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which pancake for beach holiday?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by kapitano, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. kapitano

    kapitano Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2012
    i need your advice, please! :smile:

    i haven't been to the beach for several years now, and i'm really missing it. that's why i want to go to the sea with my girlfriend this summer. i plan to take both my olympus e-1 and my olympus pen e-pl1 with me as well as two or three of my zuiko digital lenses which i can use on both cameras.

    i'm really pleased with the results when using my adapted zuiko digital lenses on my olympus pen e-pl1, but this camera really needs to have a pancake attached to be pocketable. indeed, i'd like to own both pancakes from panasonic which are both great performers as far as i can tell from looking at the pictures taken with them, but i can't afford buying two lenses before going on vacation, so one will have to wait to be bought at some time in the future.

    what would you say, which pancake should i choose? what i'd like to know is which lens is better for use on vacation by the sea. please also consider that this would be the first native lens i would buy for my olympus pen e-pl1.

    thanks in advance! :smile:
  2. AnttiV

    AnttiV Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 19, 2012
    Note: I don't have experience with m43 systems yet. To this day, I've only used larger DSLRs (Sigma and Canon).

    That outta the way, it depends really what kind of pictures you wanna take. Do you want to concentrate on taking pictures of people or surroundings? To be clear, it doesn't matter THAT much, but I've always preferred a bit wider lens for scenery shots and something along the 40-50mm line (in full-frame terms) for portraits / action focusing in people, not the scene.

    With that in mind, I'd recommend you take either the wider Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH pancake or the narrower Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Pancake if you want to have two lenses. But the Olympus M.Zuiko Di 17mm f2.8 Pancake fits neatly in that centre and could be used as an all-purpose lens quite easily. 17mm (34mm equiv. for the FF-world) is a bit wide for my tastes for a portrait lens, but that's only my opinion. People have shot downright marvellous portraits at 28mm (14mm equiv. with m43 lenses).

    Again, note, I haven't actually used these, I just convert the mm's to FF-equivalents and go with what I have used and liked in DSLR bodies.

    If it were me, and my goal was to eventually get two lenses, I'd go for the wider 14mm pancake and later get either the 20mm pancake, or more probably I'd slightly give in to that size constraint and get either the Leica 25mm or the Sigma 30mm prime as the other lens. Neither the Leica or the Sigma are pancakes really, but judging from pictures neither are any particularly large lenses either.

    Just be prepared that with the 14mm lens you really don't have to particularly worry about DOF, at least if you stop the lens down at all. At 14mm you'll have all the DOF in the world to play with ;) 

    EDIT: I don't know how this helps, since I don't really have any experience with the actual lenses, but just thought I'd offer a few pointers from where I come from.
  3. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    Also the 14mm is more sand-proof.
  4. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    you can't go wrong with the 20mm pancake.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Nope, this is the best all around prime available - if you only take/buy one, this should be it. And also, none of them are more or less sand/water resistant - so be careful!
  6. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    :confused:  :confused:  :confused: 

    Get the less sand-proof 20mm..... faster, sharper and, to me, a better all round focal length. Downside is slightly slower focus, but you don't have the quickest focussing body anyway, so no big deal.
  7. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    Surely an internal focus mechanism is less prone to dust and sand infiltration, no?
  8. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Unless a lens is sold as sealed, it isn't.
  9. playak47

    playak47 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2010
    20mm is the way to go. Eventually you will be hanging out at night and this lens will come in handy. I have 14, 20 and 45.
  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I agree with the other recommendations: get the Panasonic 20/1.7. It's small, it's sharp, and the 20mm (40mm effective) focal length is a good general-use compromise. 14mm is too wide for many things, and the 17mm is not particularly good and fairly pricey.

    The only problem is that the 20/1.7 has been hard to find in stores recently, so it may take some work to track one down. When you do though, you won't be sorry.

