Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
rgs_45
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Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
10 months ago

Aside the the 3mm difference in FL, what advantages and disadvantages of getting either the Pana or Oly lens?? For someone that has or used both, which has better sharpness, IQ? Which has faster focusing speed?

Pana: (+) cheaper, smaller, faster

Oly: (+) better built (to me), wider coverage (-) more expensive

I'm deciding which one to get and need some help. Will be used mainly indoors and low light shooting and maybe 10-20% video (short clips only). Will be getting one in a week for a trip. I have a GX1

Appreciate your help.

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Ulric
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to rgs_45, 10 months ago

The 20 is sharper.

The 17 allegedly focuses faster. I don't have one, so can't say.

The 20 occasionally causes banding on the sensor used in the Olympus E-PM2, E-PL5, E-M5, E-P5 and the Panasonic GH3.

The 17 has field curvature.

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aodi
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to rgs_45, 10 months ago

I have 20 1.7 and it is great. I do not see any problem with it.

According to several reviews online it is sharper then Olympus.

Also smaller.

All depends what do you prefer: 20 or 17 mm?

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Mark Thornton
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to rgs_45, 10 months ago

Pana: (+) cheaper, smaller, faster

The difference between f/1.7 and f/1.8 is completely insignificant.

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kenw
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to rgs_45, 10 months ago

I have the version I 20/1.7 and the 17/1.8. By all accounts nothing changed optically or AF wise on the version II.

IQ is nearly the same, I tested mine carefully. Small differences in whether edges or center slightly sharper.

Size wise bulk about the same, 20 wider but flatter 17 narrower but taller.

AF is no contest, the 17 is way, way better than the 20. Fast and quiet. The 20 is noisy and slow.

Personally I don't use the 20 anymore, never did much actually, but the 17 gets pretty frequent use.

To me the 20 is a great optical lens and good pancake form factor ruined by an awful AF implementation. Why they didn't fix the AF with version II is beyond me.

Both will take great photos, the 20 will just do it with noise and slower AF. Not a good choice for video. But if you don't mind the noise and a bit slower focusing the 20 is a very nice lens.

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Ken W
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agentul
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to kenw, 10 months ago

kenw wrote:


To me the 20 is a great optical lens and good pancake form factor ruined by an awful AF implementation. Why they didn't fix the AF with version II is beyond me.

because how else could they convince me to buy the more expensive 25mm lens? the slower noisier AF is one of the reasons I went with the Leica. the other is low light performance (f1.4 vs f1.7). i would have probably liked the 20mm FOV, but not at the expense of slow AF and geat noise.

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One_Oldman_4U
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Slow and noisy as to what?
In reply to agentul, 10 months ago

agentul wrote:

kenw wrote:

To me the 20 is a great optical lens and good pancake form factor ruined by an awful AF implementation. Why they didn't fix the AF with version II is beyond me.

because how else could they convince me to buy the more expensive 25mm lens? the slower noisier AF is one of the reasons I went with the Leica. the other is low light performance (f1.4 vs f1.7). i would have probably liked the 20mm FOV, but not at the expense of slow AF and geat noise.

What do mean slow? noise? How slow is the focusing compared to a "kit"lens"? Is it noticeable? And the noise? Is it coming from the focusing mechanism? I ask since I'm interested in this lens for my GM1.

Thanks.

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Ulric
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to kenw, 10 months ago

kenw wrote:

To me the 20 is a great optical lens and good pancake form factor ruined by an awful AF implementation. Why they didn't fix the AF with version II is beyond me.

That would have required a complete redesign.

I don't think the AF speed is bad as it is.

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DonTom
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to rgs_45, 10 months ago

rgs_45 wrote:

Aside the the 3mm difference in FL, what advantages and disadvantages of getting either the Pana or Oly lens?? For someone that has or used both, which has better sharpness, IQ? Which has faster focusing speed?

Pana: (+) cheaper, smaller, faster

Oly: (+) better built (to me), wider coverage (-) more expensive

I'm deciding which one to get and need some help. Will be used mainly indoors and low light shooting and maybe 10-20% video (short clips only). Will be getting one in a week for a trip. I have a GX1

Appreciate your help.

Pekka Potka did a very good comparison when reviewing the 17/1.8:

http://www.pekkapotka.com/journal/2012/11/14/olympus-mzuiko-17mm-f18.html

His main point of difference was to do with fringing in high contrast areas. The 20mm was sharper in the centre, softer in the corners, whereas the 17mm was more even across the frame.

If I were you, I'd get the 20/1.7, as the Panasonic camera will be delivering software corrections for the fringing, it's smaller and cheaper. Not sure how the focusing speed is between them on a Panasonic body though.

