Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How Good Is Lumix G 20mm F1.7 @ F1.7?

One of my photo friend was thinking of getting the little Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH pan cake lens for his OM-D E-M5.

My friend love to shoot dim available light pictures, not surprising then he wanted to know if this compact glass is any good, FULL OPEN!

The compact 20mm/1.7 on a OM-D E-M5
How do you answer question like that?
Let's see...

"Of course it is good at F1.4, at that full aperture, the image is contrasty and lack of light flare... blah, blah, blah."

My low-light friend was NOT impressed.

So the next best thing is for me to shoot some pictures at F1.7 and show him!

 At F1.7, this lens give a creamy bokeh while maintaining a good sharpness at the in-focus area.

This was shot at F1.7 and the auto focus was on her face.

A small alarm clock on my desk, shot at full aperture.

To tell you the truth, I myself do not know how good the low-light performance of this lens is till I shot this Chinese lion dance, at a dimly lit restaurant two weeks ago!

This shot was exposed at full F1.7, 1/60 and ISO 800.

To zoom in and show you the detail, I made a screen grab video below.

Are you impress with the quality of the image at F1.7?

I am!!

The lack of light flare and scatter was brought home when I shot some strongly back lit pictures at our Wellington Airport.

Very strong sunlight pour in from the huge glass panels, back lit the Weta Workshop creation... any lesser corrected lens will get "wash out" with light flare.

The little Lumix G 20mm F1.7 rocks!

 Famous Last Words...

Panasonic has replaced the 20mm F1.7 with a Mk 2 version, the optics is the same and the auto-focus is still a bit slow.

You have to be aware of camera shakes in lower shutter speeds, when use on the Lumix GM1 which has no image stabiliser.

The OM-D has no such problem.

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