Olympus Zuiko Digital 25 mm f/2.8
On 5 March 2008 the Olympus company announced the launch of a new reflex camera, marked E-420 and a new pancake lens – the Zuiko Digital 25 mmf/2.8. The premiere excited a lot of photography fans. Firstly, in the Four Thirds system there were no other analog 50 mm equivalents than the expensive Leica 1.4/25. The launch of the lens with the same focal length but much cheaper would make every Olympus, Panasonic or Leica reflex camera owner happy.
The dimensions are the second issue. The lens is just under three centimeters of length. Working on a small E-410 or E-420 it gives you a set 7.5 cm thick – so a fully-fledged reflex camera that fits into a bigger pocket easily. It means entering the same market segment where Sigma DP1 wanted to build a nest – among those users who want to have a reflex camera picture quality with the dimensions of a typical compact.
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Thirdly, the look. The Olympus E-410 and E-420 are strong favourites with all these, who photographed during the seventies and eighties of the last century. With the “pancake” lens and a brown leather case we get a cult little set which attracts people’s attention. I personally found out that it works when I went out to town to take some pictures with the E-420 plus ZD 2.8/25 set. I go out with different reflex cameras and lenses on a regular basis, sometimes I even carry several sets. I’ve never attracted as much onlookers’ attention as during that afternoon spent with the E-420 and the “pancake”.
Now, the most important question. Olympus took care of our aesthetic experience, made us feel a bit sentimental and gave us – what exactly? A toy or a fully-fledged lens? To answer this question immediately, we asked Olympus Polska to lend us the Zuiko Digital 25 mm f/2.8. The company kindly went along with our wishes so in the next chapters we can share with our Readers the impressions of this new and interesting lens.
Information about our review method can be read in our article “How do we test lenses?"