Pancake/Prime Lens Shopping

Started Jan 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
OMaster Dee
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Re: Pancake/Prime Lens Shopping
In reply to tjdean01, Jan 29, 2013

tjdean01 wrote:

20mm f/1.7 vs 14mm f/2.5 Panasonics: Some say that it's good to start of with a 45-50mm perspective, thus the 20. It's faster and based on what I read, sharper. And I did enjoy shooting with my old fixed 39mm Canon sd20 in the past. However I think I'd use the wider 14mm perspective more and I also like its small size. Winner undetermined. I'm leaning toward getting towards getting one of these two first, except if everyone recommends otherwise.

I tried two 2.5/14mm's and found both not better than either the Lumix Power Zoom 14-42mm or Olympus 14-42mm R. I'd definitely go with the 20mm, very sharp, very small. If you'd get the 25mm then i'd go with the 17mm Olympus (either 2.8 or 1.8)

PZ 14-42mm X Panasonic pancake zoom: Am I right to assume that my 14-42mm Olympus kit lens beats this in overall speed and image quality across the range and that I'd only be buying it for the size? That said, is it true that the PZ 14-42x performs as well as my kit lens (or the primes?) in the 14-20mm range as suggested by other posters?

You are right.

Primes vs 14-42mm non-kit or 14-45mm or 14-50 mm Panasonics: I think both Olympus and Panasonic make an improved 14-42mm lens over the one that came with my PL2. I'm really not interested in buying this because it isn't small, but how does it/they compare at, say, 14, 17, and 20mm to the corresponding primes? I know the primes are faster, but are they for sure sharper?

Stopped down to 5.6 i couldn't see much difference between my kit zooms and my primes (i tried Lumix 14mm, Lumix 20mm, Lumix 25mm, Olympus 45mm against Lumix PZ 14-42mm and Olympus 14-42mm R). "Much" meaning there is a slight difference in sharpness but you're hard-pressed to tell at normal viewing sizes.

17 mm 2.8 Olympus: Am I correct in assuming that the only reason to get this lens would be if I can't afford to get both of the Panasonics? I do like the silver on the black body, however!

It's a nice lens, not terribly sharp but renders in a very pleasing way. Not a must-have but a cheap alternative to the Lumixes.

25 mm f/1.4: The only thing I really like about this lens is that it's 1.4 vs the 1.7 of the 20mm. Does that really make much of a difference in low light? Sharp, but too long and too big for a prime.

The field of view of both are more different than one would think. With the 25mm you can dare to take head portraits while i wouldn't want to do that with the 20mm because of the distortion. The 25mm is in my Top 3 of the best M43 primes, i would at least give it a try if you get the chance.

45mm f/1.8 Olympus: This goes against everything I said above as far as size and useful focal length (for me) goes. However, I like the sharpness of this lens and its speed. And I think it looks incredibly awesome on my camera and I'd just want to hold it and use it more! I'd buy it if I found it used, just to have it.

It's an M43 staple in my humble opinion. Awesome for portraits and shooting street.

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