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Inexpensive fast and wide options

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by scottz, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. scottz

    scottz Mu-43 Regular

    135
    Jun 18, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    My current lens inventory consists of the Oly 60mm macro, 9 mm BCL and the kit lens that came with my old E-PL1. For adapted lenses I have a Minolta 45 mm f2. What I'm missing is something wide and fast for across the table shots in social situations. My budget is no more than $250 for new or used, so I am currently considering the Sigma 19 2.8, Panasonic 20 1.7 and 14 2.5. From what I've read the 14 has sharpness issues and I worry that the Sigma may not be fast enough. I would appreciate any advice or input.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  2. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    296
    Oct 12, 2013
    Having owned all three, they are all nice lenses. If you are worried about speed and sharpness, go for the Panasonic 20mm, though it has the disadvantage of slower focus speed.

    Off the top of my head, there are no other primes in your price range that are wide-ish.

    (Edited to specify the 20mm.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  3. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    772
    May 3, 2013
    California
    Get the 20mm. For your stated purpose -- "across the table shots" -- it is wide enough, though I wouldn't consider it much of a wide lens. The 14mm will be wider, but the speed (f/1.7) of the 20mm will help in social situations with low indoor lights. 20mm is also more flattering for people than 14mm.
     
  4. cgomez

    cgomez Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Dec 17, 2013
    I've only used the 20 but I bought it specifically for the same reasons as you and it's worked out wonderfully. AF is a little slow but it's workable.
     
  5. scottz

    scottz Mu-43 Regular

    135
    Jun 18, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    Thanks guys.
     
  6. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Jan 28, 2015
    Denmark
    Stefan
    I also have the 20mm and it is a great lens - most recommended - however for those social over the table shots, be careful with lighting. In a lowlight setting the 20mm can be very slow with AF.
     
  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Which camera body? If it's an older one, you'd want f1.7 to keep the ISO down. If it's newer, ISO 6400 is usable and f2.5 and 2.8 are fine. Although 14mm can tolerate slower shutter speeds than 20 so it might not be far off

    I think you've narrowed down the best options. Use your kit zoom to narrow down which focal length is best for your intended situations. I use a 15mm for this so I tend to lean toward the 14mm.
     
  8. scottz

    scottz Mu-43 Regular

    135
    Jun 18, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    I'm using an E-M5. I finally upgraded my E-pl1. I would love to get the Nokton 15mm but I'm afraid my wife wouldn't be too happy.
     
  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    E-m5 is great at high ISO. I think any of them would work. I would pick based on focal length.
     
  10. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    The 20 is the fastest, but also the slowest mechanically. But with just $250 it may be the only option. For $75 more though the Olympus 17 f/1.8 might be better.
     
  11. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    I would call the 20mm a normal* lens. Hardly a wide but it may work for your use and budget. Wide and fast = $¢£€¥

    *normal being the FOV of the unaided eye.
     
  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I don't disagree that the 20mm AF is slower than the 17mm. But I laugh at all the reports of it being slow. It was faster than most of my SLR lenses! Slower than Lightning does not mean slow!
     
  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Actually it's slower than any other m4/3 I've used and much slower than any SLR lens I have owned in a few years. But I've also been shooting FX DSLRs for the better part of 6 years so my perception my be a bit skewed.
     
  14. scottz

    scottz Mu-43 Regular

    135
    Jun 18, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    Is it much slower than the first generation Oly 14-42 that came with my E-pl1?
     
  15. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That was not my experience, David. It was roughly the same as my Sigma 30mm HSM. My main issue was it disables c-af.
     
  16. scottz

    scottz Mu-43 Regular

    135
    Jun 18, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    Thanks
     
  17. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I only had the 14-42 IIR so I don't know how the original compares. Scottz, given the lenses you currently have it's probably fine. As tkbslc noted, it may be a problem of relative comparison. I've had 2 copies of each of the 14mm and 17mm, but only one of the 20mm (a type II). To me the the difference was noticeable and one reason I only have a 17mm now.

    But price is something to consider. There is no question that the 20mm is a nice and sharp lens. The original Types I can be a real bargain these days.


    I had a Sigma 30 f/1.4 at one point, but I sold it when I went to FX. It was a fun lens though I can't remember how mechanically fast or slow it was.
     
  18. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It's among the slowest m43 lens, that I agreed. I'm just saying there are a lot of slower lenses out there. I would rank it average out of all the lenses I've used on lots of systems. It is certainly usable. I just think you get spoiled once you've used lenses like the 17mm and 25mm 1.8. Use a 10 year old canon kit lens and it feels normal. :)

    Here's a test between the 20mm and the 17mm f1.8. Keep in mind the 17mm f1.8 is among the fastest:

     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  19. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    I have both 14/2.5 and 20/1.7 on my E-M5. I like them both but since I bought a good 25 the 20 is hardly used. But the 14 is more used since that because it's a good wide lens to have in the bag. It's so small and light it can always be in the kit :)
     
  20. mambastik

    mambastik Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Jan 19, 2011


    @1:37 for 2nd gen 20mm, then @2:55 for older gen. If this is an example of how "slow" the lens is in low light, then obviously it's only slow compared to the lighting AF of newer lenses. Unless it's only faster because he set it to single-point autofocus? I mean, I'll take it has an "o.k." AF, but saying very slow is really pushing it.

    I recently just upgraded to the GX7 from my E-PL1+original kit lens. The example video, the 20mm seems to focus faster in low light than the E-PL1's kit lens in day light. Don't worry I understand your struggle with this kit lens, it truly deserves the title of slowest AF.