The image above sums up the lens best – and it’s linked to a full-res copy, so click it to get the big view. This is the 25mm (a 50mm equivilent view) at f/1.8. The focus point is on the boat itself, which is tack sharp. The grass in the foreground is falling out of focus nicely, and the background has gone pleasantly soft. If I change up the physics and move the subject nearer to the camera, a distant background really goes out of focus.
Let me say it again, in case you missed it: this lens is sharp. Freakishly sharp. Possibly the sharpest of any lens I’ve ever owned. It’s sharp wide-open. It’s sharp stopped down a couple of stops. Should I say it again? It’s sharp.
As m4:3 primes go, it’s a little hefty. It’s bigger than my Canon 50mm f/1.8. It feels good on the camera. The build is great and the focus ring is excellent. Moreover, I like the view through it. It’s a great walk-around lens. Shoot some portraits, some details, some scenics. Or shot a 21 frame panorama and stitch it together:Across the internet, I’ve heard other photogs joke about getting this lens and then never taking it off their E-M5 again. It’s funny because it’s true. I was loath to take it off myself, and in fact am almost embarassed to admit that the Olympus 45mm lens I got at the same time sat in its box for almost a whole week before I even tried it, just because the 25mm was so damn good.