Panasonic 20mm and Olympus 14-42mm comparison shots

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Brianetta, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    438
    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    Just recently acquired a Panasonic 20mm pancake for my Olympus E-P1. I thought I'd have a look at which produced the best shot, side by side, between the new lens and the kit zoom. It's just a quick test, that I did a moment ago here on my desk at work.

    The photos were taken a few seconds apart, from the same position on a mini tripod, framed to be as precisely the same as possible. The exposure was 1/15 at f/5.6 at ISO 200. These are the JPEGs; raw images are available if anybody's really that interested.

    The first one is the Panasonic, the second one is the E-P1's kit zoom. Click the images for the full sized original. The resized ones aren't much cop.

    Immediately you'll notice that the photos are not identically shaped. Although the focal plane to object distance was identical, the zoom lens' objective element was much closer to the subject, and the lens itself reported that it was at 18mm. When shot at 20mm , the framing was noticably different. I went for similar framing, rather than similar EXIF data.

    As for quality? You'd be hard-pressed to see a difference. The Panasonic really shines when its aperture is open wider than the zoom lens' is able.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/BE04HJL0x4wlJKjuN2d8QPSbXJ2TncoHExUAUx4nwzI?feat=embedwebsite">[​IMG]
     
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  2. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    619
    Feb 15, 2011
    Toronto
    As nice as lens as the 20mm is. The real advantage is it's speed and prime for low light condition exposures. Tripod shoting with significant lighting doesn't play to the strength and weakness of each lens at a fl of 18-20mm. Under ideal shooting scenes, the Olympus kit lens is actually a very nice lens.

    If you could, would be nice to see a comparison in dim environment (like a pub) and see how the lens perform handheld and time permitting, also tripod mounted.
     
  3. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    438
    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    Well, to compare properly I'd have to stop the lens at f/3.5 or smaller. Clearly, the 20mm's ability to open wider means that it's going to be able to make better images in low light. Similarly, the zoom lens lets me frame images as I like, which isn't a strength of primes.

    Basically, I was just idly curious as to whether my new 20mm lens was better than my kit lens when stopped down to the middle in normal, workable lighting. Turns out it wasn't, and it was no real effort for me to share that result.
     
  4. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Mu-43 Regular

    88
    Jun 28, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    interestingly, I glanced at them and immediately pegged the top photo as the Panny shot, based on sharpness and color. Then I went back to the description and saw that I was right.

    thanks for making the comparison. It's something I think we've all wanted to see.

    Could you do the same shot with the lens wide open? I'd like to see the depth of field difference.
     
  5. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    The Oly kit is at its best at 14-25mm, so you've hit the sweet spot. It's really a vastly under-rated lens. Things do go downhill a bit from 30 onward, but it's still OK. Not as good as the Panny 14-45 in the telephoto range though.

    Thanks for doing this. I agree that with enough light you'd be hard-pressed to tell them apart, which has been my experience too.
     
  6. Saelee

    Saelee Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Feb 10, 2011
    Thanks for the comparison now I don't feel so bad that I didn't get the 20mm lens. Although I still would LOVE to have it, the stock lens will do the job for now.
     
  7. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    438
    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    Indeed, Saelee! I didn't buy the 20mm for the quality of its daylight shots, but because I like to take photos in a goth club, where everybody wears black in a darkened room. A wide aperture is pretty much a necessity if I'm using available light.

    The other big advantage is the size, of course. The kit zoom got looks from people on the street. The pancake does not.
     
  8. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    438
    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    My mother in law. She's lovely, really. I'm not even going to tell you through which lens each photograph was taken. This is just intended as a quick real-world comparison of the same two lenses as before, both well within their comfort zones. I used program mode, and the camera made different decisions about each shot. I wasn't careful about framing. It's about as un-scientific as it gets. Enjoy.
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/jPXTaazeaiCvIg9klH-y_fSbXJ2TncoHExUAUx4nwzI?feat=embedwebsite">[​IMG]
     
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  9. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    I'd say Panasonic on the left ; slightly warmer, hair slightly better separated (provided the focus was about right, which I'm not really sure for the picture on the right, seems a bit too soft even for the kit zoom).
     
  10. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    438
    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    You're right. The biggest explanation for the different qualities of the two photographs probably isn't the lens; while I was changing the lenses, the sun went in slightly, as can be seen in the softness of the shadow on the sleeve of her fleece.