Kowa Prominar MFT 25mm f/1.8 - Review / Lens Test Report - Samples & Verdict
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Sample Images & Verdict

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Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/
Exposure 1/800s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/
Exposure 1/320s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/
Exposure 1/800s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/
Exposure 1/200s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX7
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/
Exposure 1/1000s

Verdict

The Kowa Prominar MFT 25mm f/1.8 faces a difficult task especially given its price tag of 800US$. The 25mm segment is covered by a variety of lenses which are either much faster, much cheaper or both. However, the Kowa lens has at least one advantage - optical performance. The image quality is decent at max. aperture but when stopping down it is about as good as it gets on the micro four thirds system. The low level of lateral chromatic aberrations contribute to the subjective quality perception. There's some vignetting at f/1.8 but not much beyond. Image distortions are also on the low side.

The mechanical quality of the Kowa lens is impressive. It feels like a lens from the good ol' days - in a positive way. The lens body is made of metal and the controls are smooth as silk. As aspect that is probably going to be less popular is the lack of AF and an electronically couple aperture. However, thanks to its unique Dual Link Iris, the aperture ring can be changed to a movie-friendly mode (smooth settings rather than clicks) so this makes some sense at least.

Fully manual controls and the rather moderate speed will probably make it difficult to convince mainstream users. However, it'll certainly find some friends in the movie segment of the market.

Optical Quality:
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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