Panasonic 20mm f1.7 do you like your lens? Difference between Ver. I and Ver. II?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by LowriderS10, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Hi everyone...I apologize for starting so many threads...once I finish my collection, I'll slow down, I promise! This will likely be my last lens for a while.

    I love pancakes and fast lenses, the 20 1.7 seems like a good one. It looks like it's sharp and has nice bokeh.

    HOWEVER...I see lots of complaints about the AF.

    How bad is it? I won't be shooting anything that moves fast, but I will be shooting low light stuff. It'll be mostly used for street and general bumming around photography. It'll be a bit of a jack of all trades, but I do like just "life" snapshots with a lens of this kind. Will I be disappointed/frustrated with the AF? there any difference between the old version I and the new version II, aside from the cosmetic upgrades?

    The II isn't even for sale in Korea yet, but the I sells for as much brand new as used copies go for in the States, so it's a no-brainer if I decide to go that route.

  2. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    I can't say anything about the new one, but the old one works just fine. Lets say that more recent lenses are faster and quieter, but it doesn't mean that old one is bad.

    What it means is that you can get the old one cheaper. If money matters, go for the old one. If not, wait for the new one :smile:
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The P20 is the lens that got me to commit to MFTs, and it remains one of the best lenses for any system IMO. The AF speed is below average, but that is the price for small size, relatively high speed, and great performance. From what I can tell, the newer version is a cosmetic change only, although there are no hands on reports as of yet. Based on what you said, I highly recommend the P20, although I'd also look at the O17/1.8 if you don't mind the slightly wider angle of view. The Panasonic is a bit sharper, while the Oly focuses faster.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Thank you, both!

    Money isn't a huge issue, HOWEVER...I could get the old version roughly $150 cheaper. For a purely cosmetic upgrade, it's not worth it (as much as I do like the new version's looks better). I could wait, but I'm afraid of the old one disappearing and leaving me with no choice, but to buy the facelifted (but no better performing) ver. II for a lot more money. So, I'm a bit torn.

    Yeah, I've considered the O17, but it's not really a true pancake, and I really want something ridiculously small. From all I've read, the things that matter to me (sharpness, bokeh), are much better on the P20. As far as the FL goes, 34 or 40 equivalent isn't a HUGE difference, so that's not a deciding factor, BUT I did like the 40 on my full frame before, so I know I'd be happy with that.
  5. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    If it's just cosmetic upgrade it would be huge disappointment and definitely not worth 150 extra. On the other hand, how can you be disappointed when the lens is so good :biggrin:

    I agree that P20 would give you slight edge of controlling DOF if you are comparing it to O17. But only slight. IQ vise they are equal in every day life, but only one is "ridiculously small".
  6. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    The mk II probably fixes the banding issue on the GH3 and EM5.
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I've been reading about this banding...I don't get how the lens is responsible for that, though...I've always thought that high-ISO banding (which plagues Canons) is a sensor-based problem.

    And is there any evidence that Panasonic did anything like that? From their official press release, I'm hard-pressed to see any improvements beyond cosmetic...
  8. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Buying one new. either ver I or II, may be the best bet. Since the whole lens assembly moves, weight on the front end seems to drastically change the AF speed. There is also a known issue with the rf-styled vented hood making the lens unable to retract fully when shutting down. For me new was $50 more than used, and I find it hunting rarely. However, the only thing mounted on it has been a uv filter.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
  9. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I'm definitely buying new, and I won't be using a hood or UV filter (never do with pancakes).
  10. atnbirdie

    atnbirdie Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2013
    I love my 20mm performance and small size. I do like having a hood, but got a rubber collapsible one so it doesn't make much difference to system size when folded back.
  11. phl0wtography

    phl0wtography Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 15, 2011
    There's a mkII? Link?
    The P20 was my first prime for the system, and it's stellar when it comes to sharpness even wide open.
    At close focus distances it lacks contrast, at least mine does. Bokeh could be better for distant backgrounds, but I usually don't use the lens for subject isolation anyway, it's way too wide to do that properly on a small sensor like m4/3, and for near backgrounds when focused closely bokeh is beautiful imo. It's my walkaround lens for street when I'm not in the mood for portraits of strangers. AF is fast enough, sure it's not as snappy as those newer lenses, especially Oly's MSC. Often enough I just use f/5.6 or f/8, focus at hyperfocal distance, and put my OM-D into MF. Can't get any quicker than that ;)
    Still pricey though, at least in Europe its price has hardly gone down since release, in some shops it's even more expensive!
  12. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    The Mk. II is cosmetic only, as far as we know.

    The AF on the 20mm is slow but I don't care much about AF. It's fast enough for most purposes.

    The near-normal focal length does not appeal to me, but the lens is glued to my wife's camera, and she makes excellent use of it!
  13. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Well if the lens' focus motor sends out electromagnetic interference that the sensor picks up, it's hard to say that the lens is not partially responsible.
  14. Gonewest

    Gonewest Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2013
    Cornwall, UK
    I think it will depend on your expectations and shooting conditions. I find the focus speed to be below average (for M43) but fine for my requirements in average light conditions, but terrible in low light. In fact it often won't focus at all in low light. As I find it a fiddly lens to manually focus this have proved to be it's Achilles heel for me.
  15. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 25, 2011
    Bravin Neff
    The P20 is okay. I find the images a bit sterile. I favor the O17 f1.8 images by a fair margin. Yes, the P20's AF is slow and quite noisy -- it will ruin any video.
  16. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    My least favorite lens in the system. Not much micro contrast.
  17. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Thanks for all the input...and the explanation as to how it causes image noise...I guess since it's a focus-by-wire system, even switching to MF won't solve that issue, eh?

    I'm okay with the focus not being great for video, I don't do much video...usually only when I travel, and then I wouldn't have this lens anyways.
  18. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    The 20mm is kind of the reason I'm using m4/3s right now. The small size, speed, and sharpness are the the reason that this is one of the most popular lenses. It makes my PM2 a point and shot. I've never needed the flash with it. You can take a lot of handheld shots at night too.

    The AF has not been an issue whatsoever. I would have never noticed it except for seeing people here complain about it. It's a terrific lens.

  19. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Nice! I just wish it rendered OOF points of lights more circular and less oval...that's pretty much my only complaint about the bokeh of this lens!
  20. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2012
    anything new out there about the MkII? It looks to not yet be available in the US, but has it been released elsewhere? I traded my MkI for the O17/1.8 largely for the faster and smoother AF, but if they improved the AF for the P20 MkII I would probably go back for the smaller form factor.
  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.