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14mm F2.5 Panasonic lens and comparison with 20mm 1.7
  • I do own a 20mm 1.7 it's great but the AF is a bit slow ... I like DOF
    Any one tested 14mm 2.5 AF ? DOF ?
  • 64 Replies sorted by
  • AF is great on the 14mm...I use it more than the 20mm for out and about shooting ;-)
    Less DOF
  • You mean more (DOF), right?
  • @Mimirsan
    Thank you.

    I'm thinking is it worth buying this or not ...
    As I own also kit lens 14-42 it has OIS (optical stabilizer) the only benefit i see on aperture ...
    So if I use it with hand stabilizer (i mean running, walking with steady cam etc ...), there is no OIS on 14mm pancake ...
    The 20mm i cant use cause of slow focus , action scenes requires a fast auto focus when running with steady cam , at same time 20mm is great for night shooting ...
    Should I forget 14mm pancake and save money for 14-140 HD version video optimized ?
  • Sorry yeah more DOF
    personally I wasnt a big fan of the 14-140mm its not as good as its price suggest...unless you want zoom.
    I would keep the 14-42mm if you want stability as the 14mm has none and the aperture isnt a great deal more. AF is good enough on this.
    Ive been shooting a short film with wides (samyang 8mm,panny 14mm &14-42mm) and have given me decent results.
  • @Mimirsam
    Thank you,
    no i do not need more zoom at present time, for zoom may be later 100 - 300 mm would be great ...

    Than is better to save the money and buy Voigtländer 25mm 0.95 for "controlled" footage , actions ...
  • The voigtlander is phenomenal and worth every penny.
  • The 14mm is cheap (B&H online) and versatile (ETC turns it into a near 50 mm which is handy). Personally been very happy with it (I shoot B/C-cam / casting in TV) . The aperture difference (2.5 versus 4) is significant depending on what you shoot -- f2.5 will allow you to shoot at sunset at iso 160 and night at higher but still useable isos (same goes for indoors), while you can't get into pretty risky iso territory with f4. AF is fast, and more importantly if you're shooting with any onboard mic, silent.

    If you have time to compose your shots, looking towards drama as opposed to doc, yes, save up for the voiglander -- it is beautiful. If you like that look, but would use it only rarely, by a 50mm f1.4 cannon lens on ebay for $100 and an adaptor and be happy with that. For doc or just a lot of run and gun, AF is really a gift (and gives you a nice bit of security -- with shallow depth of field, you do have to put in a bit of time with every shot (eg pushing in the click wheel, turning past focus then back into focus) to make sure you are truly in focus -- you can get caught as the lcd of the gh2 is simply not up to par compared to other gh2 -- it's one big failing compared to other competitors IMO).

    Depending on your needs and style you may also want to consider the 7-14mm -- I vetoed it because I couldn't stick a uv filter on it, and since I shoot in sandy, wet and grimy locations, not having protection was a deal breaker. That said, once you get much beyond 14 mm in m43s you start to get some distortion in a lot of settings, which is unoticeable in stills but distracting in video.

    Anyway, for what it's worth, there my two cents. Hope it's helpful.
  • PS: Keep in mind there is a Leica branded panny 25 mm lens coming out this fall as well (I think...right?) it will probably only get down f1.4 but will have AF and (maybe OIS? -- or is that wishful thinking). Will be in the same price range as the voigtlander.
  • PL 25. AF. No OIS. $599. Nokton 25mm at $1199.
  • The 20mm f1.7 had faster AF prior to the v1.2 firmware.

    From Panny Website:

    2009/9/17
    Ver 1.2

    1. Improved Auto Focus performance for the subject in low contrast.
    2. Decreased the operation noise of Auto Focus in Motion Picture recording for H-H020 lens.
    (In order to minimize the operation noise of Auto Focus, the Auto Focus operation speed is reduced in Motion Picture recording.)


    Is it possible we can get the AF speed on the 20mm returned to prior levels?

    Vitaliy, Do you have old v1.1 Firmwares around to compare?

