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14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Vs. 20mm f/1.7 Lens

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by jackc866, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. jackc866

    jackc866 Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 28, 2010
    Hi all,

    I recently bought a G2 after being impressed with the footage a friend of mine was acquiring on his GF1. I quickly noticed that my G2 was not getting near the quality of the GF1. The main difference (that I could tell) is he has the 20mm lens and I have the 14-42mm. After some test runs, borrowing his lens, I purchased the 20mm lens and have so far have been very pleased (esp with the low light capability of the faster lens.

    I hate that I have the 14-42mm lens just sitting in a box. I was wondering if anyone is interested in sharing their opinions on the two lenses. Maybe I can learn of some situational uses where the 14-42mm lens would be better used (than the 20mm).


    Side question: Aside from the ability to zoom, why does Panasonic include the 20mm with some 4/3 cameras and the 14-42mm with others?
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Um, any time you need a focal length other than 20mm?

    The GF1 was available with either the 20mm (for those who were size conscious), the 14-45 (for those who wanted zoom), or both (for those who wanted it all!).
  3. tupper

    tupper New to Mu-43

    Dec 19, 2010
    I use my 14-42 in good light, and when I dont want to be restricted by focal length, in situations where time is factor and I dont have time to change lenses alot.
    The 20mm is for everything else
  4. Danny_Two

    Danny_Two Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    Don't know about the 42, but I have the original 14-45 and it's a great lens. No difference in quality compared to my 20mm as far as I can see.
  5. wyip

    wyip Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    Yeah its easy to forgot the difference FOV makes, especially in regards to perspective. On paper, it seems like the 20mm can do it all and you would just need to "zoom with your feet". This link has some good examples of the difference focal length has on perspective.
  6. Orientator

    Orientator Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 7, 2010
    Hi jackc!

    What is it exactly what you find as a difference in image quality?
    Is it about sharpness? CAs? low light capabilities? Distortion?

    In general the zoom has its advantages whenever you need a different focal length. => wide angle for landscapes or indoors (in small rooms) and the 42mm "tele" for the smaller noses in portraits :) 

  7. jackc866

    jackc866 Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 28, 2010
    @ Orientator:
    I primarily have experience using prosumer fixed-lens video cameras.. So I never really had to grasp certain aspects of working with different lenses. I've always shot wide (if I need to zoom I'd simply move in closer). This is a new world to me and I'm having fun learning.

    The difference: Low light is night and day. I'm amazed how clear of a shot I can take in very low light with the faster 20mm lens. Also, the depth of field with the 20mm makes for some beautiful shots.
    The 14-42mm just seems to me an ok general purpose lens, but nothing special. Due to my lack of knowledge, I thought maybe there's something I'm missing. Something the 14-42 is better suited for that I should experiment with.?.

    Wyip & others... thanks for the comments & links.
  8. russell

    russell Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 28, 2010
    Victoria, Australia
    You can also zoom with your mouse -- crop -- and the perspective will be the same as if you had used the longer lens. Not always possible but for small prints or on-screen viewing, why not? In my 35 mm days I used to use a 28 mm as a walkabout lens for street photography, set and forget at hyperfocal distance and even shoot from the hip if needs be. Then crop in the darkroom if necessary. Even easier with digital!
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