Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

Wellington Waterfront, taken with the Panasonic 20mm lens.

Wellington Waterfront, taken with the Panasonic 20mm lens.

This is a fantastic goto lens. 20mm is the equivalent of 40mm on full-frame 35mm cameras. It is vaguely wide angle, a little less wide angle than the ubiquitous 35mm lens.

Being a pancake lens, it makes a fantastic walk-around when mounted on a small body (like the GF or PEN series). I love it that I can have such a versatile lens that travels with me everywhere.

This lens is at it’s best at f/2.8. But even wide-open and stopped down it provides some fantastic results. The bokeh is nice and the aperture range means that there is enough for depth of field control.

Sharpness is brilliant, and still reasonably sharp in the corners. Distortion is noticeable, but I guess you have to make some sacrifices with a pancake lens. Using a tool like DxO Optics is almost required when the image contains straight lines.

Versatility is where this lens delights. I can take it anywhere, get sharp images and have nicely blurred backgrounds with only the penalty of carrying something slightly larger than a pocketable camera. In fact, when I have a jacket I’ll throw this on my E-P2 and put it in my jacket pocket and go walk-about.

Whilst this lens is far from perfect, I love it for it’s quirks. The results I get are just as good at any other prime in this focal range (with maybe a little more distortion). So it has become a vital part of my kit.

Wellington Waterfront, taken with the Panasonic 20mm lens.

Wellington Waterfront, taken with the Panasonic 20mm lens.

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