    Can't find an old v1.1 to download, not even archive has a valid copy:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20090627094447/http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/download/fts/dl/gh1.html
  • @JDN,
    Thank you, I will have to think about your suggestions as Nokton is not so cheap (my dream lens) ....
    @woody123
    The firmware on my 20mm 1.7 is 1.1 but still feels slow (not as fast as 14-45 mm) ...

    I will be buying a wide-angle converter x .7 in order to get it act as 14mm and have read
    that in some cases helps with auto focus, it gets faster ...
    The adapter I'm considering:
    Digital King DSW Pro 0.7x Wide Angle Lens 52mm at Amazon got top reviews and it weights only 65g,
    not much pressure on focusing barrel to 20mm 1.7, I think.
  • I believe the camera firmware(v1.1), not the lens firmware determines the AF speed in this instance.
    Sorry, didn't make that distinction.
    I've not been successful yet in finding a camera v1.1 to test.
  • There is no official GH2 firmware 1.1, it is still 1.0 ...
  • Correct, referring to GH1 firmware v1.2 as described on panny website here:
    http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/download/fts/dl/gh1.html
  • Ah, that means there is nothing wrong with lens it self as a "slow" :-)
  • Yes, I think the lens AF speed would be fine, though we won't know without testing.
    Curious to test an old camera firmware to see how fast 20mm AF(in video) can be.
  • 20.7's AF is fast enough for taking video. You would wanna lock the focus while taking video. It's quite noisy and hunts back and forth.
  • @stonebit
    Yes it could be locked, but than it is Manual Focus ...
    I just need that focus is fast, as using/walking with "steadycam" you can't touch the camera or LCD ...
    Using Canon HFS100 don't have these problems, but want to use GH2 ...
  • Here is a simple test of AF and shallow DOF



    Great lens, would buy even 14mm 2.5 if I get it for good price ... :-)
  • 14mm is on the way to my door tomorrow. After selling GF2, net cost would be $150.
  • What about the Olympus 17mm f2.8? I've seen some "new" ones(kit lenses sold separately) for $200. Philip Bloom wrote a good write up when it first came out, but I hear the Panny 14mm and 20mm are sharper. Anybody own the olympus and even if the panny's are better are they worth the extra $120-150?

    The 20mm price has been slowly dropping, but for $200 that Olympus 17mm is very tempting.
  • If you want a good example of what the 20mm, 14mm, and 17mm Oly can do take a look at the flickr pages for each lens.

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/lumix-pancake/

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/lumix-14mm-pancake/

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/mzuiko17mm/

    I looked at a ton of photos before I went with the 14mm. The 14mm is sharp wide open at 2.5, and that extra bit of focal length is nice. It doesn't feel distorted and my decision was based on wanting to have a lens that could go as wide as possible without feeling ultrawide ( to offset the 4/3 sensor size limitation)

    The 14mm is a much better lens than the 14-42 kit lens. It autofocuses fast and in my experience the 14-42 can behave a little weird and add a little banding. No other lens does that, not my manual lenses or the 14mm prime so I'm convinced it's the behavior of the 14-42.

    The Oly looks decent for the price, but from looking at Flickr I thought a number of photos looked a little soft wide open.

    I haven't used the 20mm but have heard nothing but great things about it. I almost bought it and will probably pick one up soon.

    There's also the Olympus 12mm f/2.0 which is good but was a little too wide for me. Michael Mills on vimeo has shot a ton of stuff with the 12mm with a hacked GH2 and it's a very nice lens, just a little too ultrawide for my tastes.

    http://www.vimeo.com/user4047714/videos
  • @Issac_B ,
    thanks, great pictures.
    I like 12mm f/2.0 but the price is out of my budget at present time ...

    Below some pictures taken with my GH2 and 20mm 1.7 ...
  • Also thanks @Issac_B

    My problem is I don't like to look at still pictures for VIDEO lens choices. There some shots there of the stock 14-42 kit lens that look fabulous, way better than any video footage I've ever seen of the same lens. There's not much video footage with the Oly 17mm and what's there, is either badly compressed or meh in some other way.
  • You can see the 20mm lens focusing in and out here in this video I shot goofing around with my girl on a lunch break---