Sell 17mm f1.8 and 25mm f1.4 for 20mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by TonyZhang, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. TonyZhang

    TonyZhang Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2014
    New Zealand
    I've been thinking about simplifying my kit, having too many lenses and options just makes things confusing. I currently have the em5 mark ii with a 45mm f1.8, 25mm f1.4, 17mm f1.8 and a Ricoh GR which is a 28mm f2.8, and somewhat close to the Olympus 17mm.

    I love the Panasonic 25mm, it's probably my favourite lens, the "character", sharpness and depth of field capabilities are really nice. The 17mm f1.8 is good, but not great, it's not as sharp wide open and the focus scale doesn't work which is disappointing. However I still use it a lot because of the small size, versatile focal length, and the fact that it looks nice on the omd.

    There's quite a good deal on the Panasonic 20mm, I was wondering if it would be enough to replace these two lenses. I really like the pancake form factor, but would I miss the DOF abilities of the 25mm, even though I have the Olympus 45mm? I know the focus speed is a lot slower on the 20mm, but is it slower than a Ricoh GR which I am very happy with? Most importantly, is the focus accurate?

    This way, I would have a versatile and compact 3 lens kit, 28mm, 40mm and 90mm. A simpler kit is nice, I would also be able to make some money by selling these. However, I must first make sure that the 20mm is not too much of a compromise.
  2. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Can't go wrong with the 20mm. Does Em5m2 have the same banding issues with it with high ISO though ? If you dont mind the slower focusing , you should be ok IMHO .
  3. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I wouldn't give up the 25mm for the 20mm. They're both great lenses, but 25mm has that really nice, neutral/natural look without distortion. 20mm has just a little of that wide angle "look" - it's actually closer to the look of the 17mm than the 25mm, so the decision may be based on which look you prefer.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    The AF in the 20mm is not slow, but the 17mm f1.8 AF is so quick and silent it will feel like it in comparison. The main issue with the 20mm f1.7 is that the AF simply cannot handle continuous AF.

    Given that you have a "14mm" in the RIcoh, maybe you just ditch the 17mm and keep 25/45 for the Olympus. 14-25-45 is a nice progression.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    I've got all three of these lenses you're considering, but if I had to keep just one, I think it would be the 17mm. The 25mm is objectively a "better" performer in terms of sharpness and low-light ability and the size of the 20mm is fantastic, but there's something about the 17/1.8 that just clicks with me. It's probably a combination of the focal length (which is highly personal) along with the lightning-quick AF, the manual focus clutch, the size advantage over the 25mm and just the silky feel of the lens action.

    If you're wanting the 20mm because it's in between the other two in terms of focal length, you should keep in mind that the FOV it offers appears to be a bit wider than 20mm -- possibly more like 18.5mm. Given that, the 20mm is MUCH closer to the 17mm than the 25mm in terms of FOV. Also, be aware that while the 20/1.7's AF limitations are often overblown, you will notice a distinct difference between it and the other two lenses. Because of that, I would definitely suggest you try to borrow or test-drive the 20mm before you make a decision.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I agree with and second everything in this post. I'm using a Nikon A instead of the 17 (which was my favorite lens) and I'm fine with it. I really spread my kit and went minimal, with the Nikon, 25/1.8 and 60/2.8.
  7. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    No it is not.
    It is a different lens, does things differently.
    Don't do it.
    Buy the 20mm to add to your lens stable...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Only reason I see to acquire the 20mm is if the pancake size is needed. 17mm and 25mm is a more versatile kit. However, in my case, there's that 15mm f1.7 that keeps tempting me since I have a 25mm, which along with the Sigma 60mm that's in the mail would be my ideal "trinity." Only thing holding me back from exchanging my 20mm for the 15mm (aside from lack of money) is the compactness of the 20mm on my GM1.
  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Just because I know you want some temptation...

