The Olympus 25 f/1.2 Pro Arrives! 1st Shots out of the box.

The Olympus 25 f/1.2 Pro Arrives! 1st Shots out of the box!



Last time I tested a lens like this, that performs like this..was when I reviewed the Leica 50 APO. Yep, that lens that cost around $8000 for a 50mm f/2 and this lens reminds me a lot of that lens. This lens is $1199 and offers Micro 4/3 users a lens with the most beautiful Bokeh and rendering I may have ever seen for this format. The lens JUST arrived, so let’s take a look at what I am talking about in a few snaps. I took these 10 min ago, so these are the very 1st snaps on my PEN-F out of the box. I will have much more with this lens tomorrow!!

Shot at f/1.2, wide open on the PEN-F. This lens, wide open is stunning. Look at the detail in the crop. Look at the Bokeh quality, and look at that color. 


Debby at f/1.2. Click for larger. I did some PP here with color tone.



Wide Open at f/1.2 – soft window light


I am proclaiming this lens to be a true BOKEH KING


Click for full 100% crop. Detailed even wide open. 


Color is fantastic


This lens and the new 12-100 f/4 are two lenses that will take your Micro 4/3 body to the next level. Check back tomorrow when I will have much more from this lens!!

I bought mine from Amazon. HERE. 


  1. Excellent article as always, Steve! I too, am a fan of the Olympus System, primarily for its IBIS and superb lenses. That said though, as I routinely create sharp, dynamic poster prints of my landscape work, I was a bit hesitant to use the M4/3 sensor, so opted for the somewhat larger Fuji APSC X-Trans sensor, combined with the superb Fujinon XF optics, and haven’t looked back. The 24×36 poster prints I can create with this system are absolutely stunning, with rich detail and sharpness. (Had I no need for large prints, I’m certain that the Olympus System would serve quite nicely.) Thank you.

    • A rare post speaking of IQ BASED ON LARGE PRINT QUALITY. THANK YOU. I OFTEN ASK/COMMENT ON a lack of evaluation based on pro.monitor and/or gallery type prints. I shoot EM1 for a 6 x 9 in cover for a meditation brochure. I love the Olympic and Pan/Leica 25mm f1.4 but am considering trading 3 lens for new IS F4 zoom. Reviewers describe it as special and a bag full of primes. I’ll keep my EM1 MKI AND see what firmware updates come. Thanks for your post.

    • Often see best lens used on Pen F. What do you find special about this Oly body. It is of course gorgeous to look at. I shoot on EM1 MKI

  2. I really can’t understand what is so special about this lens.
    The rendering is flat, almost dead.
    Colors are not accurate. It reminds me of old lenses.
    Price is high.

    • You are in the minority for sure, or on a bad display 😉 LOL. Read the reviews of this lens, it is indeed up there with the Leica 50 APO, but for M 4/3. The lens is amazing. When I do my full review this will be shown. BTW, nothing flat or dead about this lens, unless as I said you are looking on a cheap cel phone. Maybe try a large, real display.

  3. I can never understand that whenever a m43 camera or lens is reviewed as being awesome, the sensor snobs come out of the woodwork to bash it.

    Every camera and every system has inherent limitations and you live with them because the system works best for you.

    • I have seen it for eight years, and think that these guys who come out of the woodwork to bash M 4/3 feel threatened. They are not really photographers, they are angry bitter men who feel what they own is the best, or better than what is being presented. It angers them, so they attack. This says a lot of things, but mainly that they are unhappy souls who hate their life, and are jealous of others who love life. Anyone who has to come and attack me, or a system or a commenter has issues. They also usually know the least facts, and their “photography” almost always sucks. They are self proclaimed experts but in reality they do not know much. If they did, they would not be making such silly comments that are based on bullshit and myth over reality. There ya go.

      • Yes, I agree. For them it’s not really about using it. Owning something means incredibly much to them. Don’t let any other product dare to come any closer, or the watchdog is going to bark hysterically.

  4. I’m with Harold on the comparison with other Olympus portrait primes. The 25 1.2 will be used for portraits as exampled by your photo of Debby, and I too would love to see a “just for fun” comparison against the olympus 45mm and 75mm. comparing bokeh, rendering, and lens distortion.

    Yes of course different focal lengths, but what about when we are outside and there is plenty of room to stand back, we want to make a portrait and we’re carrying all 3 lenses, how do they compare at the task of portraiture?

