Fast prime for less than $500?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dothraki, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. dothraki

    dothraki Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 8, 2011
    São Paulo, Brazil
    I recently bought the EPL-2, and for now I only have the 14-42mm lens kit. I'm also just starting in photography, so I'm not sure yet what kind of photo I will focus (portrait, street, landscape, etc)

    Anyway, I want to buy a new lens, and I think a fast prime will be a good qcquisition , so I'm beetween 2 lenses that cost less than $500

    - Panasonic 20mm f1.7 ($300 on eBay)
    - Olympus 45mm f1.8 ($400)

    Now the big question is: Which one?

    What are your comments when choosing one or another?
  2. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I have the Panny 20mm f1.7 and it's fast, sharp and convienient.

    Equals 40mm with crop factor.
  3. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    they are both great. Try using your kit zoom at just one end for a whole day of shooting.....and then the next day, try the other end. Which focal length do YOU prefer? That is the one to get.
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    They're both wonderful lenses, there's no good way to split them on technical aspects. Pick based on the FL you want.
  5. DDBazooka

    DDBazooka Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    The 20 because everyone should own it. Even if they don't need it.
  6. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    Good idea.. or you can look through your recent photo and check the exif, it's easy to filter in Lightroom and Aperture.
  7. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Def 20mm for lowlight and versatility.

    The 45mm is great but too specialized if all you have is the kit.
  8. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    Why don't you sell your kit lens and get both?

    Jokes aside, the 20mm is much more versatile than the 45mm, even though it focuses a little bit slower (don't know how significant the difference is on a PL2, since I never tried the 45mm on the PL2). You should definitely get that as your first prime lens.

    Having said that, I suspect you will eventually ended up getting the 45mm as well if you spend any more time on this site... They are both great lenses.
  9. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Real Name:
    That's a wide normal vs a short tele. Really you need both if the aim is to ultimately replace the zoom. Ask yourself which end of your kit zoom you use more? If you're always zooming in to 35-42 go for the 45mm. If you mostly use the wider end (14-25, say) get the 20 (or the 17mm Olympus if you want to save money). I used to carry a 35 and a 90 (on film) as a do almost everything kit. The split was about 90/10 in favour of the 35.
  10. djonesii

    djonesii Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 18, 2011
    I view the 20 as general, and the 45 as more specialist. I tend to use the 20 for walk around.

    In the studio, I use the 45 (90mm 0n FF) more often, but that is a special case.

    It's easy to test with you kit zoom. Just zoom once and leave it for a few days, zoom to the other one, shoot for a few days, then make a decision.

    If you find that you just cannot leave the zoom at one focal length, that is also a strong clue as to what you need to do.

  11. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    20mm for a walk around. Its closer to "normal" focal length

    45mm on micro 43 is a telephoto.
  12. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Well...I did the 'which FL do you use most often' test and it was 45mm by a wide margin. I've sold my kit zoom, my 20mm (oh horrors!) and kept the 45mm (and the 14mm when I need wider). It really is a question of what FL you use....

    I would add that the 20mm is louder and slower, if that matters to you.
  13. dothraki

    dothraki Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 8, 2011
    São Paulo, Brazil
    Thank you all, very nice tips that helped me decide.

    I looked at my (yet) small Aperture library and was surprised that 60% of my pictures were taken in the lower end, between 14-25!

    This, and the fact that the 20mm should be more versatile, left my decision easier.

    So, Panny 20mm it is. Well, at least for now, as I think hkpzee is right:
    I haven't even considered the 45mm before reading so many good things about it here! :biggrin:
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I use a 50mm f/1.4 as my "normal", most natural lens, so I would get the 45mm f/1.8 if I needed an AF prime. But I know that I've always been one for telephoto over wide angle. Your own diagnosis shows that you've been shooting the opposite, so definitely go for the 20mm! Its pancake form will also help with packing, though the 45mm is also a tiny lens but of a different proportion. ;)
  15. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Real Name:
    Kelly Gibbons
    20mm!! FTW!!!:dance3: