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Shootout: 12-40/2.8 vs SHG 14-35/2 vs Panasonic 25/1.4 Summilux (EM1, Yellow Wagon)

The 25mm focal length is the “normal” focal length for Micro Four Thirds, equivalent to ~50mm on a full frame camera—a handy all-around field of view.

The Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 DG Summilux ASPH has become a favorite of your author on Micro Four Thirds, offering the closest thing to the Leica M Summilux rendering style one might find on a mirrorless camera, while avoiding the pitfalls (e.g. excessive field curvature and focus shift).

How do the two zooms stack up against the Summilux, and against each other?

The Olympus SHG 14-35mm f/2 ED is an ultra high grade optic but also huge and heavy and with very slow focusing through the necessary the MMF-3 lens adapter. The Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO is a stop slower in speed, but it is a high quality optic with far faster autofocus than the SHG 14-35mm f/2, and the 12-40mm is much more practical to carry and shoot.

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Diglloyd Guide to Mirrorless offers comprehensive integrated coverage of most APS-C and full frame mirrorless cameras and lenses.

Special emphasis is placed on Sony full-frame, including Sony lenses and the high performance Zeiss Batis and Zeiss Loxia lenses plus Rokinon/Samyang and others. Fujifilm X, Olympus and Panasonic M4/3, Sigma dp Merrill and dp/sd Quattro are also covered in depth. Years in the making, it offers a wealth of material for choosing and using a mirrorless camera.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away. For example, the best way to set up your Sony camera.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly with the numerous lenses available for Sony.
  • Make better images, a sort of “cheat sheet” saving yourself months or years of ad-hoc learning—best practices and how-to and processing parameters are discussed and shown.
  • Jaw-dropping image quality found nowhere else utilizing Retina-grade images up to full camera resolution, plus large crops.
  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

Want a preview? Click on any page below to see an excerpt as well as extensive blog coverage, for example on Sony.

Olympus Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO , Olympus SHG 14-35mm f/2, Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 DG Summilux
(not to scale)

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