  5. I disagree with the statement “bokeh king”. The transition to OOF is looking mediocre in these samples. Sharpness is good, but not better than a cheap $150 nifty fifty stopped down to f/2.4.

    Back in the day we’d buy a second-hand full frame body and a nifty fifty and get that WOW effect.

    It looks like you guys are getting this same “WOW effect” with over $3,000 worth of gear down the drain.

  6. The one thing I have to say is that a Fuji + XF35 F1.4 lens will give you a notch shallower DOF and incredible image quality also. The Olympus is certainly a good lens, but makes one to weight other options. It’s great for those into the m43rds system (invested) and has an option for that.

    For new comers, I think it invites full comparisons with other options, but I think that’s alright.

    • nope, no advantage in DOF with Fuji + XF35 F1.4 but unsharp and lame AF + no IS and no WR (35 F2.0 WR is much better)

      trust me, you have to try your self (!): this lens is amazing sharp + fast wide open

  7. Why discuss the price ? If you really want a special lens, you buy it – or save money until you can pay it.
    How often do you buy special lenses ?
    It’s often a kind of life time investment, if you keep your gear over many years and not change every now and then.
    Enjoy the review…

  8. Cool lens and excellent out of focus areas, but the 25 still distorts faces more than a 50mm on a FF camera, right? You can see it in the shot of Debbie – the lens exaggerates her nose and the roundness of her face compared to shots of her you did with 50mm FF lenses/cameras.

    Welcome home. I love Iceland too.

    • Have to disagree about the “distortion”. The 25mm on this smaller sensor uses the same perspective as a 50mm on ff. So, assuming the same distance to subject is used, a face (or any subject) will look the same.

      I always visualize the angle of view of a particular lens looking down on that angle, and then visualizing the sensor behind it, capturing a smaller or larger image, depending on sensor size.

      I hope you get the picture.

      • Indeed, perspective distortion will be the same as a full frame 50mm, but optical distortion will be worse on the M43 lens.

        • Possibly (depends on the lens design in question), but the distortion, if at all, certainly wouldn’t be in the centre of the frame/the nose!

  9. Looks lovely and I wouldn’t expect less from Olympus. Having both Fuji and Olympus systems I don’t know if this is really worth it: My Fuji 35 f2 has the same DOF as the Olympus plus fast focus, weather sealing, delicious bokeh and is much much smaller and was only $399. Still im an intrigued, will the Olympus beat it ???

    • the fuji 35/2.0 compares more with the oly 25/1.8 (wich is cheaper), both are very nice lenses

      but this glass compares more with top notch leica or zeiss

  10. Olympus makes superior gear, no doubt, and they continue to maximize what the relatively small sensor can produce.

    But the big question for me, and others, is price vs image quality. We can buy a very good APSC or full frame body for about the same price as high end Olympus bodies, and it’s easier and cheaper to get greater DOF control and DR than M43.

    We have amazing choices now, but it’s really hard to choose. I love my Olympus and pro lenses, but I’m torn on continuing with this system, or moving toward a larger sensor. With prices no longer being a big advantage for M43, it’s not an easy decision.

    • Fast lenses are not only about dof control. Their light gathering potential coupled with Olympus’ insanely good IBIS allows to keep iso low, often 3 or more stops lower than with FF or aps-c alternatives.

      • A Nikkor 58/1.4G is rightly considered both very expensive and an rendering king for portraits. Ignoring the difference in effective focal length for a sec, I would use the Olympus for similar portrait purposes (as I used my Nikkor 50/1.2, @ f2.8 😉 , today).

        Weight and size no really important difference, but the Nikkor costs some 50% more. Add a full frame Nikon body (D750? Well regarded), and we’re still with that appr 500 USD difference.

        Is that worth it?

        If I were to start out fresh, I would give that Olympus some serious thought.

  11. seems to be a great lense, and bokeh reminds of that of a 1,4/25 Leica-pana. 1200 is a lot of money, but not if you compare with sony or Leica or Canon etc. This is an exclusive tool (I personally find the bokeh already slightly overwhelming.almost artificial. but then, Steve has chosen those samples on purpose.

    If the 12-100 f4 happens to be as good throughout the range, it would certainly be a winner and the perfect lens for travelling


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