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Customer Review

22 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sharp and very fast aperture., 10 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix G 20mm/F1.7 Pancake Lens (Accessory)
Although I like the lens and it's my basic one at the moment (I'm using a Panasonic G3), it has a few flaws in cooperating with a Panasonic body.

One of them (or rather the camera I'm using it for) is a lack of orientation sensor. Panasonic bodies rely on the lenses' OIS system, which this lens doesn't have, so you will have to rotate each picture separately in your PC.

The "manual focus" ring could use some "high speed" mode, when you want to move from infinity to close focus very quickly, it is simply impossible. You spin and spin and spin the thing, while the focus creeps back.

Video auto focusing speed indoors is quite poor too, which with a very shallow depth of field makes it almost unusable for video on low light for highly dynamic scenes.

Also, the front element is quite exposed to the elements, so I'd recommend purchasing a lens hood, even if it defeats the purpose of a pancake lens. For outdoor pursuits I'd use the lens hood, but whenever compact size counts - I'd take if off.

So, a good, fast, "normal" (40mm equiv) lens for every day use, however beware of the drawbacks.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Nov 2011 12:08:31 GMT
R. G. Robson says:
"I'm rating it 2, so the review actually gets read"

This distorts the lens' overall score unfairly. For what it's worth, I read all the 4 star reviews too.

Posted on 20 Nov 2011 17:34:09 GMT
willrolls says:
"Lacks orientation sensor", "needs high speed mode", "I'm marking this review down so it gets read" - this is really a delightfully uninformed review. And no - I'm not a fanboy - I'm an experienced camera user trying to find out if the lens is any good, and instead coming across stuff like this.

Posted on 30 Dec 2011 20:08:24 GMT
H says:
This sounds to me like it's a http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/PEBCAK error

Why are you shooting in Program mode? Switch to Ai or A, sort your options out and your problems will disappear as if by magic. You want to go very quickly from infinity to close up, quickly switch to Auto, focus on your hand/the floor and then switch back to manual.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2012 19:17:41 BDT
Wiseguy says:
Better than that, the G3 has an "AF+M" mode. It autofocuses initially for you, then allows you to adjust focus manually, without switching anything!

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Nov 2012 14:12:37 GMT
N. Barry says:
Not true. Both manual and auto-focus on this lens are on the slow side because so many of the lens elements , including the front ones, are moved during focusing. This is widely recognised on the web and bares out in my experience. My other lens, the Oly 45mm, has internal focusing and is significantly quicker.
Those movable front elements are also a liability when it comes to taking a bump.
It's still a great lens in terms of image quality, I love mine. It's just that there has been a lot of compromises in other areas to bring it to market at this (over)price.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Nov 2012 14:33:09 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Nov 2012 14:33:44 GMT
N. Barry says:
I read the medium and low-scored reviews to help balance the sockpuppeted/bribed 5* reviews. There are way too many 5* reviews for this lens. No doubt it's sharp, colourful, compact and contrasty but it's got its issues too. The reviewer highlighted two for you, a third is that the front elements move which will affect longevity in the real world (where despite the utmost care you do bump it every no and then).

Many Panasonic bodies that take this lens don't have an orientation sensor and like the reviewer I have a G3 which lacks one.
Panasonic really ought to put them in all their new bodies because it's a flipping great idea. And if they're not going to then they should put them in all their lenses since they are tiny and inexpensive.
It's as simple as that.
I knew this before I bought the camera and lens because I trawled the web. I used this info to inform my buying decision. It's certainly not something that Panasonic will tell you in their promotional material.
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