Top critical review
Would have been perfect except for the decentering issues
on April 24, 2016
This lens checked almost all the boxes for me: lightweight, affordable, fast and quiet autofocus, with sharp optics. I own the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 and Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 and wanted a fast normal prime in-between. This lens was almost ideal, better than the Panasonic 25mm options for me because of the more compact size and quieter autofocus (both of the Panasonic 25mm lenses I've tried made clicking noises when locking focus).
The only problem is that every copy of this lens I've tried exhibited noticeable decentering, and some copies are so bad you have to wonder if anyone is checking these copies at the factory. Decentering is where the sides of the image are not equally in focus at any given focus distance. Most lenses in this price range have minor decentering (inevitable since lenses are still largely constructed and calibrated by hand), and there are some lenses many times this price which have decentering issues, so this is by no means an issue limited to this lens. However, this is the first lens model I've bought (out of 50+) that has had the issue so consistently. Usually it is tilted so that the left side is focused closer than the right. The worst copies were clearly out of focus even when stopped down, which made the lens useless for any kind of landscape shooting. And because Micro 4/3 lenses are largely not optically adjustable by design, if you send a decentered lens for warranty work you will likely get it back unchanged.
I really wanted to buy this lens and spent too much time testing copies of this lens. I ended up settling with a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 II lens for now (which was an excellent copy on my first copy), and may buy this lens again if/when they fix this issue.