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Panny Lumix 20mm f1.7 - different models - any good?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by polarpix, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. polarpix

    polarpix Mu-43 Regular

    I'm trying to make my mind up between an Oly 25mm f1.8 (which is on back order to stores here in Ontario, Canada) or the Panny 20mm f1.7 which is available locally. I hadn't realised till today that the Panny comes in a version I and a version II. What is the difference between I and II and which would you recommend. TIA :confused:

    Bill
     
  2. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Sep 8, 2013
    The only difference is cosmetic (the 20mm I has a plastic exterior, the second version's is aluminium), and I think the 20mm II has a new coating which makes it more flare-resistant.

    Unless you're looking specifically for the pancake form factor, or you can get it at a significant discount, well, the Olympus is a better purchase. The 20mm (both versions) has a slow and noisy autofocus motor, while the O25mm uses Oly's SMC tech - it's totally silent and focuses super-fast.
     
  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    It would probably come down to price for me as well. I think the P20 focuses fast enough, even on Oly bodies, for most things. My only hesitation would be if it is intended to capture fast-moving, young children. Otherwise, it is really small and super sharp. Great lens (both versions)!

    The Oly is definitely going to focus lightning fast and I think the out-of-focus/bokeh will be better across a range of subjects. I think the Panasonic did well here with a lot of things, especially at close focus, but the backgrounds can get a little rough/wire-y in some situations.
     
  4. duke

    duke Mu-43 Veteran

    420
    Dec 4, 2010
    Tulsa, moving to Houston
    Duke
    I would suggest checking out the image sample threads for each lens:20, 25. The 20 is one of my favorite lenses. So small and so good from wide open that there's no reason to not have it with you all the time. I've never tried the v2 but the v1 is great and despite the slower than superfast af speed, somehow I manage ;) Here's one I took yesterday with the GF1 and 20v1 [​IMG]
    This kind of proves to me that if you are willing to work around the limitations of a system then there aren't any limitations.
     
  5. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Veteran

    432
    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    Aaron
    The mk 2 has updated coatings that make a surprising difference IMO, but the original is a fantastic lens. Yes the AF speed is slower than some lenses, but its really a non-issue. I miss shots of my constantly-moving 4 year old twins with the faster-focusing lenses too...
     
  6. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Mar 14, 2013
    I had the 20mm, first version.
    Sure - you can anticipate the action and prefocus etc. but the simple fact us that it is one of the clunkiest AF lenses I used (and I had quite a share of lenses in Nikon F mount and micro four thirds).
    It also physically extends and is loud when focusing. People forget to mention that - much less discrete than most other lenses especially in quiet settings.

    Sent from my W200 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  7. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    20 and 25 are not really comparable focal lengths IMHO. 20mm is significantly wider.
    In a built up area, 20mm can be OK for a walk around lens, but 25mm is often too narrow IMO.
     
  8. duke

    duke Mu-43 Veteran

    420
    Dec 4, 2010
    Tulsa, moving to Houston
    Duke
    I really don't know why people say the lens is loud. It isn't silent, but it isn't like the canon 50f1.8 either. It's a subtle noise IMO.
     
  9. Benzy

    Benzy Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 18, 2014
    Cant say enough good things about the 20mm. The high level of sharpness has to be seen first hand. And the v2 is built so beautifully, it looks and feels like an elite piece of equipment.

    This is the first I've heard of the sound issue. I cant hear mine, or at least it is so subtle I have never noticed.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Tone13

    Tone13 New to Mu-43

    1
    Mar 10, 2014
    I read a lot about the 20 1.7 being noisy and slow when auto focusing. In looking at buying either the 20 1.7 II or the Pana Leica 25 1.4.

    While I haven't had a chance to test the Pana Leica, I did put the 20 1.7 on my Gh3 to test it out and I don't understand what people are complaining about. The lighting in the store was fairly dim but the 20 1.7 focused quickly and quietly. Not sure what all the fuss is about.

    It's a great lens although I still can't make up my mind ...........
     
