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Rec's for best low-light performer for e-pm1

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by D@ne, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    I'm happy with my panasonic 14mm for outdoor shooting...but am looking for something that suits the other 50% of my needs - indoor, low-light parties/bars/restaurant shots.

    I read approximately 1 million reviews and came to the conclusion that the pana 20mm was my best bet, until I read the thread about how poorly it performed in conjunction with the e-pm1 in low light situations.

    Any recommendations? I don't currently have $1000 to spend, but am willing to save up if need be. Something between 12-25mm would be ideal.
  2. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    Straight up low light, go for the 25/1.4 or 25/.95

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The 20/1.7 has two limitations. The AF isn't silent, which is annoying if you shoot video. And the AF speed is not as fast as some of the newer lenses. That said, I wouldn't say it performs poorly in low-light situations.

    If AF speed is a really big deal, the only practical alternative is the far more expensive 25/1.4. The 25/1.4 will AF faster, but it also makes a chattering noise on many Olympus cameras because it is continually adjusting the aperture.

    There is of course the Olympus 12/2, but I think it's too wide for a lot of indoor shooting. IMO the 20/1.7, despite its quirks, is still the most practical lens for that job.

  4. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia

    Given the recent spike in price for the 20/1.7 the price difference isn't what it used to be 6 months ago.
  5. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    Thanks all!

    Here's the thread re: the 20mm performance issues with what seems to only be the e-pm1 body:


    Has anyone else experienced this specific issue?

    ps - leaning toward the pana 25mm...just with it wasn't so clunky, esp. in comparison to the 20mm.
  6. duke

    duke Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    The PL25 is great, I was a little underwhelmed when I first got it because it was so much bigger than the 20, especially with the hood on. Everything about the 25 is better than the 20 though, even if only a little bit. Also, the PL45 has the same bayonet mount for it's hood, which is much shorter, so I've switched the hoods between my PL 25&45 and I think it makes much more sense now.
  7. mdstrasser

    mdstrasser New to Mu-43

    Sep 18, 2011
    I had focusing similar problems with the 20mm on the epm1.
  8. mdstrasser

    mdstrasser New to Mu-43

    Sep 18, 2011
    Similar focusing problems I mean.
  9. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I would strongly recommend PL 25 1.4 specially for low light . Panny 20 mm is great lens and I used it for 18 months but its quite sluggish in low light and AF sucks .Now the noise( sound on oly bodies lol ) isn't so much annoying as reported .I don't have any issues from noise on Oly bodies .
    Pick up 25 mm 1.4 u won't go wrong .
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The only criticism about low light performance of the Lumix 20mm is Autofocus. It's just as slow on any camera, not just the E-PM1.
  11. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    Did you read the concerns mentioned in the thread I linked to? Sounded worth than just slow...sounded almost non-functional.

    (not that I don't trust your opinion...I know you own the e-pm1 and thus have first hand experience...just wondering:wink:)
  12. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    I have the epm1 with the panny 20, and I'm quite pleased with it. I did experience its inability to focus when trying to shoot in very low light (comparable to candlelight), however I found that I could turn the camera off and on and get it to focus if I was patient. I was shooting still life, so I didn't need to worry about missing the moment or anything like that. In the same lighting situation my old point and shoot had failed to get any usable pictures at all. Outside of this one, extreme, situation I have not had any problems with low light and this combo. Yes, focus is slow and a bit noisy, but not unbearable.

    I'm considering the 25mm 1.4 now, but I don't think I'd part with the 20, even if I also had the 25. I'm very pleased with the photos from the 20 and it has the advantage of being small, light and not attracting too much "real camera" attention.
  13. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    Interesting, thank you. I think if I'm going to buy something here in Canada, the price for the 20 and 25 are on par, so I'd probably go with the 25, but if I can find a deal online, the 20 is a nicer size and sounds a bit finicky, but not useless.
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