Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 II (H-H020A) - Banding

Started Aug 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 II (H-H020A) - Banding
1

tsi wrote:

By releasing a new version of the 20mm f/1.7 pancake, Panasonic raised new hopes that they may have solved the banding problem. The banding issue is the major drawback of an otherwise excellent lens.

Although Panasonic has not announced technical improvements, there have been speculations that they may have fixed the problem quietly. Unfortunately, it has been a vain hope.

The new model 20mm F1.7 II (H-H020A) produces bands in high ISO images shot with the E-PL5 in the same way as the old model 20mm F1.7 (H-H020E).

Here are two examples shot at ISO6400 and processed in Lightroom (exposure +1, contrast +100).

The first image taken at f4.0 shows the full frame with horizontal bands visible in dark areas.

New Panasonic 20mm 1.7 II (H-H020A) at ISO6400, f4.0, 1/50.

The second image taken at f1.7 shows horizontal bands in a crop of the same scene. The width of the bands is much smaller than in the first image. This is not a systematic difference since the width of the bands is known to change over time.

New Panasonic 20mm 1.7 II (H-H020A) at ISO6400, f1.7, 1/200 (crop)

The previous discussions about the banding issue can be found here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50092818
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50340448

Thanks for posting these news in spite of the fact that they are bad news. Like you, I had hoped and thought that Pany would have addressed the banding problem even if all other changes were purely cosmetic (as seemed to be the case from the outset). I wonder why. Merely a misdirected effort to avoid a small expense (they are fully aware of the problem as shown by the GH3 manual where the banding problem with the 20 is pointed out) or is it actually more difficult to fix than I (and others) thought?

BTW: Did you actually manage to put your hands on the new 20 for the purpose of taking these test images or did you get the pictures from someone else?

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