Lumix 20mm f1.7 for my existing EPL-1 or buy a new EPL-3 for the same price?

Started Dec 12, 2012 | Questions thread
clengman Senior Member • Posts: 1,964
Re: clengman !

captura wrote:

clengman wrote:

captura wrote:

clengman wrote:

captura wrote:


My EPL-1 was also very slow with the original mk. 1 kit lens, so I replaced it with others. All of these are quite fast, enf of problem.

Which problem are you referring to? If you're talking about focus hunting in low light, a lens with faster aperture will help. The mk II kit lens won't.

If you're talking about raw focusing speed in good light, I'll believe when I see it. Like I said below, in addition to the mk1 kit lens I have the 40-150 zoom which is an MSC lens. It might be a tad faster on the e-pl1 than the kit lens, but not so much faster that it makes any difference for focusing on a moving subject. The e-pl1 itself is just too slow for that.

The newer cameras on the other hand are fast enough in S-AF that I believe they'd be able to get a lock on a moving toddler. Until I decide to upgrade to a newer body, I'll just stop down and zone focus and use a flash when it's appropriate.

Focusing speed in good light. You didn't really say which lens you have, so I am assuming it is the original Mk. 1. This was known to be a problematic lens and you can't even give them away to-day. Any other m43 lens works just fine including including the Olympus 14-42 MkII kit, the 40-150 R, etc.

My lenses are the 14-45 Panasonic, the 14/2.5 and the O. 40-150R. All are adequately fast on the EPL-1, and significantly faster than the original Mk 1.

Like yourself, I had the O. 40-150 zoom, and I'm not convinced this was an MSC lens. It was normally fast but a bit soft over 150mm and not great when focused to infinity. Now I traded it for the new R variant and it seems very much improved in both speed and optical performance. Quite a buy at $150 or even $200 and beats the pants off the (3) competing P. models, it seems.

I know most of the newer lenses focus a little faster than the mk I kit lens, but I think it's a marginal difference. I've seen empirical data to back that up. The bigger difference in focus speed happens when you switch to one of the newer bodies.

When I'm in good light I don't worry a whole lot about the focus speed of the kit lens. It's good enough if I have someone posing for a picture. If I'm trying to catch kids at play though... no way... I sincerely believe that the better advice for that type of situation is to zone focus, use a flash if necessary and get as many snaps in the can as possible, then sort them out later. If you use a flash well it won't look too "flashy". If you rely just on ambient light and fast aperture you're likely to still have issues with shutter speed and you'll have more problems with missed focus.

I'd like to try the panny 14-45. It's on my list of stuff to buy, but it's near the bottom. There are things I don't like about the mk I kit lens: 1)rotating front element makes CPL use annoying as hell and 2) Focus ring is horrible, but it does the job for me for now.

That's just my experience though.

To answer you original question, I'm sure that you can now see that an EPL-3 will give you minimum improvements over your EPL-1. But spending on your alternative choice, the 20/1.7, will give you a very major upgrade. I've seen them for around $350 on e-Bay.

I didh't ask a question, and no, I don't believe that the 20mm lens will focus faster than my kit lens, and I do believe strongly that an e-pl3 will focus at least twice as fast as the e-pl1 with any lens you want to put on it. Anders W and Pekka Potka have done some nice focus speed tests.

But regardless, my advice is just to get a flash. $50-100 and all probblems are solved.

 clengman's gear list:clengman's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 +6 more
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