Pancake lens for E-PL1

Started Jan 3, 2013 | Discussions
pannayar Regular Member • Posts: 213
Pancake lens for E-PL1

Newbie here.  Purchased a used E-PL1 (with the kit 14-42 lens) recently.  Though the camera produces very nice images in good light, the kits lens seems to be very inadequate for indoor / night light shots (which is my primary shooting need).  I do have the Panasonic LX7 which is fast in low light but I am somewhat unsatisfied with its noise levels.

What would be a good (and economical) lens for indoors.  I have been reading about the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 lens.  I like the F/1.7 and think it should give me fast exposure times indoor.  The price of about $300 seems me deter me a bit :(.  Since it is a panasonic lens, will it fit the PL1?  Will I need any adapter?

Any other lens suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks!

Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
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s_grins
s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 11,775
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

pannayar wrote:

Newbie here. Purchased a used E-PL1 (with the kit 14-42 lens) recently. Though the camera produces very nice images in good light, the kits lens seems to be very inadequate for indoor / night light shots (which is my primary shooting need). I do have the Panasonic LX7 which is fast in low light but I am somewhat unsatisfied with its noise levels.

What would be a good (and economical) lens for indoors. I have been reading about the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 lens. I like the F/1.7 and think it should give me fast exposure times indoor. The price of about $300 seems me deter me a bit :(. Since it is a panasonic lens, will it fit the PL1? Will I need any adapter?

Any other lens suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks!

If you like 1.7, 20/1.7 is your lens. Other pancakes are not that fast, or they are not pancakes and more expensive than 20/1.7 And you do not need adapter

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 s_grins's gear list:s_grins's gear list
Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / Power O.I.S +3 more
clengman
clengman Senior Member • Posts: 1,964
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

pannayar wrote:

Newbie here. Purchased a used E-PL1 (with the kit 14-42 lens) recently. Though the camera produces very nice images in good light, the kits lens seems to be very inadequate for indoor / night light shots (which is my primary shooting need). I do have the Panasonic LX7 which is fast in low light but I am somewhat unsatisfied with its noise levels.

What would be a good (and economical) lens for indoors. I have been reading about the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 lens. I like the F/1.7 and think it should give me fast exposure times indoor. The price of about $300 seems me deter me a bit :(. Since it is a panasonic lens, will it fit the PL1? Will I need any adapter?

Any other lens suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks!

Kind of depends on what/who you are taking pictures of. If it's stationary objects or people who are capable of holding a pose for a second (in other words not little kids) the 14mm or 17mm primes are probably fast enough for most ambient lighting conditions.

If you're trying to capture people on the move in low light, the 20mm f/1.7 or 17 f/1.8 will do better to a point, but you'll still hit a low light floor.

You might want to consider a good flash. Then you really can get a sharp, non grainy photo even in total darkness. It's the cheapest most versatile option for photos in less than optimal light.

 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
OP pannayar Regular Member • Posts: 213
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

Thanks for the quick response. I remember reading - that lens' advanced features (Face detection or something like that) will work when mounted on a Panasonic camera. So if I use with the Olympus PL1, will I be missing any other features...? Something wider than F/1.7 might be really nice, but I think the price goes up steep.  To make up for the cost, how much can the kit lens fetch me (I don't see myself using it).

OP pannayar Regular Member • Posts: 213
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

clengman wrote:

Kind of depends on what/who you are taking pictures of. If it's stationary objects or people who are capable of holding a pose for a second (in other words not little kids) the 14mm or 17mm primes are probably fast enough for most ambient lighting conditions.

If you're trying to capture people on the move in low light, the 20mm f/1.7 or 17 f/1.8 will do better to a point, but you'll still hit a low light floor.

You might want to consider a good flash. Then you really can get a sharp, non grainy photo even in total darkness. It's the cheapest most versatile option for photos in less than optimal light.

Unfortunately, it will me 3 year old who absolutely refuses to pose

EarthQuake Senior Member • Posts: 2,382
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

pannayar wrote:

Thanks for the quick response. I remember reading - that lens' advanced features (Face detection or something like that) will work when mounted on a Panasonic camera. So if I use with the Olympus PL1, will I be missing any other features...? Something wider than F/1.7 might be really nice, but I think the price may go up steep To make up for the cost, how much can the kit lens fetch me (I don't see myself using it).

Kit lens is probably worth $80-100

There are three pancakes for M43 cameras, and all of them will work on your PL1 with all features:

Panasonic 14mm 2.5 - $160 used on ebay

Olympus 17mm 2.8 - $140 used on ebay

Panasonic 20mm 1.7 - $330 used on ebay

Keep in mind that the kit lens is 3.5 at 14mm, so switching to a 2.5 or 2.8 lens wont give you much faster shutter speeds. The biggest reason to go for the 14 or 17 would be the smaller size.

