Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 Pancake Lens (Micro Four Thirds Mount)

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89% Gold Award
The 20mm F1.7 offers impressive image quality and low-light capability in a package significantly smaller and more discreet than any DSLR system.”

Read more of the review

Key Features

  • 20mm focal length
  • 40mm equivalent focal length on Micro Four Thirds cameras
  • F1.7 maximum aperture; F16 minimum
  • 46mm filters
  • 0.20m/7.87" minimum focus
  • Micro Four Thirds mount for Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens cameras

Product Description

The Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH is a tiny 'pancake' lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras, which offers a ‘normal’ 40mm-equivalent angle of view and a fast F1.7 maximum aperture. Optically it’s very good indeed, even at maximum aperture. However autofocus is relatively slow compared to more-recent internal focus lenses such as the Panasonic 25mm F1.4. Despite this the 20mm is still one of our favorite lenses, due to its winning combination of small size, high all around image quality and excellent low-light capability.

Specs

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size FourThirds
Focal length 20 mm
Image stabilisation No
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Aperture
Maximum aperture F1.7
Minimum aperture F16.0
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Aperture notes rounded blades
Optics
Elements 7
Groups 5
Special elements / coatings 2 aspherical elements
Focus
Minimum focus 0.20 m (7.87)
Maximum magnification 0.13×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Micromotor
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Unit
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 100 g (0.22 lb)
Diameter 63 mm (2.48)
Length 26 mm (1)
Filter thread 46 mm
Filter notes does not rotate on focus
Hood supplied No
Tripod collar No

Reviews

DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build Quality
Ergonomics and Handling
Features
Image Quality
Value
Gold Award
Gold Award
89 %
Overall Score

The 20mm F1.7 is an excellent lens, especially considering its tiny size. It does well in all aspects of our studio tests, and produces fine images in a wide range of situations while also focusing quickly, silently and decisively. On compact Micro Four Thirds bodies it offers impressive image quality and low-light capability in a package significantly smaller and more discreet than any DSLR system.

Good For

Everyday use on compact Micro Four Thirds bodies, where is small size and excellent optical performance make an appealing package

Not So Good For

User Reviews

  • IvanQ, Feb 11, 2013 GMT:
    Nice lens

    Very nice and sharp pankake lens, well made, a must for indoors and night shot. Problems: A bit over rated, so the expectancy is higher than I get.

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  • dragons4Mama, Feb 8, 2013 GMT:
    Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 slow and noisy on E-M5

    AF of the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 is VERY SLOW and NOISY on my Olympus OM-D E-M5. Not Acceptabe for me. Lens might be "fast" in the aperture sense, but AF is slow w/ lots of seeking & noise. Got this lens to be an indoor "party" lens - the loud and slow AF make this lens unsuitable for that task. I traded my Canon 5D and all my Canon kit (50mm f/1.4, 28-35L, 70-200L, 85mm 1.8) for an OM-D E-M5. I LOVE the E-M5. Love the retro silver look. Love the small and light size. Working on customizing and ...

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  • linux99, Nov 30, 2012 GMT:
    Us it again and again

    When I'm inside and all else fails I turn to this lens and get good images time after time. Sharp, great contrast and excellent low light performance due to the relatively fast aperture I'm really very satisfied with this as a great general purpose lens. Tend to use it a lot at parties and social gatherings, the small size and good performance really are at a sweet spot for jacket pocketable photo equipment. Problems: `

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  • hhcs, Apr 22, 2012 GMT:
    I give this m43 lens an A grade

    This is a great lens. For me, it has the perfect balance of sharpness, size, bokeh effect, and focal length. This lens can be used for "environmental portraits" and can be taken anywhere without being conspicuous. I also use it a lot for indoor pictures.

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Questions & Answers

QUESTION

Should I replace my 20 and 45 with the PL25, or 12-35?

