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Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and new cameras: no banding?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Egregius V, May 18, 2016.

  1. Egregius V

    Egregius V Mu-43 Regular

    122
    Jun 14, 2015
    Massachusetts, USA
    Rev. Gregory Vozzo
    I bought a Panasonic GX85 today. One of the first questions I wanted to answer is, does this camera produce the infamous noise-pattern banding with the 20mm prime lens? (For an example of what I'm talking about, look here.) I performed the same tests I did with my Olympus cameras - low light, high contrast, various ISO and aperture settings, mechanical and electronic shutters. So far, I have been unable to produce banding with the GX85 and 20mm lens.

    There are various reasons why the new camera might be immune. The sensor could be a Panasonic sensor - though rumors suggest it's not. It could also be that Sony has produced new sensors that aren't as susceptible to the problem. The new shutter mechanism could also avoid the issue. Who knows. Results matter most, right? :dance3:

    I'd love to hear of your experiences with the new cameras and the 20mm lens - in particular, the GX8 and PEN-F, as well as the GX80/85/7-ii. Please share! Thanks.
     
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  2. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    good to hear ;-)
     
  3. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Has the banding ever been an issue with Panasonic bodies? I know I saw some banding with my EM10 but I thought it was only Oly bodies that got it.
     
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  4. Egregius V

    Egregius V Mu-43 Regular

    122
    Jun 14, 2015
    Massachusetts, USA
    Rev. Gregory Vozzo
    Yes, the GH3 has the old Sony 16MP sensor, and hence, the banding problem. I think all the rest of the problem cameras are Olympus. (Note - the E-M1 has a Panasonic sensor and is immune; the E-M5 II gets around it with its electronic shutter.)
     
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  5. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    although that too was irregular with some owners saying "no banding here"

    Micro 4/3rds Photography: Lumix 20mm lens and banding with the GH3

    gh3%2Band%2B20mm%2B1-to-1%2Bcrops%2Biso%2B6400.

    gh3%2Band%2B20mm%2B3%2Bcrops%2Bcurves.

    so one has to wonder if its an internet 'fact' which is propagated by those who don't test for it?
     
  6. Egregius V

    Egregius V Mu-43 Regular

    122
    Jun 14, 2015
    Massachusetts, USA
    Rev. Gregory Vozzo
    Well, for one thing, the GH3 manual explicitly mentions the problem. (p.288?) For another, people can mean different things when they talk about "banding" - e.g., noise pattern striping (which I want to focus on), uneven exposure with electronic shutters under artificial light, posterization/dithering/false-contouring due to compression and noise reduction, and high-ISO green and magenta noise patterns (which can happen with any lens on a lot of cameras). The confusion is understandable. In my experience, the banding I'm talking about happens under specific low-light, high-contrast conditions, so can be hard to reproduce on demand. It is said to be a high-ISO issue, even in the manual, but really isn't. High ISO just makes it easier to see, as does a high aperture value. Hope that helps.
     
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  7. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Feb 23, 2014
    France
    I think the banding issue is clearly linked to the sensor (the same Sony 16 Mpix).
    For example, the E-M1 has a different sensor than other Oly bodies and there is no banding with the 20 mm.
    The Pen-F will probably have no problem either.

    Maybe the issue can be raised with some other sensors, so it's good to know that the GX85 is OK.

    I agree on the ISO thing, but concerning aperture, with my 20 mm it's not visible at all at f/1.7.
    Close the aperture a little (f/1.8) and it becomes obvious.
    I've tested the lens on several bodies and when they use this 16 Mpix sony the behaviour is always the same.
    I'm not sure that 2 copies of the 20 mm lens would perform the same in terms of banding, though.
     
  8. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    its interesting .... have you seen any examples?

    The wording of the manual is this:
    which is actually in the "trouble shooting" section ... so its not like the manual explicitly says "you will get banding"

    I only said that it was :
    and provided a test that a user had posted. Meaning getting banding with the 20 is not a certainty, that its a possibility. I understood that with the specific Oly cameras it was "all of that model"

    The above page I referenced makes the point that none is found ... you're reporting that none is found on your camera and the only reason I mentioned this is because one poster questioned if it was an Oly body only issue ... which it seems to be to me.

    I'm afraid that I don't follow the "well we can call any banding problem banding" as that's just misleading and helps no one to fault find.

    I did a search, and couldn't find any cases of it with photographs on any Panasonic bodies, thus I wondered:
    can you find any?

