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Oly 17mm or Pani 20mm for E-P3?

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Initial post: Dec 26, 2012 12:34:19 PM PST
Trader Mike says:
Just got an Olympus E-P3. Really cool camera with great photo quality. I need to get a pancake lens. Camera will be used as a "always have with me camera" for general everyday use- low light indoor, street shooting, landscapes, etc. Any recommendations on which to get?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 4:32:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2012 4:34:27 PM PST
Congrats on the new camera. The Pens are a lot of fun.

The Oly 17mm only gets so-so reviews at best. The Panasonic 20mm, however, uniformly gets high marks and I've found it to be a particularly good general purpose prime lens with excellent image quaility. I also like carrying the Pany 14mm for wider views though I seem to end up using the 20mm more often.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 12:33:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2012 12:33:46 AM PST
Neo Lee says:
17mm is a little too wide for portraits, and f/2.8 aperture on M4/3 is a little too small for subject/background isolation.

I use the 20mm f/1.7 and it's really versatile for many things.

Landscape angle is fairly limited:

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 12:33:08 PM PST
Ryan Karolak says:
It should be noted that there are two 17mm lenses from Olympus.

The original is a f/2.8 Pancake lens. I wouldn't recommend this lens generally, unless if you find it for really cheap. It's not very sharp and has a fair share of chromatic aberration. It's very compact however.

There is now a newer f/1.8 version that improves upon the f/2.8 greatly. I don't have any experience with this lens however and it's not widely available yet, at least in the US. Once it is we'll probably see more available we'll have more reviews out there.

I have the 20mm 1/1.7 Pana lens in addition to the 17mm f/2.8 and it's better in pretty much every regard. It's much sharper and is faster (aperture). The biggest drawback I've found is the somewhat slow autofocus speed, especially in low light. Sometimes the AF on the 17mm even works better. It's slightly bigger physically as well. At 20 mm, it's also about 5mm (effective 35mm equivalent) more narrow than the 17mm. With that said, overall the 20mm is still much better and worth the extra money over 17mm. I would recommend the Pana 20mm over the 17mm f/2.8 any day. As far as the brand new 17mm f/1.8, we'll have to see how that stacks up. If it follows in the footsteps of the 45mm and the 75mm Oly primes, it may be very good.

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 11:22:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 28, 2012 12:48:27 AM PST
Les Schmader says:
The 20mm f/1.7 is one of the better suited lenses for the m4/3.

The 40mm equivalent is comfortable at 4:3 aspect ratio and is more like 45mm at the 3:2 aspect ratio in most models.

Originally intended for the Panasonic micro 4/3 with 3 or 4 aspect ratios and 2 to 3 picture sizes for 40mm, 60mm and 80mm at f/1.7, it's about the most versatile lens you can get for a micro 4/3.

The 20mm focal length capitalizes on the functions more than the 17mm or 14mm. If you want the maximum use of an m4/3 compact body, it's the 20mm that you want.

You must have the 14-42 to compare to, so there's no real excuse for not knowing which focal length you want.

If you don't intend to carry and use the 14-42, the 14mm f/2.5 would make a better companion to the 20mm. And they've been floating around for @$160 as new take-offs.

Watch the price of the 20mm. $300 is a good price, $350 is about the most I'd pay for one.

I just noticed that the 17mm f/2.8 is a kit lens on the EPL-3 at the same price as the 14-42. That means it will probably be selling as a take-off/re-furb for @$100-$150 in the near future.
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Discussion in:  Photography forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  5
Initial post:  Dec 26, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 27, 2012

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