  11. kapitano

    kapitano Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2012
    the pancake doesn't need to be weather-sealed, because the olympus pen e-pl1 isn't. i will have my olympus e-1 which is weather-sealed as well as one or maybe two of my weather-sealed zuiko digital lenses (i.e. the zuiko digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 (first generation) and maybe the zuiko digital ed 50mm 1:2 macro) with me on vacation.

    i will also take the olympus pen e-pl1 with me, so i don't always have to take the big and heavy camera with me. if i bought a pancake before going on vacation, i could leave not only the olympus e-1 but also the zuiko digital glass in the hotel room here and there and have fun with only the olympus pen e-pl1 including the pancake lens. this should be mostly in the evening when going for a walk or sitting in the club.

    i won't be lying in the sand all day long, so i don't need weather-sealed camera gear all day long. i guess that i won't even use my weather-sealed equipment when lying in the sand, because this will be the time when i will take no pictures at all. i mean, i'm on vacation to relax a little bit, am i not?

    edit: i forgot to mention that i really don't know what focal length is the best for such a vacation, because i don't go to the beach very often. a wide lens should be better for taking pictures of landscapes, a normal lens should be better for photographing people. what do you say?
  12. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    The 20mm is very all-encompassing, it is an ideal focal length for general use - if I can only take along 1 small prime, that is it! the 14mm is better to capture a wide scene of course, but the 20mm will still grab the details well, and works well for general portraits and capturing smaller details that the 14mm would miss being that it is wider.
  13. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    I think my comment about sand was probably taken to the extreme. I wasn't saying it was weatherproof or sandproof, just less prone to it by the fact that the front doesn't rack in and out for focusing. I read about some grit getting into a 20mm and making a grinding noise. That's less possible with the 14mm because it doesn't move - and if I were on the beach all day that's the one I would take. Here in the UK you can get a 14mm for half the price of a 20mm which might also be a factor if I were making the choice.

    For evenings out in bars and restaurants it's a different matter.
  14. harrysue

    harrysue Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    I'd take the 14mm for the beach. Don't need the f1.7 aperture there. You got the smallness that you want. Mine was half the price of the 20mm via ebay. Perhaps you can find a similar deal in Austria so you will have more money for refreshments at the beach.

    Sooner or later, the 20mm is a nice lens to own.

    Or you could buy an inexpensive waterproof compact camera for less money than either lens. Take it into the water and have fun.
  15. ripleys baby

    ripleys baby Part time philistine

    Aug 10, 2011
    What he said...

    I have both the 20 and 14 Reckon the 14 would be LESS prone to sand/dust ingress :smile:
  16. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    If you're not planning to bring it to the beach, then the 20/1.7 would be the perfect pancake walk around lens.

    The other option is the 14/2.5 pancake and a waterproof case like the Dicapac, then you can even take things underwater.
  17. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    And the only one of those would be the Oly 12-50 lens. There are no other weather sealed lenses natively for m43 yet.
  18. kapitano

    kapitano Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2012
    both pancakes from panasonic seem to be great, and they have enough space between focal lengths to buy both. that's what i will do, but it is really such a hard dicision which one to get first. :redface:

    first, there is a big price difference between the two lenses. when buying a copy which was separated from a kit, the 14mm pancake normally costs less than a half of the 20mm pancake. it seems to me that it's a good time to buy the 14mm pancake, because i have no clue for how long the shops will sell those unbundled lenses for such a great price, but it also seems to be a good time to buy the 20mm pancake now, because there's this cashback from panasonic going on right now. it would make the 20mm pancake 50 gbp cheaper. what do you think?

    second, the 14mm pancake is smaller and lighter. it also focuses quicker. but this comes with the fact that the 20mm pancake is faster, and it also seems to be optically a little bit better.

    and third, i still don't know which focal length i would prefer for a holiday at the sea. there's so much things i would like to photograph. :redface:

    buy the way, if you had a black olympus pen e-pl1, would you go for a black or a silver copy of the 14mm pancake? both look nice alone, but which one would look better when mounted onto the camera?

    edit: how important is a polarising filter for my vacation?
  19. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    evsonline says they have the panasonic. I just got the Summilux 25mm brand new when nobody else in the country seemed to have, so they are definitely worth a call. Tommy Mack, the sales manager helped me out. They are very, like, man, California cool, but got the job done nicely.
  20. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    I think the cheap 14mm will be around for a while - there are so many of them from kits! The Panasonic cashback is certainly limited though...

    I'd still get the 14mm - on my old E-P1 the 20mm was annoyingly slow to focus. I think there's a thread here about it still not being very good in low light, even on newer bodies. I've just tried the 14mm on it and it's pretty good - not as fast as on my E-P3 but good enough even in lower light.

    Silver or black - I'd go with black - not that there's much silver on the silver version as far as I can tell but I think the full black looks better regardless of the body colour.

    Lastly I'd say yes, take a polariser if you're going to be taking pictures on the beach. If you already have one that's too big you can just get a step-down ring - that's what I did.
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