Advice on indoor, natural light lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Pyro451, May 15, 2012.

  1. Pyro451

    Pyro451 Mu-43 Regular

    162
    Apr 18, 2012
    Massachusetts, USA
    Steve
    I would like to acquire a lens for indoor, people shots. Mostly for parties, etc.

    I am torn between the 20mm and 25mm Panasonic lenses. I want a fast prime, so the Oly 17 is out.

    I would welcome any suggestions based on experience.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If you can afford it, why not get the 25mm? :)

    Not only is it the overall better lens in every way... quality, speed, focus, etc... but it's also a better focal length for people shots. I'd even say ideal for indoor people shots. Normally you want something longer for portraits, but being indoors you don't want to go too long or you can't get the full body shots or the group shots due to limited space.
     
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  3. jgmankos

    jgmankos Mu-43 Regular

    88
    Apr 9, 2012
    Slatington, PA
    John
    I guess it depends if you want to cough up an extra $200 for a little better IQ, 5mm, and a half stop faster. Also consider the size difference....the Leica is about twice as big.

    That being said...I recently got the 20 and I absolutely love it. For me, I'll take the form factor to be able to stick on an e-pm1 to make a nice pocketable combo.
     
  4. Pyro451

    Pyro451 Mu-43 Regular

    162
    Apr 18, 2012
    Massachusetts, USA
    Steve
    Thanks Ned.

    Price will only determine when, not if I buy a specific lens. I would prefer not to have buyers remorse from trying to get off cheap.

    I do have the Oly 45mm for head and shoulder portraits of a single person.

    I didn't realize the 25mm was more ideal for people than the 20. I figured a bit wider (20mm) may be beneficial for closer quarters indoors. I have landscapes and outdoor shots covered by the 12-50.
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Well, in regards to buyer's remorse, the compact size of the 20mm helps to combat that. That keeps the lens from becoming redundant even if you find an overall "better" lens (very subjective term), like the Leica Summilux. You can still always make use of a fast, sharp pancake prime which sits as flush to the camera as possible. Throw it on a Mini, and you've got one helluva tiny system camera. ;)

    For your "main" lens though, I would lean more towards the Leica. The larger size if anything will give you better balance on the OM-D for shooting extensively on a job. It'll make your OM-D look more impressive, lol. ;) And half a stop in low-light situations does make a difference... I very often choose a faster 50mm lens over a slower 25mm lens in poor lighting conditions even if it means that I have difficulty backing into things, just because of the difference in speed.
     
  6. Pyro451

    Pyro451 Mu-43 Regular

    162
    Apr 18, 2012
    Massachusetts, USA
    Steve
    From what I read here and other places it is a bit of a roll of the dice with respect to the "rattling aperture" effect for either of these lenses. Correct?

    I don't plan to shoot any video with this lens, so it should be a problem, but may be an annoyance.
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You're using the OM-D, which I believe is one of the better bodies for quietness with this lens. Correct me if I'm wrong...

    For those of us who used the original E-P1 Digital PEN, we were used to hearing that with all lenses. It's not a big deal. :)
     
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  8. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    I prefer the 20/1.7 in close quarters on my GF3, very compact and discreet with good IQ.
     
  9. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I think that Ned has done a great job of pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of each lens. I haven't used the PL25 f/1.4, but I can tell you that the 20mm f/1.7 is a fantastic little lens. I don't recall hearing from anyone who's bought the 20mm who has expressed buyers remorse. I also feel that the larger field of view afforded by the 20mm is helpful in the types of indoor spaces I often shoot in.

    If it's a question between buying the 20mm today or waiting a few months to save up for the 25mm, I would strongly recommend picking up the 20mm today. Even if you find the 20mm's not for you and you really want the extra 1/2 stop or the longer focal length, then you should be able to quickly re-sell it and recoup 90+% of your cost which you can apply toward the 25mm.
     
  10. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    If you are using the 20mm indoors and you take close-up pictures of people, you will notice more facial distortion than you would with the 25mm. This may or may not bother you ...

