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20mm pancake - is it slower to focus on Oly bodies than on Panasonics?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by broody, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Sep 8, 2013
    Hello, guys. See thread title for my question. I've read of people complaining this lens is slow to focus on Olympus bodies specifically. But is it true? Does the body it's mounted on make a difference on the performance of the lens? (I already know about the banding complaints)
     
  2. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    from my experience of using the new version p20 on both EPL5 and G5, it's visibly faster focusing on the G5, but it's not too slow to use on Olympus either. actually p20 is not the only lens that focuses differently on different bodies, my sigma lenses are always focusing faster on Panasonic bodies I've tested on, and the differences are all acceptable.
     
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  3. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Sep 8, 2013
    :) Thanks for your comment. I'm seriously ponderating to get this lens at the moment. I love the pictures I'm seeing in the 20mm's forum thread.
     
  4. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    I never had a problem or missed any shots with this lens on any Panasonic body that I had, it works fine on the EPL5 most of the time, but the few times I did use it, it did hunt occasionly and once nearly missed a shot.
     
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  5. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Sep 8, 2013
    When does it hunt? Is it limited to low-light conditions? (and then, how dark are we talking about... Indoors with window light during the day? Or really dark, like in a pub or out at night?)
     
  6. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    Well I can make it hunt in low light at a plain wall using any body, but it also hunted on the shot below as I nearly missed it whilst using it on an E-PL5. When I first pressed the shutter, his dog was in front, I had to pan to get this shot. It was cloudy, but not that dark, I did not expect it to happen. Living in the UK, I have taken many photo's in these kind of conditions and with this lens and not had this happen to me before. I have owned this lens for two years now and it is the most used lens that I have.
    The only other lens that hunts in my collection is the Olympus 45mm, but only on the GF1, it works fine on the G5 and E-PL5.

    11174387695_700d166134_z.
    Bournemouth street by Darren Bonner, on Flickr
     
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  7. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I think the latest Panasonic bodies have a high speed 240 fps AF ability, that works with some Panasonic lenses.
    Not sure if the 20mm II is one of them, but if so, you can expect an advantage with the latest Panasonic bodies.
     
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  8. dyrmaker83

    dyrmaker83 Mu-43 Regular

    50
    Feb 19, 2011
    Washington, DC
    Mike
    I gotta say, it's a good thing it did hunt because this picture is excellent. The panning blur totally makes it. The man's expression and hurried gait combine with the static background to give it a sense of movement. Just really interesting.

     
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  9. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    To the OP, I've just seen in another thread that you have a GF3. The 20mm lens will work just fine on that even in low light conditions.
     
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  10. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    Sorry for hijacking the thread, but how good is this lens focusing compared to the original p14-42, as that's the only thing I can compare it to.
     
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  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Not true for me.
    (I never believed it anyway, I have lots of bodies of both manufacturers.)
     
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  12. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    It was always fast on my G5. On the EM2 its a bit slower and does indeed hunt in low light. Pinpoint focus mode seems to help and does using a contrasty target.
     
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  13. The MkI 20mm usually felt more sure in focusing on my GH1 then it did on the E-M5.
     
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  14. Lindsay D

    Lindsay D Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Jan 2, 2013
    West Sussex, England
    Lindsay
    I hate to add a negative perspective (no pun intended) but I owned this lens briefly and I found its performance to be terrible (on my Olympus bodies - I haven't tried it on a Panny camera). The focusing is fairly slow even in decent light, becoming very slow as the light dims. For this reason alone it proved untenable for the way I work, I was missing far too many opportunities. To make matters worse images above ISO 800 exhibited shadow banding which became increasingly obvious at higher sensitivities - again making it useless for the many occasions I am in low light. I believe the banding is most prevalent on Olympus bodies with the more recent 16 megapixel sensor. It's a real shame, because optically the lens is beautiful, bright and sharp. And I cannot fathom why the new version hasn't been improved in any way (except for the more robust mount and marginally smaller size).

    For me at least, the best alternative would be the Oly 17mm f1.8, although it is more expensive and a bit bigger.
     
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  15. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Well, it certainly DOES focus slower on Olympus bodies than on Panasonic bodies. Whether it's TOO slow on any particular body is a YMMV issue.

    To me, the 20mm was definitely within the range of acceptable focus speed on my G5, but NOT on my E-PL2 or E-PL5 where it is slower to acquire, and hunts in less than good lighting.
     
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  16. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I used the Lumix 20mmMkI on an e-pM2 body for about 400 photos in a dimly lit castle yesterday.
    It went for a "hunt" about 5% of the time = decent focus speed 95% of the time. In low light my Sigma 30mm is faster.
    Not a single photo shows banding, and I let it auto-ISO to 6400.
    Let me guess : I have an unusually fantastic copy of this lens :|
     
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  17. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I have to wonder how many people have hhods or other things hanging off the front. Between the added weight, and the fact the lens assembly is slightly retracted when off, you have two ways to hurt the focus speed.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
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  18. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Sep 8, 2013
    Thanks for all your input, guys. I'd be using this lens with Panny bodies mostly (got a nice deal for a G3 and 3 batteries), so I think it will perform alright. I'm still pondering my purchase, as recently I've seen good prices for the 17mm 1.8 Zuiko and 25mm too - but I'm unlikely to get the former as it's too close in focal length to the 14mm I already own (does anyone think it would be worth it to own both 14mm and 17mm?? I doubt so, and while surely the Zuiko is the finer lens, the 14mm was the best value purchase I've made...)
     
  19. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    It might be slightly slower, but nothing to worry about, in some conditions it would be a tie.
    To be honest I think the P20mm lens got it slow reputation on the very first Olympus EP1, later that camera had a firmware update and the focusing speed did improve.
    I still use this lens on an old GF1 and I have no complaints about it whatsoever about the focusing speed of this combo. The GF3 has a faster processor inside, everything works faster than it does on the GF1 & 2 and the P20 seems to work faster to. buy a used one and try it. if you're not satisfied you can re-sell it without making loss.