1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Oly 17mm vs pan 20mm

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by cmk325i, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. cmk325i

    cmk325i Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2011
    So I have a 150 bucks amazon gift card looking to pick up my first prime . I have been thinking about the lumix 20mm but people say it slow. So I began to look at what Oly offers they have the 17mm . So the question is what one do you guys recommend . Its going on my ep3
  2. UnivTex34

    UnivTex34 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    20 without even thinking twice about it....

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  3. cmk325i

    cmk325i Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2011
    So that's one for the 20mm I'm sure that's what most people will say but I'm new to this 4/3 community . I came from shooting an entry level dslr with the nifty 50 setup
  4. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    20mm f1.7 :2thumbs:

    I said it before in another thread or two, but the only time I notice slow focusing on the 20mm is when I am chasing small kids around. Otherwise, it is an amazing, all-purpose lens.
  5. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    The 20 has great IQ and a faster aperture. Its downside is slower focusing and noisy operation.

    The 17 has faster focusing and is quieter. It's downside is lesser IQ and slower aperture.

    Angle of view is not significantly different between the two, but possibly enough one way or the other to be a minor factor for the type of shooting that you do.

    What qualities are more important to you?
  6. cmk325i

    cmk325i Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2011
    I'm a fan on dof and quality .....
  7. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 24, 2011
  8. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    You know your answer now, don't you! :wink: Go forth and enjoy.
  9. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    One other thing... for me the 20mm epitimizes the m4/3 philosophy of IQ density. Great images, low light performance and DoF by volume in the little 20.

    I have a PL 25mm on the way, which should be a little better lens, but it is also quite a bit bigger. They are very close FoVs, but I think I will end up keeping the 20mm, because there are times where the super-pancake will come in handy.
  10. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    I haven't used the 17mm but over the past year 20mm has been on my favorite lenses. IQ has impressed me a lot, haven't experienced slowness so much.
  11. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    The 17mm is the worst m4/3 lens, basically. Which is not to say that it's a bad lens, just that all of the other options are better in substantial ways. So in 17mm vs -blank-, always pick against the 17mm.
  12. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I've had both and sold the 20mm, although it is a really really nice lens!
    I rely mainly on legacy glass but the 17mm is very compact and is my go-to lens when I dont want to think too much, but technically the 20mm is better.
  13. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    If you're photographing people I'd go for the 17mm - not because it's in any way technically better, but it is more usable. The slow focussing of the 20mm was the main reason I got rid of it. I found it annoying.

    And close up with the 17mm you can get some pretty nice shallow depth of field shots actually. There's a guy on a another m43 forum who has documented the first year of his son's life using an E-P1 and the 17mm and I think the results are very pleasing to the eye. http://eliasfirstyear.blogspot.com
  14. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 24, 2011
    Those are some great pics :) 

    But honestly, at least w/ the P3, I dont really see much of a speed (focusing) difference between the Panny or Oly at all....
  15. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I am under the impression that the 17mm has not yet been upgraded for AF speed by Oly? I think the kit zoom, 12mm, one tele zoom and the new 45mm are the only lenses that are max. focus speed.
  16. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    I bought and kept the 20mm even though the slow focus is annoying because it is a faster lens compared with the 17mm. I don't like the noise level above 800 on my E-P3, so it was important that I had a good low light lens, mostly for indoors. The FOV is a bit narrow on the 20mm for indoors, but is otherwise just right for my all around use. If I didn't have my kid's college tuition to pay, I would have already sprung for the Olympus 12mm, which I am now saving towards.
  17. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    All the technical pro/cons arguments aside, are you really going to pay Amazon retail for the 17mm? There are plenty of people getting rid of the 17mm used for about $150. (Hell, I have one, you want it?)

    You have a 150 amazon bucks, take advantge of it and get the 20mm. At least you'll be able to unload the Lumix quicker...and it's median retail has not dipped in the last two years.
  18. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    This actually makes a lot of sense! Get both. =D
  19. GdenisM

    GdenisM Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 11, 2011
    I actually bought the 17mm (from a forum member, actually) convincing myself that it would be fine.

    If you want to feel that way, do NOT search this forum for the 20mm thread - hundreds of images taken with the 20mm which are about as beautiful (we're talking macros, landscapes, street work and even some careful portraits) as I have EVER seen. This lens approaches Leica-like clarity in the right hands. Which might not be mine, but it shows what this lens is capable of.

    If you look at all those images and come away not needing the lens, then by all means get the 17mm - it's a very nice lens. As for me, I was able to persuade another forum member to part with his. And we're both happy!

  20. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Depends on what you are after..

    20 is better all around.

    17 is smaller, better for video due to is near silent focusing. Depends if either of those are a key factor. If not, then the 20mm all the way. I wish Olympus would update the 17mm to a f1.4 and better IQ and make a real competitor to the 20..
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.