  11. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    318
    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    scott
    Hi
    I have owned many copies of this lens and every time i come back to M4/3rds its the first lens i always aquire! Both i and ii put out the same output...nothing short of stellar! All anyone needs to do is look through 20mm image thread to confirm this....never had a problem with noise or speed , hell if you think its slow stay away from nex 7...now thats slow but I still get many keepers (personal pics) What did folk do before autofocus????? As history shows us ..no-one ever took a picture of anything that moved!
     
  12. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Mar 14, 2013
    Everything you say is perfectly logical.

    But rehashing the 'whatever did we do before autofocus?' mantra is getting old. We *have* autofocus and some lenses are much faster to AF and some are slower. The 20mm is, by m43 standards, one of the worst performers in that aspect and I see little point in religiously protecting this lens on that aspect.


    Sent from my W200 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  13. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    318
    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    scott
    Hell i agree
    Nothing beats good autofocus..espec contrast detect...my nikons always were slightly off..I was shocked how accurate oly m4/3 was compared...but you are right I am religiously denfending the 20mm..without this lens i doubt as many seasoned photogs would have looked at M 4/3 in early days...just sayin
     
  14. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    367
    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Kevin
    I had the MKI 20/1.8 , currently have the 17/1.8 and waiting for the 25/1.8 to arrive.

    I'd guess the 20 would be a better all round lens and especially so if you need a pancake.

    I'm hoping the 25 will be as sharp as the 20. it has a lot to live up to.

    I regret selling the 20 often. my favorite shots were with the 20. but it wasn't very useful to me for video.
     
  15. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    The 20mm is what really made me like m4/3. Generally it focuses fine but occasionally in lower lighting it will hunt in and out past the focal plane and then stop at some blurred our of focus position. You just refocus and try again. The small focus box helps and making wise decisions on where to place it before you try to focus helps. This used to not bother me at all and I considered it part of the experience on my E-PL1. It only happens in some conditions. Four faster operating bodies later and with many more very fast and accurate focusing lenses available, I am a little less forgiving of the 20mm but still like it.

    It is a great FOV for me. The 25 is sometimes too long for indoor shots. I like taking the 20mm with me to a gathering when I only want one lens and I need a small and discrete setup.

    I think Panasonic really missed the boat when the released the Version II with only cosmetic changes. In spite of the focusing, it is a great lens and I wish there were more pancakes of this caliber (IQ wise) available.

    I would recommend getting one and trying it for yourself. If you buy a used one and hate it then sell it for close to what you paid and consider it a cheap rental fee. If you buy it, you will most likely keep it.
     
  16. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Very pleased to see the comments here, when I saw the question, I thought the answers would be filled with "doesn't focus" comments, but that's not the case. The 20 is a great lens and better general focal length than the 25.
     
  17. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I would go with whatever focal length is more natural for you. The 20 has really great sharpness and character, but at 40mm equivalent, its more a tight 35 than a wide 50. If your walk around lens is a 35mm, you will love the the 20. If you are a 50mm guy, go with the 25 (or the PL25 if you want more contrast and brightness)
     
  18. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    367
    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Kevin
    to sweeten the deal the new 20 got an $80 discount today.

    $347 on adorama. less with the 4% rewards
     
  19. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Mar 14, 2013
    I used to own the Pana 20mm 1st version, the 25mm panaleica and the Olympus 45mm f1.8.
    All were replaced by the pana 12-35 for *my* purposes.
    Now I also have the 12-32 which (see my previous posts) is close enough to the 12-35 IQ wise and I decided to rethink using a prime.
    I came to the conclusion that the primes I owned were too tight for my preferred perspective (the 20mm was almost OK but the clunky AF was a deal breaker for me) and have decided to try the Oly 17mm f1.8.
    It may not be as sharp as the 20mm bit is so responsive and fun. You might want to try it as well.
    And I guess the 34mm equivalent focal length suits my needs much better than the nifty fifty :)

    Sent from my W200 using Mu-43 mobile app