Focus speed of 20mm f1.7

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Superstriker#8, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    How slow is the 20 on Panasonic bodies, especially compared to the kit lens, which is what I have to compare with.
  2. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Fast enough.
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Fast enough on Oly bodies too. It's just not as fast as the more recent lenses. It makes a bit more noise too. I doubt either would be an issue for 99.9% of the needs of stills photography. The noise might be an issue for video unless you're using an off-camera microphone.
  4. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    Is it more than a little slower than the p14-42mk1?
  5. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    I'd say it's slower than the kit lens to AF. It's a bit picky depending on the light- it's the old move the front element AF motor, the newer AF on most lenses is internal focus, so it's quieter + quicker than the 20mm. There are times where it fires off with a hitch though and quickly.

    Don't get me wrong, if you're coming from only a kit lens- it's fantastic, optically it's fabulous. I did have one, but I sold it- mainly because I lost many a shot from AF hunting.
  6. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    Having used a G1 with its 14~45 kit for the past four years and the 20/f1.7 for about two, I'd say the 20 is a tad slower to focus (and, of course it is not stabilised). But, much depends on what your photographic interests are. If it's street stuff at night then the 20 might not be perfect. If it's landscape in daylight, then I see no problem. I fall into the latter group and I just love my 20. It is pin sharp and I've collected a number of "keepers" with it.
  7. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    It's slower. People put up with it because it still has no equal in the 2 categories that matter most - size AND image quality .
  8. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    • Like Like x 6
  9. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    Hahaha, yeah, pretty much.
  10. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
    It is slow when trying to keep up with a toddler, and hunts at night. However for everything else it is great!

    I still keep mine as I love the images it produces, the field of view, as well as the size since I can jacket-pocket my e-m5.

    For video it is also good and you would mostly manual focus anyway eliminating any sound concerns. I shot some video of a Vespa meet-up with it and like the results. Someday I'll even get around to editing it :)
  11. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    It does hunt at night. You can still use it to produce excellent results though and can't imagine a m43 setup without it. I don't entirely follow people who want the lens to be all things to everyone. You have to learn a lenses good and bad habits and prepare for it before shooting, no?
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    What about using it with the focus assist light? Mine works alright even in low light as long it has something to focus on.
  13. rabican

    rabican Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 3, 2012
    I currently have both the 17mm f/1.8 and the 20mm f/1.7II. The 17mm is twice as fast at grabbing focus.
    I'm considering selling one but I honestly can't decide which I prefer.

    The 17 is slightly larger but much faster at focusing (esp in low light).
    The 20 is slimmer/lighter but stupid slow (especially on my older EPL2).

    On my new GX7 the 20 is still slow but it's doable which is why it's hard to decide since the 20mm seems to produce better photos (they just seem silkier).
    I haven't had enough time with the 20mm on my GX7 but I plan on continuing testing to hopefully come up with a winner.

    I'm leaning towards the 20mm but I want to be sure the focus speed isn't going to be an issue. If I notice a problem in low light I'll prob go with the 17 because it's great in low light.
  14. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    For sure, the 20 does render better images and I think this should be borne in mind by those of us who already have the 20 and are considering the 17.
  15. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    It is somewhat slower on an Olympus body, but you can still use it just fine. You can't beat the combination of quality and size -- anything else is going to be bigger or not as good.

    Though if the rumored Oly 25 f/1.8 is a pancake it could give the 20mm a lot of competition.
  16. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    This is my problem, but which to buy, instead of sell.
  17. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    It certainly did hunt when shooting christmas lights outdoors. That's when it's good to have a newer body with touch screen for forcing the focus point.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. eljay

    eljay Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2013
    Personally, it drives me nuts! I love everything about the lens, but absolutely hate its AF speed. I use it indoors without flash, but it cost me too many missed shots. Also, the AF noise in video and the fact that it takes ages to refocus is not great either.
    Outside it's great and produces lovely images. But I bought it to shoot wide open indoors at low light and for that purpose it's failing me, so I'm debating whether I need to search for an alternative like the 17mm Oly.
    FYI, I shoot with GX1.
  19. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    How is compared to most compacts, as my camera shop doesn't have the 20.
  20. Timmy

    Timmy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 3, 2013
    Wiltshire - UK
    I guess compacts vary a lot in focus speed - You haven't mentioned what sort of photo's you take. I have the 20mm and speed is fine for 99% of situations. The 1% where it's not great is for my hyper-active toddlers that ignore requests to slow down, e.g. you'll struggle to get a good pic of them on a swing at the park or bombing around the house in low light.

    So if you have young kids, you might be happier with the 17mm - otherwise I'd suggest you'll be fine with the 20mm - it's an awesome lens.
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