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Pancake/Lens Question

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by mix123, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. mix123

    mix123 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 5, 2011
    I've had my epm-1 for a few months with the 20mm on it. I really really like this lens. My only gripe is the focus hunting in low light. The images in low light turn out great its just the focusing that's a bummer. The 14mm is nice and small and apparently focus' faster but it isn't really a low light lens.

    My questions is...Is there a lens out there with the same physical size that doesnt have the low light focusing issues and has the same image quality?

    Looking to buy some more lenses...I'm thinking the best overall setup is the 20mm, 14mm, and 45mm. But just wondering what you guys think.
  2. bryan

    bryan Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 27, 2012
    What are you shooting in low light?

    In general, it sounds like you should be looking towards the PL25, although obviously that's not a pancake.
  3. bryan

    bryan Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 27, 2012
    Also, what focusing mode do you use? If you're not doing it already, try switching to center point AF when shooting in low light, and see if things improve.

    Is there any chance your hand is covering the AF assist light when you hold the camera?

    All that said, the Panasonic 20mm is pretty slow to focus in general, and tends to hunt even in good light.
  4. emirabal

    emirabal Mu-43 Regular

    I have read a lot of people stating the focus is slow on the 20 mm and I can see where they are coming from but I feel that in the past three weeks with that lens on my ccamera the focal speed is negligible.

    This is in my opinion of course. I have had about a 10% if even less than that where I have had an issue with the focal speed not catching up in time. Other than that its been great.

    Well worth it in the long run especially in the low light. I'm loving it.
  5. mix123

    mix123 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 5, 2011
    Umm anything really. Indoors mostly.

    I havent been using the center point AF. I will try it and see if it helps. I try and make sure I'm not covering it, so I doubt that's the issue.

    Ya it does like to hunt that's for sure.
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The Leica 25mm f/1.4 for a wider aperture (faster shutter speed) or the m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 or m.Zuiko 12mm f/2 for faster Autofous. f/1.4 is one stop faster than f/2 btw, and will allow double the shutter speed.
  7. capodave

    capodave Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 4, 2010
    Southern Cal
    I have had the 20 since June '10 and have always liked it.
    After getting my E PM1 I purchased a 17 and in many ways prefer it for the colors with it and the faster af.
    I think it is an underated lens, at least with Oly cameras IMHO.
  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    There's no respite for you. Either pay up and get the Panasonic 25mm (giving up size), switch to a completely different perspective/angle of view as Ned suggests, or live with the shortcomings of the lens given its image quality to price ratio. Ideally, Olympus and Panasonic would release updated versions of the 17mm and 20mm lenses, but I wouldn't hold out or make a decision based on a non-existent product. Plus, Panasonic is selling so many 20mm lenses right now, it's not even funny. This thing isn't in stock anywhere, which doesn't give Panasonic very much incentive to fix something that clearly isn't broken, from a production/retail perspective.
  9. What focusing method and settings are you using that is causing the 20mm to give problems in low light?
  10. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    • Like Like x 1
  11. tetzumaru

    tetzumaru Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 10, 2012
    perfect example of you can't get the best of both worlds.
  12. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    What, so you mean there isn't a 7-100mm f/1.0 lens that is optically perfect and the size of my fist, and it will only cost $800? Geez, you make it sound like every design choice is a compromise based on the engineers' specific goals, and the lens designers are bound by the laws of physics!
  13. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    An adapted manual lens will focus as quickly as your fingers can move and as accurately as your eyes can lock-on.

    None will be pancakey - the most compact you're likely to get would be a Pen F Zuiko f1.2, 1.4 or 1.8. There are faster Leica and M43 mount lenses but they're pretty chunky when you see them 'on-camera'.

    Shooting manually in low light with razor thin depth of field is definitely an art worth cultivating. If you're anything like me, you'll flub 2/3's of the shots wide open but the keepers will usually be pretty good if you're happy with that hit-rate.
  14. capodave

    capodave Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 4, 2010
    Southern Cal
  15. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Actually that does look pretty sweet. A bit smaller than my 40 f1.4 Pen lens and adaptor.

    The prototype MS Optical R & D Sonnetar 25mm f1.1 looks nice too.
  16. zucchiniboy

    zucchiniboy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    San Francisco
    Just wondering - since PENs are contrast detect AF, does the focus point actually matter? I thought that only impacted phase detect AF systems, but I could be totally wrong...

  17. Centre point focus works best on some DSLRs where the centre point is the most sensitive (mostly because it may be the only cross-type point, although that may require a faster lens to take advantage of anyway). For a CDAF camera I don't think it matters which you select as you single point of focus, just as long as you use that single point to focus on a high contrast part of the image. Centre point is the most convenient because it is most likely to be the subject of the image. I personally only ever use a single point focus (aside from occasional use of face detect), and have yet to find the 20mm to be particularly worse to focus than other lenses in low light. There were however some threads a while back questioning the focusing ability of the 20mm on the latest generation Pens in low light, which would be a body issue as much as it is any fault in the lens itself.
  18. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    Since the picture quality decreases towards the edges, I suppose it makes the contrast detection also a bit harder. In Panny 20's case it should(n't) matter because there is(n't much) quality issues towards the edges. :smile:
  19. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Speak for yourself:
    Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Lens Review: 3. Test results: Digital Photography Review
    Micro 4/3rds Photography: Comparison: Lumix 14mm vs Lumix 20mm pancake lenses
    Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 ASPH - Review / Lens Test Report - Analysis
    LensTip.com - lens review, lenses reviews, lens specification - Lenstip.com

    And that's corrected. The autofocus system looks through the lens unmanipulated, which makes it worse. Also, remember that the autofocusing, live view, etc are all done wide open, when the corners are softest.
  20. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    That's what I'm talking about. Your resources say it all:

    Photozone: "The border/corner quality isn't quite on that level but still very good."

    DPReview: "Panasonic simply shines - it's much sharper (to the extent of being better at F1.7 than the Olympus is at F2.8)"

    m43photo.blogspot.com: "Optically, it seems that the 20mm lens still has an edge over the 14mm lens, especially in the corners."

    Lenstip: "The edge of the frame significantly lags behind the results we saw at the centre. We can’t criticize the Panasonic here though because even at the maximum aperture the values are near 43 lpmm so a bit higher than our reference point. We haven’t seen such results at the edge of the frame in the case of any other system standard lens with comparable fastness."

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