Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Panasonic / Leica dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 11, 2010, 5:48 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
mrmacmusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Central Scotland
Posts: 274
Default 20mm pancake, or manual prime with adaptor..?

I'm planning to order a GH1 c/w 14-140 today , and want a fast prime in my kit but my budget won't quite stretch to putting the 20mm in the same shopping basket (!).

So, I've got a bit of time to consider the options. The 20mm f/1.7 seems like an obvious choice, and I reckon I could fit this and the GH1/14-140 into a Lowepro Topload Zoom 1 bag for a nice compact carry-about kit.

However, at 300 I do wonder if there is a subjectively 'better' option in an older manual lens with suitable adaptor. It seems you can pick up old glass and adaptors very cheaply, but is it money wisely spent?

I only have experience of auto-focus lenses (including the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8), but traditional manual lenses have a certain appeal, particularly from a shallow depth-of-field perspective. Having no legacy kit to worry about, I've not already bought into any particular brand, and must admit am a little lost with the bewildering array of fast old primes available... Leica, Zoigtlander, Canon FD, Nikon etc..etc..

I'd very much appreciate some input into those lenses that would be good to look out for as direct alternatives to the 20mm pancake, and those that are best avoided - it would be nice to get faster (i.e. f/1.4) and maybe a bit longer (28mm/35mm?) for less money, but I would want at least "on a par" (if not better) optical performance to the brand new lens.

There also seems to be a bewildering array of adaptors available (at least on eBay), but they all seem 'passive', although I guess this is OK with older lenses that have aperture rings?
mrmacmusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 12, 2010, 8:56 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
mrmacmusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Central Scotland
Posts: 274
Default

Hoping I didn't ask a silly question..... Anyone?
mrmacmusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:08 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

The panny 20mm is a brighter and faster auto focusing lens then the olympus 17mm. Both takes nice photos. I have tried them, and you really want an AF prime. It makes things allot easier. Another option is going with an 4/3 adapter and getting the olympus 25mm prime, which will be the same as the 50mm you are uses to. It is not as bright at 2.8.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 12, 2010, 1:48 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Fredrikstad - Norway / Europe
Posts: 1,954
Default

MrMcMusic!

I can only suggest to also have a look at the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital 17mm / 1:2.8 Pancake-lens, which is quite 'reasonable' priced here in Norway. I think it is the cheapest solution. No adapter needed.

When I bought my G1, this "pancake"-lens came with the package and I only tested it really twice. Once outside and once indoors.

It worked well on my G1 with very fast autofocus. It is light and small. Be aware though that you will experience some purple (magenta) fringing (typical Olympus-style) in places of high contrast, something I have never seen in any of the 11-thousand exposures with Panasonic-glass, so far!

You might want to have a look at 3 sample-pictures I posted in my old thread: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...-norway-2.html - have a look at post # 25




Last edited by Walter_S; Mar 12, 2010 at 1:50 PM.
Walter_S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 12, 2010, 1:55 PM   #5
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

Canon's FD 50 1.4 and Olympus OM 50 1.4

they are both great mf primes if you want to go that route.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 12, 2010, 3:00 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mrmacmusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Central Scotland
Posts: 274
Default

Thanks shoturtle and walter... I do think the 20mm (equivalent 40mm) focal length of the Panasonic would suit me better than the Oly's 17mm and it's a bit faster too, but I was essentially asking if there was a better way to spend 300, especially since the m4/3 format so easily opens up legacy lens possibilities.....

hards80... is one any better than the other? The new 20mm pancake is probably an ideal walkabout fast prime, but it seems that for the same money, I could buy 2 or 3 old manual lenses - maybe a 24mm/28mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4 and something for macro (although I guess I could add FD extension tubes etc to a 50mm)..?

At the end of the day though, are the old lenses really worth it..?
mrmacmusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2010, 5:30 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
mrmacmusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Central Scotland
Posts: 274
Default

Well, I'm excited that the 20mm f/1.7 should (hopefully) arrive in the next couple of days - I managed to swing a deal in lieu of payment for a wee project completed recently.

However, I still want a longer, faster prime and am watching how much the likes of the Canon 50mm f/1.4 FD fetch on eBay, but.....

Could I use a 'standard' prime like this with extensions tubes for close-up macro work..? I've never used extension tubes, but unless I'm mistaken, they reduce the minimum focusing distance, at the expense of some peripheral brightness and vignetting (?)

Or, put another way - which (if there is one) particular old fast prime should I look out for that will work for (a) very low light shooting/videography and super shallow depth-of-field - i.e. f/1.2 or f/1.4; and (b) close-up macro work - with much better magnification than the 0.2x (0.4x 35mm equivalent) I've got just now with my 14-140 kit lens.

Help please folks!!!
mrmacmusic is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:55 AM.