Panasonic 25mm f1.4
Users of the micro-four thirds camera systems regularly debate on what are the best prime lenses for the system, and one phrase often gets bounced around – the “m4/3s Holy Trinity”. There aren’t any religious connotations to its usage of course, just that it’s used to denote the three lenses that users of the system feel are absolutely essential and of the highest quality. While the actual three lenses can differ wildly among reviewer/enthusiasts, one lens keeps popping up as one of the best (if not already the most definitive lens you can buy for the system) is the Panasonic 25mm f1.4.
The 25mm f1.4 has been on radar since last year now, but I kept putting it off and opting for cheaper alternatives (like the Sigma 30mm f2.8 from last October) largely because the lens is dreadfully expensive in Singapore – around S$800 (internationally US$499). I learned online recently though that the same lens as sold in Japan is much cheaper, even when compared to if I bought it from Amazon.com – I guess in good part because of discounts and also from currency fluctuations of the ¥ against the US$. In any case, I found the 25mm sold on Amazon Japan, and after finding what looked like a reputable forwarding company based in Japan, I ordered the lens just over a week ago, and finally picked it up from the post office this evening.
The lens has been well-reviewed in numerous places, all of them consistently noting that the lens is very quick in focus, features lovely bokeh, very sharp in the center of the frame even when wide-open, and also features an hard-to-explain special look the lens teases out of its pictures. I haven’t played enough with the lens in the last hour to say to stretch the bokeh for the lens nor detect what the characteristic look of its images yet. But the lens sure is at least very quick – faster than both the Sigma 30mm and Panasonic 20mm f1.7 – and yep, center sharpness is high. And the subject for the first pictures – Hannah but of course.:)
The three pictures of our girl here were taken wide-open at f1.4. Total damage? S$585 by purchasing on Amazon Japan – saved around $220 if I’d purchased it here.=)