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  1. #1

    Default Panny 20mm 1.7 or Oly 45mm 1.8

    Now that the Oly 45/1.8 has been announced and the price of the 20mm and 45mm is almost the same. Which lens is good?

    I just have the kit lens on my ep-1 need something for lowlight and portraits, will the Olympus lens be better for that. Then again I am thinking th pancake size of 20mm is so convenient.

    I have not invested on the mft system except the camera and the ket lens that came with it. I want to get in the right direction in terms of investing my money in the system.

    any examples of portraits with the 20mm.

    Kindly suggest

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
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    For portraiture the 45mm will be easier to work with. The longer focal length is somewhat more flattering. For street photography the 20mm will allow you to get in closer and render a more 3D feel as a result of that. The 20mm may also be better for groups, especially in tight situations.

    It's not really an either/or choice with these two. They do very different things and you'll probably end up with both if primes are the way you like to work.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Berwyn Heights, MD
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    Those are different lenses for different purposes.

    20mm is a semi-wide walkaround lens, perfect for casual snaps, street and low-light photography. It's not suitable for classical portrait photography because it distorts faces.

    45mm is a dedicated portrait lens. But it's probably too tight to be used for general photography.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    +1 to what Stratokaster and Flash said.

    Just wanted to add that you can (sort of) take head and shoulder portraits with the 20/1.7 without significant distortion, but you will need to step back and capture a little bit more of the environment around the subject, and then crop. If you are not going to be printing big photos with the head and shoulder portraits, losing some resolution due to cropping won't be a huge deal.

    But if head and shoulder portraits is really your main need, then 45/1.8 is probably the way to go.
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  5. #5


    Hard to compare a normal lens and a telephoto... Portraits have been made with all focal lengths

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Boston, MA (United States)
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    I agree with all of the above. Might be worth experimenting with your zoom to see which focal length you use the most and then buy the corresponding prime.

    That said, the Panasonic 20 gets my absolute highest recommendation.
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  7. #7


    They really are too different to compare that way. I can see a having both in a kit as they serve different purposes. It also depends on what your style of shooting is. For me the 20/1.7 is terrific for the kinds of things I like to shoot and it gets a lot of on camera time. I don't shoot a lot of portraits so the 45/1.8 would be of limited use to me.

  8. #8


    i am actually running in all sorts of direction. I have not found yet what I want internally. When I see the 20mm pic thread I absolutely love it. When I go to fred miranda and people photography and see canon 50mm 1.4/1.8 I absolutely love it too.

    I have not used either so i don't know which I will like, or if I should get a canon t3i and 50mm 1.8
    I am still struggling where I have found my absolute gear. I guess 20mm makes more sense and more for general photography.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Real Name
    Kelly Gibbons


    I have the 20mm and am 99% sure I am going to buy the 45mm. That said I have used many different m43 lenses and I wouldn't trade the 20mm for any other lens for my every day use.

  10. #10


    You say you have a "kit lens", but which one? If it's the 17/2.8, I'd keep it as a perfect complement to the 45/1.8. Else, I'd sell the zoom, get the 17. It is a good lens enough eventhough it doesn't get the 20's raving reviews. The 17/2.8 and 45/1.8 even share the same filter size.

    Just as Panasonic has it 14, 20 and 45mm line for its prime lenses, it seems Olympus chose 12, 17 and 45...

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