Panasonic14mm f2.5 now or save up for the 20mm f1.7?

Started Sep 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Joe186
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Panasonic14mm f2.5 now or save up for the 20mm f1.7?
Sep 20, 2012

Applications - "fast street" (shoot and move), "environmental portraits" (walking around in public with a model), "crowded 'bad & low light' indoors" (meet & greets, openings, debuts, art shows, avant-garde museums and assorted other artsy-fartsies)

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20mm f1.7 - $350 (average street good deal)

  • Pros - Faster shutter options, better bokeh, sharper

  • Cons - Twice the price, slower focusing (really?)

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14mm f2.5 - $175 (average street good deal)

  • Pros - Half the price, quicker focusing, better for video (focus lock stability), more dust resistant (fully internal focus mechanism)

  • Cons - Basically, equal image quality to the kit lens, no real photographic gain

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I'm going for one of these two, mostly for the portability and crowd blending (stealth) factors. Carry the above equipped camera on my hip, 'grab-shoot-hide', before anybody even knows I took a photo, if at all.

The advantage over the kit lens, for the 14mm f2.5, is only that (portability and stealth). The kit lens' slower (smaller) aperture, is actually more than compensated for, by it's image stabilization, which is widely touted to be good for three stops.

The big attraction of the 20mm f1.7 is the professed, excellent image quality.

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Q1 - Price aside, is the image quality of the 20 REALLY so much better, that it's worth giving up the lighting fast focusing of the 14?

Q2 - Are the famous low light capabilities of the 20, so great, that it will actually focus better in low light than the 14?

Q3 - ALL other factors aside, same camera, same photographer, same everything, which lens REALLY produces visually better, total image quality?

Q4 - Concerning camera shake / blur, does the extra width of the 14, basically equal the faster shutter speed potential of the 20, i.e. a wider (shorter zoom) lens tends to take a more shake free, stable photo.

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Try this, open both these pages and go back and forth a few times, without looking at which lens took the photo:

20mm f1.7 -

http://www.flickr.com/groups/lumix-pancake/pool

14mm f2.5 -

http://www.flickr.com/groups/lumix-14mm-pancake/pool

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I know this is quite the old subject, but I'm trying to lay out a few "real world" pluses and minuses in a comparative format, as well as finally seek the real truth about whether or not the 20 really takes a better photograph than the 14.

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