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s_grins
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to rgs_45, 10 months ago

rgs_45 wrote:

Aside the the 3mm difference in FL, what advantages and disadvantages of getting either the Pana or Oly lens?? For someone that has or used both, which has better sharpness, IQ? Which has faster focusing speed?

Pana: (+) cheaper, smaller, faster

Oly: (+) better built (to me), wider coverage (-) more expensive

I'm deciding which one to get and need some help. Will be used mainly indoors and low light shooting and maybe 10-20% video (short clips only). Will be getting one in a week for a trip. I have a GX1

Appreciate your help.

I have only 1.7/20 which is a great lens in many ways. But because you have mentioned video, I'm hesitant to push you. While I'm perfectly fine with AF speed, this lens is a bit loud, and also camera can't do C-AF (continuous) focus with this lens. I do not know how this fact affects video - I've never done video with this lens, I use kit lens with OIS for video.

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kenw
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Re: Slow and noisy as to what?
In reply to One_Oldman_4U, 10 months ago

One_Oldman_4U wrote:

What do mean slow? noise? How slow is the focusing compared to a "kit"lens"? Is it noticeable? And the noise? Is it coming from the focusing mechanism? I ask since I'm interested in this lens for my GM1.

Well we should be careful here.  It is certainly "slower" but probably unfair to call it "slow".  When it first came out and was used on cameras already pretty slow to focus (E-P1) it might be fair to call it just plain slow.  These days, with something like the GM1, it will be slower to focus than the kit lens but still focus respectably fast - especially when compared to a lot of other mirrorless systems.  In my experience you will notice the slowness even more when you are shooting in low light.  It is perfectly usable speed wise for most things.  I'd be frustrated using it with moving kids or pets.

As to the noise the focus motor is pretty loud, the loudest of all the native m43 lenses I think.  Not as loud as some big old SLR AF lenses I've used in the past but noticeably louder than anything else you'll find in m43 land.  It is the focusing motor making the noise (not aperture chatter) so in MF it is of course silent.  Again, there are a lot of SLR lenses out there a whole lot noisier so it might unfair to call it loud but by comparison to the typically very quiet m43 lenses it is certainly louder than a kit lens.

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Ken W
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kenw
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to Ulric, 10 months ago

Ulric wrote:

kenw wrote:

To me the 20 is a great optical lens and good pancake form factor ruined by an awful AF implementation. Why they didn't fix the AF with version II is beyond me.

That would have required a complete redesign.

I don't think the AF speed is bad as it is.

Well it is a fair point that they probably couldn't have made it focus much faster with the current design as that is limited by the size/mass of the focusing group.  It would have been nice to have had a quieter motor implementation.

And yes, as I just mentioned in another response we should be careful to say the AF speed is certainly slower than other options but in no way unusably slow.  In fact until very recently a lot of other mirrorless system users would be happy to have something focus as fast as the 20mm on current m43 cameras!

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Ken W
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Levinz11
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to rgs_45, 10 months ago

Here's a newbs take on these 2 lenses.

Panny 20 was my first lens purchase. Super nice images and great price! Second lens purchase was Oly 45mm. I thought, wow, this thing focuses fast. Bought the Oly 17 and haven't put the Panny back on yet. In fact I sold it.

The quick focusing paired with the tap to focus and shoot on my E-PL5 is the perfect combo for getting shots of my kids.

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richarddd
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to rgs_45, 10 months ago

Anders W has tested the 20/1.7 and 17/1.8 and found no meaningful difference in AF speed. He suggests people believe the 20 is slower because it is noisier focusing. For example, http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3563867

The 20 v 17 is a frequently debated topic here.

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gandalfII
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to rgs_45, 10 months ago

Decide based on focal length, not only of the lens you choose but of the rest of your system.  For me 12, 20 and 45 are the holy trinity, for others it might be 14, 25 and 75.  If I could only have 2 lenses, it would be 17 and 45.  YMMV, obviously.

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One_Oldman_4U
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Re: Slow and noisy as to what?
In reply to kenw, 10 months ago

kenw wrote:

One_Oldman_4U wrote:

What do mean slow? noise? How slow is the focusing compared to a "kit"lens"? Is it noticeable? And the noise? Is it coming from the focusing mechanism? I ask since I'm interested in this lens for my GM1.

Well we should be careful here. It is certainly "slower" but probably unfair to call it "slow". When it first came out and was used on cameras already pretty slow to focus (E-P1) it might be fair to call it just plain slow. These days, with something like the GM1, it will be slower to focus than the kit lens but still focus respectably fast - especially when compared to a lot of other mirrorless systems. In my experience you will notice the slowness even more when you are shooting in low light. It is perfectly usable speed wise for most things. I'd be frustrated using it with moving kids or pets.

