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I am looking at switching to a micro four thirds (MFT) system and one of the big question marks for me is the lens I want to have in the 25mm prime "everyday" category. There are basically three choices:

  • Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.2 PRO
  • Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 Aspherical
  • Panasonic Lumix G Leica Summilux, 25mm F/1.4 Aspherical

For me cost is not an issue, but bag space is. I don't have the bag space to carry three lenses with identical focal lengths, so I have to make a choice. I realize the choice is somewhat subjective. I do tend to do a lot of indoor shooting, so the Nokton is attractive, but the Zuiko/Lumix have autofocus and less fringing. A key factor is image quality, and would suggest the Nokton, but I am wondering if the image quality difference is going to be really noticeable? I realize I can rent the lenses potentially and try them, but I am hoping for someone with experience to weigh the pros and cons.

DXOmark rates the Zuiko and Lumix lenses as very similar except that the Zuiko has much less distortion. DXOmark does not rate the Nokton.

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    What does "image quality" mean to you? What will you be using the lenses for? – mattdm Jul 23 '17 at 22:00
  • @mattdm I mostly do tourism photography. – Clickety Ricket Jul 23 '17 at 22:03
  • A key factor is image quality, and would suggest the Nokton... Not so fast my friend. Lenses with larger apertures are more expensive because they 1) require larger elements and 2) require more correction which also means more elements. There are more than a few cases where two lenses from the same manufacturer with similar designs and focal lengths but different maximum apertures differ with regard to which is more expensive and which performs better at the apertures they share in common. – Michael C Jul 24 '17 at 7:57
  • One classic example would be the EF 16-35mm f/2.8 vs. the EF 16-35mm f/4. Even the new $2K EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L III is not as sharp at common apertures as the much cheaper $1K EF 16-35mm f/4. The EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II wasn't even close, and it was about $1.7K. – Michael C Jul 24 '17 at 8:00
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You say that you mostly do tourism photography.

This could mean either photography for yourself as a tourist, or that you make photographs to sell to tourists. In either case, I don't think the differences are significant at all. These are not areas where the small technical tradeoffs of image quality between all of three highly-regarded lenses are going to make a difference.

Make your decision based on how important auto-focus is to you, and whether you really want that extra half or full stop. Personally, especially since you mention space in your camera bag, I'd go for the Summilux, which I know from experience to be an excellent lens. It's less than half the weight of the others! In fact, I'd add the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 to your consideration. Even smaller, even cheaper, still great.

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