20mm f1.7 Pancake - Is it Worth it? Or perhaps the 45mm Macro? (GH1)

Started Sep 19, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Shawn Storm
Shawn Storm Regular Member • Posts: 211
20mm f1.7 Pancake - Is it Worth it? Or perhaps the 45mm Macro? (GH1)

Hi Folks,

I am excited to start getting some more lenses for my GH1 and I am seriously considering the 20mm pancake that just came out.

My main concern is the fact that the lens doesn't have IS. This makes it less appealing to me because I assume the hand held low light performance is affected by this. Let me explain my reasoning.

The GH1 + kit lens can go as large as f4 (I think slightly smaller when set to 20mm, but I will just use f4 for this example). I think this means the f1.7 lens is 2.5 stops brighter. HOWEVER, the IS tests for the GH1 kit lens yields "more than a 2 stop improvement" according to DPreview. So without the IS, I assume that means the f1.7 will behave somewhat like a f3.3 or f4 lens in terms of blurring while hand held? Since I would be mostly buying this lens to use for hand held low light situations I am not sure this lens is going to radically change my experience from the kit lens.

Please note I am just talking about hand held shots taken in low light situations. I am also just referring to the blur generated by camera shake. I assume that this lens may have benefits compared to the 14-140mm lens in the following realms:

  1. better bokeh

  2. shallower DoF

  3. better IQ?

  4. lighter weight

So I am wondering if all my assumptions are correct and valid? I am also wondering if I might be better served by the 45mm Macro with IS? It has max aperture of f2.8 and assuming the IS has a 2+ stop improvement then in regards to hand held blurriness would behave somewhat like a f1.4 lens?? Is the 90mm equivalent ok for portraits and such? It seems like a very spendy lens and I definitely wouldn't buy it unless I am convinced it is a great lens that I will want to use.

Then there is also the route of getting an adapter and fast legacy lens.. but I assume it would be a similar cost to buying the 20mm pancake and will also not have IS and in some cases force me to use manual focus (which I don't mind so much).

Thanks for any advice and/or corrections to my logic.

FZ50, LX3, GH1 + 14-140

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