20 mm f/1.8 G or 24 mm f/1.4 GM?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
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Samuel Dilworth
Samuel Dilworth Senior Member • Posts: 1,276
20 mm f/1.8 G or 24 mm f/1.4 GM?

I’ve just bought into the Sony E-mount system with a 40 mm f/2.5 G lens.

Thinking of an α7C to go with it (still half-toying with alternatives).

I’m looking to build a light, minimalistic, price-conscious kit for pretending I’m Raymond Moore. Plus the usual fare like family pics (I have a baby). Plus video, sometimes on a gimbal where autofocus is helpful.

I’m thinking three, max four, lenses. All primes because full-frame zooms are just too big (or compromised) for me.

Traditionally I like a short macro as my second lens for a new system, but the 40 mm focuses unusually closely – perhaps close enough that I not need a macro. Similar angle of view too.

So I’m inclined to go wide instead. How wide, is the question.

Advantages to the 20 mm:

  • Cheaper
  • Significantly lighter
  • Would be wider than I’m used to, which might be fun
  • Stops down to f/22 versus f/16
  • Bit higher max magnification
  • Would retain a unique focal length if I ever succumbed to a 24–xx zoom in the unforeseeable future
  • Could simulate a 24 mm by cropping
  • Might match slightly better with my 40 mm? Debatable.

Advantages to the 24 mm:

  • Offers meaningful depth-of-field control at people-shooting distances in a very wide lens, which I simply can’t do with Micro Four Thirds (my existing kit)
  • Bit faster
  • Known good focal length for me
  • Less extreme angle of view = more applications?
  • Less of a price delta with the 20 mm here in Europe than in the US, so it would be nice to fall on the right side of that fact
  • Whatever “Master” benefits accrue.

What have I overlooked?

Any weird flare, focusing speed / behaviour, aberration-correction choices, etc., that I should know?

If it matters, I’m thinking of things like the 85 mm f/1.8 (lacks an aperture ring) or Sigma 90 mm f/2.8 DG DN for the third lens.

Your advice is welcome and clearly needed.

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