Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Review
The Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH was announced earlier this month as the natural companion to the compact Lumix DMC-GF1 Micro Four Thirds camera, alongside a Leica-branded 45mm F2.8 Macro (the camera is also available with a 14-45mm kit zoom). The H-H020, as Panasonic curiously likes to call it, is a large maximum aperture 'normal' prime in a very compact 'pancake'-type body. It gathers a stop and a half more light than Olympus's M. Zuiko Digital 17mm F2.8 pancake (which is only marginally smaller), and is therefore sure to be of interest to E-P1 owners who want to shoot in low light using a lens well-matched to that camera's size.
The F1.7 aperture is impressively fast for a pancake lens, and to achieve this Panasonic has managed to squeeze a 7 element, 5 group design into that compact barrel, including two aspheric elements to help reduce distortion and chromatic aberration. There's a 7-bladed aperture system, using curved blades designed to give an attractive, smooth effect to out of focus highlights. Rounding off the spec is a minimum focus distance of just 20cm. However it's worth noting, that unlike many of Pansonic's lenses, this doesn't have built-in optical image stabilisation.
The 40mm-equivalent angle of view may initially appear unusual, but this is in fact a 'perfect normal' lens, with a focal length equal to the sensor diagonal. This means that it renders images in a very neutral fashion, free of the 'perspective distortion' associated with wideangle or telephoto lenses. While this focal length was historically less common than the ubiquitous 50mm prime on 35mm cameras, it still occupied an honorable niche as the standard lens for a number of high-quality compacts, including the Leica / Minolta CL. Indeed with that 45mm F2.8 macro and an upcoming 14mm F2.8, Panasonic appears to be positioning the GF1 as the spiritual successor to the likes of the CL and the Contax G series - as a high quality portable camera system for serious photographers. Let's see if the pancake's image quality can live up to such lofty ambitions.
- 20mm 'perfect normal' fixed focal length; fast F1.7 maximum aperture
- Ultra-thin, lightweight design
- 'Focus by wire' manual focus system
- Micro Four Thirds mount for Panasonic Lumix G and Olympus Pen systems
Angle of view
The picture below illustrates the lens's angle of view (taken from our standard position):
20mm (40mm equivalent)
Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH (H-H020) specifications
|Price|| US: $400
|Manufacturer's product code||H-H020|
|Date introduced||September 2009|
|Maximum format size||Micro Four Thirds|
|35mm equivalent focal length||40mm|
|Diagonal angle of view||57°|
|Lens Construction||• 7 elements/ 5 groups
• 2 Aspherical elements
|Number of diaphragm blades||7, rounded|
|Minimum focus||0.2m / 0.66ft|
|Maximum magnification||Approx 0.13x|
|AF motor type||DC Micro motor|
|Focus method||Unit focus|
|Filter thread||• 46mm
• Does not rotate on focus
|Supplied accessories*||• Front and rear caps
• Lens case
|Weight||100g (3.5 oz)|
|Dimensions||63mm diameter x 25.5mm length
(2.5 x 1.0 in)
|Lens Mount||Micro Four Thirds|
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area
|Hook Head Lighthouse by kroker|
from Best Photo of the Week
|Green turtle in the shallows by gcachon|
Canon went and put an APS-C sensor in a G series compact. The result is a mighty tempting camera for travel.
Google Photos is adding a few pet-friendly features that will make it easier to find photos of your favorite pooch. Now, you can organize your pet photos by facial recognition, and you can even search your library by breed.
Colorful tripod maker MeFOTO has launched a new tripod... and a whole new brand name. Meet the GlobeTrotter travel video tripod, the first product to be released under the MeVIDEO brand.
If you own a Moto Z, you'll soon be able to attach a Polaroid instant printer to it. Check out the unreleased Moto Mod, which was leaked earlier today.
DJI has developed a technology called AeroScope that allows law enforcement to identify and track airborne drones that are breaking UAV regulations, while simultaneously addressing privacy concerns.
The Nikon D850 is a 45.7MP full-frame DSLR with an autofocus system lifted wholesale from the pro-sports focused D5. 4K capture, continuous shooting at 7 or 9 frames per second make it sound like the ultimate all rounder. Is it all that these specs suggest?