    Again I am just interested to learn if the problems are really restricted to Oly bodies
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  9. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Feb 23, 2014
    France
    Maybe it's restricted to Oly bodies, but it's not ALL Oly bodies, just some specific ones (those with the same 16 Mpix Sony sensor)
     
  10. Egregius V

    Egregius V Mu-43 Regular

    122
    Jun 14, 2015
    Massachusetts, USA
    Rev. Gregory Vozzo
    So am I - just in a more narrow sense. I started this thread to look at the new and largely untested cameras that have new sensors and other components.

    I cannot stress enough the need to be specific about what one wants to talk about - so please let me try to clarify it. Here, Tyson Robichaud claims that the GX7 produces banding, though only at the highest ISO. Then there's this kind of banding seen with various Panasonic cameras. And countless other examples involving every series Panasonic has produced with 16MP sensors. And then there are the deep flaws in the test you're referencing using the GH3, a 20mm lens, and a 19mm lens. Do you see the problem? To bring up "we can call any banding problem banding" - as you say - is far from misleading - it's quite the opposite - it's the only way to achieve clarity.

    Sorry, I don't have GH3 examples of the banding I'm talking about. I was going by Panasonic's own claims and the underlying, historic reason those claims appeared in the GH3 manual and in some Olympus manuals. The Internet is a big place, though. Why not start a new thread about the GH3, here or in DPReview? I understand your concerns about hearsay with regard to that camera, and am also interested in this - but with respect, would like to see this thread not stray too far from the topic for which I started it, which I think is pretty specific. Thanks.
     
  11. Egregius V

    Egregius V Mu-43 Regular

    122
    Jun 14, 2015
    Massachusetts, USA
    Rev. Gregory Vozzo
    Actually, we agree concerning aperture, too - I just wasn't clear enough. I said "high aperture value" - meaning above f/1.7. :thumbup: I've observed the same as you. I also agree that one's own experience can vary - there is no guarantee of experiencing banding. So what I did was come up with a test that reliably produces it and then run that test many times with the same lens on all cameras I own. Just ran it again - zero banding and VERY impressive AF performance and IQ from the GX85!
     
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  12. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I'm not sure it even counts as banding at ISO 25600, since images at that ISO aren't really usable for anything. Maybe printing out on a business card?
     
  13. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Feb 23, 2014
    France
    Yes, a lot of sensors produce banding at very high ISO...(25600...)
    Sometimes on my E-M10 there seems to be the beginning of what may be banding in underexposed areas at 3200 ISO, whatever the lens.
    But that's absolutely not the same thing as the P20 banding issue.
     
  14. Egregius V

    Egregius V Mu-43 Regular

    122
    Jun 14, 2015
    Massachusetts, USA
    Rev. Gregory Vozzo
    Couldn't agree more. My point in bringing up those examples is that lots of people want to talk about "banding" on different cameras - Olympus and Panasonic. They all want to talk about different things, not one thing. I'm interested in one thing - whether or not the banding specific to the 20mm lens occurs in the newest cameras (which might have new Sony sensors in them - hence their behavior isn't predictable based on the performance of older cameras). It's a question that really hasn't been answered to my satisfaction thus far (like Pellicle's concerns about the GH3). I even tried asking both Olympus and Panasonic about it, but got nowhere.
     
  15. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    I think "no banding on newer cameras".

    My evidence:
    I've had the P20 f1.7 Mark I since I moved into M43. The banding was obvious and annoying.
    I used the P20 and saw banding on an EPM1, EPM2, EPL5 and EM5. They were all as bad as each other for high ISO banding on that lens.

    Then I got the EM5 Mark II, and the banding has never shown up, despite often using high ISOs.

    At least on this camera and sensor, I think the banding problem has gone away.
     
  16. Egregius V

    Egregius V Mu-43 Regular

    122
    Jun 14, 2015
    Massachusetts, USA
    Rev. Gregory Vozzo
    The E-M5 II is an interesting camera when it comes to the 20mm lens. Do you use the electronic shutter a lot? There is no such banding in silent mode. But the banding can happen when the mechanical shutter is used. (Please see the link I provided in the original post at the top of this thread, showing banding with this camera.)

    I can typically avoid banding through careful exposure and metering. If highlights get blown in the process, I use exposure bracketing, HDR, or (most often) switch to the silent shutter.
     
  17. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    Not a lot, it might be 1-2% of all my photos if that. Mostly because when I want silent shutter, it's indoors during a quiet occasion, but I find most of these are under fluorescent light which creates it's own kind of banding due to the slower e-shutter readout speed so I have to use mechanical shutter anyway.
     
  18. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I just purchased my third copy of this lens (why do I keep selling it?). I plan to use it on the Pen F. I'll try to take note if I see anything. OTOH, I never noticed on my earlier Pen bodies (E-P1) and I never really tried my seoncd version on any Olympus bodies, as it was pretty much stuck to the GX7.