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6 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding performance from a compact lens
I bought this lens some time ago from an Amazon seller for use on Olympus bodies. Reviews on various technical review sites read at the time rated this a far better performer than any of Olympus' own offerings and the price at which it was then offered was very favourable. I had tested a sample in-store against the 17 and 14mm pancakes and later also bought the widest...
Published 8 months ago by Andy_atGC

versus
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading: Does not arrive in Panasonic packaging
It's a great lens. Unfortunately it arrived in a small unmarked cardboard box, in a bit of bubble wrap and without any documemtation or the protective case. This is really unacceptable and so the item had to be returned. I spoke to Amazon who said they would investigate but they don't seem to have done so. Very disappointing.
Published 3 months ago by Kimberley


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this review before buying this lens! You'll be glad that you did!, 3 May 2014
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This review is from: Panasonic 20mm Compact and Lightweight Digital Interchangeable Lens for Lumix G - Black (Accessory)
In this review I show the good and not so good aspects about this lens and by the time you have read this review you will most likely know if this lens is for you. The camera used for this review is the Panasonic GF6.

First a word of caution, be aware of grey imports of this lens: I first ordered this lens via a seller which was `Fulfilled by Amazon' (i.e. Not Amazon's own stock); when it arrived I found that the lens came in a plain white box, with no documentation, or warranty card and without the lens storage bag that is stated in the product description. It was obviously a grey import and I felt I had no option but return it for a full refund. I then ordered the item form Amazon's own stock, this time it came in the proper Panasonic box with all the documentation. Recommendation: only order directly from Amazon's own stock, if you order from another seller I would advise that you contact them first to make sure that it is genuine UK stock and not a grey import.

O.k. lets take a look at what's good about this lens:-

The overall build quality is good and it looks good on the camera body.

The lens has a large f/1.7 aperture; it lets in loads of light in so that one can take pictures in low light whiteout having to resort to using the camera's flash, or having to bump up the ISO which introduces noise and degrades the image and in this respect it's miles better than the standard 14-42mm kit lens.

The lens has a metal mount, instead of plastic of the kit lens, so it should last for years of regular use, with greater reliability.

The lens is compact and doesn't stick out too much on the camera's body, which is more convenient and less obtrusive and one doesn't need a large camera bag.

Optically, the lens is very good and sharp, even at the f/1.7 maximum aperture setting. The 20mm focal length of this lens makes it ideal for general purpose use such as: street photography, group shots, landscape scenes and so on. it's not a zoom lens so your feet will have to do the job instead. Recommendation: The front lens element is very close to the top of the lens so to protect it from the elements and ones fingers, get a 46mm UV protective filter and make sure that it is the multicoated type (the multicoating helps prevent unwanted reflections and ghosting appearing in your images).

Let's mow examine what is not so good about this lens:-

Auto-focus performance is on slow side and the auto-focus motor inside the lens emits more audible noise during operation than compared to the standard 14-42mm kit lens. What this means is that trying to photograph ones children running around in your living room, the auto-focus is not fast enough to keep up and so one will end up with mostly out-of-focus shots. If one is shooting video in continuous auto-focus mode, the auto-focus again isn't fast enough to keep up and one also hears the noise of the auto-focus motor operation in the audio of your video. It should be noted that for most types of photography and subjects the speed of the auto-focus isn't critical and using this lens shouldn't be a problem and one can also use single-focus mode when shooting video; in the end it depends on what one will use this lens for and this is something one will need to consider before making a decision whether to buy, or not.

Although continuous auto-focus is available in video mode it is not available in photo mode; the software version of the lens does not permit this operation on my GF6. The focusing speed of this lens makes it unsuitable for continuous auto-focus; however, for most types of photography this will not be an issue as single auto-focus, or manual focus modes would be used. If continuous auto-focus is essential for your photographic needs, then this lens will not be suitable.

Although the front element does not rotate during auto-focus (and that's a good point), it does move in and out slightly during the auto-focus operation. This is not a problem, but care should be taken not to bump the front of the lens during use, as doing so could potentially cause damage to the lens.

There is no optical image stabilization built into this lens, however, the large f/1.7 aperture more that compensates for the lack of VR, with one exception that is for hand-held video, where VR has a real positive benefit. Some four-thirds camera's models have VR built into the camera body and if this is you then this will not be an issue.

The lens does not have Nano coating so it is prone to flare under certain conditions and there is no lens hood attachment to help minimize flare. Personally, I think Panasonic ought to have included Nano coating, especially when you consider the high price that they sell it for; in my view, this lens is overpriced by as much as £100.

Other considerations:-

This 20mm lens is not a zoom lens and your feet will have to the the zooming by moving closer, or further away from your subject.

The bokeh (the out of focus areas of the image) produced by this lens is limited: This is not a fault with the lens, it's simply the law of physics; with the focal length of the lens being 20mm and the size of the four-thirds sensor being much smaller than the full-frame 35mm format, it results in something like a two stop disadvantage in bokeh performance over the 35mm format. Because of this, the lens isn't really suitable for tight head `n' shoulder portraits, the 20mm focal length falls between a wide angle and a standard lens and cannot therefore give the flattering perspective needed for portraiture; for this one needs a longer focal length lens in the region of 45mm.

