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Keywords: Panasonic G-Series Wide Prime Micro-Four-Thirds Tested


indysteve

Registered: October 2014
Posts: 6
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by indysteve
Review Date: 10/1/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $275.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, aperature
Cons: noisy a/f sounds like a pepper grinder, price

great lens, way too noisy for video. noise always worried me. a little pricey but you get your $ worth IQ wise
attila_feher

Registered: August 2011
Posts: 4
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by attila_feher
Review Date: 9/8/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small and portable, wide aperture, good sharpness
Cons: a bit slow focusing, it hunts in very low light

It is probably one of the lenses that made the Micro-Four-Thirds system be what it promised to be: small and high quality. It is my lens of choice when I need a to make my Olympus EP3 fit in my coat's pocket.


Pros: its focal length (40mm equiv. - a bit wider than the standard 50 mm equiv.) makes it good for an ultra-compact all-rounder


Cons: in low light it hunts for focus, making it difficult to use on badly-lit events etc. when you still need to catch the instant action.
theelderkeynes

Registered: December 2013
Posts: 3
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by theelderkeynes
Review Date: 12/7/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $335.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, sharp, great IQ, makes a discrete package with an Olympus E-P2
Cons: None

It does what it says on the box! Turns my Oly E-P2 into a Leica basher! Put it on an E-P5 or E-M5 and it gets even better. Sharp and lovely tonal quality even shot direct into the sun over water.... Can't fault it.
Kye

Registered: May 2012
Posts: 2
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by Kye
Review Date: 5/11/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light, tiny, optically superb
Cons: corner shading up till f4 not great but easily adjusted out. bad CA under certain conditions too (but dxo nukes them)

if 40mm field of view is your thing, you've got nowhere else to go in the M4/3 system.


optically, i had to just 'get over' the whole distortion and CA auto correction issue. so i did Smile good god this thing is sharp. have had all manner of top shelf lenses over the years, but the micro contrast on this thing is truly stellar.


colour and contrast are just as good.


only real weakness (provided you've got decent CA removal software or dxo), is focus speed because it's good but not brilliant.


other than that, it's a no brainer and actually feels like it will be with me for many years to come.
Prime Minister

Registered: May 2011
Posts: 34
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by Prime Minister
Review Date: 3/16/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, small, fast aperture, sharp, good contrast
Cons: AF a little slow, moving front element

For the small pancake that it is, this lens is an excellent performer. Apart from the somewhat slow autofocus and the loose, moving front element, there's nothing I don't like about this lens. Images are sharp and crispy and they have good contrast. The autofocus is slowish but accurate.


The front element moves in and out during focussing and it seems a little fragile to me. The 14mm f/2.5 for instance, has no external moving parts. Maybe Pansonic will build a new 20mm f/1.7 someday with a design like this 14mm.


Images taken at f/1.7 are usable, but I think images taken at f/2 have better contrast and sharpness. It's a small lens and this helps to keep your micro 4/3 camera (and lens set) more 'micro'.


Although I think the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 Summilux is a better lens, this 20mm pancake probably is good enough for most uses. It has the advantage of being smaller, lighter and less expensive. So, great image quality in a small package.


Update 23/9-2013
The new version (II) is optically and mechanically identical, but the lens now has a black metal barrel. I think it’s a nice touch. The front element is a little more recessed. That’s a good thing too. Unfortunately, being mechanically identical, the autofocus speed is still a little slower than the focus system in newer lenses. A missed opportunity? I don’t know, because the lens does deliver excellent results and it’s a micro 4/3 classic for a reason.