The Mate 10's Kirin 970 chipset with integrated AI processing allows for object recognition, motion detection and automatic scene selection in the camera app.
DxO has announced version 3.0 of the iOS app for its 'One' connected camera. It adds support for multi-camera Facebook Live broadcasting and both time-lapse still and video capture. Android users will be pleased to hear that a One for their platform is on the way, as well. Several new accessories are available, including a battery pack.
Canon has introduced the PowerShot G1 X Mark III, which borrows the 24MP APS-C sensor and Dual Pixel AF system from the company's recent mirrorless and DSLR cameras, adds a 24-72mm equiv., F2.8-5.6 lens and puts them into a lightweight body – but it'll cost you quite a bit.
It's not often that we see a genuinely interesting compact camera, and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is one such beast. We've pulled out the top features of the camera and tell you why they matter – and put the Mark III up against the competition.
Apple's HDR effect in the iPhone 8 Plus is on by default and more aggressive than in previous generations. It's also good enough to convince DPR contributor Jeff Carlson to leave it on all the time.
Canon's 28mm F2.8 IS USM may be small in size, but it's big on fun. We wrote about our experience using it as our only lens in Big Sur, California, but in case you missed out on our full gallery, take a look to see what this little lens can do.
Travel photographer Elia Locardi tells the story behind this gorgeous (and rare) panorama of the Dubai cityscape draped in fog.
Bison, drift cars, horseback riders, antelope – from the beach to the race track, the Sony 100-400mm G Master is one versatile piece of kit.
"Wildlife photography in Yellowstone National Park is an incredible opportunity, yet some bad photographers are giving all photographers a bad name by not following the rules."
Casio's bionic-looking new action camera, the GZE-1, is built with extreme sports in mind. The little camera is drop-proof, freeze-proof, dust-proof, and waterproof to 50 meters.
Yashica recently released the digiFilm Y35: a camera that tries to simulate the "experience" of shooting film... and it's just the worst.
Western Digital has revealed some interesting new technology that, it claims, will allow them to develop 40TB hard drives by the year 2025.
Photographer Micael Widell wanted to see just how affordable it could possibly be to get into digital photography—so he bought a full DSLR kit with battery grip and 50mm lens on eBay for just $80.
Confused about DxOMark's scoring system? This straightforward video by Marques Brownlee breaks down how DxO gets its scores, and why you should always look beyond that "overall" number.
It's not exactly a revolutionary device, but the iPhone 8 Plus does promise some evolutionary updates in the camera department. DPR contributor Jeff Carlson has been putting the 8 Plus to the test in some everyday shooting situations – take a look at how it fared.
This week in Hollywood, DJI introduced its new Zenmuse X7 camera, a Super 35 format cinema camera of its own design that can also capture 24MP still images in APS-C format. Is it time to start thinking of DJI as a camera company?
Landscape and astrophotographer Asif Islam shot a series of timelapses starting in Los Angeles and getting farther and farther away, showing how the Milky Way emerges as the light pollution fades.
Ultraviolet photography is something that relatively few photographers explore, but it’s a fascinating realm to explore with less of an investment in equipment than most people think.
After almost fifteen years of nearly buying one, Barney recently found a working Canon PowerShot G5 in his local thrift shop. It must be Throwback Thursday.
DJI has launched the Zenmuse X7, a Raw video capable Super 35 camera module. The camera/gimbal system which mounts to the company's drones features a new, proprietary lens mount.
Windowed is a free app that lets you upload photos to Instagram straight from your Mac or PC—no tablet, smartphone, or complicated workaround required.
Nikon has published a list lenses that it deems worthy of its newest DSLR: the 45.7MP Nikon D850.
The Nikon D850 isn't the first camera to hit triple digits on DxOMark; in fact, the Pentax 645Z was listed at 101 all the way back in 2015. So why was the full review never published? DxOMark explained earlier today.
Due to 'slower-than-expected development of the VR market,' Nokia has decided to pull the plug on its $25K Ozo VR camera while it restructures the company and sheds as many as 310 jobs.