Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II or Panasonic 25mm f1.7

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by purinwg, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. purinwg

    purinwg New to Mu-43

    1
    Mar 20, 2016
    Having trouble deciding between these two lenses. I am leaning more towards the 20mm because it is wider and physically smaller in size. However the autofocusing issue has stumped me. I own a Olympus E-PL3. Any opinions to help me with my decision appreciated!
     
  2. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    I don't know but to be frank I think the problems of AF with the 20mm f.17 on Oly bodies is overblown. I believe its down to expectations management.

    watch this review he uses Oly cameras ...
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
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  3. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Veteran

    271
    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Rich
    I agree that the AF problem is overblown. I recently bought a used 20mm 1.7 and have tried it on both a Oly E-M10 and a Panasonic GM5 body and it focuses pretty quickly, even in low light. Just trying it in my living room at night, it didn't hunt once and always snapped quickly into focus even in the pretty dim conditions. It is NOISY while focusing, but it is plenty fast, IMHO. In fact, I kind of wondered what all the fuss was about.

    As far as the focal length, the 20mm is much more usable, IMHO. And the sharpness is great. I compared it to my Oly 14-42mm 3.5-5.6 II R kit lens and it is much sharper (surprisingly so).
     
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  4. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    258
    May 2, 2011
    New York
    Rafael
    Disclaimer- I haven't tried the P25 1.7, so can't speak to it as a choice. As for the P20, I agree with pellicle & RAH. Is the P20 as speedy as other modern lenses? Nope. Would it be my first choice for fast moving subjects? Definitely not. But is it fast enough for most of my other uses? Definitely. Couple that with a great focal length for my type of photos, amazing sharpness, decent DOF control given the format, and amazingly compact size and it's my favorite lens on a mu43 body. By a long shot. It's on my EM10 almost all the time, and that kit is my take everywhere camera. Love it.
     
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  5. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've owned both. The 20mm is a tad sharper and smaller, while the 25mm 1.7 makes for better OOF backgrounds, but is quite big for an M43 lens. The 25mm focuses quite a bit faster, while the 20mm is a tad slower especially if you're trying to shoot moving subjects. I think the 17mm 1.8 (wider) or Oly 25mm 1.8 (smaller than the Pan 25mm 1.7) might be a better fit for your camera.
     
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  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    I have the P20, version I, no problems with that on the E-M10 but I find it really too wide. I think I'll replace it with a 25.
    So better find your ideal focal length with a zoom first.
     
  7. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
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  8. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    351
    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    The 20mm is a great lens. The 25mm is cheap. The Sigma 30mm is cheaper.

    Get the 20mm Panasonic AND the Sigma 30mm
    or
    Just get the Olympus 25mm
     
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    and just to "muddy" the waters

    Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G Review

     
  10. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    I prefer the FOV of the 20mm over the 25mm for the so-called "normal" focal length, but own both a P20 and an O25. They are both sharp, but the O25 renders colors more pleasing to my eye.

    Regarding AF performance, IMO, it is not that the P20 is slow to focus but that the O25 is very quick. As I use longer FL lenses for sports, the extra heartbeat for the P20 to focus is a non-issue for me. Perhaps more importantly, for a single body/lens, it is hard to beat the GM1/P20 for compactness. I find myself carrying that combo around even when I don't expect to make any photographs, which of course results in making some unexpectedly nice ones every now and then.
     
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The AF complaints regarding the 20mm are absolutely NOT overblown if you intend to shoot with C-AF or want AF during video recording. The lens supports neither of those features.

    For standard single shot stuff, it's adequate.
     
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  12. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Veteran

    271
    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Rich
    Oh yeah, video; I keep forgetting about that. I agree, the 20mm wouldn't be very good for that, or C-AF either, I suppose. I also agree with "adequate," as you say. But "adequate" is, um, adequate, and there are so many negative comments about this lens and its focusing that I think it misleads a lot of still photographers.