The new kid on the block is the Olympus 17mm f/1.8. It focusses fast and silent, but I don’t find the image quality convincing. Sharpness and contrast are just not on par with the Panasonic. If you need focus speed or a slightly wider field of view, the Olympus 17mm might be good for you, but image quality wise it’s a step backwards.
Ranger

Registered: February 2012
Posts: 2
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by Ranger
Review Date: 2/16/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $350.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image Quality, Size, Build Quality, f/1.7
Cons: None

I've put this lens through some heavy use for the past two years with a GF1 and more recently a GX1. It is my most used M4/3 lens. My experience has shown it to be a rugged reliable lens. Image quality overall is excellent. It is a primary player in my street photography projects. 40mm equivalent is the sweet spot for what I do. Highly recommend this lens for overall balance of size, speed, and IQ.
naveedakhtar

Registered: September 2010
Posts: 5
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by naveedakhtar
Review Date: 12/8/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $420.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, low CA, small, fast, price, bright, build
Cons: loud, VA

Considering this is the focal length am using most out of 14-42 mm range, this lens is very practical for me. I gave my kit lens on this one and am keeping this lens since it was released and used it extensively. Many times only this lens in my camera bag.


Well as already listed its pros the only major cons is: I wish if it would be sielent like other M43 Pany/ Oly are making recently.


For vigg as the review already suggested, stopping down will help, as for small primes of this size its more or less understandable.


I recently added a photo-set that contains only photos taken through this glass, for some real world performance: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hakeem-na/sets/72157628891088035/
asulea

Registered: April 2011
Posts: 11
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by asulea
Review Date: 10/16/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $340.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, small and sharp lens.
Cons: No.

A real lens for MFT: good image quality, small, fast and not expensive.
Creyr Glas Lightworks

Registered: July 2009
Posts: 10
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by Creyr Glas Lightworks
Review Date: 12/28/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $329.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp even wide open, works with Olympus Micro 4/3, very affordable
Cons: none yet

We got this for my Olympus EP1, and were blown away. This is a major improvement over the 14-42mm kit lens, and way better than the Olympus 17mm lens the PEN launched with. It is just brilliant. To explain how good it is, I went into my camera store looking to purchase the Canon 28mm 1.8 which is an outstanding lens. After using this lens, I saved nearly $200 and felt I walked out of the store with the better product for cheaper. The color is great, sharpness is incredible, and IQ is pretty good. There is a touch of CA problems, but that is expected out of a lens like this, and its nothing that can't be fixed in post. Everyone who has seen the images this little lens has produced so far has been blown away. Highly recommended!!
Tord

Registered: September 2010
Posts: 18
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by Tord
Review Date: 9/5/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, sharp and really nice!
Cons: nothing

Another of these lenses that offers so much in a small, fairly cheap, package. My experience is with it attached to an Olympus E-PL1, and it is just as good as my DA21 on my Pentax!
Laserguy

Registered: August 2010
Posts: 1
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by Laserguy
Review Date: 8/17/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, sharpness wide open, bokeh, focal length
Cons: Noisy, plasticky, focus-by-wire, exposed front element, price

Optically, this lens is like Mary Poppins: Practically perfect in every way. It's razor-sharp wide open (sharpenss is almost always limited by focus accuracy and camera handling) and has nice, smooth bokeh. The 40 mm focal length is just about perfect for a day-to-day lens, especially indoors. It shows little to no signs of flare or glare (with an aftermarket hood). I've shot straight into lights 5+ stops past being blown out, and never observed a flare. Fundamentally, I love the lens because I never need to worry that the lens will let me down optically.


It's also tiny, which makes it exceedingly easy to carry.


The focus isn't all that brisk, and it's not exactly silent. The focus-by-wire system (common to all mFT lenses) makes manual focus less pleasant than it might be.


Build quality is adequate, no more.


Without a hood, the front element is very exposed, and given is propensity to be pocket-carried, this is a little unnerving.


This is not a cheap lens by any stretch of the imagination. However, twice its purchase price would be insufficient to part it from me.
Ocean

Registered: September 2009
Posts: 21
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by Ocean
Review Date: 7/31/2010 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
Pros: light, seems solid, no CA
Cons: Overpriced!, no good AF-Performance, Noise, no OIS, Flare, Vignetting, plastic, to thin

farly overpriced, should cost around 180 !
Good in low light, but the AF is far to slow!
I hope for better mFT primes!!!!
ssj_george

Registered: June 2010
Posts: 3
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by ssj_george
Review Date: 6/15/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $490.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, small, very good performance, very good build quality
Cons: vignetting wide open

I have it mounted on a GF1 and it makes a perfect light and small package.