    The 20mm may be shorter, but it is a lot fatter. Fatter than the GM1 body (as I'm sure you've noticed). The 15mm is a tiny bit longer (only 10mm), but more narrow. It fits very well on the GM1 and was even offered as a kit lens in some markets:,491.30,ha,t


    Plus the 15mm is just mo' betta.... :)
  10. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Arghhhh... you're not helping ;)
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Really, though, as much as I love the 15mm, I'd probably be more tempted by the 14mm (or 17mm f2.8) if I owned a GM1. Look how tiny!:
  12. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    I've been trying to unload and have the p20, p25, o45 and now o25 (to replace p25 which will go on sale soon). p20 is my favorite of this bunch in regard to size, versatility and something about it's character I love. However someone here said autofocus speed is overblown and I believe it's not. If you take landscapes or typically have planned shots I suppose it doesn't matter. I do quite a bit of candid shots and I've frustratingly missed many real smiles and other candids because of the focus delay on the p20. I also have a 2 year old and 5 year old. P20 misses MANY candid moments for me on my Olympus bodies. Keep in mind it's worse on Olympus bodies. Also for whatever reason hunts A LOT in low light compared to the fast focusing systems so you're literally waiting over a second to sometimes a few seconds to lock in low light. And I use it in VERY low light thanks to 5-axis.

    My personal stable will likely end up being p15, o25, o45 for that range of focal lengths. Also, the o17 has been on my camera the most lately and I've been regretting it looking at the results (sharpness, character, low light performance). I say low light performance because when you're at high ISOs the lower resolution of the lens is more pronounced. P20 at 3200 ISO and up looks much better then the O17. This is why I'm considering the p15 to replace both. Small, fast to focus, sharp and great oof look. I went o25 over the p25 because of size, close focusing, and lower price. I just used the o25 for a shoot and it performed great. The closer focusing distance makes it for me.

    Sorry to confuse you further =).
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    As stripedrex said, if you're looking to capture those candid moments, the P20 may let you down due to its AF speed compared to the 17 & 25mm lenses. It only gets worse in low light, where it is even slower to focus, and it can't do AF-C at all. If you shoot a lot of static images, then it may very well be a better option for you.
  14. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I've owned both, I actually sold my 17mm f2.8 to fund the 20mm, but I didn't realize how much fatter the 20mm was. I do sort of miss my 17. They're so inexpensive on the used market I will probably reacquire one at some point.
  15. TonyZhang

    TonyZhang Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2014
    New Zealand
    Thanks a lot everybody for the opinions. I did it, I went out and bought a brand new 20mm today for the equivalent of 250 usd, which I think is quite a good deal.

    I quite like the focal length, a bit further from my 28mm GR than the 17mm was. It is also noticeably sharper than my 17mm wide open, which is pleasing, about the same as my 25mm f1.4. My favourite aspect of the lens is the pancake form factor, this makes my em5 ii much nicer to casually carry around on a strap, it moves less when I'm walking/skating around with the camera across my shoulder.

    The autofocus is a little bit slower than my 17mm/25mm, but I did not find it to be an issue at all, I think that we have been a bit spoilt by the lightning quick focusing lenses in the m43 range. When compared to many lenses in other formats, the 20mm is a fast focuser, and more than sufficient for my purposes.

    All of this could just be hype after getting new gear, but I definitely won't be sad to see the 17mm go, I never got along with it like I had imagined, especially after the disappointing impracticality of the zone focusing clutch system. I should be able to make my money back, and more by selling the 17mm. I may or may not sell my 25mm, depending on how much I use it over the next few weeks. But despite it's gorgeous rendering and dof abilities, I suspect that it will go too. It's just too big compared to the 20mm and I have the 45mm for when I need a really shallow depth of field.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2013
    AF on the 20mm SUX...otherwise, it's a great lens.
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  17. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    AF on my 20mm is good but sometimes slower than the new lenses.
    TonyZhang how do you find AF on yours?
  18. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    The AF for the 20mm is fine in good light on Oly bodies, where it really struggles is in low light where it often hunts or fails to lock focus where other lenses (like the 17/1.8 and 25/1.4) have no issue focusing. I would be hesitant to sell off your other lenses until you run it through it's paces in low light.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Jermonic

    Jermonic Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2012
    The P20mm exhibits problematic banding with the Olympus cams. The banding destroys nighttime images from ISO ~1000 and up. So if that's important for you, stay clear of the P20mm. Other than that, it's a really good lens though.
  20. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I only ever had one photo with banding, and that was down a lead mine with the camera pointing downwards.
    All the other 'down the mine' photos were clear.