I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

Started Apr 28, 2014 | Discussions
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Wesley Byrne Contributing Member • Posts: 553
I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
26

UPS just delivered my Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II. I had read the reviews and knew the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 autofocus wasn't fast, but I wasn't expecting it to be so unbearably slow. Some here have said that the 20mm f1.7 isn't that slow, and that it autofocuses about as fast as other m43 lenses when large focus adjustments are not needed, but they are wrong. This lens is useless for even slow moving subjects. I am definitely returning this lens.

I know the 20mm f1.7 has many fans, presumably folks who photograph static scenes. In my opinion, compared to the 17mm f1.8 and the 25mm f1.8, the 20mm f1.7 is a dog. Panasonic should be embarrassed for releasing this lens with barely-functional AF.

</end rant>

Ulric Senior Member • Posts: 3,595
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
2

It takes a bit different technique, but if you give the 20 something with a bit of contrast to focus on, it is not particularly slow.

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tgutgu Veteran Member • Posts: 3,653
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
1

In the second version, Panasonic did nothing to improve AF.

Since there are now alternatives to the 1.7/20mm, which are equal or better in IQ (1.8/25mm, 1.4/25mm) and which have a fast AF, there isn't any point left to buy this lens, especially since the O 1.8/25mm is also pretty small and light.

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Thomas

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yangz Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
1

Just get Oly 17mm f1.8. Sacrificing smaller size and some image quality but gain pretty quick autofocus.

Fredrik Glckner Veteran Member • Posts: 3,369
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

I have compared the focus speed of the new and old version here:

http://m43photo.blogspot.com/2014/04/new-20mm-f17-lens-is-less-noisy.html

My results indicate that the new version focuses at the same speed as the old version. However, the new lens appears to be less noisy.

Wesley Byrne OP Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

tgutgu wrote:

In the second version, Panasonic did nothing to improve AF.

Since there are now alternatives to the 1.7/20mm, which are equal or better in IQ (1.8/25mm, 1.4/25mm) and which have a fast AF, there isn't any point left to buy this lens, especially since the O 1.8/25mm is also pretty small and light.

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Thomas

Agreed.

Wesley Byrne OP Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
1

yangz wrote:

Just get Oly 17mm f1.8. Sacrificing smaller size and some image quality but gain pretty quick autofocus.

The 17mm f1.8 is very good. I recently sold my 17mm and 25mm to finance some new equipment thinking I would replace them both with the compact 20mm f1.7, but I am regretting selling the 17mm now. Live and learn, I suppose.

woof woof
woof woof Senior Member • Posts: 1,656
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
14

Wesley Byrne wrote:

I know the 20mm f1.7 has many fans, presumably folks who photograph static scenes. In my opinion, compared to the 17mm f1.8 and the 25mm f1.8, the 20mm f1.7 is a dog. Panasonic should be embarrassed for releasing this lens with barely-functional AF.

</end rant>

Golly.

I've had a 20mm since the GF1 came out. I sold the original when a got a mkII in a kit and I have to say that I've never found it real world slow to the point of embarrassment.

jhinkey
jhinkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,776
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
3

Wesley Byrne wrote:

UPS just delivered my Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II. I had read the reviews and knew the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 autofocus wasn't fast, but I wasn't expecting it to be so unbearably slow. Some here have said that the 20mm f1.7 isn't that slow, and that it autofocuses about as fast as other m43 lenses when large focus adjustments are not needed, but they are wrong. This lens is useless for even slow moving subjects. I am definitely returning this lens.

I know the 20mm f1.7 has many fans, presumably folks who photograph static scenes. In my opinion, compared to the 17mm f1.8 and the 25mm f1.8, the 20mm f1.7 is a dog. Panasonic should be embarrassed for releasing this lens with barely-functional AF.

</end rant>

Exactly what information do you feel misled about?  Everything I've read about the 20/1.7 matches with my experience.  Small focus changes at non-near distances are plenty fast.

What camera are you using it with? - Perhaps that's part of the problem.  I've also found that if I am using pinpoint AF focus is slower.

I wouldn't over-react just yet.

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Ontario Gone
Ontario Gone Senior Member • Posts: 4,183
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
1

I think you guys are selling short this lens's IQ. The reason people buy fast lenses is so they can use them at faster apertures, but doing so is moot if the IQ is poor. While the 17 F1.8 isn't bad at the two widest apertures, it's not as sharp as the 20. The 20mm is indeed pretty slow comparatively, many people have mentioned this. I have gone on record on DPR saying it won't track, it literally cancels out the "C-AF" option in my menus, it won't track.

