If compact proportions are of paramount importance then the ‘pancake’ Zuiko 25mm f2.8 would be the easy winner in any comparison...
Despite its tiny size the lens manages to incorporate a manual focusing ring, but there is no depth-of-field scale and the lens cap is a screw-in type that is fiddly to remove and fit back on at speed. The lens scores highly in terms of peak resolution, which is achieved at f/4 and is in excess of 0.4 cycles/pixel near the centre of the field. There is some drop in performance across the image field at wide apertures but at f/8 the lens is more-or-less equally good in the centre and at the edges – a very useful achievement to reach at such a popular aperture setting. Further stopping-down reduces the resolution in the usually-observed manner owing to diffraction, which tends to be acute in short-focal-length lenses.
The only disappointment during testing was the E-3 body’s high noise, which was more obtrusive than that of many other DSLRs. This, however, is no reflection on the lens itself, which offers excellent image quality. Real-world testing confirmed the Zuiko’s performance and its relatively modest f/2.8 maximum aperture was no hindrance even when shooting inside a dimly-lit musical instruments shop.
Once again, Olympus has proved why going back to the drawing board to redesign its lenses purely for digital bodies was the right choice.