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Lens review

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25 mm f/1.2 PRO

10 January 2017
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros
  • solid, metal, weather-resistant casing,
  • very good image quality in the frame centre,
  • good image quality on the edge of the frame starting already from the maximum relative aperture,
  • moderate longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • practically zero distortion,
  • noticeably lower vignetting than that of its rivals,
  • noticeably lower coma than that of its rivals,
  • silent, quick and accurate autofocus.

Cons:

  • weaker lateral chromatic aberration correction than that of rivals,
  • noticeable spherical aberration,
  • too high astigmatism,
  • problems with performance against bright light.

I think our test showed clearly that the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25 mm f/1.2 PRO is a lens which guarantees you even performance across the frame, not resolution records. It’s a feature its rivals failed to deliver. The Olympus provides fully acceptable image on the edge of the frame already from the maximum relative aperture. What’s more, it corrects coma, vignetting and distortion better than the competition.

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Still not everything is perfect. Taking into account the complex optical construction I counted on better astigmatism and chromatic aberration correction as well and the Olympus let me down. Its construction, with a high number of air-to-glass surfaces, was a liability when it came to the performance against bright light.

The pricing is another problem. With a price tag of about $1199 attached to it, the Olympus is $600 more expensive than the Pana-Leica 1.4/25 and about $400 more expensive than the Voigtlander 0.95/25. Still if Canon demands over $1300 for its fast standard lens, the EF 50 mm f/1.2 USM model, which is optically weak and very fuzzy near the maximum relative aperture, Olympus shouldn’t have any reservations either. It doesn’t change my conclusion that, with a lower price, the lens would gain a bigger market share.