I can only afford one lens...between the Panasonic 14mm 2.5 or 20mm 1.7????

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dagaleaa, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. dagaleaa

    dagaleaa Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 4, 2011
    Naples, Fl
    Real Name:
    I just finished reading the other thread concerning both of these lens, but the poster was having focusing issues with the 14mm on an Olympus camera. I own the Panasonic Gh2. One of these two lens is going to be bought for me as payment for some photography work. I will be photographing Christmas lights in darker situations....lights on Palm Trees, buildings, and some indoor club house lighting work too. I will own the lens and need a faster lens for my own personal use too---photographing my new grandchild, etc.. I also take a lot of video too. I wish I could own both, but I can't!!
  2. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Real Name:
    Well, if you'll be using the lens indoors are you intending to take smaller group shots, or get a larger portion of the room in more of your photos?

    the lenses really are quite far apart in terms of field of view. Without any IBIS or in-lens stabilization, expect to be able to shoot with the 14mm at about 1/30th minimum and the 20mm at 1/40th minimum shutter speeds. The difference in minimum shutter speeds off-sets the lens speed differences slightly as well, making the difference about 1/3 of a stop - which isn't much of a difference.

    So back to my original question, what type of scenes do you expect or intend to shoot more?
  3. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have both, I like both. I would get the 20mm for two reasons:

    1) 20mm Equiv FOV of 40mm is closer to a normal lens.
    2) f/1.7 max aperture.

    Note: Both of mine are used on an Olympus body...
  4. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 20, 2011
    Do you have a kit zoom? If so, use that to take some pictures at those two focal lengths so you can see how they feel.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2010
    I have both of these lenses and it depends on what you are most likely to use it for. But my guess is that the 20mm is the most useful. I have used to for street photography - took lots of neat shots in Philadelphia - and also for small concerts and plays. It is very fast so good for low light and pulls you up closer to the action than the 14mm. It is a lot like a "normal" lens (50mm in 35mm format)

    The 14mm is great for walking in the woods or taking interior shots where you want to show the whole room. It is a wide angle lens - not so great for photographing people.
  6. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    the 20mm is pretty much all I ever need.
  7. dagaleaa

    dagaleaa Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 4, 2011
    Naples, Fl
    Real Name:
    With my indoor shots of Christmas tree lighting I would say it would be a little of both---smaller areas photographed such as photos of Christmas trees, Christmas statues, etc. and bigger areas photographed too ( views of entire rooms, halls, and entry-ways.) I've used my trusty little Panasonic LX3 on a tripod for some of the wider shots in the past.

    If I understand what you are saying---there isn't a huge difference in how fast one lens is over the other...the difference for me is how wide I want to be able to shoot.
    The only lens I own now is the 45-200mm 4.0-5.6, and an older Olympus 50mm.
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Everyone is different. I have both the 20 and 14. They're both nice. The 14 is WA (obviously) quieter, faster to AF and focuses closer. The 20 is faster, is a closer to normal FOV and is sharper. When I look at my images I have a lot more keepers using the 20 than the 14.
  9. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    If they're paying you by buying you a new lens, I'd take the more expensive one...
  10. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    A wide angle and a standard lens.
    A question to be found everywhere. What do AF, max. aperture, Bokeh etc to do with the very fact that these are two essentially diferent lenses?
    Sometimes I wish people wouldnt try to compare what can not be compared but understand what makes a lens. You cant even compare a 24 with a 28mm lens as these are too different, too.
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    What? Its AWESOME for photographing people - you just have to get CLOSE! I do almost all of my street work with a 28mm equivalent and the rest with a mix of 24 and 35 - the 24 isn't too wide either.

    But to the OP, it just depends on whether you value a bit more low light capability over a wider field of view. The low light difference isn't all that huge (but there's some), but the field of view is quite different. Which field of view do you feel most comfortable with? That's the lens you should get.

  12. SimonL

    SimonL Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    NW England
  13. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    14mm is more versatile for both outdoors and indoors (landscapes, environmental portraits, indoors, interiors, food shots, etc.) with very fast and silent AF, supports C-AF. Panny 20 is more limiting but produces more special pictures due to much better control over DoF. Basically most Panny 14 pics could probably be taken with any advanced P&S while Panny 20 has this distinct dslr-like signature with 3d pop. In low light Panny 14 focuses much faster.
  14. m43er

    m43er Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 6, 2011
    I too, struggled for some time over the 14mm and 20mm. But ultimately, much as I would like wide angle, the 20mm is more like normal view and low light ability is priority too, so I got the 20mm.

    But I hope to get a 12mm in future - maybe when I strike lottery or something.
  15. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    14mm for video

    20mm for stills
  16. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    I only have the 20mm, but after reviewing a bunch of short videos that I shot with it I have found that focus drops out (autofocus) occasionally, and with my E-PM1, takes longer than I'd like to recover. If the 14mm autofocuses faster, it might be worth considering for video, though you have to also consider if the 14mm field of view is right for the sort of video you want to shoot. I think it would be far too wide for my tastes.
  17. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 5, 2011
    you should use the kit lens for video, unless you really want the extra DOF.
  18. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    I would go for the 20mm and if I needed 14mm for the interior work I'd get by with my 14-45mm at f/3.5. If you're shooting lights in the dark you wil likely get better results with a tripod and f/4-5.6 no matter wich lens you use.

  19. dagaleaa

    dagaleaa Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 4, 2011
    Naples, Fl
    Real Name:
    Thanks everyone....I have the 20mm arriving today by UPS! If I need something wider I will bring out my trusty LX3 and use that until I can afford something else. I am going to spend Christmas with my first grandchild, and that 20mm will get a lot of use there too! Tonight I will be photographing Christmas lights!!