Along with my recent purchase of a Panasonic Lumix GM1, I also picked up an Olympus 25mm prime lens. This weekend I had my first opportunity to use it properly.
My first general impression is that the lens is well constructed and feels to have a nice level of quality. It’s nice to see that Olympus have decided to include a lens hood, which is of the bayonet type so it can also be reversed on the lens for carrying. The lens diameter is 46mm which again is in line with some of the other prime lenses. This is good news in that I won’t need to buy more filter accessories.
All these points are nice, but what really counts is the quality of the image. Lots of people reading this will want lovely creamy smooth backgrounds which can be easily thrown out of focus using a large aperture. The lens certainly doesn’t disappoint here but I won’t be discussing that in this post. What’s really important to me with respect to image quality is corner sharpness.
I have a real pet hate at the moment as I think too many lens manufacturers are creating lenses that are soft in the corner. Certainly a lens of this focal length and design should be sharp into the corners and it is. What’s very nice is that you don’t need to stop down very far to achieve excellent sharpness across the entire image.
The image you see above was only f/4.0 and that was only necessary because I seemed incapable of holding the camera parallel to the wall. The working distance was quite close and the lens so sharp that a small variation in camera movement were picked up. I am being very fussy though.
Overall, the lens was a joy to use and the results excellent. It has made me realise that I now value lens performance and image quality as my top priority. I will most likely streamline my equipment further as a result of this realisation.