Panasonic Pancake Comparisons

ralf-11

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Does anybody have side by side shots of the Panasonic 20mm/1.7 vs. the 12-32 kit lens at 20 mm?
 

Reflector

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Any specific parameters regarding the apertures and will you accept a standard scene of objects setup against microfiber background or would you prefer a concrete wall?
 

ralf-11

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anything & any f stop

I just want to see what I'd get for the reduction in zooming and extra $$
 

SkiHound

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Don't know that it will fully answer your question but I often find reviewing the native lens showcase forum useful. You generally get to see lots of images and ways in which lenses have been utilized.
 

WaltP

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Ok. JPGs, SOOC. Resized to 1000 pixels on long side. Focus is on the Declaration booklet. The first 2 to compare at same aperture, the last shows the 20 wide open (where God intended). Hope these help.

20/1.7 @ f/5.0
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12-32 @ f/5.0
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20/1.7 @ f/1.7 (the real reason to get it)
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WaltP

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Same, but at 2400 pixels. I've got nothing better to do on Cyber Monday. A great "pocketable pair", even with jeans. Have the 12-32 on as you walk around, and in your pocket is the 20 for dusking into that little coffee shop or gallery. Lovely set.

20 @ 5.0:
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12-32 @ 5.0:
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20 @ 1.7:
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ralf-11

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Thanks Walt - those shots tell me you are right on the conclusion that both are near equals at f/5 and the 1.7 is why you'd want the fixed lens.
 

agentlossing

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Thanks Walt - those shots tell me you are right on the conclusion that both are near equals at f/5 and the 1.7 is why you'd want the fixed lens.
The real strength of the 20mm is the fact that even at f1.7 it still looks just as good. Even many well regarded M4/3 lenses in the same price range are not going to function as well. Case in point, my Olympus 25mm f1.8 looks pretty soft at f1.8. But the 20mm is unfazed.

Also there are intangible (or at least, less tangible) aspects of image quality that the 20mm has over the 12-32mm as well. "Rendering" is really superb compared to any zoom lens.
 

ralf-11

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I'm not seeing the rendering differences in Walt's pics. Do you have some side by side comparisons?

I was just talking about this issue with friend over the phone last nite - we agreed that the PanaLeica's (I have the 12-60; he has them all) definitely have a different look - but could not account for anything that was not in the background, i.e. bokeh.

- maybe a new thread on rendering, micro-corntrast and anything about rendering that is not bokeh??
 

saladin

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i just set up both f/5.0 images side by side on my screen. It looks to me like a tiny difference in colour saturation/contrast, with the 20mm looking ever so slightly 'deeper' in colour. But really, there's nothing in it at 2400 pixel resize.

Ultimately, its the f/1.7 that is the key deciding factor. "rendering" competition is a moot point given one lens cant shoot at that aperture at all. dof field at f/5.0 is great enough that the rendering - which is usually actually meant as oof area's and transition from in focus area's - is irrelevant.
 

angusr

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I've had a 20mm since the GF1 and I still think it is the best lens in the system (for me). It epitomises pocketable size with excellent image quality at fast apertures. If I could only keep one lens, it would be this one.

However, it is slow and noisy to focus, and not a good option if you want autofocus in video.

I also have the 12-32. It's a little smaller in diameter, about the same length collapsed. I have an automatic lens cap on it as I find the need to extend and remove the cap a pain. It is much faster focussing and similar sharpness but no f1.7 (or f2 to f5 for that matter). It does have very good 12 mm. It also has 32mm but that doesn't matter much to me. I find it is an alternative to the 14mm pancake not the 20mm. Build quality is not very good and there is no manual focus ring. I would only buy it as part of a kit or de-kitted second hand. This doesn't sound a great review - it's better than I made it sound, and useful, but it doesn't excite me like the 20mm does.
 

wjiang

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I did these using controlled lighting (a flash).
  • Focus was on "ENGINE".
  • All camera settings other than aperture and flash power were kept the same.
  • Identical RAW conversion settings were used for all shots.
  • At closer distances the 20mm prime appears closer to the 19mm mark on the 12-32m.
  • I couldn't match FoV exactly since the zoom extends out more, making a slight difference in framing at such distances.
20mm @f/1.7
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20mm @f/4.5
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12-32mm @19mm f/4.5
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There's not a lot in it at f/4.5 at this size is there? The 20mm f/1.7 has noticeable vignetting wide-open, but that f/1.7 aperture really makes it stand out. 100% crops reveal some differences.

20mm @f/1.7
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20mm @f/4.5
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12-32mm @19mm f/4.5
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The 20mm prime is as sharp if not sharper wide open as the 12-32mm is wide open, but that's f/1.7 versus f/4.5. Stopped down to f/4.5 as well, the 20mm prime is definitely sharper at 100%. At web sizes you'll never notice this difference in sharpness.

The colour rendition is close enough to be a moot point. Remember these are both Panasonic lenses - neither are Panasonic Leicas (which are the ones that tended to have the warmer tones).
 
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pellicle

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Thanks Walt - those shots tell me you are right on the conclusion that both are near equals at f/5 and the 1.7 is why you'd want the fixed lens.
Agreed, and OIS is why you'd want the 12-32
Something you'll never get with the 12-32

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It would instead look more like a cell phone shot, and while OIS may help my camera shake it would not help it if aunty Nancy moved.

Of course my solution is to own both
 
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