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

Started Apr 28, 2014 | Discussions
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Schira
Schira Regular Member • Posts: 382
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

I have one and I agree. If I try to make a movie of moving kids with this lens, the auto focus never catches up. I still use it for less demanding applications.

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berni29 Senior Member • Posts: 2,472
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

Hi

I have used and loved the 20mm for a long time now. The FOV is great. The focussing is indeed slow, but it is useable. Those that like this lens like it a lot.

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Berni29
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Jacques Cornell
Jacques Cornell Veteran Member • Posts: 6,896
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tgutgu wrote:

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

...

Unless it's exactly what you need.

The 20 may not be the best at any one thing, but it still offers a unique combination of characteristics not replicated by any other lens. I didn't expect to love it - being used to 35mm on FF - but it makes a great walkabout because of its combination of brightness, minimal size & weight, high optical quality, and a really useful perspective that nicely spans the range between "normal" and "wide". Oly's 17 f1.8 focuses faster but reportedly lags a bit in IQ and is big enough to make a GX1 less pocketable. 25mm is a very different perspective than 20mm and isn't a substitute. And, the other pancake (14 f2.8) is much wider and dimmer.

Also, "slow" is relative. The 20 still focuses faster and quieter than my old Canon 35mm f2 on a 1-series.

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jacquescornell.photography

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Jacques Cornell
Jacques Cornell Veteran Member • Posts: 6,896
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

Schira wrote:

I have one and I agree. If I try to make a movie of moving kids with this lens, the auto focus never catches up. I still use it for less demanding applications.

That could just be a limitation of your camera's continuous AF. This is a well-known weakness of mirrorless cameras. Does your camera handle the same situation significantly better with other lenses? I use single AF when shooting moving subjects and find the 20 a bit slower than my 12-35 but still quite usable.

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jacquescornell.photography

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Cipher Senior Member • Posts: 2,612
It might be slow, but the results are outstanding.

This was my first m43 lens and I still use it.  It's small and my copy is very sharp.  I like the colors coming from it.  I just got the PL 25mm and when I put it on the GF1, it was pretty slow too...though not as slow as the 20mm.  But then I put it on my E-M5 and the focus speed was much faster.

photo perzon
photo perzon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,273
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>

which is your camera?

I do not see the 20mm as slow.  I mean for the street, parties, etc.

But it is super sharp.

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Pixnat2
Pixnat2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,337
I sold it to get the 17mm f/1.8

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>

I bought this lens for the E-P1, but never quite liked it. I wouldn't say that the 20mm f/1.7 is slow, but rather annoying to use. Yes it's sharp, but sharpness is not even across the frame, it has noisy AF operation, PF on Oly cameras older than E-M1 and I didn't liked the bokeh.

I got the 17mm f/1.8 (an FL that I prefer), and really enjoy it. Yes it's a bit less sharp, but nothing to worry about, and it has an even sharpness from center to corner. Moreover it's quiet, fast, and the clutch mechanism makes it a joy to use. I never ever regret the slight loss of sharpness!

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Frederic
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Lumixdude Senior Member • Posts: 2,782
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

It's even slower on an Olympus body than it is on a Panasonic body and that may be half your issue.

Anyway, Micro Four Thirds justifies a lot of crappy lens widths, 15mm, 20mm, 75mm, what exactly are these? 30mm, 40mm and 150mm are just plain weird sizes.

Your prime lenses worth buying in terms of wide primes are the Olympus 12mm, and Panasonic 14mm in terms of normal primes you have the Olympus 17mm, PanaLeica 25mm and Olympus 25mm. Then you have the Olympus 45mm F/1.8 which is your 90mm portrait lens. You have the voightlander manual focus primes in between all of this, forget about the rest.

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tjuster1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,713
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

Well, except for its pancake size. I know a lot of people think the 25mm f/1.8 is just as small, but it's not and if you're using the lens with a small RF-style camera like the GM1 then the smaller size really makes a difference.

Personally, it's one of my favorite lenses, but yeah, it's not quick to AF.

yonsarh Senior Member • Posts: 1,897
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>

is it just me somehow 20 f1.7ii image quality looks bit soft ?

Sylvain G Regular Member • Posts: 404
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 see no other 20mm in your list. That's the point

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my 'review' of the Olympus PEN E-P1 - http://www.catbag.net/wp/?p=173

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jeffharris
jeffharris Veteran Member • Posts: 6,707
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

Wesley Byrne wrote:

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.

No, I use a Panasonic G3

This could be part of your problem. With my GH2 and GX7 the focus speed is more that acceptable.

Remember to use AFS. Try playing around with metering and see if that has any effect..

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Schira
Schira Regular Member • Posts: 382
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

And if you notice(true on my G5 - may be true on latest cameras too) the camera automatically disables auto focus flexible option- AFF- when I mount the 20mm. Panasonic themselves know that this lens is not meant for quick adjustments.