I just sold my 20mm pancake and gave my 45mm to my wife with the intention of buying the PL 25mm 1.4. I've had the 25mm in 'my basket' for the last day or so but wanted to sense check my thinking with some experts before I commit. The 20mm was often left in my bag or at home, the 7.5mm or 14mm are obviously better at wide angle shots and I prefer the rendering of the 45mm for portraits and shallow DoF shots, as well as it being a lot quicker to focus than the 20mm. The only issue with the 45mm is that I always seem to be backing up a little to try and frame the shot properly. My thought was that the 25mm could replace the 45mm- as it has similar properties, just that bit wider? Then I saw samples from the 12-35mm and am impressed by how sharp it is, so close to the primes that I could see it as a replacement. The bokeh looks fairly similar to the 20mm pancake, though not quite as nice as the PL25mm. So I've come up with two options along with advantages, solely based on research ...

astonehouse asked
1 year ago

ANSWERS

Its not just aperture that affects DoF. The longer lens (45mm) also yields shallower DoF than the wider lens. You've gained on the roundabout and lost on the swings Its all so small and light that the differences are also very small. Zooms do offer flexibility but 35mm is not 45mm, and using your feet can give you the same flexibility in most situations. The 25mm & 45mm are miles apart in focal length (at least by application). An f2.8 zoom is no replacement for an f1.8 prime either. Thats more than one stop. One stop is twice as much light - huge difference. Regards John Continue Reading

JCB123 answered
1 year ago

The price difference between the 2 is enough that I think you could add the Olympus 12mm and the Leica 25mm. Or the Panasonic 14mm if you want cheaper (but you said you like below 14mm.) I really like the Panasonic 25mm (I also really like the Oly 45mm.) I like the Pana 20mm except for slower AF. I think a 3 prime kit of the Oly 45, Pana 25, and Oly 12 (or Pana 14) is pretty great. But there's no right answer here, just different options with different tradeoffs and advantages. Continue Reading

madmaxmedia answered
1 year ago

I certainly think so yes, especially on the edges and corners sharpness is much better. Plus the 12-35 renders more like the panaleica 25mm lens. Microcontrast and colour are great. I understand you sold the 20mm if you have and used the 14mm more. So choice is either the versatility of the 12-35 versus the 2 stops more of the 25mm. Both are beautiful lenses! Continue Reading

secretworld answered
1 year ago

QUESTION

Upgrading from the 20/1.7 (GF1 to GX7 or LX100)

I have a GF1 and several lenses, but the 20/1.7 is by far the most used. This is not a bad thing in itself, the size of the lens is ideal, the focal length is a nice balance and it is really sharp, great for indoor use with my children. However, it is very frustrating because of it's limitations: slow and noisy AF and I get locked into the focal length. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Now I aim at upgrading for both video and photo, and want to free myself of the limitations of the 20mm. One option is the LX100, but it seems a shame to not use my system, and also from samples I see the sharpness is dissapointing compared to say the GX7+20/1.7. It appears the GX7 would be superior in everything except video (4K is very tempting for future proofing, if only they could make a 4K firmware for GX7...) So, can you advise a lens that paired with the GX7 would replace my 20/1.7 paired with the GF1? It needs to be compact, fast, sharp, silent AF, focal length somewhere between 14 ...

EdBen asked
2 months ago

ANSWERS

I've had both the 20mm f1.7 and now the 17mm f1.8. The Olympus lens is sharper edge to edge through all apertures in my experience although forum posts suggest there may be variations in some copies of the 17mm lens. Mine is very crisp compared to the 20mm it eventually replaced. The focus is much faster and silent and of course it has the snap manual focus which is a joy to use for street and travel photography. Id recommend the 17mm and it is my everyday lens on my Ė-M10. I had a GF1 also and my natural instinct was to upgrade to the GX7 which is a stunning camera. After a little play with it and the OMD E-M5 I was sold on the Olympus. Waited until the È-M10 came up and bought it. That knocked my socks off so much in IQ, portability and ease and speed of use that I've subsequently sold all my FF Canon gear and added the E-M1 and more lenses. Absolutely loving the experience of shooting with these cameras and the Zuiko lenses appear to be all very sharp. If you are in the cash for ... Continue Reading