Image quality is almost flawless. Shoot at f/2.8 for sharpest images and also at f/4 for eliminating the vignetting. I may have said that the lens is sharper at f/2.8 but you'll be surprised at the image quality at f/1.7!


Its focal length (40mm equivalent) makes it a perfect lens for general purpose. It is good for landscape, for street photography and its f/1.7 makes it very very good (but not perfect) for portraiture and some interior shots.


Autofocus is excellent. Very fast. And with the genial red AF assist lamp on the GF1 autofocusing in low light is easy.


Manual focusing ring feels great. It is addictive using it.


As I said the only flaw is the vignetting wide open at f/1.7 to around f/2. You can eliminate vignetting at f/4 or you can just correct it later in post processing (something very easy and 100% efficient with a good software).


Falling in love with this lens is inevitable. Highly recommended when looking for something like this!
PeterB666

Registered: May 2010
Posts: 5
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by PeterB666
Review Date: 5/19/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good image quality, compact, about right for a 'standard' lens for Micro Four Thirds
Cons: Overpriced, suffers from flare, noisy aperture and AF

The lens is very compact, reasonably fast and focuses well. This makes a great little all-round 'standard' lens.


The image quality is generally very good. As an everyday lens that can be left on the camera and cope most day-to-day candid photography, hard to beat.


The lens does suffer from more flare than it should for a modern lens of a fairly simple design and few lens elements.


The aperture and AF are quite noisy.
richeso

Registered: April 2010
Posts: 2
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by richeso
Review Date: 4/17/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: small light sharp and very good in low light.
Cons: Expensive for compared to comparable full frame lenses e.g. canon 50mm 1.4

Excellent lens that can be used in really low light. e.g. in a darkened theater, picture still comes out sharp where a P&S would simply give up.
EdO

Registered: March 2010
Posts: 4
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by EdO
Review Date: 3/11/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: incredibly sharp and compact lens
Cons: AF noise audible on video sound track

Tested on my GF-1, this lens can match or beat the sharpness of any Nikon or Sigma lens I've ever tested on my Nikon D90, at comparable apertures. This lens is simply superlative.
SETI

Registered: April 2007
Posts: 20
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by SETI
Review Date: 1/27/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lightweight, sharp, fast
Cons: no

No doubts it's good lesson for all competitors. "That's what I call the lens" =) Small, sharp and fast. Very good, contrast images ! BTW colors from my G1 + 20mm much better than for my D700 and 5D, I mean without processing. And in spite of 2x crop I like it's pictures more than from Canon and Nikon 1,5 crops.
Amazing little jewel !


You can see some of my shots here:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/photodrug/sets/72157622881853782/
PeteD

Registered: March 2009
Posts: 12
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by PeteD
Review Date: 1/27/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small, sharp, great fun
Cons: lack of stabilisation

it's small, it's sharp and it's fast. Coupled with a compact m4/3 camera this makes for a nice unobtrusive little set up.


it's a tadge expensive and so makes most sense as part of the GF-1 kit. I guess you are paying for size (compare to Nikon 35 f1.8).


build quality is ok.


I must admit to being a bit of a m4/3 sceptic at first but this really changed my opinion!


Now if panasonic would only be so kind as to make 12mm pancake!
stevej2001

Registered: December 2009
Posts: 1
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G review by stevej2001
Review Date: 12/7/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, Fast, Sharp
Cons: expensive

It works as advertised... small, unobtrusive and it's speed opens a whole new world of low light photography and video.


It has the typical panasonic plastic construction but it's really very solid feeling. Much better than Canon and Nikon consumer lenses.


Some would fault it for not being stabilized, but its speed makes up for it.


 






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