Stupid Panasonic...20mm vs. 25mm

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by LowriderS10, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Hi all...

    Sorry, this is going to be a pointless thread, just thinking out loud and would appreciate some input from you guys, if you have any.

    So...I have the OM-D, the O9-18, O45 and O75.

    My next addition was going to be the P20 because it's fast and tiny. When I had my Canon 5D Mark II, I loved tossing the 40 2.8 on it, which pretty much gives you the same DOF/FOV as the P20 does on M4/3.

    I was dead set on picking it up, but then they pulled it, painted it black, and reintroduced it for $200 more.
    1: I'm pissed off at this...this is a very minor change to the lens, certainly not justifying the price jump.
    2: Now this brings the lens' price more or less (10% difference?) within range of the PL25.

    Here's my dilemma...I love shallow DOF stuff and fast lenses. A lot. I also loved having a tiny/light pancake on my 5D2, and even though the OM-D + PL25 would still be small compared to the 5D2, the OM-D + P20 would be ridiculously tiny. Plus, I already have two lenses that'll kick both the PL25 and the P20's asses for shallow DOF, really...the PL25 wouldn't be all that unique in my line-up, but the P20 would be. I just have a hard time spending as much money on the P20 as I could spend on the stellar PL25, which still isn't a massive lens by any means (I consider the O45 to be a tiny lens, and the PL25 is roughly the same size)...soooo yeah...sorry...rambling...input?

    Muchos gracias!
  2. JoeV

    JoeV Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 22, 2012
    Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
    Real Name:
    Joe Van Cleave
    I find the FOV of the 20 to be much more usable for my style of shooting than that of a 25, so I don't consider them equivalent to each other. They're different lenses, for different uses. For me. YMMV.

    As for the P20, I find it most useful for shooting in dim lighting. Shallow DOF just happens to be an artifact of a wide open aperture, but not something I'm necessarily in search of when using it. But I'm old enough to remember a time before the term "old school" was coined, when wide DOF was all the rage, before "boke" was popularized.

    In bright light I actually prefer a zoom like the P14-45, which is sharper than the P20 and offers multiple focal lengths. The P20's max aperture isn't even usable in bright light without an ND filter.

    Surely you should be able to find a gen.1 P20 on sale, used, for a good price, no?
  3. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    That is the 1st time I've read the 14-45 is sharper than the 20mm!. But yeah, buy used ($250-300).
    • Like Like x 1
  4. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Thanks...yeah, you're right, the AOV/FOV on the P20 is probably better suited to what I want to do with it than the PL25...I'm really looking for a random walkaround lens...something I toss on when I'm not going out specifically to take pictures. It's just so tempting to get a bokeh monster for the same price haha.

    Yeah, sadly, I run into the max aperture being useless in bright light quite often (one of my biggest complaints about the OM-D)...but I do like night photography... :)

    Sadly, used isn't really an option for me. I'm in Korea, but don't speak Korean, so my only possibility of scoring one is through another expat...and M4/3 isn't too popular either with the expat or the Koreans...I saw one for sale a few months ago, but it was snapped up immediately...I could be waiting a year or two. I may just wait for the price to come down (it has to...this re-introductory price is insane)...or wait 'till I go home in January to visit and grab one while I'm there.

    I just got to thinking about this because I'm going to Tokyo next week, and thought maybe I'd grab one there (since they're a little cheaper than either in Canada/US or Korea).
  5. Dduval

    Dduval Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    Sure used is an option, ebay is your friend and you'll have no problems getting items shipped to Korea...
  6. MikeR_GF1

    MikeR_GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Actually, you can have either black or silver. Regardless ... B&H still has the original P20 in stock for $349, versus $429 for the 'II' model, versus $529 for the PL25. I think you can still follow through on your original plan.
  7. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    I don't know that the 14-45mm is sharper than the 20mm (I have both, and I doubt it) but it's a great lens. A great lens. It's my go-to kit lens, and spends a lot of time on my camera. It is not, obviously, very fast however.

    The 20mm is a wonderful lens too, although many people prefer the 'rendering' of the 25mm Panasonic. I personally prefer the 20mm FL and also really appreciate its tiny size, which enables me to take it almost everywhere. The 25mm, on the other hand, is pretty large for its FL. Also remember the 20mm being an older design is relatively slow and noisy, which may matter to you if you shoot a lot of video with it.

    If it were me . . . I'd opt for the 20mm. And try to pick up a used 14-45mm sometime later.
  8. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    20mm is a great FOV on m43.
    But I love my P 25mm 1.4 - do I wish it were smaller? Yes. Maybe a new 20mm would be a better purchase now, depending on the bokeh, focusing speed, and size.
  9. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    No, it's not. Korea has insane import laws...I'd be looking at a duty of about 30-35%.

    Yeah, but there's no B&H in Korea and (for the reasons mentioned above) shipping it here isn't an option either. I could get a friend to bring me one back, but there's a general lull in travel this time of the year (we're all teachers, and travel in the summer/winter).