Final Word:-

Despite the limitations and shortcomings of this lens, I like it a lot; It's nice and sharp, even wide open and works a treat in low light. The ability to use this lens in low light without ramping up the ISO, or having to use the camera's flash is really great and is an absolute must for any budding photographer. I taken off a star because of the slow and noisy auto-focus performance, but make no mistake, this is still a great lens and it has become my main lens for my GF6.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding performance from a compact lens, 20 Dec 2013
By 
Andy_atGC (London UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Panasonic 20mm Compact and Lightweight Digital Interchangeable Lens for Lumix G - Black (Accessory)
I bought this lens some time ago from an Amazon seller for use on Olympus bodies. Reviews on various technical review sites read at the time rated this a far better performer than any of Olympus' own offerings and the price at which it was then offered was very favourable. I had tested a sample in-store against the 17 and 14mm pancakes and later also bought the widest lens and was very satisfied by the test shots obtained from both.

When I started to use it, I realised just how good this lens really is and it is probably Panasonic's best short of the far more expensive Leica designs they also offer. Its performance is truly outstanding; it is very sharp indeed when stopped down a couple of stops and very usable wide open. With a 35mm equivalent of 40mm, it is not quite a wide angle and not quite a standard prime, but mid-way between the two. Mounted on a body, it adds very little depth or weight and it is certainly possible to store the camera-mounted lens out of sight in a jacket pocket. Some recently seen magazine articles have commented very favourably about this lens and use its performance as a 'standard' to compare others - it really is that good! For fans of Bokeh, there are no nasty surprises to be had as the 7-bladed aperture is regular in shape and mostly very nearly circular.

The lens will work well for different photographic styles including street photography, low-light, group portraits, landscapes, travel and many others where its wider depth of field and wide aperture will offer some benefits. Its low weight should make its use on a hand-held camera body much easier although those who prefer to add support from below the lens may find its low bulk makes that more tricky but not impossible.

Used indoors or in weak lighting, it will easily replace the standard kit zoom and is a full two stops faster than the zoom at an equivalent setting. The lens does not incorporate any internal image stabilisation but, when used with Olympus or the new Panasonic GX7 bodies, in-camera stabilisation is available. The lens does have a moderate tendency towards flare when shooting directly into bright lights but the use of a lens hood will reduce that to acceptable limits.

A very useful addition to any M43 system and one you will grow to love for its many qualities and at a modest price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This has become my favourite standard lens, 30 Nov 2013
By 
This review is from: Panasonic 20mm Compact and Lightweight Digital Interchangeable Lens for Lumix G - Black (Accessory)
Although the Lumix G series allows me to pack 35mm equivilent 14-400mm lenses, a camera body, filters, spare batteries etc. in a tiny camera bag that looks as though it is a normal tourist bag not a pro-style hefty camera case there are times when you just want to take one camera and one lens.

My G3 may be a couple of years old but it is tiny, I am looking at the GX7 but don't see the need to upgrade right now. So stick the 20mm f1.7 lens on it and I can put the G3 in my pocket. The lens is tiny, really sharp and has a lovely bokeh (out of focus parts) plus a generous maximum aperture.

The 35mm equiv. of 40mm focal length is just about perfect. The Micro 4/3 has a different, more square, format than the 35mm format so this is a perfect "standard" lens meaning it captures on camera roughly what the eye sees. I can wear this under a light jacket without anyone knowing I have a camera and then quickly take photos and replace it. Perfect compromise.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Fast Lens, 5 May 2014
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This review is from: Panasonic 20mm Compact and Lightweight Digital Interchangeable Lens for Lumix G - Black (Accessory)
I borrowed the first edition of this lens from a friend for two holidays and its amazing in all conditions, but especially low-light when you don't want flash. Delighted with the product.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great lens and perfect for Olympus OMD10, 11 April 2014
By 
J. Wali - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Panasonic 20mm Compact and Lightweight Digital Interchangeable Lens for Lumix G - Black (Accessory)
Having tried both Panasonic 20mm and also the Olympus 17, I found Panny20 is better - sharper and with lively colours. focussing can be slower but in practice this is no big deal as manual focussing is much easier than the Oly17, where you have to pull a ring back and focus. On Panny this is just a one step smooth process. makes Olympus OMD10 compact and pocketable. I think it is perfect match for Olympus OMD10. Just makes the camera so portable and easy to carry and handle!!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading: Does not arrive in Panasonic packaging, 29 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic 20mm Compact and Lightweight Digital Interchangeable Lens for Lumix G - Black (Accessory)
It's a great lens. Unfortunately it arrived in a small unmarked cardboard box, in a bit of bubble wrap and without any documemtation or the protective case. This is really unacceptable and so the item had to be returned. I spoke to Amazon who said they would investigate but they don't seem to have done so. Very disappointing.
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