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Customer Review

61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem!, 2 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix G 20mm/F1.7 Pancake Lens (Camera)
This lens has been lauded in many reviews - it's probably *the* must-have lens for M43 camera users.

I use it on my Olympus PEN E-P1 and my wife's Panasonic G2; on either camera it transforms the overall size making them both look and feel much smaller. Focus speed is OK, though I must say it seems a bit slower to focus on the G2 than the PEN for some reason - after the last firmware upgrade the PEN has got much snappier in this respect.

In use the 20mm gives a 40mm equivalent on a traditional film SLR (or Full frame DSLR) which isn't quite standard lens length and the extra field of view can lead to distortions if used without care on portrait shots though it's not that wide for landscapes either! Having said that having a prime lens makes you think more about your shots and you'll get picture you just wouldn't with a lazy old zoom.

One of the top benefits of this lens is the super wide (for M43!) 1.7 aperture. This Makes it good for low light photography and in some conditions enables you to get a nice blurry background. This is especially nice on the PEN as it has in camera stabilisation, there is no OIS on the Lumix 20mm. Chromatic aberrations isn't an issue on the PEN and the G2 removes any it finds it automatically, so zoom users that get annoyed with purple fringing will be happy too.

So, this is a compact lens that is pin-sharp and great for low-light pics and makes some M43 cameras almost pocketable. Five stars without question.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Aug 2011, 10:06:51 BST
Last edited by the author on 23 Aug 2011, 14:13:43 BST
Sam-Theo says:
As an owner of G1, a study of all the comments made me drool over this lens briefly. 20mm in terms of old 35mm sounded like approaching 'fish-eye'!!
Translating it into micro 4/3rd system it amounts to no more than a 'standard lens' with a wide maximum aperture. £287.00. (for which you can purchase a pocketable compact featuring a prime Tessar, Leica or Schnieder lens) for a standard lens is a lot of money despite the quality of images as presented in the customers' gallery.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2011, 15:16:12 BST
I don't deny it's a lot of money for what actually translates to about a 38mm lens (real world). If you look at M4/3's for alternatives though... there aren't any in reality. I tried the Olympus 17mm and didn't like it - loads of CA and was selling here about the same price back then.

If you want a system camera with cheaper lens alternatives, then standard consumer DSLR's are a better choice; if you want it more compact then stuck with M4/3's, Sony or NX systems - none of which really have a COMPACT alternative to this lens. Even a 50mm equivalent for consumer DSLR's isn't as cheap or straightforward as it may seem - if you take into account a 1.5 or 1.6 multiplier you're looking at a 35mm lens of which none of the main manufacturers make for the price of a good old fashioned 50mm - though they come out about £100 less than the Panny for a Nikon or Sony.

You also note the quality in the galleries - it is a nice lens! :)

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2011, 17:44:04 BST
Last edited by the author on 23 Aug 2011, 17:54:56 BST
Sam-Theo says:
THANKS for that Cheatin' Jockey. Still not tempted to part with a three figure sum for a standard lens which in every reputable brand gave excellent definition as any non-zoom would (i.e. Macro/Micro lenses). Sadly, standard fixed focus lenses invariably ended up being underrated!!! Take Care.
P.S.-My very own alternatives to this lens (in terms of image quality as well as compactness) lie with my Sony TX7 as well as now obsolete Panasonic LX3.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2011, 20:17:04 BST
No worries - I always enjoy a camera discussion :)

I've a 5DII as my 'main' camera so the PEN and the 20mm for me do feel compact; I guess the body design of the G1 does equate to the same thing as with the PEN. The LX3 is a nice bit of kit - hope you get one!

Posted on 29 Nov 2011, 11:01:39 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Nov 2011, 11:03:23 GMT
Phil K says:
RIDICULOUSLY overpriced.
I am beginning to believe I made a collossal mistake in buying a Lumix G - their lenses aren't just overpriced, or even as I began this with, ridiculously overpriced. Beyond even disgracefully overpriced.
I'd buy an adapter to Canon and start using theirs - for a QUARTER of what this costs - before I give Panasonic a penny (really put me off Panasonic this has. I think Panasonic are going to be replaced in my affections)

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2011, 11:51:01 GMT
Firstly don't take this as a defence of the price of this lens - it's just a point of fact. I'd have liked it to be cheaper as well!

The ONLY Canon lens that is close to a quarter of the cost is 50mm f1.8 and that is equivalent to 80mm on a body of a similar price to a Panny m43 body, so it ceases to be the same 'class' of lens. It's a becomes a 'portrait' instead of a 'standard' field of view; to get a 50mm to behave similar to the Panny you need a full-frame class camera - at £1800 for a 5DII body it's hardly a cheap (or compact!) alternative. The REAL alternative that gives a similar field of view to the Panny 20mm is the Canon 28mm 2.8 which comes in (currently - 11/11) at £163 so it's £100 less, not a quarter of the price. For your £100 less you lose the compact body and lens, which for many is an acceptable choice if you research before you buy; smaller doesn't mean lower cost.

Your statement doesn't compare apples with apples.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Dec 2011, 17:43:53 GMT
M. Smithson says:
I took the plunge and purchased this for my E-PL2, I already have the 14mm f2.5 Panny, the MSC 14-42 Kit and a rather nice legacy f1.4 Canon lens.
The 20mm is amazing, I have never had so many "keepers", in fact I was going to sell me m4/3 kit and get a FujifilmX10 but this lens has made me re-evaluate this decision.
Absolutely fantastic, many thanks Cheatin'Jockey for your review it made a big difference!

Posted on 14 Jan 2012, 23:43:43 GMT
Interesting comments. Tempted to bite the bullet and get this even though this lens cost more than I paid for the E-PL1 and kit lens in total - also these lenses tend to hold their resale value well (looking at completed listings on ebay) so if I don't like it I guess I can get most of my money back by selling it.
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