Images Samples Lumix 20mm F1.7II vs OM System 20mm F1.4

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AlmostDoctor Senior Member • Posts: 1,017
Images Samples Lumix 20mm F1.7II vs OM System 20mm F1.4

I found someone posting sample images of OM System 20mm F1.4 in a Japanese online retailer thread, posted by someone who tried one at an event in Tokyo.

The images were Super Fine Large jpegs from EM1mkIII.

The OP uploaded some comparison shots with the Lumix 20mm F1.7II, which I thought were quite interesting since many people already own Lumix 20mm F1.7, and are probably wondering if there is any IQ benefit going with OM System 20mm F1.4 given how good Lumix 20mm already is.

The images are clearly some quick snapshots, but the OP tried to get the same framing. The images should still be quite useful to get a feel for what kind of difference you could expect between the lenses.

(You can view full size image, but you have to login with your online credentials like google or facebook account.)

Wide Open




Obviously, you should form your own opinion but my personal take away is that when it comes to bokeh, OM System seems to have softer and more gradual transitions in the out of focus areas. Olympus' "feathered bokeh" becomes normal bokeh as you stop down the lens. In the case of my 17mm Pro, bokeh seems to become normal around F2.2. Looking at the sample images of 20mm F1.4, even at F2, it still seems to have softer OOF rendering compared to Lumix 20mm wide open at F1.7 for the most part.

When it comes to bokeh balls, 20mm F1.4 clearly has rounder shape. It's especially noticeable wide open around the edges, and when it's stopped down. Wide open, Lumix 20mm shows a strong cat's eye shape. At F4, you can see the effect of 7 aperture blades creating polygonal bokeh in Lumix 20mm, whereas OM 20mm produces relatively round bokeh balls even at F4.

So there you have it. It seems like OM 20mm seems to offer some IQ improvements over Lumix 20mm Ver II. Whether this is a worthwhile upgrade of course depends on who you are, what you shoot, what you value, and how understanding your partner is about your spending

For me personally, I am not planning on replacing my Lumix 20mm since it won't be worth much if I sell, and it's still quite useful to pair with my GM1. However, I am quite curious about adding OM System 20mm F1.4, once I can confirm that rather noticeable color fringing I have seen in other sample galleries won't be an issue with my workflow (SOOC for social media, DxO PL5 for final edits.) I may however sell my 17mm F1.2 and/or PL25 F1.4 if OM 20mm F1.4 delivers what I need.

Robust weather sealing, solid build quality, fast autofocus, manageable size, and better IQ are all great qualities to have as the one prime to carry around. Paired with 12-45 F4, it would make great minimal two-lens setup.

I do wish that this lens was more affordable. Given that something like Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD goes for virtually the same price brand new as this prime, I do have to question whether the "x-factor" of this lens is magical enough to justify the premium pricing.

 AlmostDoctor's gear list:AlmostDoctor's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus E-M5 III Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm F4-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Panasonic 20mm F1.7 II +5 more
20mm F1.4 Pro Panasonic 20mm F1.7 II Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1
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