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PL 20mm Slow Focus

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Canonista, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    I've been taking photos with a newly acquired PL 20mm mounted to my E-P3, and noticed the focus lag of this lens, particularly in low light. Since one of the primary reasons I bought the lens was for low-light shooting of candids, I'm now debating whether to return it for the 12mm or the PL 25mm. Before I did so, I want to make sure this is a lens issue and not a weakness of the m43 format contrast detection autofocus system. I thought it may be the lens since my kit zoom seems to snap into focus much more quickly. Is it the lens? Would the newer generation prime lenses be superior in autofocus speed?
  2. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Although sharp and fast (bright), the PL 20 is not a fast focusing lens. It compares well with 1st and 2nd gen. Olympus bodies/lenses, but if your only point of reference is an EP-3 and kit lens, it will seem relatively slow. The 12mm and 25mm lenses mentioned will improve on this greatly.
  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I have the E-P3 and the Panasonic 20mm. The 20 is one of the slower focusing Panasonics, but the only time I have had an issue is with fast-moving children (even outdoors). The Panasonic 14mm is noticeably quicker than the 20mm and I would expect the 25mm to be very good as well.
  4. MichaelShea

    MichaelShea Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 27, 2011
    Algarve, Portugal
    Not just slow, but sometimes it won't focus properly on anything. However, most of the time it works extremely well and is one of the sharpest MFT lenses available. Probably not what you need though.
  5. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    Thanks for everyone's helpful responses. I now have a dilemma. :confused: 

    While I love the 12mm, and hope to eventually buy one when prices are more reasonable, it's also too wide to take the place of the 20mm.

    The 25mm/1.4 also appears promising, but the price is also too high at the moment (I paid a few hundred less for my EF50/1.4), and the FOV is too narrow for most of my indoor shooting.

    Both the 14mm and the 17mm is too slow (barely faster than my kit) for use in most low light situations, so that rules them out.

    I wish the third party lens mfrs would hurry up with some m43 lenses so we have more choices.

    It looks like I'm stuck with the 20mm for now.
  6. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    It depends on what you're shooting. 14mm at f2.5 works better for me in low light than Panny 20mm. I barely get much in focus with Panny 20mm, the DoF is way too shallow, have to stop down anyway unless I'm shooting single objects (which I don't). 14mm works way better indoors where majority of my low light pics are taken. I much prefer using Panny 20mm wide open in daylight (with ND filter) for 3D-like shots. C-AF sucks big time with Panny 20mm and not at all suitable for any kind of video. With the upcoming 45mm f1.8, I am not even sure I'll need 20mm anymore to accompany my most used 14mm (now dead, lol) lens. Bright 17mm pancake would be perfect for me.

  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Somebody needs to make a fast 17mm.
  8. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    I agree shooting the 20mm wide open at f/1.7 makes focusing a real challenge, but it's nice to have that option when the available light otherwise forces one to have to shoot above ISO 800. At f/2.5, the 14mm is only slightly faster than my 14-42 kit, and I like the FOV of the 12mm, so the latter would probably make more sense for me, if only it weren't so expensive. :frown:

    Agreed. Waiting on third party lens mfrs to come through. Come on Sigma!
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