Olympus Zuiko 25mm F2.8 pancake lens is probably one of the most underrated lenses from Olympus. The reasons are obvious. In today's craze of chasing wider and wider aperture, F2.8 is not exactly sounding very enticing for a prime lens. Add to the mediocre image quality of a standard grade lens, not matching the superior sharpness and technical perfection of the High Grade and Super High Grade brothers, this 25mm pancake lens may be regarded as a lens to accompany the original kit lenses for the entry level DSLR bodies, alongside 14-42mm and 40-150mm kit lenses.
However, I find myself loving this lens very much. I admit, it is nowhere as sharp as my beloved 50mm F2 macro. The control of narrow depth of field is disappointing, for an Olympus system having smaller sensor, the F2.8 does not produce much bokeh at all. There really is no wow factor using this lens, it is as ordinary as it can be, and one should not be expecting miracles. Nonetheless, learning that photography is not all about how sharp your images are, and how much bokeh you can squeeze into a photograph, this 25mm pancake lens provides me a refreshing perspective and different outlook towards my street shooting, allowing me to explore certain shooting styles apart from my usual execution. I must say, at a very low price point, being so small and compact the pancake lens is a no brainer.
All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko 25mm F2.8 pancake lens.
Loss of Freedom
Outside a Shop
Selling School bags
Luke, in action
how to Kill a Machiato
I brought the pancake lens, mounted on my Olympus DSLR E-5 to Pudu, shooting alongside Luke Ding. I must say I enjoyed myself using this lens through and through. It is interesting, because I did not change lens at all, and just stayed with this 25mm all the time. Usually, I would switch between the 11-22mm (for wide angle shots) and 50mm F2 (for close up and tight portraits) on the streets. The 25mm pancake provided just enough wideness to cover limited wide angle shots, including some background and a few other subjects into one frame, while tight enough to have decent portrait shots. I am loving what this 50mm equivalent field of view (50mm on the 35mm format) can do. The photographs come out looking very natural indeed, and not forced to happen.