 4/3 into trouble in the first place. 4/3 promised compact size, and it failed to deliver because it’s too high end. Anyone who wants a pro level lens with compact size? Get real. Each glass element is so large to keep the optical quality, how can it be small, let alone cheap…. If you want small and quality, then you have to narrow the focal length range, and smallest of which is of course, single focal length (prime). To miniaturize a quality glass into smaller body costs a lot of R&D money because it’s something new, not a port of old FF glass design anymore.

    • Boss

      @David, well considering the title says, $750-$800, it looks like you’ll be paying more than $700, and if you shoot interiors, wouldn’t you want the extra width the 20mm provides anyways?

      • Jules

        My realestate agent dislike using his wide angle for interior shots.
        I shopped no later than last year, I can confirm that he is not the only one to think so.

      • David

        I’m ok up to about 900-1000 if the IQ is good. As far as the 20mm goes, no, I won’t need both. The fov is not so different, and 20mm isn’t a wide angle anyway. I can usually just step back a little if the 25mm fov is too tight. Otherwise, if I need a wide angle lens, I will use a wide angle.

        • cL

          That’s my take also. People who own 20mm already don’t need 25mm (unless they’re into video). Just because they make them, doesn’t mean you have to buy every single one of them…. 20mm and 25mm are too similar, and 20mm won’t give the exaggerated perspective one intentionally want with ultra wide. The differences between 12mm and 14mm, now that’s a totally different story.

        • Boss

          Well I didn’t say it was wide angle, just more width, either way it is hard to argue that wider is better when shooting interiors. The extra brightness should help though.

  • It’s silly…

    This is equivalent to full frame 50 mm and f/2.8 in angle of view and photon capturing ability (ie you’d get the same performance with such a full frame lens). So nothing special. Entry level rangefinders had such lenses in the beginning of the seventies. The cost just isn’t justified.

    Bright lenses for MFT should be cheaper to build because of the smaller size. You can see that the front glass is quite small. Everything behind that is even smaller, just go see four-thirds.org and look at the diagrams.

    Also they have the distortion and fringing correction software in camera which means lenses have even less physical requirements.

    At this point, Oly and Panny should make stuff at small margin to get a large market share for their *systems*. Where does their money go? I can see the first camera costing something to develop, but after that it’s just derivatives.
    Maybe they just aren’t as financially secure as other companies. Or maybe the consumers just don’t “get it” and keep demanding pitch black zoom objectives which are only usable in bright daylight – just like cheap pocket cameras! Especially, what is Oly doing? I guess they don’t want to self-compete with four thirds.

    For those comparing this to the 20 mm 1.7: that lens is pretty cheap if you get it with a GF1! Otherwise quite expensive too. No way it costs that much to make. It doesn’t even have stabilization, has high distortion (that is corrected in sofware, which is the smart way to go). It’s equivalent to a 40 mm 3.4 in full frame terms. It’s not bright at all, it’s got little glass, it’s just that the other lenses (except the Voigt) are even worse that it looks “good” with 20 mm * f/1.7 = 12 mm max aperture.

    Some new optics company could grab a huge market share of MFT lenses by introducing a few reasonable brightness lenses at reasonable prices, with autofocus and camera distortion and fringing correction.

    • Jules

      “This is equivalent to full frame 50 mm and f/2.8 in angle of view and photon capturing ability (ie you’d get the same performance with such a full frame lens)”

      You are confusing Angle/DoF behavior and lens speed. f1.4 is f1.4.

      • Ismael

        Well, if you admit that 25mm == 50mm for m4/3 then you must also admit that f/1.4 == f/2.8. Otherwise you are fooling yourself.

        • No, you don’t have to admit what is wrong. As far as DoF is concerned, ok you may use the multiplier. But light gathering capabilities remain unchanged. The amount of light received per surface unit does not magically change when you reduce the size of the sensor.

          • 25 mm and F/1.4 has an effective aperture diameter of 25/1.4 = 17.9 mm.

            50 mm and F / 2.8 has an effective aperture diameter of 50/2.8 = 17.9 mm.

            No matter if the sensor is one meter wide or one millimeter, this defines the front end behaviour of the lens in the sense of how many photons it can capture. You can’t make something out of nothing, if you don’t catch those photons, you can’t direct them to the sensor.

            You could have a 250 mm F/14 lens and it would have the same effective aperture diameter.

            25 mm and F/1.4 has a field of view of x degrees from edge to edge of the image, when the whole image is displayed on a four thirds image sensor.

            50 mm and F/2.8 has the same field of view of x degrees when the whole image is displayed on a full frame sensor (double in diameter).


