Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published November 2014


There has been a revival of standard prime lenses in recent years and there's also no shortage of them in the Micro-Four-Thirds system. The Panasonic/Leica Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH comes into mind or the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95. However, these are rather pricey lenses. In early 2014 Olympus released its first entry into this market segment - the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8. The lens follows the tradition of the M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 in being not overly expensive yet fast enough to make a difference compared to the fast zoom lenses of the system.

Please note that while the maximum aperture of f/1.8 is certainly fast with respect to light gathering the depth-of-field capabilities remain limited. On an MFT camera you are are effectively losing about two f-stops in this respect compared to the classic full format. Thus the M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 is equivalent to a "50mm f/3.6" as far as the creative potential is concerned. However, this is still sufficient for quite shallow depth-of-field images when keeping a close distance to the main subject in a scene.

The M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 is almost indistinguishable from its "longer" cousin (45mm f/1.8). This is good news because the build quality is on similarly high level. The small and light weight lens body looks like high-quality metal but it is actually made of plastic parts based on a metal mount. A barrel-shaped lens hood is included.

The AF motor of the Zuiko has also been optimized for movies ("Movie-Still-Compatible" or MSC). It offers fast and silent AF operations. Manual focusing works "by-wire" so there's no direct mechanical coupling. From a real world perspective there's little difference compared to conventional manual focusing though.

Equiv. focal length50mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/3.6 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction9 elements / 7 groups inc. 2xaspherical elements
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.25m (1:8)
Dimensions (L x W)57.8x42mm
Filter size46mm
HoodBarrel-shaped, bayonet mount, included
Other features-