    FWIW, I have both lenses. I got the 20mm about a year ago and I loved it. I got the 25mm a few months ago. Since I got the 25mm, the 20mm has not seen any use.
     
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  11. Pyro451

    Pyro451 Mu-43 Regular

    162
    Apr 18, 2012
    Massachusetts, USA
    Steve
    This may have sealed the decision for the 25mm. That is exactly the feedback I needed.

    (unless Sprinke wants to make me a great deal on the 20mm :biggrin: ...the one that doesn't get any use - send me a PM)
     
  12. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Nameer

    Nameer Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Feb 2, 2012
    UK
    I have both, the 25mm is always first choice. However if I need to go pocketable and want to be discreet then I use the 20mm.
     
  14. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    sigh!!!... would someone just post some pics of the 25mm in a party/social situation and prove me wrong that the 20mm ... or indeed the 17mm isn't a better choice.... why did all the point and shoots of the film age have a 35mm lenses?

    in the end ... as I always say... it aint the camera.. its the photographer.


    On the other hand when I come back from the blues night at my local bar after shooting with the 25/lux I may be gibbering nonsense about the wonderful leica glass... though that will probably because I will have appropriated my girlfriends 75 Summilux... the only lens so far that has tempted me towards owning a Leica


    Leica 75 Summilux on a E-P1

    5106509331_e853eaa01f_z.
    Purple Heel by kevinparis, on Flickr

    K
     
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  15. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
     
  16. Pyro451

    Pyro451 Mu-43 Regular

    162
    Apr 18, 2012
    Massachusetts, USA
    Steve
    You guys are not making this easy for me.

    I don't really care about pancake versus the 25mm size because the OM-D is not really a pocketable camera anyway. However, the useful FOV is real for indoor situations, especially candid shots.

    Is 2.8 really too slow for typical indoor lighting (ie home lighting) and reasonable shutter speeds?
     
  17. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    Nope, I use a f2.8 zoom all the time on my dslr and rarely need to go above iso 800.
     
  18. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I wouldn't pick the 17mm unless you absolutely adore the focal length; if you prefer wider get the 14, if you prefer closer to normal get the 20, if you prefer normal get the 25, if you prefer tighter than normal get the Sigma 30. All of the data and tests I've seen bear out the result that basically the 17mm does nothing particularly well except size. If you're okay with f/2.8, you can stop any of the faster lenses down and get dramatically better results.

    On the bright side, there's certainly no lack of choice.

    There are essentially two drawbacks to the 25: it is expensive, and it is large relative to the 20mm pancake. The pancake has skewed the size scale pretty badly, as the Leica is certainly not a particularly large lens. A lot of us are used to pocketing the 20 on a small body though, and if you can't justify owning both lenses that tends to tip things in favor of the 20 as an all around performer.

    For the record, I'm also a little disturbed by the results of LensRentals testing:
    LensRentals.com - Wide-Angle Micro 4/3 Imatest Results
    Now sharpness is absolutely, positively not the end-all ruler by which to rate lenses. And I've learned that sorting photography equipment by test numbers only is a terrible mistake. Still, I did expect better, and it does leave me to wonder exactly what you're paying for. How much is better AF and nebulous stuff like color rendition worth to you?
     
  19. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Agree with Kinlau- I typically have no problems with using F2.8 on the 17mm for most indoor shots.

    First 2 at ISO 200 with the E-P1 and 17mm at 2.8
    P4081487.

    P4081488.

    This one at F4.5, 1/6 sec, ISO 400
    P40613001.
     
  20. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Horses for courses, I guess. For my personal tastes, there are just certain images that are better framed with the 17mm FOV. And since I am not a big lab test kind of guy, I am happy if the image looks sharp on my laptop screen or enlarged to 11 x 14 to hang at an exhibit. 17 does quite well, though 20mm admittedly shows more "pop" and sharpness in the details. That said, since I repurchased the 17, I use the 20 a lot less. Having the 17 (and 45) has actually made me use my "old" E-P1 more often.