Reviews and Problems with Olympus Zuiko Digital 25mm F2.8 Pancake
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Olympus Zuiko Digital 25mm 1:2.8 'pancake'
1 June 2008
Summary: The Olympus Zuiko Digital 25mm ‘pancake’ lens is an ideal general-purpose lens for any Four Thirds owners who value portability. It is first and foremost really very small, measuring 64mm in diameter and just 23.5mm thick. This makes it considerably slimmer than any other Olympus lens, and is almost one third the length of the already compact 14-42mm kit lens. It’s also very light at 95g, or half the weight of the 14-42mm.
Pros: Very slim and light. Ideal for smaller bodies., Coverage suitable for general-purpose use., Bright f2.8 aperture., Usable manual focusing ring.
Cons: Lacking the focal range flexibility of a zoom., Coloured fringing in corners., Screw-on lens cap slow to fit and remove., 14-42mm is cheaper when bought in a kit.
Conclusion: The Olympus Zuiko Digital 25mm F2.8 Pancake is an idiosyncratic little lens with its own unique 'personality', and therefore really rather difficult to categorize. Unusually for a Zuiko, we're not exactly shouting from the rooftops about its optical quality; it's sharp enough for sure, but the simple retrofocal design results in relatively high levels of chromatic aberration coupled with modest barrel distortion, which may come as a shock to old-time 35mm SLR shooters...
Pros: Tiny size and extremely light weight, Decent sharpness, remarkably consistent across all apertures from wide open to F8, Proper manual focus ring and non-rotating front element
Cons: Chromatic aberration visible across much of the frame, Noticeable barrel distortion, Impractical screw-in lens cap