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Panasonic 20/1.7...finally got one

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dixeyk, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I just picked up a Panasonic 20/1.7 after having had my EPL-1 for a little over a year. I've been using the 17/2.8 and have never really felt like I was missing something but I wanted to try the Panasonic 20 as it has become something of a cult favorite.

    So far I'd say I have mixed feelings about it.

    It's nice and sharp and I rather like the equivalent 40mm focal length. It reminds me of my Konica Auto S3 rangefinder with it's 38/1.7. I find that I am very comfortable with the focal length as it mimics my earliest film days. I like that. I also like the extra speed as it makes indoor low light photography a bit easier. If first impressions are anything to go however I'm not quite sure WHY it's such a cult favorite. It's fast, small and sharp (and that's good) but it's also noisy and slow to focus. The first few shots I took with it are nice but not spectacular. I suppose I just need to keep working with it. I think it's a matter of expectations, I am much more impressed with the 14-42 kit lens because I expected it to be terrible and it's not...it's actually pretty good. I expected the 20/1.7 to be AMAZING and it's not...but it is very good.
     
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  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    It's amazing, it's amazing..... ya gotta make images that you care about...then you'll see it's amazing.....
    The new IQ goes up tomorrow and that lens is perfect for it...
    I hope ya got a good deal on it...
    Don
     
  3. joele

    joele Mu-43 Regular

    161
    Dec 12, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    for what it costs I think the 20/1.7 is amazing.. its all relative though ;-)

    I didn't notice that it is particularly slow to focus or noisy, but I started using Pentax DSLR so we are back to it being very fast and quiet if you consider it in a relative way...
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yeah, I think I got a good deal...bought it from a heckuva nice guy too. :eek:
     
  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Watch that guy....cause he's watching you....:rofl:
     
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I suppose that's true.
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Okay then...follow up II...

    ...spent the day with it. Images look great but not that much better than the 17 and the slow focusing is not much fun. It's more fun to manually focus but if I'm using it that way I'd rather use my Pen-F lenses. They're sharper and faster.

    I'll keep at it. I'm assuming to takes time to learn to use. So far not ready to join the fan club.
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    With all due respect that is not a function of the lens. If you're making images you love they will be amazing no matter what you are using. The lens and camera need to get out of your way and let you create.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. pdh

    pdh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    598
    May 6, 2010
    I didn't go hoopy for mine when I first got it either, and it is stupidly noisy and hunts forever in low light ... on the other hand after using it for a few months I am now starting to understand why it's worth keeping ... not so much for sharpness or aperture (though it is stupidly sharp wide open), but the contrast which lets it disentangle detail beautifully ...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    This is true but I'm trying to be supportive.
    I noticed that the lens was much better on the GF1 which is why I switched.
    Take your time, you'll figure it out... Your smart.
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I appreciate that...I'm willing to put in the time.
     
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    Okay then, I can see how that would be appealing. Took my son to the Science Center today and I did like the way it handled in low light. I also liked the POV...feels very natural. I like the description if it being stupidly noisy though...sure is.
     
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Update III...

    Starting to come around to the lens. I took it to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle and it performed wonderfully in low light and I was able to get shots that I would not have gotten any other way. The biggest thing however wasn't the brightness of the lens but the very natural feel of the focal length. I started shooting film using a fixed lens rangefinder (38/1.7 Konica Auto S3). The 20/1.7+EPL-1 really reminds me of those days (in a good way). In fact, I would go as far as to say that the Panasonic might be as sharp.

    I'm looking forward to spending a good deal of time with this lens seeing what I can do with it. It's still noisy and slow but I'm starting to see why it might be worth that aggravation.
     
  14. joele

    joele Mu-43 Regular

    161
    Dec 12, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    I don't find it slow to focus at all on the G2, nor does it hunt a lot, does it behave differently on Olympus bodies?
     
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I don't have a Panasonic body to compare it to. Perhaps I am out of line with my expectations but it sure seems slow and noisy to me. It wouldn't surprise me if the lens worked better on a Panasonic body. However, it wouldn't be enough to get me to switch (I like having IBIS for my legacy lenses far too much to give it up).
     
  16. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I totally agree with the part I bolded. I have the E-PL1 and GF1 in hand at the moment, with the 17/2.8 and the 20/1.7. For the most part I am just confused :), but I definitely prefer the 20 on the GF1. I can't say it is much faster (if at all), but something makes that combo click for me. On the E-PL1 the 17mm really holds it own vs the 20, despite giving up some speed.
     
  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yeah well...I'm not going to go the GF1 route (as cool a camera as it is) because I like having IBIS too much to give up. Having had the 17 and 20 side by side on the EPL-1 I can say that the 17 definitely DOES hold its own. In the end I sold the 17 because I preferred the FOV of the 20/1.7 because it reminds me of my old Konica RF film cameras.
     
  18. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I hear you on the IBIS. Especially useful with MF lenses. I have the E-PL1 w/17 and GF1 w/20 both sitting in front of me as I type. I have no idea which one I am going to keep, but I am thinking I will keep the brands together. Every so often I think I should keep them both, but that really seems ridiculous...
     
  19. Tecpatl4

    Tecpatl4 Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Oct 16, 2010
    Midwest
    I have had mine for 3 weeks now, but due to an unfortunate series of events I am just today starting to use it.

    So far I love the lens, once I get used to it I think it will bee wonderful.
     
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I had that same thought about keeping both but to me there wasn't that much difference between the FOV that I could make that make sense (although I find I REALLY like the FOC on the 20). Quality wise they are VERY close. I think the color on the 17 is a touch more pleasing but I am finding the rendering and the contrast on the 20 to be better. In the end I traded the 17 to a board member for a 40-150 to round out my AF focal lengths.

    Worst thing about the 20 is it's making me want to upgrade the body.