            Any people here played with an overhead projector or slides or video projectors? Move it further away and the picture becomes bigger… You have to refocus too. You’ve just increased the focal length. If you move it twice as far as it was, the picture is now twice the diameter (and width and height), but the effective aperture is the same, hence the focal length / aperture changes, say from F/100 to F/200. Also brightness per unit area is less (one quarter), but total brightness is exatly equal to what it was.

            People should compare field of view and effective aperture diameter of the available optics when choosing between camera systems. Those things are physics and determine which kind of photos you can take with different lenses (if we assume some company doesn’t have vastly superior sensor technology).

        • Jules

          f2.8 in terms of DoF behavior.

          • Chris.H

            gravityloss… you have no idea what you are talking about do you?

            “Effective aperture diameter”? that’s not how you calculate the amount of light a lens/sensor captures.

            Area = Pi(Lens mm/2*Fnumber)^2

            that is how much light enters a lens and hits the focal plane (sensor in this case). But that is not how much LIGHT is gathered, it is the ILLUMINANCE, and yes a full frame has 4x (not 2x) the ILLUMINANCE of a m43 in the same F-aperture, but that doesn’t equate to same LIGHT unto the sensor. (I won’t get into the math)

            If your argument was true, then a compact camera with a tiny sensor would need a crazy ISO to be able to take photos in the same room.

            Take a compact, m43, full-frame camera, all with a same ANGLE OF VIEW LENS (not focal length) put them to ISO 100 and F1.4 and you know what? the shutter speed (should) be all the same. Why? because they all gather the same light!!!

            The constant is ANGLE OF VIEW, not the CROP FACTOR.

          • Jules

            Gravityloss : you are truly confusing Angle/DoF behavior and lens speed.

            f1.4/25 will be a low light hand holdable performer, practically as good as the 1.7/20 currently is. No amount of “theory” will outweigh field experience in this specific case.

          • If lessening the focal length and keeping the F number the same would keep optical performance similar, one could just shrink a lens to say F = 1 mm and keep the aperture at F/1.4 = 0.7 mm.

            That’d be genius! It’d be really cheap to make too as not much glass would be required. Low light full frame performance in a camera that fits into a wedding ring!

          • Chris.H

            lol, again, FIELD of VIEW and FOCAL LENGTH don’t relate to each other directly.

            a 1mm (focal length) lens on a FULL FRAME (35mm) sensor would be an (if possible physically that is) ultra-uber-goober-peta-wide-angle.

            You are not taking into account that the sensor size (focal plane) makes the ANGLE of VIEW change… bah… there’s no reasoning with you… now I’m wondering if you’re just trolling… *shakes head*

          • Jules

            Sheeh! Thanks goodness that the reference for computing crop factor is not Large Format, because my m43 lenses would then be even slower than they already are and I would need more ISO!

    • Chris

      The difference is that Olympus and Panasonic have to design these new lenses from scratch. Other manufacturers can simply use designs that have been around for decades in the film and APS-C world.

  • Per

    About big lenses: I have a Panasonic 100-300. It is quite good to work with on both E-P1 and GF1. The left hand held to under side of lens and to zoom. It balances well.
    Another thing is Panasonic lens strategy: 20mm OK – 14mm? 25mm?. Why not 12mm and 30 – 35 mm instead?
    And guys – pro quality means pro price! (Of course extremely few pro photographers use 4/3 or m4/3)

    • MikeS

      re: lens strategy

      12mm and 30-35mm are too wide and too long, respectively, to serve as a kit lens, which the 14mm was and the 25mm will likely be. Additionally, the 25mm seems to be designed largely for video purposes, putting it in a different class than the 20mm in that respect, making the rather redundant focal length more understandable.

      That said, I (and probably most of the people who visit this site) would rather have had a 12mm and a 35-40mm instead.

      • cL

        +1

        I for one would want a 12mm. That’s a classical landscape focal length.

        I think these are the crucial focal lengths (in 35mm terms, half it to get 4/3 focal length):

        24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 42mm or 50mm (43.5mm is the real normal focal length, but anything between 40-50mm is fine), 90mm, 150mm and 300mm

        So far we already have three primes: 14mm (28mm landscape), 20mm (normal) and 45mm (90mm portrait) to cover three of the crucial ones, and I certainly hope Olympus’s pro concept lens is 12mm (24mm). It’s not bad given how young m4/3 format is. Many of the middle range focal length needs two versions, one regular and one macro lens, but I think cover all the necessary focal length is top priority. I don’t think Panny and Olympus have an army of engineers to roll out all the necessary focal length at once.

