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Standard zoom and mid range Lenses with focal lengths larger than 12mm, but no longer than 60mm, includes standard zooms and portrait primes plus some macro lenses.

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Old 17th May 2017
Walti Walti is offline
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Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

Has anyone done a back to back comparison of these two lenses?

I currently have a Panasonic 20mm, and it's a very good very small lens, stunning IQ for such a small lens, makes the camera very discrete - but is slow to focus in comparison to the Olympus lenses I have (mainly PRO)

So:
  • Is the IQ as good or better than the Panny?
  • Is the focussing as good or faster?
  • How much of an advantage is the manual focus clutch (I'm aware of the focus assist not operating with this lens in manual)
  • How much bigger than the tiny Panny is it?
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Old 17th May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

I had a Panasonic 20mm but replaced it with the Olympus 17 mm f1.8 and am very happy with that decision.

So:

*I haven't done a specific back to back comparison but my perception is that the IQ is superior. It is a more recent design and is a "premium grade" lens.

* The focusing is certainly faster.

* The manual focus clutch is only an advantage if you want to use Hyperfocal Distance/Zone Focusing (Olympus call it "Snapshot" ). As frequently reported on here you have to remember not to inadvertantly set it to manual.

* It is just 11mm longer than the 20mm but the body is 5.5mm smaller in diameter. It is 33gm heavier than the 20mm but that doesn't seem noticeable to me in use. The extra weight is due to the lens having 9 elements in 6 groups as opposed to 7 elements in 5 groups ie. more glass.

Subjectively the metal body body design of the 17mm more "elegant/aesthetically more pleasing. Both lenses have the same filter diameter.

Hope this helps.
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Old 17th May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walti View Post
Has anyone done a back to back comparison of these two lenses?

I currently have a Panasonic 20mm, and it's a very good very small lens, stunning IQ for such a small lens, makes the camera very discrete - but is slow to focus in comparison to the Olympus lenses I have (mainly PRO)

So:
  • Is the IQ as good or better than the Panny?
  • Is the focussing as good or faster?
  • How much of an advantage is the manual focus clutch (I'm aware of the focus assist not operating with this lens in manual)
  • How much bigger than the tiny Panny is it?
I have the 17/1.8 but owned the 20/1.7 concurrently to makes a comparison. Briefly:

- Panasonic is slightly sharper wide open.
- Stopped down there's nothing in it.
- AF much faster on 17/1.8
- Size difference not as big as you might think
- Olympus feels better built

For me the AF and build of the 17 more than made up for the slight loss of sharpness. I do sometimes wish that the Olympus was better optically though. It's a pretty good lens, but it could have, and should have, been better. The 25/1.8 shows how it ought to be done.
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Old 17th May 2017
RobEW RobEW is offline
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
... it could have, and should have, been better. The 25/1.8 shows how it ought to be done.
Then (if the OP will excuse a digression) do you also happen to know how the Oly 25 1.8 compares with the PanaLeica 25 1.4 (or indeed Pana 25 1.7)? I'm still after something of that sort.
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Old 17th May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

I've had both and my observations are the same as Paul's. Only thing I would add is that even though the Panasonic 20 f/1.7 was a bit sharper I still preferred the images coming out of the Olympus 17 f/1.8.
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Old 17th May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

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I've had both and my observations are the same as Paul's. Only thing I would add is that even though the Panasonic 20 f/1.7 was a bit sharper I still preferred the images coming out of the Olympus 17 f/1.8.
I have to agree with this, I had the Pana 20mm, it was noisier (sound) and very slow to autofocus in comparison to the Oly 17mm and although slightly sharper didn't seem to render colours quite as well on my E-M5 II.
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Old 17th May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

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Originally Posted by RobEW View Post
Then (if the OP will excuse a digression) do you also happen to know how the Oly 25 1.8 compares with the PanaLeica 25 1.4 (or indeed Pana 25 1.7)? I'm still after something of that sort.
Yep - ran them both back-to-back too (Oly 25/1.8 vs Pany 25/1.4)! Nothing in it sharpness wise. AF fast on both. Pany is slightly wider max aperture of course (but not quite a half stop as the f1.4 vs f1.8 might suggest). However it's bigger and the hood won't reverse for storage. Both are nice. Me? I kept the Olympus!

If you really want something in this focal length that delivers excellent subject isolation and a true half stop improvement in light transmission, then look at the Sigma 30/1.4. A quarter the price of the Olympus 25/1.2 but delivering slightly more OOF blur.
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Old 17th May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

Walti I will bring my Oly lens along to Duxford and you can do your own comparison.
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Old 18th May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

I was never overly impressed with the IQ from the 17mm, it's not that it's bad just not amazing, softish at the edges and has CA in OOF areas which can make some pictures look a little odd.
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Old 18th May 2017
Walti Walti is offline
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

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Walti I will bring my Oly lens along to Duxford and you can do your own comparison.
What a star! Many thanks, look forward to giving it a go.
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Old 18th May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

No probs see you there.
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Old 18th May 2017
LittleSuzyQ LittleSuzyQ is offline
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

I've both lenses and started out with the Panny 20mm on the front of my EM1 thinking it would be a great standard walk around lens.

I got some cracking shots with it but boy did I find it frustrating at times. If you're trying to capture the moment the slow focus hunt can be incredibly frustrating - I missed a few shots, particularly with kids, because of the slow focus. Mine also had a noticeable habit of selecting an autofocus point anywhere but where I wanted it to be. After a year I gave up and bought the 17mm Oly F1.8. No regrets.

The 17mm is well made, has a gorgeous field of view (personal preference) and feels right on the front of the EM1. It's autofocus is lightening quick, accurate and I rarely miss an in the moment shot. I would agree with others - I don't think it is as sharp or contrasty as the panny lens wide open and even when stopped down, although sharp it has a softer rendering that has grown on me.

In conclusion I wouldn't part with my 17mm and the 20mm is relegated to occasional use on my back up GF3.
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Old 6th January 2018
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
...

If you really want something in this focal length that delivers excellent subject isolation and a true half stop improvement in light transmission, then look at the Sigma 30/1.4. A quarter the price of the Olympus 25/1.2 but delivering slightly more OOF blur.
Thanks. I did and it is indeed a lovely lens. Now I'm wondering about a 17mm again.
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Old 6th January 2018
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Re: Panasonic 20mm f1.7 vs Olympus 17mm f1.8

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
Yep - ran them both back-to-back too (Oly 25/1.8 vs Pany 25/1.4)! Nothing in it sharpness wise. AF fast on both. Pany is slightly wider max aperture of course (but not quite a half stop as the f1.4 vs f1.8 might suggest). However it's bigger and the hood won't reverse for storage. Both are nice. Me? I kept the Olympus!
Agreed. I have the Olympus. My sister has the PanaLeica. There’s little in it. When I bought the Olympus, the list prices were close enough to edge me towards the PanaLeica, but the Olympus could always be had for quite a lot less via eBay.
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