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Thinking about the 20 and 25

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Promit, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    In January, I'm going on a trip to Qatar and I've been pondering what to add to my camera kit before I go. Given where I am financially and as a photographer, I have no interest in keeping these lenses long term; I've got my kit. So the cost of the lens is no object within reasonable bounds, because I'm just going to resell them the moment I get back. (Rental is more expensive than this plan, I think.) I feel like a fast normal is going to be a useful addition for the trip. Here's what I've got:

    Bodies: Oly PM1 (favored), Panny G2
    Lenses: 14, 14-42, 45, 45-200, legacy fast-fifty

    So focal length coverage isn't exactly a problem, especially as UWA bores me. That rules out the 12, 7-14, and 9-18 as having any allure whatsoever. I'm not feeling telescopic, so the 100-300 is unnecessary. And I've got the 45, so shallow depth portrait shots are basically covered too (no interest in macro). I just feel like I need something fast between the 14 and the 45, especially for low light.

    I plan to use mainly the Oly body. I'm nervous about poor AF by the 20mm in low light situations; is the 25 substantially better on this front? I don't care about the rattlesnake and I don't plan to shoot video. The 25 does represent a bigger cash vulnerability I guess, and it's not a miracle of compactness. I can probably squeeze the 20mm into my existing bag with the 14/45/45-200, but that's definitely not going to happen with the 25. I'm more fond of the 25's FL and I think it fits better between the 14 and 45 -- but it's hardly dramatic. The 25 does need to justify the extra size and hassle, though.

    So, what would you suggest?
  2. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2010
    The 20mm f/1.7 focuses just fine in low light. This is the second time I've read this rumour here, about poor AF in low light, and it's just not true! I have a 20mm f/1.7 and use it with an E-P3 without problems (and before that with an E-PL1, and any low light AF performance deficiencies were entirely due to the E-PL1, not the lens).
  3. dayou14

    dayou14 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    I have both the 25 1.4 and the 20 1.7. I'm going to keep both of them. For the times you absolutely need that low light ability, that half/ one-third stop makes a difference. The PQ coming out from the 25 1.4 has that hard-to-define quality, and it is just qualitatively different from the 20 1.7. The bokeh, the smoothness, the rendering.

    Truth be told, if I sell every other lens in M43 to fund another camera or gear purchase, the only lenses that I would never consider selling are the 25 1.4, and the 45 1.8. They are what keeps me in this system.

  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I actually think the 25mm will be easier to sell than the 20mm. There's too many 20mm's out now, and they are no longer the "trend". Might as well go for the 25mm, as I'm sure you'll like it better anyways!
  5. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    If size is no problem then get PL25
  6. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Have to agree with Art, Ned, etc. The 25 is just really nice. If size isn't an issue (and your're OK with the FOV), I can almost gaurantee you'll get shots you like better from the 25.

    I can say the 25 focuses faster and better than the 20, but I would agree with Rudi, that I didn't have issues with the 20. It's just that the 25 is better, but the 20 wasn't that bad.
  7. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2010
    I would say it a little differently - the 25mm is faster! Simple as that, but the 20mm is not slow, just slower than the 25mm. Both are accurate.
  8. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Yes, I'd agree with that, at least in my experience.
  9. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    25 all the way for me. I've had both and I liked the 20, love the 25. The only benefit of the 20 is the size. For me I prefer the ergonomics of the larger lens so that's not a problem. Everything else is better on the 25 in my opinion.
  10. A 20mm lens will give you a little extra breathing room, a 25mm will give you a little more opportunity for subject isolation. I find that the 20mm operates more like a souped-up, faster-than-average, wide-angle lens than a true fast standard prime, and I don't mean that in a negative way.
  11. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I used to own the 20mm. The problem I had (couple of times) was it won't lock its focus in low light. I traded it. Could it be just an isolated case? I have heard others complain about this here in this forum too. It was not a figment of my imagination.

    Maybe I should get another one.
  12. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    Same here with my E-P3. It hunts a lot in low light, and by the time I have focus lock, if at all, I've lost the moment. It happened again tonight while shooting some candids in the house with my family and our dogs. I'm very close to pulling the trigger on the PL25. Other than for low light candids, I do love the FOV of the 20mm, and will probably keep it even if I get the PL25.
  13. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    I own the 20 and have not had a problem with its focusing in low light with either of my Panasonic bodies: GF1 and GH2.

    The 20 makes for a mini-DSLR on the GH2 or a "svelte LX3 on 'roids" with the GF1 (I still own and use my LX3).

    I have briefly used the Panny 25 but don't own one. I have another 25: the Voigtlander. If Oly or Panny made a 25 pancake or a 20 in f/1.4, I would buy either if I didn't already own the 20. This FL is to my liking.

    I may eventually buy the Panny 25, f/1/4 in Q4-2012. For me, there is no urgency with purchasing this lens. I will acquire the Noctor 12mm, f/1.6 in Q2-2012. It will partner with the GH2 as the Oly 12mm, f/2.0 will be with the GF1.

    When I acquire the GX1 in Q3-2012, it will partner with the Oly 12; complemented by the GH2*Noctor 12 combo for landscapes.

    If I acquire the Panny 25, it will partner with the GX1 or GH2, and the exquisite Oly 45 for portraits. I'll likely use the CV 25 on either body for "artsy," eclectic work.

    The Noctor will be used with the GX1 and the CV 25 on the GH2 for video.

    So where does the 20 fit in this equation? With the GF1 as walkaround with the LX3 as backup.
  14. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    :eek: fftopic:Wow, what an investment plan! Never seen anything like it. Did you do this in the past as well and did you really stick to your plans? Just curious :smile:.
  15. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    I must be one of the few people who is not very excited about the 20/1.7. Sure, I love the focal length, speed, size and weight, but it gets a bit long in the tooth compared to more modern lenses in terms of AF speed (talking about the GH2 here). Also, edge and corner sharpness is visibly lower than center sharpness, which is great already wide open. I never use the 20 for landscapes for that reason, I prefer the 14-45mm set at 20mm, which I do a lot.

    I don't own the 25/1.4 but that's just because I'm indifferent to the classic standard lens FOV and to be sure, the 20/1.7 is still a great low-light lens.
  16. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men"-Robert Burns

    It would be pretentious of me to say otherwise. I tried with my DSLR kit, but careened into scratching a fetish with 50mm primes to the tune of four from Nikon, two from Sigma, and one from Zeiss.:tongue:

    I'll try to stick to this plan; however, in truth, I'm having so much fun with :43: that I'll go off track as well with this system.:rofl:

    What will likely keep me "on track" is the still-limited selection of native lenses for :43: hardware, my preference for fast primes, and my sheer desire to keep my kit as small and lightweight as possible. So far, I have managed to squeeze two Panny bodies; and one Panny, two Oly, and one CV lenses in a lunchbox-sized camera bag.:thumbup:
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Then u can make garland of MFT bodies with prime lenses and shoot with what ever u want ..lol
  18. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    The 20/1.7 seems quick in low light on my G3.
  19. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    yes, it's quick enough on my G3 too. i might end up keeping the 20 and 25. wishful thinking.
  20. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Loving my 25, but I do miss the size of the 20.
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