Thanks for the clarification. The lens will be use mostly on stills and static subjects and maybe some movements but not kids or pets running around

As to the noise the focus motor is pretty loud, the loudest of all the native m43 lenses I think. Not as loud as some big old SLR AF lenses I've used in the past but noticeably louder than anything else you'll find in m43 land. It is the focusing motor making the noise (not aperture chatter) so in MF it is of course silent. Again, there are a lot of SLR lenses out there a whole lot noisier so it might unfair to call it loud but by comparison to the typically very quiet m43 lenses it is certainly louder than a kit lens.

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Chas2
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to rgs_45, 10 months ago

rgs_45 wrote:

Aside the the 3mm difference in FL, what advantages and disadvantages of getting either the Pana or Oly lens?? For someone that has or used both, which has better sharpness, IQ? Which has faster focusing speed?

Pana: (+) cheaper, smaller, faster

Oly: (+) better built (to me), wider coverage (-) more expensive

I'm deciding which one to get and need some help. Will be used mainly indoors and low light shooting and maybe 10-20% video (short clips only). Will be getting one in a week for a trip. I have a GX1

Appreciate your help.

Both are good choices, but I think it depends on your preference for field of view. I personally love the 35 mm FOV in FF (17mm in MFT), but there was no fast 17mm at the time I bought into MFT system, so the 20 mm had to do. It is not a bad compromise, though sometimes, I wish it were a tad wider.

Assuming you have a kit lens on some camera, find the equivalent FOV and use it...see which one you prefer. If you have an MFT camera with kit lens, find 17mm, and use blue painters masking tape and fix the zoom, use it and then do the same for 20mm. I think you will find the 3 mm makes more of a difference than you might think.

If video is important, especially in low light, go for the Oly 17. The Pansonic 20 can be noisy under some circumstances...the camera mics might pick up the motor noise if it traverses from far to near or vice versa.

Otherwise, I am hapy I have the 20 now, and would not personally bother to get the 17.

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Pic Man
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to richarddd, 10 months ago

richarddd wrote:

Anders W has tested the 20/1.7 and 17/1.8 and found no meaningful difference in AF speed. He suggests people believe the 20 is slower because it is noisier focusing. For example, http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3563867

The 20 v 17 is a frequently debated topic here.

I had the 20mm on GX1 and this was my experience too. I didn't find any meaningful difference between the 20mm and my other lenses including kit lens in regards to focus speed. Perhaps it's slower on Olympus bodies I don't know. If it hunts it will be slower but it doesn't hunt often. From near to infinity focus it might be slightly slower. I think the issue of 20mm being slow is overblown in this forum. It does make a noise, not loud but if I was frequently shooting video perhaps this might be a concern.

I got to try the 17mm 1.8 the other day on an ep5 and it was a wonderful combination. The 17mm seemed sharp to me even though I've seen some reviews say it isn't that great. The 20 might be sharper but I think you'll be happy with the 17. It focused silently and fast like many other m43 lenses and it had a nice build quality.

I would pick based on focal length unless the focusing noise of the 20 is not good for video (I don't know as I've never tried). If it were me though I'd go for the 14mm f2.5. I love the 28mm focal length. The lens is tiny, sharp, weighs next to nothing and is very cheap.

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drcPhoto
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to rgs_45, 10 months ago

rgs_45 wrote:

Aside the the 3mm difference in FL, what advantages and disadvantages of getting either the Pana or Oly lens?? For someone that has or used both, which has better sharpness, IQ? Which has faster focusing speed?

Pana: (+) cheaper, smaller, faster

Oly: (+) better built (to me), wider coverage (-) more expensive

I'm deciding which one to get and need some help. Will be used mainly indoors and low light shooting and maybe 10-20% video (short clips only). Will be getting one in a week for a trip. I have a GX1

Appreciate your help.

IMO one of the best reviewers of MFT lenses and other gear is David Thorpe over on YouTube, and he has done reviews on both of these lens that you can check out for better insight on the plus and minus's of each. He is really good and has a unique ability given his extensive experience to help you make an informed decision here.

Check it out:

17mm 1.8 http://youtu.be/ZUG9qYTJMsI

20mm 1.7 http://youtu.be/eJ1XJ2s7ui4

Dale

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dinoSnake
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Re: Pana 20/1.7 (version II) vs Oly 17/1.8?? Need help deciding.
In reply to richarddd, 10 months ago

Anders W has tested the 20/1.7 and 17/1.8 and found no meaningful difference in AF speed. He suggests people believe the 20 is slower because it is noisier focusing. For example, http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3563867

The 20 v 17 is a frequently debated topic here.

Those results do seem a bit, well, odd , watch this video and see for yourself

youtube.com/watch?v=r_oJr6elpuA

The review regards the cameras and is somewhat long, but he discusses and demonstrates the lenses in the second half or so.

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