Should I buy the Lumix 20 mm

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Dangermouse, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Dangermouse

    Dangermouse Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 20, 2010
    I have the great 14-45 kit lens. Does anybody have both and even better the same picture taken on the pancake and at 20 mm on the zoom?


  2. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I currently have both although haven't used the 14-45 much, I'd highly recommend the 20mm, its much faster and all in all a cracker of a lens, what focal length do you tend to use on your 14-45?
  3. Dangermouse

    Dangermouse Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 20, 2010
    usually at either end. short end for landscapes, long end for portraits of the kids.

    the 20 mm seems neither one nor t'other
  4. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Depends, do you plan on taking night-time photos without a flash? If so, the kit lens is not going to cut it...

    The 20mm is good for daytime too, since it's almost half as thick as the kit lens collapsed. Very portable.
  5. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Real Name:
    Kelly Gibbons
    If I could only Have one lens it would be the 20mm.
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Then it would appear you don't NEED it. It's a terrific lens but then again I grew up shooting compact RF so I got used to 40/1.8, 38/1.7, 42/1.7 etc lenses so the Panasonic 20 is very familiar for me. As a lens it is absolutely terrific but if you don't find yourself using that focal length than no need to get one. I will say that IQ wise the 20 is in a whole different league than the 14-45 (which is IMHO the best m43 kits lens I have ever used).
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I don't think comparing images from the two are going to help much in your decision, except to show that your kit lens is capable of some good images (which may help alleviate some anxiety, I guess). The advantages of the prime lens are more in speed, compact form, and other handling capabilities. You have to take it out and use it to see how much you need it. ;)

    Comparing images may help with more similarly spec'ed lenses like say the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 to the Leica 25mm f/1.4, but when comparing the lenses you have it's more important to understand if you need the lens speed, if you need the focal length, etc. Only using them will tell you that. If you do need the lens speed, then you need the lens speed and no image comparisons will help you there.
  8. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    • Like Like x 1
  9. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    *sigh* I wish everyone would be quiet about the 20mm as I can't afford one..... :rolleyes:
  10. jasonallen127

    jasonallen127 New to Mu-43

    Aug 1, 2011
    I previously owned the 14-45 with my GF1 a few years ago, and it worked very well, but at 20mm, the little 20/1.7 outshined it in every way (size, weight, performance, capability in low light) except for price.

    In short, YES, you should buy the 20mm f/1.7 lens if any of the following apply:
    -do you need faster shutter speed in low light/available light only situations?
    -do you need shallower depth of focus?
    -do you need a smaller, lighter, less obtrusive walk-around lens that will perform admirably under just about any shooting condition?

    If I could only have one lens for Micro4/3, it would be this lens. Upon my return the micro4/3 system from APS-C DSLRs, this was the first lens that I bought, followed quickly by the 7-14mm f/4.
  11. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    I take a lot of photos indoors and/or at nighttime and/or in poor light. If it weren't for the 20mm wide apertures, I wouldn't use micro 4/3 cams. Period. It is sharper than the kit, but that it is NOT the selling point for me. I get shots with that lens, that I can't get with any other lens.
  12. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    All the answers above are great suggestions.

    The only thing I could add is: if you have never shot with a prime before, that's an important part of the learning curve of photography, so I would say "yes" to buying it, as it will help you grow in your understanding. It's not likely to lose a lot of value anytime soon, so you can resell it later if you find you don't like the focal length, but you have to spend some time shooting wide open on a prime, just because you should.

    (A cheaper alternative would be to get a legacy 50mm lens, and try that out for a while).
  13. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:

    My 2 cents worth.

    When I first bought my E-PL1 I started taking photos and getting high ISO numbers or low shutter speed blur, especially indoors. The flash is nice but it can be week at distances or wash out up close. I seriously was disappointed in my new $600 toy. After reading reviews and remembering the great shots from my old f2.0 Olympus 2020 point and shoot, I bought the 20mm f1.7. At this point, I started to really love and respect my E-PL1.

    The zoom has its place but if you want a faster lens (some DOF control) providing higher shutter speeds (better photos) or lower ISO (better photos) and in general a sharper lens (better photos), then the 20mm is a good choice.

    Its also easier to carry around and use with the 20mm on the camera and you can always crop the photo for some additional zoom.
  14. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    I have a friend who shoots FF DSLR's but bought the GF1 at close to $1,000 a few years ago because "it came with the 20mm..." :tongue:

    It has been fused to his GF body since, and removed once for me try on my PEN. I picked one up shortly after that.

    I'm getting rid of all my :43: gear soon, but I'm keeping my 20mm if that explains anything.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Yes, although I miss the wider angle at times. It's a great lens to take your camera you normally wouldn't take.