Coast answered
2 months ago

I'm sure you will but in the age of Internet buying I know many don't.... Try the camera bodies on your shortlist in the flesh if you can. Handling them is important as what feels right in the hand can make a difference. If you take the GX7 v the E-M5 or E-M10 for example. Similar IQ off the sensors in real world use and the rest of the tech is very close too. They look different and we all do take looks in to account regardless of whether we like to admit it or not but if you sway to the rangefinder style of the GC7 you may find it doesn't suit in handling as you thought it might or vice versa. I had FF Canon kit. All L lenses from 16mm to 200mm plus a1.4x matched converter. I also had a GF1 with 20mm and 14mm Lumix lenses as my carry around camera. I loved it. The IQ was far better than a compact and also creative control through exposure control etc.  I then got the bug to upgrade it when the GC7 was released. I had convinced myself it was the camera to have to replace the GF1. I ... Continue Reading

Coast answered
2 months ago

An example of the 17mm f1.8 taken with the OMD E-M10. Chester Cathedral, Chester, England. Continue Reading

Coast answered
2 months ago

QUESTION

Has your new Olympus 17mm f1.8 kicked your 20mm f1.7 to the kerb?

Just wondering despite all the negative publicity the Olympus 17mm f1.8 has received, if those who have actually purchased it and used it, if it has actually replaced your ‘legendary’ 20mm f1.7? To me, the 20mm f1.7 was the defining lens that kicked-started the m43 era and has produced (albeit slowly) some of my best captures during the past few years. But lately, although I still use it for some specific shooting, has been replaced mainly by my 17mm f1.8. No lens is perfect and the 20mm f1.7 has some great attributes such as compact size, fast and super-sharp (plus good value too), but the 17mm has other qualities too which makes it difficult to  take off my camera as my main ‘walk-around’ prime lens. Just wondering, has your new Olympus 17mm f1.8 kicked your 20mm f1.7 to the kerb? Or did you send your 17mm back to keep your 20mm? Regards, Tony

TonyinJapan asked
1 year ago

ANSWERS

Continue Reading

Aleo Veuliah answered
1 year ago

Here are some recent casual photos while out and about (mostly with my EP1 where it usually lives). This sweet cake didn’t live long but is now immortalized in digital form… My rascal daughter… Quick snapshot in Muji stationery section… In a Starbucks having coffee with my wife… Dim Sum juicy delight… Regards, Tony Continue Reading

TonyinJapan answered
1 year ago

If the 20mm f1.7 is ‘better’, then people have no reason to even consider purchasing the 17mm f1.8, but as we are noticing with those who have actually used it alongside their 20mm, for some it has actually replaced it (meaning they prefer it for some reason/s). Granted, my 20mm is sharper and has a touch more contrast than my 17mm, but I don’t think this signifies that it is a ‘better’ lens. I can simply make a simple adjustment in LR to match the sharpness/contrast, which really does not make that much of a difference in reality (unless I pixel peep 100% which no one else will do when looking at my photos, or crop deep into the photo, which I rarely do). At the end of the day, when you take photos using a certain lens, if you prefer the photos from that lens, then it tends to stay on your camera, which I guess is the ‘better’ lens to that particular user. Regards, Tony Continue Reading

TonyinJapan answered
1 year ago

Warranty Information

"If your product does not work properly because of a defect in materials or workmanship, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company or Panasonic Puerto Rico, Inc. (collectively referred to as “the warrantor”) will, for the length of the period indicated on the chart below, which starts with the date of original purchase (“warranty period”), at its option either (a) repair your product with new or refurbished parts, or (b) replace it with a new or refurbished product. The decision to repair or replace will be made by the warrantor."

PRODUCT OR PART NAME PARTS LABOR
DIGITAL STILL CAMERA 1 (ONE) YEAR 1 (ONE) YEAR
CCD 6 (SIX) MONTHS 90 (NINETY) DAYS
RECHARGEABLE BATTERY PACK (IN EXCHANGE FOR DEFECTIVE BATTERY PACK) 90 (NINETY) DAYS NOT APPLICABLE


Go to Panasonic's warranty page for more information or register your product here. DPReview GearShop is an authorized Panasonic dealer in the United States.

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