Is the 20mm 1.7 really THAT slow?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Braza, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. Braza

    Braza Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2013
    Who has or had this lens, tell me please, is it all right with focusing speed? Or I will often miss good shots? :)

    Now I have 25/1.4, but it's too bulky to take it everyday everywhere...
  2. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Real Name:
    It will disappoint you compared to the 25. I switched to the 25 in large part due to the focus speed. That said, if your subjects are usually static, it's not frustratingly slow, it's fine. However, if you are trying to get a quick shot, or multiple quick shots, it will frustrate you compared to just about every other m4/3 lens, especially the 25.
  3. Fred49

    Fred49 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    It was fast enough for everything but my young son.
    But they are a few failed photos of my son that i deeply regretted . Thats why i bought the 25mm.
    My son skin being very dark its not easy on the AF too, i had to a lesser extent problems indoor with the 12-35 too.
    But i have none with the 12/25/45/75.
  4. darcius1

    darcius1 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Sandwich Isles
    Molasses. Too many missed shots at celebratory events for me. Daylight okay.
  5. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Real Name:
    It's been awhile since I've had the lens, but I was just reminded of another good point - AF was very bad to unusable in low light.
  6. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I find it slower with the OM-D AF. Though it's faster with Panasonic bodies and Olympus E-PM1/2 and E-PL3/5 bodies.
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  7. mikey2omd

    mikey2omd New to Mu-43

    Jul 18, 2013
    I have both the 20mm and 25mm.

    25mm is a much faster lens with focusing, especially in low light. The 20mm would hunt back and forth whereas the 25mm is much more decisive when it comes to focusing. I still use the 20mm more because I prefer the focal length and it is a much lighter lens to carry around, especially on an E-M5 without any grip. As long as you can get the subject to stay still and pose for the picture in dimly lit environments, the 20mm is okay. Kids and puppies for example will be quite a challenge.

    I find the 20mm to be much more responsive on Panasonic bodies, but still nowhere near as quick as the 25mm.

    I am hoping the upcoming 15mm F1.7 lens will have what it takes in terms of autofocus speed to better complement the 25mm.
  8. niclashill

    niclashill Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2012
    Sorry to say - yes.

    Its a wonderful lens however, in every other way, but the focus issue made me switch to the 17 1.8 and I havent regretted it.
  9. mr_botak

    mr_botak Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2011
    Reading, UK
    Real Name:
    Well I have no issues with it at all. Mostly static subjects, but a lot of low light stuff which seems fine. The size and weight are really worth the slower focus IMO.
  10. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Its is very slow . last time a snail challeneged it and won the race :wink::wink: hahhhah ... Jokes apart , its slow and I have the newer version which is slower than Fujix100 when mounted on EP5.
  11. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    It's only slow in comparison to other micro four thirds lenses. If you're used to using entry level DSLRs with kit zooms for instance, you'd probably think it was quick. This is because (here's where I pretend to be an optical engineer) it has no floating element, and just moves the whole lens assembly when focusing. It isn't irritating, it just isn't instant.
  12. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I agree, I only switched to the 25mm because of the 1.4 aperture. I just prefer fast primes. I never had an issue with the 20 focusing. It's sharp, small and has great IQ. Is the 25 a better lens - yes, but it also costs more. :cool:
  13. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    The 20mm did get a 'speed upgrade' with the GX7 didn't it? Or did I read something too quickly again?
  14. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
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  15. Meph

    Meph Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 3, 2013
    Reston, VA, USA
    Real Name:
    I second everything you said. While it doesn't focus as fast as my other lenses, I never missed a shot due to its focusing speed. And the quality of the images it takes along with the compact size has made it the most used lens since I got it.


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Mu-43 mobile app
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    X2 - although the 12-35 is catching up quickly in image count.

    The 20 is nowhere near as slow as the Leica D 12-50/2.8-3.5 43s lens was... Now THAT was slow
  17. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I only just sold my 20mm a week or two ago for a number of reasons. No. 1 was that wasn't using it very much any more because I didn't find that the focal length complemented the other lenses that I have bought since, whereas when I first got the 20mm it was near welded to the E-PL1 I had at the time. Focus speed was fairly slow compared to a lot of other lenses but that wasn't a huge motivator in me selling it. I always felt that it focused faster on my GH1 than it did on the E-M5 despite the latter camera having the edge with just about any other lens and being a design that is around three years younger.
  18. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY


    I wholly agree with RevBob and Kevin... The 20 is an awesome lens and produces stunning results. How fast it is really is up to ones own photo skill-sets. Practice makes perfect. The speed thing IMHO really is overblown. That said, what did folks do before AF anyway?!?
    • Like Like x 1
  19. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    It was slow enough for me to get the 17mm as a replacement.
  20. dancat

    dancat Mu-43 Rookie

    May 19, 2013
    On EM-5 was annoyingly slow for me. No way you could do a snap picture with people moving and AF. I also ended up selling it because of that. Maybe it will be good if people that are saying it is not that slow will also say on what body they are using it.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Mu-43 mobile app
    • Like Like x 1