The 20mm 1.7 on the other hand is a full two stops faster than the kit lens, which means using iso 800 instead of iso 3200,  or a shutter speed of 1/250th instead of 1/60th. This is a significant difference.

You can go with the Panasonic 25mm 1.4, but that is only a half stop faster than the 20/1.7, and the cost is in the $500-600 range, it also isn't a pancake. So probably not a good choice for you.

I would say go for the 20/1.7, its an easy lens to recommend, the only real drawback is that its a little slow to focus, but not as slow as you might think from reading forums etc. It focuses a lot faster than many of my DSLRs lenses do, its just not as instant as some of the newer M43 lenses are.

tedolf
tedolf Forum Pro • Posts: 23,971
Flash......
1

clengman wrote:

pannayar wrote:

Newbie here. Purchased a used E-PL1 (with the kit 14-42 lens) recently. Though the camera produces very nice images in good light, the kits lens seems to be very inadequate for indoor / night light shots (which is my primary shooting need). I do have the Panasonic LX7 which is fast in low light but I am somewhat unsatisfied with its noise levels.

What would be a good (and economical) lens for indoors. I have been reading about the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 lens. I like the F/1.7 and think it should give me fast exposure times indoor. The price of about $300 seems me deter me a bit :(. Since it is a panasonic lens, will it fit the PL1? Will I need any adapter?

Any other lens suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks!

Kind of depends on what/who you are taking pictures of. If it's stationary objects or people who are capable of holding a pose for a second (in other words not little kids) the 14mm or 17mm primes are probably fast enough for most ambient lighting conditions.

If you're trying to capture people on the move in low light, the 20mm f/1.7 or 17 f/1.8 will do better to a point, but you'll still hit a low light floor.

You might want to consider a good flash. Then you really can get a sharp, non grainy photo even in total darkness. It's the cheapest most versatile option for photos in less than optimal light.

As Clenman said, it really has a lot to do with what you want to photograph.

The ability to use ISO 800 indoors w/o and IQ issues makes low power ambient balanced flash very attractive.

You can gel the flash to match the indoor light and then just use a litte bit of flash to get you the shutter speeds (e.g. 1/80-1/125) you need.

With one or two low power gelled slaves you can light up a reasonably sized living room and shoot as if it was daylight.

Tedolph

Tedolph

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s_grins
s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 11,775
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

pannayar wrote:

Thanks for the quick response. I remember reading - that lens' advanced features (Face detection or something like that) will work when mounted on a Panasonic camera. So if I use with the Olympus PL1, will I be missing any other features...? Something wider than F/1.7 might be really nice, but I think the price goes up steep. To make up for the cost, how much can the kit lens fetch me (I don't see myself using it).

You will not miss any lens feature or body feature mixing Pana lens with Oly body

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 s_grins's gear list:s_grins's gear list
Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / Power O.I.S +3 more
OP pannayar Regular Member • Posts: 213
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

EarthQuake wrote:

...kit lens is 3.5 at 14mm, so switching to a 2.5 or 2.8 lens wont give you much faster shutter speeds. The biggest reason to go for the 14 or 17 would be the smaller size.

The 20mm 1.7 on the other hand is a full two stops faster than the kit lens, which means using iso 800 instead of iso 3200, or a shutter speed of 1/250th instead of 1/60th. This is a significant difference.

You can go with the Panasonic 25mm 1.4, but that is only a half stop faster than the 20/1.7, and the cost is in the $500-600 range, it also isn't a pancake. So probably not a good choice for you.

Yes I refuse to look at the F/2.5 or F/2.8, I don't think they are buying me (at least to me) anything for the money. That leaves only the panasonic F/1.7, seems like no choices in that aperture range. The marginal move from 1.7 to 1.4 seems to come at twice the cost though!   And thanks for pointing out to me that the F/1.4 is not a pancake.

OP pannayar Regular Member • Posts: 213
Re: Flash......

tedolf wrote:

The ability to use ISO 800 indoors w/o and IQ issues makes low power ambient balanced flash very attractive.

You can gel the flash to match the indoor light and then just use a litte bit of flash to get you the shutter speeds (e.g. 1/80-1/125) you need.

With one or two low power gelled slaves you can light up a reasonably sized living room and shoot as if it was daylight.

Thanks for the flash suggestions.  I have been always trying to avoid the flash (for no good reason).  I think I need to learn how make best use of the flash... may be like you said set it at low power...

Uncle Frank
Uncle Frank Forum Pro • Posts: 21,511
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

pannayar wrote:

clengman wrote:

Kind of depends on what/who you are taking pictures of. If it's stationary objects or people who are capable of holding a pose for a second (in other words not little kids) the 14mm or 17mm primes are probably fast enough for most ambient lighting conditions.

