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.
Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 Pancake Lens (Micro Four Thirds Mount)
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“ The 20mm F1.7 offers impressive image quality and low-light capability in a package significantly smaller and more discreet than any DSLR system.”
- 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
|Lens type||Prime lens|
|Max Format size||FourThirds|
|Focal length||20 mm|
|Lens mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|Number of diaphragm blades||7|
|Aperture notes||rounded blades|
|Special elements / coatings||2 aspherical elements|
|Minimum focus||0.20 m (7.87″)|
|Full time manual||Yes|
|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|
Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category at the time of review.
|Ergonomics and Handling||
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.
Everyday use on compact Micro Four Thirds bodies, where is small size and excellent optical performance make an appealing package
Not So Good For
It's not the most versatile lens in the world, but overall there's little to criticize.
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.
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 ...
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: `
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.
Does your 20/1.7 lens hunts when used on E-PL5/EM5 shooting video with AF set to AF-S?
I configure the E-PL5 movie mode to M, manually select aperture and shutter speed, and the AF mode to AF-S. However, when I shoot video (kids making a mess in the bath room) in low light using the Panasonic 20/1.7 lens, I seem to still see focusing "breathing," if that is the correct term for the lens to momentarily lose focus and refocuses. I double checked the AF-mode and confirmed that it is AF-S. Does anyone else notice this? On GH1, once focus is locked, I usually switch the focus mode to Ml using the dial on the left, and the focus will not move at all.
There are many threads covering how well the 20/1.7 focuses (although almost all cover still photography rather than video). Here's a current example: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3398954 The usual term is "hunting" rather than "breathing" for the a lens struggling to AF. The 20 often makes a bit of noise when focusing which leads some to conclude that it's not the best lens for video. Continue Reading
G1Houston wrote: I double checked the AF-mode and confirmed that it is AF-S. Does anyone else notice this? On GH1, once focus is locked, I usually switch the focus mode to Ml using the dial on the left, and the focus will not move at all. I just checked my E-M5 with the 20mm in S-AF mode. Moved around the house bringing objects in and out of focus. The lens never tried to refocus on its own, I had to push my AFL button to make it refocus. Continue Reading
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
Valterj wrote: Please, post sample photos taken with the lens 17mm f1.8. 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
Dr_Jon wrote: BTW I just noticed LensTip say they think the 20/1.7 is better: 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
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 wrote: 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 ... Continue Reading
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
astonehouse wrote: You mean the 12-35 is an improvement over the 14mm? I sold the 20mm because I didn't use it enough and wanted to buy the 25 (didn't see the point of having both plus the sale will go towards the cost of the 25). I always took the 45mm instead as like to travel light and preferred it's rendering and bokeh. 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
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|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|