    For example, the poor AF reputation was one reason that I bought the Sigma 19mm f2.8 "Art" lens instead about a year ago. Well, now that I have the 20mm too, I like it much better than the Sigma in just about every way. Sure, the Sigma focuses somewhat faster, but for the type of photography I do, it doesn't matter at all.
     
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  13. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    258
    May 2, 2011
    New York
    Rafael
    Honestly, what we all think matters only so much. Best best would be for you to try out both lenses and see which one works best for you and for your style of photography.
     
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  14. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yeah, I'd only use the 20mm in manual focus mode for video, probably. But I take video once every blue moon, and never with the 20mm mounted, so that's probably okay by me.

    On a Panasonic body, using the touchscreen in S-AF to select a high-contrast edge, the 20mm focuses about as quickly as I can go from a half-press to a full-press of the shutter (i.e. less than a second), so it works okay for me. I also have "quick-AF" turned on, though, which is basically like full-time C-AF which keeps the lens in the right focus range for the most part so it has less distance to travel.

    As far as slow AF goes, I have my 11-22 PDAF 4/3 lens on a CDAF body to give me a bit of perspective. I'd say my 20mm focuses about as fast as my 14-140mm in most circumstances.
     
  15. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The reason the AF is mentioned so much is because that is the weakness. That's pretty much it. It's an absolute gem of a lens otherwise. If they came out with a 20mm f1.7 III with AF like the 15mm f1.7 then I think this would be a lens with zero "cons" on the review summary. Or if the 17mm f1.8 had optics like the 20mm f1.7, that would work too!

    That was definitely not my experience unless you are talking about perfect conditions with an easy, static target and great lighting. If you add any kind of adversity to the shooting scenario, the AF weaknesses add up in a hurry.

    I will say that the 25mm f1.7 is gaining a bit of a reputation for inconsistent AF (as in lens reporting focus but not being in focus an abnormally high percentage of the time). So I'd say that's way worse than slower but more accurate.

    But my overall answer to the OP is to get the Olympus 25mm f1.8. That's a lens with no weaknesses.
     
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  16. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    Funny that you mentioned it. Here are two pair of test shots using the P20 and the O25 from this morning:
    SOOC jpegs
    P3210477. P3210478. P3210480. P3210481.
     
  17. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Honestly, you're probably right. I rarely shoot moving subjects, and when I do, it's always with a longer lens. The moving things I shoot are either very small, or far away, so a normal FL doesn't really fit that requirement. I can make my 20mm hunt badly when doing tests by focusing on indistinct areas in dim light, but it's not been an issue that I've personally noticed affect my real world shooting. As with everything, your mileage my vary.

    It's not a perfect lens by any means, but try as I might I can't justify replacing it with anything else on the market.
     
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  18. LPG1964

    LPG1964 Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Mar 20, 2016
    I am very satisfied with the performance of the 20mm II.
    I think it is a very useful fov in many circumstances and the optical quality is really excellent.
    The AF is good enough for stills (it only makes a little noise).
    Only for video the AF has led me down sometimes, so I prefer manual focusing with this lens when doing video.
    It's diminutive size means that you can always slip it into a pocket or some small space in your bag. A great advantage.
     
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  19. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Decided to walk home from work on Thursday (1.5 hours or so) since freezing rain had meant my bike was out of commission, and I had my GX7 + 20mm/1.7 with me. I don't find that a true normal focal length is an easy one to work with for street shooting, which isn't a genre I've spent much time on in general. I was often feeling that it was a little bit too wide to isolate details that were farther away, or too narrow to capture some of the larger architectural features...and yet, it was workable enough for both, which I don't think would be as true of a focal length that was much different in either direction. So it's a compromise, but so are all things photographic.

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    25955782292_4216191411_b.

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    26048320735_49727fed40_b.
     
  20. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    584
    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    Maybe neither the Olympus 25 is an amazing lens you could look into it. It's smaller than the PL 25 and according to some reviews sharper in the corners.
    Olympus 25mm f/1.8 vs. Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 - Page 2 of 2 - Admiring Light
    The Panasonic 25mm f1.7 is also a darned good lens at least my copy is. The only negative I have is the size but if that doesn't bother you then i's fine.