Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH Review

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Introduction

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH is a fast standard lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. Offering a 35mm camera equivalent focal length of 50mm, the Panasonic 25mm lens is comprised of 9 elements arranged in 7 groups, including 2 aspherical elements and 1 ultra-high-refractive-index lens element. It features a special Nano Surface Coating to minimise ghosting and flare, and an iris diaphragm with seven rounded aperture blades. The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens is available for £159.99 / $299.99 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH is very small and light for a standard lens offering a 35mm equivalent focal range of 50mm, easily fitting in the palm of your hand. It’s a compact affair for a lens that offers a standard focal length and such a fast maximum aperture, measuring just 52mm in length, and it’s also very light at only 125grams.

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens attached to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens attached to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens attached to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens alongside to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

In terms of features, the lens is very sparse, with just a responsive manual focusing ring and no focus scale.

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens may have quite a lot of plastic parts, but the lens mount is, thankfully, made of metal. Panasonic does not claim any sort of weather resistance for this lens, and indeed you cannot see a rubber seal around the mount.

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Side of the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Front of the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Rear of the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Side of the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Side of the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens

Usefully the lens comes with a fairly large circuular lens hood, and it accepts 46mm filters. Less usefully, you need to remove a plastic ring from the front of the lens in order to fit the lens hood, which will inevitably get lost at some point.

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens in-hand

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

Focal Range

The lens has a diagonal angle of view of 47°, equivalent to that of a 50mm lens in a 35mm system.

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Field of view at 25mm

Focusing

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens offers almost silent focusing, and in use, we have found the system very quick on the DMC-GX7.

The 46mm filter thread does not rotate on focus, which is good news for users of polarisers and graduated neutral density filters.

Manual focusing is possible in a focus-by-wire fashion. This should not put you off using it as it feels pretty natural in use, and actually enables the camera to display a magnified view of the subject automatically, i.e. without your having to press a dedicated button or enter the menu. The focus ring is quite wide and more than adequate for the job.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are only conspicuous by their almost complete absence, as shown by the 100% crop below.

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Light Fall-off

With the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/1.7, there is noticeable light fall-off in the corners.

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Light fall-off

Macro

ThePanasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH has a closest focusing distance of 0.25m / 0.82ft and a maximum 0.14x magnification rating.

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Close-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens, Panasonic employed a diaphragm with 7 rounded blades, which has resulted in fairly nice bokeh, at least in our opinion. However, recognising that bokeh evaluation is subjective, we have provided a few examples for your perusal.

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Sharpness at 25mm

The sharpness tests for this review were carried out using a real-world subject rather than a test chart. The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens was attached to a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 compact system camera, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. The self-timer was used to avoid any vibrations from pressing the shutter release. Slight tonal changes are due to slight changes in natural light during the session.

The full frame

The full frame at 25mm

Centre sharpness is best at f/2.8-f/11, while the edges are acceptably sharp from f/4 to f/8.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/1.7

f/2

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

f/22

Specifications

Features Lens Construction 8 elements in 7 groups (2 aspherical lenses, 1 UHR lens)
Nano Surface Coating
Mount Micro Four Thirds mount
Optical Image Stabilizer
Focal Length f=25mm (35mm camera equivalent 50mm)
Aperture Type 7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm
Maximum Aperture F1.7
Minimum Aperture F22
Closest Focusing Distance 0.25m / 0.82ft
Maximum magnification Approx. 0.14x / 0.28x (35mm camera equivalent)
General Diagonal Angle of View 47°
Filter Size φ46mm / 1.8in
Max. Diameter φ60.8mm / 2.4in
Overall Length Approx. 52mm / 2.05in (from the tip of the lens to the base side of the lens mount)
Weight Approx. 125g / 4.41oz (excluding lens cap, lens rear cap and lens hood)
Standard Accessories Lens cap, Lens hood, Lens rear cap, Decoration ring

Conclusion

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH is a very good standard lens at a very affordable price, making it a must-have purchase if you don’t already have a 50mm equivalent lens in your kit-bag.

Optically the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH is an excellent performer. You can safely use it wide open for maximum bokeh and still achieve sharp results in the centre of the frame, or for optimum performance stop down to f/4, where even the edges of the frame look sharp. Chromatic aberrations are almost completely absent, barrel distortion is automatically corrected on both Olympus and Panasonic bodies, and the closest focusing distance of 0.25m comes in very handy. Only the noticeable light fall-off in the corners at f/1.7 spoils an otherwise surprisingly good performance.

As you’d perhaps expect given the budget price tag, build quality is merely acceptable rather than great, and the need to remove a plastic ring from the front of the lens in order to fit the lens hood is annoying. It is very fast to focus on the DMC-GX7 camera that we tested it with, though, and almost virtually silent too, making it well-suited to both stills and video. This lens is also very small and lightweight considering the f/1.7 maximum aperture.

It’s a shame that Panasonic have taken quite so long to release the Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH – a fast nifty-fifty that doesn’t cost the earth would have been a very welcome offering back at the birth of Micro Four Thirds. If you don’t already have a similar lens, though, we can definitely recommend the new Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH.

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens Reviews, Samples

See the unboxing video below.

RATINGS (OUT OF 5)
Design 3.5
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 5

(photographyblog.com)

 

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