Analysis paralysis – 20 1.7 vs 14 2.5 and Oly 45-150 vs Pan 45-200

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by davidzvi, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    I think I am at that point. :confused: Sometimes there is just TOO much information on the web.
    I’m looking for a good small lens and a good telephoto zoom. I have about $600 I can spend and I don’t mind used/demos/…

    For the small lens I’m not looking for the ‘smallest’ or the ‘fastest’. I’m looking for the better general use smallish package. Both seem to get good and some bad reviews. So is it really just 1.7 vs 2.5 and the extra $100 or so?

    The telephoto I'm looking for is to replace my Nikon 70-300 AF-S VR. So maybe the better/best "consumer" telephoto (so yes the 35-100 is not in the running). I think I have it narrowed to 2, but maybe not, the Oly 45-150 and Pan 45-200. These both seem to be about the same price give or take. And they both seem to get good and bad reviews with the 45-150 Oly seeming to have more bad then the Pan.

    I could look at other options, I've considered the Pan & Oly 14-140/150. I've also considered the Pan 100-300. One thing I do know is I won't be changing my E-PM1 anytime soon and I prefer a zoom ring instead of zoom by wire. If I have to get one (being the zoom) it won't be the end of the world as I know I'll get more use out of it than the pancake.

    Any help? :confused:
  2. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    You've already got the 14-42 kit, so I'd go with the 20/1.7 over the 14/2.5. I have no advice on the telephotos...
  3. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I have both the P45-200 and the P100-300. If I had to choice between the two it would unquestionably be the P100-300, it is more than acceptably sharp and delivers one hell of a range. Examples upon request.

  4. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    If you go with 14-150mm, get a refurb one for $350 from cameta.

    If you go with 14mm f2.5, get one for $160ish from a taiwanese seller off Ebay.
  5. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    As far as the 14/20 debate, which do you find yourself shooting more? That would seem to be the best option, as a great lens at a length you don't like is a lens that isn't as helpful.
  6. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    .The more choice , more confusion , more online reviews - more confusion . Just write down on a piece of paper what exactly u need..
    1) More lens for less money = Panasonic 14 mm 2.5
    2) Exellent lens per dollar for low light performance and walk around for every day = Nothing beats Panny 20 mm 1.7
    3) Oly 40-150 is an exellent lens but I always like 45mm -200 which IMHO is better than Oly . exellent IQ and exellent built .
    Note - If u are still confused - Buy Oly 4/3 14-54 mm MarkII for USD 300-400 and have the best of everything :wink:
  7. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    Since you've got the PM1, I'd opt for the 14mm because it's just so small, and paired with the PM1 you have a truly pocketable camera you'll take everywhere. It's also a lot faster to focus than the 20mm, though not quite as sharp (though still plenty sharp). The 20mm is also a small pancake, but in my experience just a tad too big for comfortable pocketing.

    But, really, their focal lengths are so different. If you don't really like WA you won't be happy with the 14mm.

    As to the medium telephoto zoom, have you considered the Panny 45-175mm? It's nearly as small as the Oly 40-150mm, though a bit more expensive and (at least my copy is) a bit sharper. Also a lot smaller in use because it doesn't extend. I had both for a while and sold the Oly 40-150mm.

    Both, by the way, are significantly smaller and lighter than the 45-200mm.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. BLT

    BLT Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2013
    Real Name:
    14mm VS 20mm . . . .

    I have both. . . .

    - is quicker to focus
    - more useful for casual/basic video purposes (greater depth of field and wider angle gives steadier results)
    - much cheaper if bought on eBay from overseas
    - Can mount wide angle converters on the 14mm (damageable moving focus elements on the 20 make doing so a risky business)
    - Smaller and lighter

    - Much better low light ability
    - Great IQ. I find this lens considerably more "Wow" than the 14mm
    - Shallower depth of field possible
    - Better close focusing (because of FOV and also actual closer minimum focus distance)
    • Like Like x 1
  9. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    Well that was more revealing than I thought it would be, I had actually started to do that and got interrupted.

    +38% > 17mm
    +20% 17mm - 23mm
    +7% = 17mm (This is included in BOTH the % above)
    +18% = 42mm
    +23% = 14mm

    But the 45-175 is zoom by wire only isn't it? Does it if an off switch for OIS? or do I turn the in camera IS off?

    All really big pluses, focus speed and price are 2 of the biggest pluses pulling me to it. And considering the shooting numbers above the wide converter is probably worth considering. I'm sure I probably would have gone wider if I could have. Guess I'll need to research the wide converter. :frown:

    The WOW is the question. Until I started researching the 14/20 question I had thought it was 80% recommendations of the 20 over the 14. Now it seems almost 50/50 split on rating sites between the 2.
  10. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    For my needs I would definitely go with the 20/1.7 and the 14-150. i'd sell the 14-42 if necessary to cover the costs. While I am a big fan of the 14/2.5 I think the 20/1.7 is clearly in a class above. I like the 14-150 because of the versatility. I think it is more or less the same optically as the 45-200 or the 45-150.

    You can also probably pick up three lenses for close to your $600 limit if you look for good used deals. I'm thinking of the 40-150 + 14/2.5 + 20/1.7. If you find that you don't need both the 14 & 20 you can always re-sell one for a minimal loss.
  11. goodsonr

    goodsonr Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 7, 2011
    re: the questions on the 45-175

    Yes .. it is zoom-by-wire and not that good. It is possible to turn fast enough that the zoom lags behind. On the other hand, the power-zoom button is really nice

    There is no on/off switch for the OIS. For the EPL5 this is not a problem as you can use either IBIS or the lens OIS. I don't know what happens on the EPM1.
  12. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    I have the 20mm, a 14-45 zoom, and the 45-200 zoom. The best answer requires knowing what do you shoot? The 100-300mm would be better if you were shooting lots of wildlife and birds, but would take most of your budget. The 45-200mm zoom seems to vary between copies, but a good one and the latest firmware update seem to be decent and relatively inexpensive. From your shooting, it looks like a fast wide lens would be what made you the happiest.
  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    The telephoto would be mainly for casual shooting, birds in the yard, baseball (Fenway Park), vacation wildlife. For Nikon I've had 2 versions of the 70-300 (AF-D ED & AF-S VR) and 2 copies of the older 80-400 AF-D VR. The 80-400 was my favorite and mainly used on a crop sensor body. So maybe I really should be looking at the 300 zoom range?
  14. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    I'd go with the 100-300mm, not that I'm unhappy with my 45-200mm, but the extra reach would be nice with birds. Then look for a used/eBay 14mm.

    This is what I can get with the 45-200mm, either uncropped or only lightly cropped (can't remember now).

  15. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    The 14mm and 40-150 are the lenses I carry with me when using the EPM1. Small, light, and cheap. The pair should be around $320 if you get the 14 off ebay and buy a refurbished 40-150.

    You will want a VF2/VF3 to use the zoom at Fenway. The VF3 has a smaller view, but for framing the zoom, it works just as well as the VF2. Keeps the EPM1 smaller too.

    Later, if you want to get into wider angles, the Panasonic GWC1 converts the 14 to 11 and is a cheap entry point.

    Anyway, I own all of the above plus the 20mm. The latter does have its advantages for indoor w/o flash t parties, etc.
  16. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    David, is Zvi your family name? If so, how does one pronounce your name?

  17. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    Middle, and it's Hebrew. I came up with using my first and middle name for "unique email" and such long ago.

    Pronounced TSVEE

    T S V EE
    to so very see