Hasn't been an issue yet though. I have many shots  that turned out great with my 20. I bought the first version used for $275, while the 17mm F1.8 is around $400 used ($500 new). The 25mm F1.8 is $400 new and can't be found used really. Im sorry to hear about our disappointment but the info on the 20 has been out there for a long time, still doesn't prevent many people from taking great shots with it. It's small, it's cheap, and it has great IQ.

Incidentally, i have heard it focuses slower on some Olympus bodies, not sure what the OP has. I have a GX7 and it's not slow-motion slow, but is noticeably slower than my others and won't track. Perhaps the Oly issue could be the problem here?

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MAubrey
MAubrey Senior Member • Posts: 1,598
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
7

Well...you were only misled because you listened to the wrong people.

Sorry it turned out that way.

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--Mike

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Paulmorgan Veteran Member • Posts: 5,297
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

Wesley Byrne wrote:

UPS just delivered my Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II. I had read the reviews and knew the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 autofocus wasn't fast, but I wasn't expecting it to be so unbearably slow. Some here have said that the 20mm f1.7 isn't that slow, and that it autofocuses about as fast as other m43 lenses when large focus adjustments are not needed, but they are wrong. This lens is useless for even slow moving subjects. I am definitely returning this lens.

I know the 20mm f1.7 has many fans, presumably folks who photograph static scenes. In my opinion, compared to the 17mm f1.8 and the 25mm f1.8, the 20mm f1.7 is a dog. Panasonic should be embarrassed for releasing this lens with barely-functional AF.

</end rant>

Yes it is slow, who has told you otherwise.

Steve_
Steve_ Senior Member • Posts: 2,655
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
3

Yes it is slow, who has told you otherwise.

The collective weight of forum users ranging from the non-critical to the apologists. If you search regarding the AF performance of the 20/1.7 you'll find they are legion.

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Dheorl Veteran Member • Posts: 3,225
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

tgutgu wrote:

In the second version, Panasonic did nothing to improve AF.

Since there are now alternatives to the 1.7/20mm, which are equal or better in IQ (1.8/25mm, 1.4/25mm) and which have a fast AF, there isn't any point left to buy this lens, especially since the O 1.8/25mm is also pretty small and light.

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Thomas

I'm still planning on getting one. I have the 25mm f1.4 atm but often find the focal range a bit short and don't want the larger or slower 35mm offerings due to their size or speed.

flacko_man Regular Member • Posts: 446
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
2

I just did an unscientific test of focusing on the cr@p around my desk in 7:25 morning light and the 20 1.7 seemed to focus as fast as my 45 1.8.

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flacko_man Regular Member • Posts: 446
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

...sorry meant to say that was the first version of the 20.

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jhinkey
jhinkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,776
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

flacko_man wrote:

I just did an unscientific test of focusing on the cr@p around my desk in 7:25 morning light and the 20 1.7 seemed to focus as fast as my 45 1.8.

Try the same thing going from very far to something close and see if they are still equal.  My experience has been that the 20/1.7 gets slow in this situation where other lenses are much faster.

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Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
5

Wesley Byrne wrote:

UPS just delivered my Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II. I had read the reviews and knew the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 autofocus wasn't fast, but I wasn't expecting it to be so unbearably slow. Some here have said that the 20mm f1.7 isn't that slow, and that it autofocuses about as fast as other m43 lenses when large focus adjustments are not needed, but they are wrong. This lens is useless for even slow moving subjects. I am definitely returning this lens.

I know the 20mm f1.7 has many fans, presumably folks who photograph static scenes. In my opinion, compared to the 17mm f1.8 and the 25mm f1.8, the 20mm f1.7 is a dog. Panasonic should be embarrassed for releasing this lens with barely-functional AF.

</end rant>

Slow AF on the 20/1.7? Absolutely. Except if you use it in ordinary AF-S in the range from 0.75 m to infinity and manage not to send it hunting. Fortunately, that exception accounts for more than 99 percent of my usage.

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comptr_ Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

so true about the 20mm lens I bought one and I tried to only use that lens at a family event where there were more then enough cameras around so I wanted to give the lens a try I did have to delete a few shots as the AF was slow and lost those pics but if you get used to it having slow autofocus and can work around it should be ok.

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jeffharris
jeffharris Veteran Member • Posts: 6,613
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

Wesley Byrne wrote:

UPS just delivered my Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II. I had read the reviews and knew the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 autofocus wasn't fast, but I wasn't expecting it to be so unbearably slow.

You must be using an Olympus body. While the 20mm isn't a speed demon in terms of focus speed, it's not that bad. Like pretty much any AF lens it can hunt a bit in low light.

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