It's that time again... what lenses does M43 still need?

Started Jan 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
sacundim Senior Member • Posts: 1,111
Be careful in dismissing 20mm on 4:3 aspect ratio

Klarno wrote:

A fast 17mm prime with MSC or HD compatibility and, if Olympus, the same MF mechanics as the 12mm. F/2.0, f/1.8, f/1.4, I don't care. That's a focal length I would actually definitely use a lot, which is a hangup that keeps me from buying the 20mm or 25mm. It's a rather close focal length to panasonic's 20mm, so I wouldn't count on Panasonic ever making one.

When I shoot on my OM-1, I have a 28mm and a 50mm, and whenever I have the 28mm on I wish I had something wider or longer, and whenever I have the 50mm on I wish I had something wider. On the other hand, I'm always happy if I'm restricted to 35mm, as in my Olympus XA2 or my iPhone 4S.

Oh boy. This is tricky. There are two factors that you need to control in a comparison:

  • Aspect ratio, both of the sensor and of the intended print. For example, 40mm-e on a 4:3 camera gives you roughly the same vertical view angle as 35mm-e on a 3:2 (37.3° vs. 37.85°). If you usually make 8x10" or 11x14" prints, the Panasonic 20mm is the perfect replacement.

  • Viewfinder coverage. Unless your OM-1 or your XA-2 have 100% viewfinder coverage, in use they will make your lenses "feel" a bit narrower than they are. Whereas m4/3 is 100%, so the same lens view angle will feel a bit wider.

I understand your "neither here nor there" experiences with 50mm and 28mm on your OM-1; I have a Minolta MD systems, and I had a stronger reaction than you did when I got a 28mm prime, which I sold within three weeks (and later got myself a 24mm). For what it's worth, the Panasonic 20mm to me feels very much like a 35mm on 35mm (which, to me, is a little bit too wide; 40-45mm is my sweet spot). Your mileage may vary.

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