Customer Review

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best MFT lens available so far, August 25, 2010
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This review is from: Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Pancake Lens for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras (Camera)
It's very simple, if you have a micro Four Thirds camera, you want this lens. Doesn't matter if you have a Panasonic or Olympus camera, this is the best MFT lens you can buy, and easily the best deal. You can spend more, but you won't get better performance. Hopefully that will change, BTW. Or at least, the ease of making that pronouncement will change.

I have an Olympus E-PL1 with this lens, and unlike some of the older reviews, especially with E-P1 and E-P2, the autofocus is quite good with the latest firmware for the lens and camera. Since the PEN cameras have in-body image stabilization, like god intended, you get some seriously great, crisp shots with this lens.

The minimum focus distance on this lens is tiny, the image quality is fantastic, and, well, there's the speed. Its 1.7 f-stop is the fastest thing in the MFT world, by quite a ways. The next closest is the similar, but shorter focal length, Olympus 17mm f2.8. That's a LOT slower than 1.7, as everyone is well aware, I'm sure. The Panasonic/Leica 45mm is also f2.8.

The speed therefore makes this lens much more versatile and useful than any other MFT lens on the market. With the aperture open, you get a very nice, soft bokeh that is gorgeous. The color repro with this lens is awesome, and I especially love that because I love to take pictures of flowers. The crisp, clear, faithfully reproduced colors of the flower subjects far surpasses the kit lens.

The lens is quite compact, but not as much as the Olympus 17mm, but that's OK because it's packing a larger set of glass, isn't it?

The focus performance must be mentioned. On the *highly* auto-focus challenged Olympus E-PL1 camera, this lens is a huge breath of fresh air, because it focuses faster and more precisely than the kit lens, which is downright awful, really. Because this lens is so fast, it's able to focus in lower light situations that the kit 14-42mm lens can only dream about, and that's a real life saver, believe me. Or perhaps I should say "shot saver", because I lost an extremely important, impossible to replace shot because the kit lens refused to focus and didn't warn me sufficiently. Actually it doesn't warn you at all, sigh.

People keep saying buy it if you can afford it. Am I missing something? It's cheaper than many of the other MFT lenses that I don't even have to try out to know can't match this one. The Panasonic 14-140 costs double this lens, and the 45mm Panasonic/Leica lens is a bunch more than double, and I don't even want it. f2.8 is just a wannabe compared to this lens. Enough said.

I recently went to the Concorso Italiano in Monterey, California, a car show dedicated to Italian marques like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa, etc. I started with the kit lens thinking I would need the zoom capability. It quickly came off and I didn't think about it again all day. The beauty of this lens and it's focal length is that I could shoot the cars standing very close to them. All the pro n00bs with their giant lenses had to stand way back, and as soon as you do that, crowds of people stream in front of your shot. With this lens, I was standing close enough to the cars that most people wouldn't walk in front of me. I was able to get in, get the shots I wanted, and get out of each shooting situation, all while the vest-wearing silly people with their huge lenses and official credentials just had to wait and wait. And the pictures came out a new kind of perfection.

Now that I'm covered myself in slobber, I'll end this review by saying I'm obviously very happy!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 29, 2011 4:39:51 AM PST
Dan Forsley says:
"The beauty of this lens and it's focal length is that I could shoot the cars standing very close to them. All the pro n00bs with their giant lenses had to stand way back, and as soon as you do that, crowds of people stream in front of your shot. With this lens, I was standing close enough to the cars that most people wouldn't walk in front of me. I was able to get in, get the shots I wanted, and get out of each shooting situation, all while the vest-wearing silly people with their huge lenses and official credentials just had to wait and wait. And the pictures came out a new kind of perfection".

This comment nicely sums up the pros.
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Location: Mountain View, CA United States

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