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Old May 23, 2010, 6:12 PM   #1
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Default Go for the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 now... or wait?

As you already know, I bought myself an Olympus E-PL1 at the beginning of the month. I've been enjoying shooting with the 14-42mmm kit lens. Of course, just about everyone involved with micro four-thirds photography says all of us should get the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens for low-light work. I don't argue with this.

I spotted the lens on Amazon today for $362 with free shipping. This is an excellent price in today's environment. Even B&H and Adorama are still selling it for $399. But is it likely the general price of this lens will fall that much more over the next, say, six months or more? Lenses don't necessarily behave like camera bodies - because they last a lot longer on the market.

Before I bought this camera, I didn't really didn't follow prices for micro four-thirds lenses that closely. Have the prices of Panasonic's other micro four-thirds lenses fallen that much since their introduction?

And, while we're on the subject... Olympus's own 17mm f/2.8 micro four-thirds prime gets very mixed reviews but is a lot cheaper. Does anybody have any real-world experience to relate about this lens versus the Panny?
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Old May 23, 2010, 6:19 PM   #2
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I just order my 20mm 1.7 for my epl-1. I will be picking it up at the post office on monday. But you need to remember the epl-1 only goes to 1/2000 of a sec. If you get it, it is a good idea if you get the 1.7 to have a 3 or 4 fstop ND filter handy for shooting in bright sunlight.

The prices will drop some more I suspect when sony's nex hit the market. Since m4/3 is not the oly game in town. Think for the 20mm 1.7 it will most like hover about 350 when it reaches it's low point. This lens is super sharp and a great prime. So I do not see it drop to the 300 range.

If you compare it to dslr lens in this range of 40-50mm eq. The canon ef 28mm USM is 360 dollars. The sigma 30mm is in the 400. So it seems about right where this lens will be once it drops down due to competition.
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Old May 23, 2010, 6:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biro View Post

And, while we're on the subject... Olympus's own 17mm f/2.8 micro four-thirds prime gets very mixed reviews but is a lot cheaper. Does anybody have any real-world experience to relate about this lens versus the Panny?
if you are going to do low light work or want shallow depth of field, then getting the 20mm 1.7 makes sense.

i would definitely choose it over Olympus's own 17mm. The 17mm from olympus offers no image quality advantage over the kit lens, and is actually worse. The only good thing about it is the small size really.
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Old May 23, 2010, 7:19 PM   #4
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As many know, I hold this lens in the highest reguard. The compact, fast, sharp lens is what I think micro fourthirds should be all about. This lens delivers it all.

I cannot tell you what will happen to prices. I will say I thing you will see it value after you start using it. In the f2.8 to f5.6 range it is astounding. Wide open is still sharp, and combined with a very good ISO 1600 makes the little camera a perfect indoor camera for candid shots.

What everyone says is true. If you can spare the price, its an excellent choice.
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Old May 23, 2010, 7:20 PM   #5
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Well, I pulled the trigger on the 20mm f/1.7 tonight... looking forward to working with it. If it works out as well as I hope it will, I'll probably sell my LX3 to fund the EVF.
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Old May 23, 2010, 7:23 PM   #6
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The EVF is a must have imho. I have one, and it makes using the epl-1 even easier. But I spent a bit more because I needed to be fashionable as it is my wife's travel camera. I got the silver EVF the is available everywhere but the US. It matches the camera nicely.

Congrats on the new lens.
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Old May 23, 2010, 10:59 PM   #7
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Hrm... how about the Sigma 50mm f1.4 50mm ?
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Old May 23, 2010, 11:04 PM   #8
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The sig 50 1.4 kinda of defeats the purpose of a small and compact package. And with the 2x crop factor it is a 100mm lens vs a 40 or 50mm lens.
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Old May 24, 2010, 9:01 AM   #9
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The Panasonic 20mm f1.7 looks like a winner, as does their 45mm f2.8 macro. They have made nothing but first-class optics since they got into the still image business just a few years ago.

I have to make a comment about Olympus and their marketing of the Pen E-PL1. This past weekend I spend a LOT of time on the National Geographic Channel due to some excellent programming and I saw what seemed to be at least 50 commercials for the E-PL1, and that's about 51 more commercials than I have EVER seen Olympus do on their E-system on any channel. It was almost like every other commercial was Olympus.
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Old May 24, 2010, 9:02 AM   #10
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wow, really Greg, they are pushing the commercials that hard?

I will have to head over to natgeo and check it out. haven't stopped by that channel in the last week or 2.
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