Pancakes, and the EP-M1

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cathal gantly Regular Member • Posts: 436
Pancakes, and the EP-M1
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Recently, while purchasing a lens for my son, I acquired a mint Olympus EP-M1. While purchased without a lens, testing with some of my existing lenses confirmed it’s all good, and a keeper.

I also have an original Olympus XA2, owned from new since 1984. In many respects, the two cameras are similar in ethos, and I’ve decided to source an appropriate pancake lens to remain on the EP-M1 permanently, effectively becoming a “digital XA”. I’ve narrowed my options to four, with only one lens to be chosen. These are:

  • Olympus 17mm f2.8 pancake prime.
  • Panasonic 20mm f1.7 pancake prime.
  • Olympus 14-42mm f3.5~5.6 EZ pancake zoom.
  • Panasonic 12-32mm f3.5~5.6 Mega OIS G zoom.

Of the two primes, the Panasonic has a stellar reputation while Olympus not so much. The difference in focal length is negligible between the two. I do like the thought of an all Olympus combination though.

Of the two zooms, I’m leaning towards the Olympus as the Panasonic won’t focus manually. Does the Olympus need to be “unlocked” to work? Is there an optical quality advantage to one over the other?

So, one lens will be purchased and with the exception of the 20mm being slightly more expensive, all are a similar price. I’m looking at used only, as I’m not committing a lot of money to the project. So which would you choose, and why?

 cathal gantly's gear list:cathal gantly's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro +4 more
Fujifilm X-A2 Olympus E-M1
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