  • Eric Thompson

    On one hand, I get it. It’s a 25mm f/1.4 for $800. Seems normal. However, Panasonic knows that because this is a micro 4/3 lens that what this really is, is a 50mm f/1.4. While $800 is appropriately priced when compared to Nikon and Canon’s 24mm f/1.4 it’s double Nikon and Canon’s 50mm f/1.4. Which is what this is. Until I can get a 25mm fov with this lens I will not pay 25mm f/1.4 prices.

    • PP

      Totally agree. This price is insane.

      Some say you have to pay when you miniaturize. However, in this case, compared to a full frame lens, it is not only miniaturization, it is also a downsizing of the requirement with only 1/4 of the image circle to cover.

      Now I hope Sigma starts making real m43 lenses, not only adapting their ASPC and FF lenses for m43. That would make some competition and bring price down.

  • how about a Panasonic 25mm f1.2

  • mma173

    I would buy it if it had OIS which will set it apart from the F/1.7 20mm.

    • RadoSt

      I AGREE. No OIS no deal!!!!!

  • David

    It seems to me that all the people who are so upset with how this compares to Nikon price wise should buy a Nikon and then reminisce about how Nikon compares to m4/3 size and weight wise.

    • Fish

      It seems to me that this “if you don’t like it, go somewhere else” attitude is exactly the problem we are facing with m4/3. There’s no need to invite people to switch to Nikon… I know a couple 4/3 users who have done just that. What you need to realize is those lost sales hurt us too because they threaten the future of the entire system.

      Contrary to what people would have us believe, it is not unreasonable to expect a quality, compact system – AND at a competitive price.

      Chad

  • TempTag

    $800 list is fine if the build quality and IQ is the same as the current 4/3 Pana/Leia but I doubt that will be the case…

    • Boss

      agreed

  • dek

    What people seem to be missing here – “just scale a 50mm/f1.4 design, it’s easy!” – is that if you do that, you also need 2x tighter tolerances on everything (even if the scaling notion is true, and it’s not). You pay for strict tolerances and quality control, why do you think Leica/Zeiss/Rodenstock/Schneider are so expensive? In addition, 4/3 and m4/3 lenses must resolve to twice the fineness of a 35mm FF lens just to stay even (which is to say, equal the underwhelming performance of legacy Nikon/Canon/Pentax 50mm f1.4 lenses wide open). And who ever said good glass is cheap? It’s not and has never been, get over it. If you want cheap lenses, there’s more than enough to choose from – make yourself happy and buy something else. All this is presupposing, of course, that the lens in question is a good performer. But I have no reason to think that it will not be, given the quality of the existing Panasonic primes.

  • kww

    why on earth price it 50% more than other lenses and not brand it as Leica, especially with that speed?

  • Gw

    @ismael

    Ahhh no… crop factor affects effective focal length and DoF characteristics not the light gathering aspect. With respect to this f1.4 == f1.4 and is also independent of sensor size.

    • Chez Wimpy

      >not the light gathering aspect.

      Talking “total light” vs “light flux per area” Since – presumably – we will be printing to the same size regardless of camera, the total light collection (the 50/2.8 comparison) is what we FF users care about. If the size of the package isn’t an issue (and focusing motors), even a $90 Canon 50/1.8 will out “shine” the new 25/1.4

  • juavel

    If smaller image circles are expensiver and harder to make, phone cameras and compacts should cost an eye and medium format lenses should be dirt cheap, I don´t think it is the case.

    This one can not be compared price wise to the PanaLeica 25, which is telecentric, has twice the flange-back distance and has a retrofocus design, it is a much much cheaper and easier desing to do.

    What people will be paying here is the premium of panasonic not having competence, for me it makes more sense a 20 f1.7 to travel light and a 5d mk1 with a manual 50mm if thin dof is required.

    Blur and 25mm are two words that don´ t make sense to use in the same sentence, no matters the format being 4/3, 24×36 or medium format, a 25mm won´t never have thin DOF at medium focusing distances unless is below f1.0, this fact can be good for video, but for stills sucks.

  • stupig

    Somehow I think the website should take up some initiative to educate regular readers about this whole “crop factor” or “photographic equivalence” thing. Many still think “F/1.4 is F/1.4 is F/1.4” and such nonsense, while happily applying the equivalent focal length with regard to angle of view. Justifying choice of equipment based on false concepts is a garbage-in-garbage-out process.

    For example, Joseph James has a pretty comprehensive writeup on the matter at http://www.josephjamesphotography.com/equivalence/

    Photographically, 25/1.4@iso 100 on m4/3 is equivalent to 50/2.8@iso 400 on 35mm. Different systems simply focus on different trade-off points along the bulk-performance curve while technology advancements shift the curve as a whole. Expanding the coverage along the curve for a specific system, however, often means over-engineering of certain parts of the system.

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