Panasonic 20mm with GM1 or GM5 - HELP NEEDED

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by JT26, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. JT26

    JT26 New to Mu-43

    Jul 23, 2012
    Hi guys,

    Basically I am after a small walkaround / take everywhere camera and one (or two) of my options would be a Panasonic GM5 or GM1 and the 20mm 1.7 lens... However I have read that the focus on this lens is slow (some say extremely slow), can anyone tell me how it performs on the GM1 or GM5?

    I own a Fuji XT-1 and several lenses, I know its a long shot buy can anyone tell me about focusing compared to that system?

    Sorry if this is covered somewhere else.
  2. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Real Name:
    On the GM1 it's not that slow - yes it's slower than other M4/3 lenses when directly compared, but used on it's own I'd not really consider it slow. I've only played with an XM1 and standard lens and wouldn't say it's noticeably slower than that, maybe a tad faster, but I've not timed it. In general use I've not been frustrated speed wise.
  3. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 25, 2014
    Real Name:
    The 20mm was my first prime for mFT, and I enjoyed using it on the E-PM1 - in fact, it was what brought me back into photography after years and years of not getting to grips with digital. The 20mm is slower to focus than some of the blazingly fast mFT lenses available, but it's not that slow at all, especially on Panasonic bodies. On the GF1 I got in a deal quite recently, the 20mm focuses faster than on the E-PM1, by some margin. I would expect it to behave at least as well on the GM1 or GM5. That said, it also looks a bit big for those bodies (I mean the lens diameter, mainly). So the obvious companions for the GM cameras would be either the 15mm f/1.7 or the older, but even smaller and considerably cheaper 14mm f/2.5. My choice would be the 15mm - it's got none of the weaknesses of the 14mm (soft corners) and has a silent wave focusing motor, so focuses a lot faster than the 20mm. It's also very, very sharp - and thus might even beat the great 20mm in terms of overall crispness and rendering.

    I don't want to turn you away from the 20mm, though - it's still one of my favourite lenses! I'd recommend checking out all available options, though. For the GM1/GM5, I'd go with the 15mm (or the Olympus 17mm - but I find that lens less compelling than the 20mm; I own both!).

    • Like Like x 1
  4. jasjb

    jasjb Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2014
    Pano 20mm is probably comparable to the XF 35mm in focusing... you can feel and hear them focusing.

    Don't quote me on that, because I haven't used the 35mm with any of the new software updates

    Sure there is a small delay, but nothing too limiting unless you are photographing running dogs or something.
  5. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    I first started M4/3 with a GF1 and P20mm lens, it was the fastest focusing camera I have used, my previous cameras were P&S types. It never let me down and I never missed a shot with it, even in low light. It's probably slower than other M4/3 lenses as they are even faster at focusing, but that does not mean the P20 is slow in focusing by itself. To me it is like saying the Ferrari 458 is slow because it is not as fast as the Buggati Veyron.
    I have noticed that the latest Panasonic cameras including the GM1 that the focusing is even better than before.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:
    I have only heard of people whinge about it on (oopsie) Olympus bodies. Its a lovely lens and I'm very happy with it on GF1 or GH1. It actually does faster AF than my Olympus 45mm f1.8

    The other viewpoint is people get carried away with micro seconds as it ts really the reason they can't take a good shot.

    I doubt you'll be disappointed with a GM and that lens, but even if you are you can on sell it again cheaper than renting :)
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    The focus on the 20 is slow only by M4/3 standards, which are extremely high. I mostly shoot stationary things or people in a street setting in single-AF mode, but AF speed has never been an issue with the 20, even for street photography. Yes, it's noticeably slower than the 45, or other M4/3 lenses. But that doesn't mean it's a slow lens. I would say the 20's AF is about as fast as an average DSLR lens's. It's also very accurate, mine's only ever had trouble focusing once, and that was in extremely low light (we're talking ISO 6400, f1.7, super slow shutter speed).

    Have you thought about the Panasonic 14 2.5 for a walkaround lens? It's even smaller and lighter than the 20, and focuses better, albeit it's a stop slower. I really enjoy walking around with these two lenses!
  8. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    I don't think the GM-1 or 5 improves the underlying focusing ability of the 20mm. It's a very good lens, but in berry low light it can hunt and be fractionally slower than more recent m43 designs. That said, I never had any real problems using it on my Gx-7 or GM-1. It's a fantastic all around lens and a great fit on the GM-1.
  9. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    I use the 20/1.7 on both GM1 and E-M5. The lens is slower compared to my other lenses, like the 14/2.5
    The 20 is kind of bulky on the GM1 I think, feels not right. But the 14 is a really nice match! :)
  10. darrellc

    darrellc Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    I have the GM5 and 20/1.7 and X100T. In good light they are comparable in focus speed. In low light the X100T lags. The GM5/20 is much more reliable than the X100T in general regarding AF accuracy. I know you have an XT1 but perhaps that is a useful comparison. The GM5 with the PL15, Oly 17 is instantaneous. The 20/1.7, as noted above, isn't slow compared to most lenses across various systems, just against recent m4/3 lens designs.

    All comments above refer to single shot AFS. The 20:1.7 isn't even supported in AFC on the GM5 or GH4.
  11. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2012
    I love the 20 on my GM1, I take it everywhere, while I only occasionally take my 12-32 pancake and O45. I've also had the O17 and P14, and while all of those lenses focus faster than the 20, it's just such a great and versatile lens, and a great fit on the GM1 if you use a small grip.

    As others have said, it's not the fastest, but I wouldn't call it slow. I'd compare it to the X100S, which I've also owned, and perhaps you've tried.
  12. JT26

    JT26 New to Mu-43

    Jul 23, 2012
    Guys thanks for your help. I actually went into my local camera store at the weekend and tried them all out...

    I can't believe how small the GM1 and GM5's are, crazy. But they both felt a litle plasticy and I didnt like that the 20mm has a diameter larger than the camera itself. Although the focusing with the GM5 was totally adequate, I would have had no issues with it at all.

    I have decided to stay with the fuji line and buy the X100T, which seemed to tick most boxes. Although a little bigger than I'd like, I can't actually see me putting a camera in my 'pocket' anyway, so whatever I buy I will have to carry with a case...

    Thank you for your help
    • Like Like x 1
  13. pmpup4p3

    pmpup4p3 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 23, 2014
  14. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    For what it's worth, I understand that plasticky is a subjective experience, but the GM1 and GM5 actually have a magnesium shell. They may well have less plastic in them than the X100.

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  15. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Real Name:
    Yes apart from the access covers they're pretty much solid metal (even the semi-pro Nikons have plastic access covers). I liked their solidity (the plastic body put me off the XM1) but handling preferences are very subjective.
  16. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    What's wrong with plastic anyway? ☺
  17. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Real Name:
    Objectively not a lot with modern bodies - they'll probably cope just as well with clumsy handling as magnesium bodies. For those of us who grew up with heavy brass bodies, when plastic was only used on cheaper cameras there's probably still a psychological hang up - it's more a subjective preference rather than anything based on objective concerns. The only real objective concern is that the extra weight of a metal body on such a tiny camera as the GM1 does help balance the handling when you use a slightly weightier lens such as one of the longer zooms.