1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Panny 20mm vs 14mm for Street

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jax99, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. jax99

    jax99 Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 12, 2012
    Beek, The Netherlands
    Which do you recommend for street photography, the 20mm f1.7 or 14mm 2.5 from Panasonic, and why.
  2. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Both are fine
    Zone focussing won't bring max ap into the equation
    And both lenses have people loving their iq

    So, which view do u prefer

    Problem solved.... For US ;) 

    - Eliot
  3. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    I use the 20mm for street as I like the seperation it gives me when shooting at f4 on my GF1 - now replaced with the GX1, I have a friend who has the 14mm and he also tends to prefer the 20 purely for the 3D effect it can render as well as nice bokeh in the OOF areas.

    Very much a personal choice and not a lot in it as both retail for almost the same price.
  4. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Two completely different lenses, as we've JUST discussed in another thread. It's like asking "Is a sports car or a pickup truck better?" Well, why don't YOU tell us your intended use (being more specific than "street photography"), and WE'LL tell you the best lens for the job.

    Here are examples of the 14mm being used well for street photography, after a 5 second google search:
    Panasonic 14mm street photography (1 image): Micro Four Thirds Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
    Street Cueca | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Flickr: "panasoniclumix14mmf25"

    And here's the 20mm:
    Flickr: Panasonic Lumix 20mm f1.7 ASPH "pancake" content tagged with streetphotography
  5. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    Yes, but if you shop around you can get a 14mm for £124, less than half the price of the 40mm (£265).
  6. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I think the 14mm is probably too short/wide for most street photography...
  7. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    If you want to shoot things on the street, 20. If you want to shoot the street itself, 14.
  8. Both, probably. Anywhere from 9-50mm works for me, although I probably defer to the 20mm more often than not. Just wide of a standard focal length works well for a lot of things.
  9. jax99

    jax99 Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 12, 2012
    Beek, The Netherlands
    Everybody, thanks for your replies. Just let you all know, I did Google and found a lot of photo's. But I don't know if they are cropped, or have been Photoshopped or whatever. Besides, I like to know from people who use the lenses what they think, hence the question.
  10. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 20, 2011
    These days, I strongly prefer the 14mm over the 20mm for the shooting I do during my lunch hour walking around downtown Seattle, and it's usually on the camera that I carry with me every day. It's faster focusing and is much smaller so it slips in and out of my bag faster. I do, admittedly crop sometimes when i'm post producing to fix composition, and the wider images help with that as well.

    More importantly, I also prefer shooting wide, and that's the biggest reason why I have the 14mm on my camera most of the time when I'm out and about. I don't get the point of comparing these two lenses. They are so utterly different and personal preference regarding focal length trumps just about everything else to me.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    a new unboxed 14mm, (part of a set, when the cam and lens are sold separately), now seems to be selling in the UK for less than £150
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    That's funny - I think the 14 is just about perfect and the 20 is marginally too narrow! Which just goes to show, the focal length / field of view is TOTALLY a matter of personal preference. I like wider, shooting most street with either the 12mm or 14mm (or the equivalent) and sometimes as long as the 17. I did some shooting with the 20 and its a great lens, but not my favorite for street work. The great Garry Winogrand shot with a 28mm equivalent (the 14) and Henri Carier Bresson shot with a 50mm (the same as the 25 Panasonic), so there's no right and wrong here - these are two of the great street photographers ever.

    So, personal preference aside, I'd say the MUCH faster AF on the 14mm makes it better for street shooting if you're using AF (zone focus is a PIA with these lenses, so I assume you're using AF). The 20 is obviously better for low light, so if you do a lot of that, take that into account, or save your pennies for the 12mm.

    Bottom line - there's no right or wrong answer, except for you.

  13. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Well said!

    I've been thinking about the 14 for a couple weeks since I just replaced my 20 with a 25. Sometimes the 25 is too narrow, but I just love the rendering so much, I rarely take it off.

    The 14 can be had for real cheap on eBay - $180 US. The Chinese eBay sellers selling bargain are actually legit - I know a couple people that rolled the dice and won.
  14. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    A good suggestion was made on other threads. If you have a kit lens, set it to 14 and spend a few days or a week shooting only in that focal length. Then switch to 20 and do the same thing. If you find yourself wanting to go wider with the 20 more than you want to go narrower with the 14, then the 14 is for you. Otherwise the 20 is the right answer.

    From personal experience, the 20 produces nicer quality images (focal length aside), but neither of them are as good as the 7-14 or the PL45 :D 

    Oh, and before any of you start railing on me for saying this, I'm talking purely in terms of personal aesthetic preference, nothing spec-related.
  15. WolfBane

    WolfBane Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2012
    I agree, just bought the 14mm new on ebay UK for £124 including postage. The 20mm seems to be much more expensive here.
  16. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    Depends on the street. Florence? 14. Paris? 20. Los Angeles? 45.
  17. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    I carry both on the street with my GX1 or G3. I prefer the 14mm because I like the wider angle but the 20mm is better if I need to take people shots as it doesn't distort as much and isolates the subject better with it's wider aperture. I see you've already got the 14mm, I'd keep it and get the 45mm Oly or 25mm Panasonic, bit more difference with focal length as well as speed then, assuming you don't mind a slightly bigger lens.
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    A couple of people shots with a 28mm equivalent:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/6807193465/" title="Philly 2-1-12 50 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "1024" height="1024" alt="Philly 2-1-12 50"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/6807186321/" title="Philly 2-1-12 37 by ramboorider1, on Flickr"> View attachment 191403 "1024" height="1024" alt="Philly 2-1-12 37"></a>

    It definitely works for people shots as long as you're not talking about tight head and shoulder portraits. It's just down to how you shoot.

    • Like Like x 1
  19. CeGeDee

    CeGeDee Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 3, 2012
    Yorktown, VA
    Ray, how do you shoot people at such short range? I mean, I assume that you don't use a viewfinder, right? Do you loosely point the camera from your waist? Do people notice what you are doing?
  20. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I don't use a viewfinder for street shooting. I've done it, but it changes the way I see stuff around me. I do usually shoot from the waist or belly (a vestige of having grown up shooting with a twin lens reflex). Sometimes I shoot blind and just frame on instinct (which is really not difficult with a little experience). Sometimes I use the flip up screen on my epl3 to look down into and frame that way. People are usually much too caught up in whatever they're doing to notice, but sometimes they notice. I've gotten a few funny looks but nothing much more than that. I generally don't like the shots where the subjects are looking at the camera - I'm trying to shoot them in THEIR environment having THEIR moments, not them interacting with a photographer! But every now and then the shot works pretty well even if they're looking right at the camera.

    • Like Like x 2
  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.