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Michael J Davis
Michael J Davis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,035
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!
2

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>

<rant noted>

Yes, I'm a fan having bought mark I as soon as it was available for my G1. It's still a favorite low light lens, and I use it on my E-M5 when out with no specific photography in mind. Slow on low contrast subjects in poor lighting conditions, but for moving objects, eg people, I focus on something static nearby. There is a psychological aspect to the focussing - the noise - which makes it seem slower than an equivalent silent lens. Anders has carried out some tests referenced elsewhere in this thread.

It was disappointing that Mk II was no faster,  and wonder if, in fact, it is a bit slower, or whether our expectations are raised.

To make up for the slow focussing is that when focussed it is one of the sharpest lenses and still excellent value. Sorry you may be missing out on this.

Mike

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Mike Davis
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RickPick
RickPick Senior Member • Posts: 1,156
Re: I feel misled: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SO SLOW!

You shouldn't expect A/F miracles from a 5 year old design pancake lens. I did an informal test once between this lens and the Olympus 45mm, which is acknowledged to be quite fast. I tried this with a range of light levels. The difference in AFS, provided no hunting was induced, was barely noticeable. It does however take a long time to move focus from close to far away or vice versa. If you read the little manual you will see that it is not intended for AFC and in fact does not work in that mode. Hence it is unsuitable for video work using auto focus.

If you use it as intended it is a very sharp and versatile lens.

Regards,

Rick

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

jeffharris wrote:

Wesley Byrne wrote:

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.

No, I use a Panasonic G3

This could be part of your problem. With my GH2 and GX7 the focus speed is more that acceptable.

Except the G3 focuses the 14-42, 14-42 PZ, 45-200, and 100-300 acceptably, and it focuses the 17 f1.8, and 25 f 1.8 very quickly. The 60mm macro is a little slow, but that is a macro lens.The G3 is not the problem here; the 20 f1.7 is slow.

Remember to use AFS. Try playing around with metering and see if that has any effect..

I only use AFS, center weighted metering. Regardless, the 20 f1.7 is slow.

Corkcampbell
Corkcampbell Forum Pro • Posts: 15,240
Who exactly "misled" you? Get the Sigma 19mm or an Oly.

I'm not sure how you could be "misled" when the reviews of the new version of the lens agreed that it was basically nothing new, and the negative aspects of the lens have been written about for years on this forum? I sold mine a couple of years ago.

The lens was the first decent lens for m4/3 when it was a kit lens about five years ago, and many people only judged it on its sharpness (compared to their kit lenses, of course). A couple of years later everything had changed.

Get the Sigma 19mm, or the new Oly 17mm.

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

RickPick wrote:

You shouldn't expect A/F miracles from a 5 year old design pancake lens. I did an informal test once between this lens and the Olympus 45mm, which is acknowledged to be quite fast. I tried this with a range of light levels. The difference in AFS, provided no hunting was induced, was barely noticeable.

I noticed the difference. I had read that the AF was slower than newer lenses,  it also misleading comments like yours saying that there is no noticeable difference in AF speed in real world use (there is).

It does however take a long time to move focus from close to far away or vice versa. If you read the little manual you will see that it is not intended for AFC and in fact does not work in that mode. Hence it is unsuitable for video work using auto focus

I wasn't trying to use it for AFC or video.

If you use it as intended it is a very sharp and versatile lens

Sharp maybe, but a lens that can only handle static subjects is not versatile.

Regards,

Rick

Ulfric M Douglas Veteran Member • Posts: 4,549
Well duuh, Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SLOW

Wesley Byrne wrote:

... I had read the reviews and knew the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 autofocus wasn't fast, ... This lens is useless for even slow moving subjects. ...

There you have it, you misunderstood.

It is not a lens for subjects moving towards or away from the photographer.

Rant about your own comprehension skills?

The Lumix 20mm is sharp, with a bright aperture and a tiny size.

Three out of four ain't bad.

Buy the Sigma 19mm or Olympus 17F1.8, or either of the 25mm.

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Cheksa wrote:
You're evil Ulfric.

Wesley Byrne OP Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Re: Well duuh, Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II AF is SLOW
1

Ulfric M Douglas wrote:

Wesley Byrne wrote:

... I had read the reviews and knew the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 autofocus wasn't fast, ... This lens is useless for even slow moving subjects. ...

There you have it, you misunderstood.

It is not a lens for subjects moving towards or away from the photographer.

Rant about your own comprehension skills?

The Lumix 20mm is sharp, with a bright aperture and a tiny size.

Three out of four ain't bad.

Buy the Sigma 19mm or Olympus 17F1.8, or either of the 25mm.

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Cheksa wrote:
You're evil Ulfric.

And yet some claim that the 20mms f1.7 AF is not so slow, in this very thread. I understood that some reviewers said the AF was a little slow, and that some reviewers said that it was plenty fast. I took a chance on the lens because it is small, bright, reported to be sharp, but was misled by comments stating that the AF is fast enough for general use (understood not to include action shots). It isn't a big deal, really (I can return the lens), but I do feel misled.

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