Picking new lens, need help

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Jordan, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. Jordan

    Jordan Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I am still waiting for my E-PL2 with kit lens to come in, but I am looking for a pancake lens to go with it.
    I really like the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, but it out of the price range right now.
    So my two options are the Panasonic 14mm or the Olympus 17mm.
    I've seen a few threads compare the 20mm and 17mm but nothing really comparing the 14 to the 17mm. I hope some of y'all can help with this.
    The lowest price I've seen for the 14mm is $315 New on an eBay store. Or $335 on Amazon.
    The lowest price I've seen for the 17mm is $200 Used but under 50 pics taken with it. Lowest New I've seen is $279 on Amazon.

    I like the slightly wider angle and slightly faster 14mm for indoor shots.
    Thanks in advance for any insight you have between the two.
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Both the 14 and 17 are "meh" lenses ... Nothing spectacularly good or bad, they just do what they do reaosnably OK. If you want the wider field of view, go for it.

    If you want the best lens, save up and buy the 20, you will probably end up buying it anywyas down the road.
  3. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I picked up both the 14 and the 17 to see how I'd feel about them. The 17 just got sold. It's not a bad lens by any means, and it is rather a lot cheaper. I really wanted to send the expensive 14 back, but I just adore the wider field of view. It's also much quieter and a touch quicker to focus due to internal focusing, which I guess is also important if you want filters.

    In low light testing I also found a few cases where the camera managed to focus the 14 and utterly failed to find anything with the 17. Not really sure if the extra like fifth of a stop has anything to do with that. Still, I could've bought two of the 17 for less than the 14 cost me.

    As for the 20, I gather it's a super nice lens but it costs how much? Come on. Yes it's a crazy fast lens, but I'd prefer a 25mm and half the price myself.
  4. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    20/1.7 currently lists for 399, not that much more than what he lists for the 14. A full one stop faster, and better IQ.

    What 25 are you thinking of for $150? The only options in native mount are the 25/0.95 and the rumored 25/1.4, both of which are approx 3x the price we're talking here.
  5. Jordan

    Jordan Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Houston, TX
    So far I've only seen the 20mm 1.7 for 500+. If I saw it for the $399 I'd probably get it over the 14.
  6. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Did I unfairly assume you meant USD?

    Google is showing a bunch of places $399 USD or cheaper.
  7. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I'm buying Promit's lens!

    I have the 20/1.7 as well, and I fully expect that the 20 will perform MUCH better edge to edge, and it's also faster. But I want to try some street shooting at f5.6 or f8, and these two lenses are pretty equal there, and I want the same FOV as the VF1 on my EP1. Whereas Promit wanted a wider FOV, and if you want lowlight performance and overall sharpness wide open, then the 20/1.7 is a better choice.

    You might want to start with what you are trying to achieve -- wide angle, moderate wide angle, or normal FOV, and then spend accordingly. Also consider whether you'll be shooting in lower light. The 20mm used is not too much more than a 14mm or 17mm brand new.

    I would say if your main criteria is low light, save up for a used 20/1.7.

    You can get a good sense for 20/1.7 used prices here or on FredMiranda (http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/10 -- search for "Panasonic 20mm"). They come available from time to time, and the last one sold used on FM was for US$320.
  8. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    If you decide on the 20, and don't need it tomorrow I am sure you can pick one up for under $400. Unfortunately, the market is full of gougers who don't want to make a little profit and are waiting for the desperate individual who must have it NOW!!! It is a great lens, but personally I don't believe it's worth more than $400 new, never mind used. I have had mine for 3 months now, and it is great, but honestly I use my 17mm more, as I don't find the 20 that great if there is suitable light, and if you want fast there are other options albeit manual focus. Heck you can get at least three or four faster lenses for $400 and they will hold their value.I've seen the 20 sell for as low as $240 and I've seen it for as much as $600 and that much fluctuation in 4 or 5 months is crazy. I believe it will settle down eventually, and the price will reflect the lens not the fad. Also, your other option is to buy it with a kit used or new, and sell the camera alone. for the record, I saw a new GF1 kit with the 20 new for $685 plus GST(5%) Canadian 2 weeks ago. So not everyone is gouging.
  9. Jordan

    Jordan Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Thanks for the feed back so far guys.

    No I meant USD, I'm in Texas also in Beaumont. I guess I should have said I've only seen it from places with available stock selling it for $500+. Most of those places like Adorama, and B&H Photo are out of stock.

    I think I may lean towards the 14mm now and I'll probably end up getting the 20mm down the line or the 25mm that is supposed to come out soon.
  10. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Oh, gotcha.

    Note the 25 will not be a pancake and will say Leica on it, so it will be even more expensive ... And supposedly still no IS.
  11. nikki

    nikki Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 2, 2010
    dublin ireland
    panny 20mm lens currently in stock in warehouse express uk for £289 or $410
    so sais on the website!!:smile:
  12. Jordan

    Jordan Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I went ahead and ordered the Pan 14mm 2.5. The Oly 17mm seemed too close to the Pan 20mm that I want to get when the prices drop. I think the 14 and 14-42 will be a good kit for now. I think the next lens will probably be the Oly 40-150. But that won't be for a little while, unless I get it as a gift soon. :)
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