If you're trying to capture people on the move in low light, the 20mm f/1.7 or 17 f/1.8 will do better to a point, but you'll still hit a low light floor.

You might want to consider a good flash. Then you really can get a sharp, non grainy photo even in total darkness. It's the cheapest most versatile option for photos in less than optimal light.

Unfortunately, it will me 3 year old who absolutely refuses to pose

Then sneak up on him. That's what I have to do with my 3 year old granddaughter.

I highly recommend the 20/1.7. It's a useful focal length, and one of the few lenses I've owned that is sharp and contrasty wide open.

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Galleries at fdrphoto.smugmug.com

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 23,722
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

I am very pleased with the 14/2.5 Panasonic lens. Very tiny, it is as sharp in the centre as the 20/1.7 and half the price. I use it on both my E-PL1 and my GF-2.  Slightly better on the PEN because of IBIS. Great colors.

I will get the 20 someday.

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mh2000 Senior Member • Posts: 2,813
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

pannayar wrote:

EarthQuake wrote:

...kit lens is 3.5 at 14mm, so switching to a 2.5 or 2.8 lens wont give you much faster shutter speeds. The biggest reason to go for the 14 or 17 would be the smaller size.

The 20mm 1.7 on the other hand is a full two stops faster than the kit lens, which means using iso 800 instead of iso 3200, or a shutter speed of 1/250th instead of 1/60th. This is a significant difference.

You can go with the Panasonic 25mm 1.4, but that is only a half stop faster than the 20/1.7, and the cost is in the $500-600 range, it also isn't a pancake. So probably not a good choice for you.

Yes I refuse to look at the F/2.5 or F/2.8, I don't think they are buying me (at least to me) anything for the money. That leaves only the panasonic F/1.7, seems like no choices in that aperture range. The marginal move from 1.7 to 1.4 seems to come at twice the cost though! And thanks for pointing out to me that the F/1.4 is not a pancake.

There is a rather substantial difference in 20mm to 25mm FL's. If you are shooting people, the 25 might return more pleasing photos... then again, so will the Oly 45/1.8 which is a simply stellar lens!

Personally, I like shooting at smaller apertures on a tripod for stationary subjects... sharper and more DoF.

The 20 is nice, the 25 nicer...

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YuriS Regular Member • Posts: 337
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

If you like Pana 20mm f1.7 - take it! I bought this lens about year ago - it is small, lightweight, very sharp, and, which is most important - very fast. I still see no competitor in this price range. And here are the samples (I use E-PL1):

http://natalispalette.jimdo.com/photo/panasonic-lumix-g-20-mm-f-1-7-asph-lens/

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Olympus PEN E-PL1 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 Samyang 7.5mm F3.5 UMC Fisheye MFT +1 more
OP pannayar Regular Member • Posts: 213
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

YuriS wrote:

And here are the samples (I use E-PL1):

http://natalispalette.jimdo.com/photo/panasonic-lumix-g-20-mm-f-1-7-asph-lens/

Thanks for sharing the link.  The photos are gorgeous.  The night/low light shots in that collection - were they handheld?

If I go with the F/1.7 Panasonic ($325 approx), that would make this bundle about $500.  That makes me think if it is the correct direction I should go, because for example I see the canon T3 (1100D) new for less than $400.  The T3 would still be 2 f-stops slower at the widest end (but I am thinking it's higher ISO handling capability will probably more than make up for it).

YuriS Regular Member • Posts: 337
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

One picture is Tel-Aviv's beach, second - Rhodos bay. I think $500 - is a great deal for this couple...

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OP pannayar Regular Member • Posts: 213
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

Thanks for all the inputs.  Purchased the Panasonic F/1.7 today

captura Forum Pro • Posts: 23,722
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

pannayar wrote:

Thanks for all the inputs. Purchased the Panasonic F/1.7 today

Good choice and best luck.

I am trying to decide whether to purchase the same lens for my m43 cameras, or the new Sony PZ 16-50 for my NEX-5R. That lens is nearly identical although larger than the Panasonic X PZ 14-42. Although it's early times yet, it is looking like the 16-50 may not be so good.

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Roberto Angelo
Roberto Angelo Regular Member • Posts: 337
Re: Pancake lens for E-PL1

I think you made a good purchase. I have the e-pl1 and use it frequently with the 20mm Lumix. One problem I did have, however, was a pronounced degree of purplish vignetting (chromatic distortion) when I took photographs with strong side or back lightning.

I've always read that this can easily be removed in post-processing, but I was never too successful until now. Lightroom 4 (not 3) makes this incredibly easy. You just drag the little tool over to vignetted area, click and it disappears.

This software innovation has made me much more comfortable about using this lens.

You can see lots of photos taken with the lens here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/barbaresco/

Enjoy your new lens.

 Roberto Angelo's gear list:Roberto Angelo's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-P5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +5 more
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