    But I didn't know B&H had the old one, last time I looked the old version was $1 chaper ($428 vs. $429) than the new one!
  10. snaimpally

    snaimpally Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2012
    I thought I saw some Korean sellers on ebay selling Panny lenses. You won't have any problems finding it in Japan at a good price.

    I have the 20mm but find it a little too wide and have been thinking about the P25. The lens size is not that big a deal for me.
  11. mazg

    mazg Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2013
    I debated the exact same thing, I ended up with a version I 20 1.7. Why? Three reasons:
    1. Size, the pancake lens makes my G5 feel so small. The 25 is closer to being 2x as long, closer to the kit lens.
    2. Weight, I think I read (from memory) it's about 1/2 the weight. Again coupled with the size, makes it easy to throw in a bag or over my shoulder.
    3. FL. The 25mm (50mm equivalent) is just a little too long inside my house. I find I just can't back up far enough. The 20mm doesn't seem like a big difference but it is enough for indoor use.

    Its really hard to turn down a Leica lens for just that little bit more money (here in Canada $399 vs. $509. I expect I'll end up with the 25 at some point too.
  12. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Well, shipping OUT of Korea isn't a big deal, shipping in is a different kettle of fish. Also, those are all grey market lenses, which I have no problem with...but anyways...the local prices are about 10% apart...(both are cheaper than in the US)...

    Yeah, I really liked the FOV of the 40 on FF, but I love the bokeh of the 25 1.4. For me, size is somewhat of a consideration, since that's the whole reason I went M4/3...the OM-D with the P20 is a killer tiny package. With the PL25, on the other hand, it would be slightly bigger, but have wicked bokeh/low light killer.

    In Japan, they're both SLIGHTLY cheaper than in Korea, but not by a huge amount...certainly not by enough to rush it...

    Wicked, thanks for the input...that's what I'm thinking, is the size would be great. To be honest, I was dead set on the P20...but all the shops were the time they had stock again, it was the horribly inflated new version, thus the dilemma! :D many good memories. I grew up in BC and went to university in Kamloops...been to your fair city many a times! :D When I go back to Canada, I'm either going to settle down on the Island (home) or back in the Okanagan! :D
  13. Theo

    Theo Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Theo K.
    The $100 is a price grab, kind of. You gained nearly nothing from buying the new edition of the 20mm compare to the old version. The only gain are a new coat of paint and not much else.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Don't forget the 20mm 1.7 focuses very close. I've used all sorts of lenses for different cameras, and the 20mm is a unique lens unto itself. The 25mm while great, is more of a specialty lens. The 20mm is the do-it-all lens. Suck it up and buy it! I'm more of a 17mm kind-of-shooter though, but still love the 20mm!
  15. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    FWIW, seems to have the new version of the 20mm for ¥ 36,514 which is around US$365. I've ordered a couple of times from them on previous trips and had the packages delivered to the hotels I was staying in with no problem at all (one lens, one camera, miscellaneous stuff, different trips, most recently in February this year). Here's the direct link -

    In case that doesn't work (it includes Japanese characters) just search for the item number B00DNU9D84. You can order in English too and I'm pretty sure that if you have an amazon account elsewhere it will work on the Japanese site so you don't need to start again.
  16. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Thanks for the input guys...I don't have an Amazon account, and I'm a bit weary of ordering one to be delivered to a hostel.'s gone up a full $200 here in Korea :( (It was dirt cheap before!!)...but that's good to know about the internal focusing...definitely a plus, I thought the changes were mostly cosmetic, plus a new coating on the glass, but it's good to know it's a tiny bit deeper than that. I don't think it warrants the price bump (it really is a minor facelift, not a massive overhaul with significant changes as the price jump would suggest), but guys are starting to convince me to go P20...

    How's the sharpness...according to a few reviewers, wide open the PL25 is sharper than the that true?
  17. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    FWIW Amazon Japan will also deliver to a Lawson or FamilyMart store of your choice for you to collect. It's simple to set up an Amazon account too.
  18. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    Real Name:
    Tamas!!! Decide hehe :D:p

    Don't worry about how you gonna buy it. You'll be here for a few days... either I take you to a store or I can get it for from amazon. :thumbup:
    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 mobile app
  19. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    I have the 20mm and have never used the 25mm, but to me the perspective is a little different and bokeh is a little better, otherwise not so much difference.

    20mm isn't super fast focusing, and the AOV is different, as is the size. I think those are the big differences....

    Also, since I lived in Korea for a few years I have to ask if you have checked yongsan, nam daemoon or dong daemoon in seoul? I haven't been back in a long time, and knowing Korea it probably looks completely different now, but I thought I'd throw it out there as options..

    Sent from my XT885 using Mu-43 mobile app
  20. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Go to Namdae-moon is Seoul, I've never seen so many camera stores in one place in my life for new/used gear... and they are all right in a row, and will compete with each other! The current USD to Yen rate is very nice, but I've always found better deals when buying in Seoul, I'm actually waiting till I move there this fall to pick up a GX7 in black since it looks like they won't be sold in the US.