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Question on E-PL1 and Panny 20mm

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by xilos, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. xilos

    xilos New to Mu-43

    Dec 19, 2010
    Hey guys, first post here..

    I'm new to m4/3 cameras and came from simple P&S. I already had my E-PL1 shipped to my address and im just waiting for it to arrive. I was just wondering if I also need to get the Panny 20mm f1.7. I'm not a hardcore photographer and most of my pictures are for personal use. I just thought about upgrading to something different and maybe improving my personal pictures. This can range from simple walking around to big events. I've been reading around and people make it sound like it's "a must" to get that lens for the EPL.

    So, is it something an E-PL1 user can't live without? I mean how much of an improvement does it offer compared to the kit lens? :frown:
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    It's certainly not a 'must', though it's a great lens and it really expands the range of the camera in two ways: (a) it's really fast, so you can shoot indoors without a flash; and (b) it makes the camera really small, so it can actually fit in a big pocket.

    When I was in your shoes I bought the 20mm at the same time I bought the E-PL1 and don't regret it, but it was definitely a big chunk of change up front. I've found I use it a lot (actually more than the 14-42).

    But you can sure have a lot of fun with the kit lens by itself, so don't sweat it. It depends on how much you want to spend.

    Good luck, you'll going to love your camera!
  3. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    If you have never experienced using a DSLR with a fast prime and the wonderful ambient lighting and blurred backgrounds that it can give you, then the 20/1.7 will open your eyes to a world of photography that you have never known.

    OK, that sounded a bit dramatic but it really is true.

    Here are a couple of examples of what I'm talking about from my Flickr stream:

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    • Like Like x 2
  4. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    If I had to choose to have only one M43 lens it would be the PL 20mm f1.7

    It can do anything

    plus mated to the EP Body you get the benefit of in camera optical stability, (OS), which makes the lens even "faster"
    - I use the combo in low light, hand held, without a flash and the results are exceptional.

    I'd definitely get one

    Have a look on the following

    • Like Like x 1
  5. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    The first time I pulled off the kit lens and snapped on the 20mm 1.7 I had to have it. It felt like being in a dim-lit room and removing your sunglasses for the first time. It doesn't require a flash in low-lighting so it's just accurate and gathers available light fast.

    And like Twalker said, the shallow depth of field makes for more dramatic pictures. I like the fact that it's a compact so you can just throw the whole body and lens in a big coat jacket. It's a prime so it forces me to be a little more creative with my composition.

    It's not a "must have lens" since the kit is decent in ample light, but the fast-wide open Panny took my EPL1 leagues out of the too familiar point-n-shoot realm.

    We buy into this m4/3 standard for the speed, size, DSLR-like quality and the flexibility of interchangeable glass. Why not go for one of the (arguably) best lenses for m43, covering all those qualities?
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ephemeral Moment

    Ephemeral Moment Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 3, 2010
    I had the 20mm on a GF1 but bought an EPL1 specifically for it to sit on there permanently - wonderful camera/lens combination

    Though if I was using the EPL1 for what you described I think I would be happy with the kit lens that comes with the camera and only move into the 20mm if I was getting into some serious photography
  7. joewoo

    joewoo New to Mu-43

    Sep 22, 2010
    the 20 introduces some more creative freedom over the kit lens... though, the kit lens isnt a slouch either... its like doing auto cross with a mediocre car... can you autocross with it? yes, but you have to know the cars limitations... so long as you know that, you can still have fun... the 20 removes some limitations (while introducing others) but its a new playing field... maybe you can get a handle at using the kit lens for a bit and then try out the 20.... good luck..
  8. xilos

    xilos New to Mu-43

    Dec 19, 2010
    Wow! Thanks for the replies.. sounds like the 20mm is a lens that I can't pass on. Will be trying out the kit lens for a few weeks just to get the hang of it and order the 20mm once I'm comfortable with the camera. :smile:

    Any other info a newbie should know about the camera?
  9. joewoo

    joewoo New to Mu-43

    Sep 22, 2010
    Check the threads here... You'll pick up a tip here and there
  10. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    :thumbup: Diggin' the autocross analogy...for amusement purposes: :tongue:

    I would say, the kit lens is like driving a stock class Integra Type R, while the Panny 20mm will have you behind the wheel of a prepared S2000.

    Both are fast with the right driver, but one will allow you to explore your potential.
  11. blackSP

    blackSP Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 9, 2010
    I have the panny too and it's also a great lens for low light shooting. The f1.7 gets me a long way since I refuse to use a flash. Don't even have one. Hate them...
  12. et100

    et100 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 15, 2010
    Chicago area - USA
    if you dont have the $$$ for the pany you can also get some manual lenses to play with..
    i enjoy the Olympus OM 50mm/1.8 that works great on E-PL1 for portraits and even close-ups. And it only cost $25 (probably cheaper than the adapter itself)
  13. Tritoch

    Tritoch New to Mu-43

    Dec 29, 2010
    New Jersey
    I guess you have to consider the lens as an investment. Even though I'm just getting back into photography, the 20mm stood out to me as an awesome way to make this camera even more portable (coming from an A100 it was already a lot smaller).

    Once I threw the lens on, I couldn't stood using it. I'll be carrying around the kit lens with me but just as a backup! :D 
  14. navyasw02

    navyasw02 New to Mu-43

    Dec 2, 2010
    I personally love the 20mm. On a trip to China, my wife used the 20mm exclusively and her shots were fantastic. I used the kit lens which was good, but even taking shots of the same things, hers were far more crisp and had better contrast. I also noticed that despite having a full 14-42 range to use, I pretty much hovered around 20mm plus or minus a few. Definitely worth the expense.
  15. drzizou

    drzizou New to Mu-43

    Dec 31, 2010
    This thread is so awesome. I am so glad i found you guys. I bought my Epl1 a few months back and am now looking to expand into some of the "fun" add ons like a new lens. I didn't know whether to buy this panny or the 40-150 zuiko as my first add on. Sounds from this thread the Panny is the way to go. Let me know what you all think. I mainly a hobby photographer and shoot family, some sports and my new baby in march. Let me know....thanks for your time.
  16. RMillward

    RMillward New to Mu-43

    Nov 5, 2010
    I've had my E-PL1 since August 2010, and the 20mm pancake since Thanksgiving. It hasn't been off the camera since, and it was worth every cent... Just another 2 cents to add to the praising!
  17. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    The 20/1.7 will be awesome with a new baby (where flash will likely not be welcome).
  18. drpump

    drpump Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2010
    The 20mm Panasonic is a great lens for still photography on the E-PL1. We've just returned from a 3-week trip and I used the 20mm most of the time, only switching to our 14-150mm when zoom was really necessary or when video with autofocus was required. It handled the low-light shots beautifully, especially compared with the other compacts we carried (a waterproof Panasonic and a cheap Fuji that my daughter uses).

    The 20mm can take nice video but the focus is not smooth and is quite noisy, so you're better to fix the focus or use the kit lens.
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